I have been traveling for the last few months and I usually like to pack light, (carry on only) so bringing a studio strobe like the White Lightening x1600 is out of the question. I recently acquired speedlights made by Yongnuo. Bought a pair of the YN 560 which is 100% manual non TTL version. The reviews were good, and the price was unbelievably cheap, but what really blew me away was how powerful and efficient these little lights are. Perfect for shooting environmental portraits. Paired with a set of Sanyo Eneloop batteries, this set up easily pulls the stage curtain closed on the days when Vivitar 285 were paired with Quantum Turbos. What I really like about the Yongnuo YN 560 is the multiple options for syncing: you can radio trigger one from your camera which will in turn fire the second (or third) one with an optical slave. Another little trick I did was tape diffusion material over the light for a slight softening without bringing a long an umbrella. They come with small stands like the canon speedlights, and the metal base helps when you want to do some unorthodox mounting. Do the math: for the price of one Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT you can buy 7 Yongnuo YN 560’s.
As I write this, it appears that Yongnuo has upgraded the non ttl model to YN-560 II which I will need to check out as well, but for new I highly recommend the Yongnuo YN560 speedlights for travel.
Here are some photos I took with them on the North Shore of Ohau… You can check out an even larger set here:
Tablet Boutique Hotels recently featured a photo I took at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in South Austin, Texas
for their Table Talk site:
Sister to the hip Hotel San Jose, the Hotel Saint Cecilia, is a private 14-room luxury hotel situated in an old Victorian mansion and poolside bungalows, on one acre of beautifully landscaped grounds.
I love landscape photography. The way the light changes every 30 seconds and the way waiting always seems to have a big payoff in some undiscovered color or light reflection. To me being outside at the golden hour is like being in god’s photo studio. I’m lucky that I’m seeing more demand from clients for my landscape work, here is new landscape photography:
Stratford Land of Dallas recently chose some of my west texas photos to illustrate their annual report, collateral work and web site.
I also recently shots some landscape property near Pace Bend Park work for Mark Fox Real Estate, that ran in various publications including Texas Monthly magazine.
Finally my friends at the Ramashla Ashram on the south shore of the Big Island of Hawaii are using a series of the photos I took of for their collateral and advertising.
I’m looking forward to returning to Hawaii and the Big Island in August.
Here’s a poignant quote from Ansel Adams for inspiration:
I respect everything in change and the solomn beauty of life and death. I believe man will obtain freedom of spirit of society, and therefore while man amidst the emence beauty of objective bodies, he must possess the capacity of self perfection and must observe and represent his world with full confidence. I believe photography is a tool to express our positive assessment of the world. A tool to acquire ultimate happiness and belief. – Ansel Adams
I was in Santa Fe last week visiting Bruce Gray who makes amazing handmade percussion instruments and Miranda Gray who is an equally amazing Egg Tempera painter.
We made a stops in Marfa, Ft Davis and White Sands along the way. Here are some photos from the road trip to New Mexico and West Texas.
see the entire flickr set
Brian Birzer is a freelance photographer, available for travel and event assignments.
August in Texas is brutal, this year was a record breaker, luckily I was able to spend most of the month in California. Specifically San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, all places that I have lived before. There seemed to be a common dance theme in each place I went, perhaps they were just as happy to be out of the heat as I was. Here are some photos.
see the entire flickr set here