Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Speaking | Stand Out Tour with PhaseOne

    Pretty excited to announce that I will be speaking with the good crew of PhaseOne
and Mamiya photographers at the Stand Out Tour in L.A. in two weeks!  I will be touching on my past as an action sports photographer and how I have grown to work with the companies I shoot for now.  I will mostly be talking about what it is like producing advertising images of boats and cars with the CGI art crew

Shot example in conduction with AlreadyBeenChewed

    Be sure to use my PromoCode FLASHGARRISON to get in on any of the talks for free!  I will also be giving away products from some of the crews that support me such as Custom SLR and Fstop Gear!  I hope to see you out there October 15th!

Matt Armedariz 
Pratik Naik 
John Schell Melissa Rodwell 
Michael Grecco Dave Gallagher
Chris Garrison Emily Shur 
Roberto Valenzuela 

Benjamin Von Wong 
Mark Seliger Gregory Crewdson John Schell
Eric Crossland
 Jim Taskett 
Dan Saelinger Ryan Enn Hughes Bobbi Wendt  
Tim Kemple Annabelle Breaky
The Stand Out! Photographic Forums’ mission is to bring the photographic community together to inform, inspire and excite. Hear from inspiring and innovative industry creatives and icons.  Explore new ideas to differentiate yourself and your business.
Stand Out!
Los Angeles
October 15th
1933 S. BROADWAY, 11th FL.
10am – 9pm
Stand Out!
San Francisco 
October 18th
11am – 9pm

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Atlanta Brave Spring Training Fantasy Camp 2014 | #BTS and Recap

    For the past few years I have been working with a crew that covers the Atlanta Braves Fantasy Camps in Orlando, Florida.  For those of you who do not know what Fantasy Camp is.  It is a one week camp where participants get to train, play, and hang with some of the best Legend to ever play with the Atlanta Braves.  The participants basically get to fill al life long dream to be part on a team and see what happens behind the scenes. 

    This is always a very fun experience for me for so many reasons.  I get to do so many types of photography in just a few days with a sport I do not commonly cover.   I get to shoot outdoor lifestyle shots, looker room shots, action, behind the scenes of the sport, event and ground coverage.  It is a very long week with days from sunrise to sunset but it is well worth it, and the cold post game locker drinks seal the deal!

73 Portraits in 35 Minutes or Less

    One of the requirements is to get a portrait shot of each participant and the Participant Atlanta Braves Legends.  Sounds pretty easy at first until there are 73 athletes not including the Legends.  There are no time slots for the portraits to be shot either.  I have to basically show up super early, 5 am with one an assistant and set up the all the equipment.  Then as the participants come in I have to pull them from the locker room and shoot as well as pull them from the batting cages.  With the allotted warm up time being just around 30 minutes I would have just about 20 seconds to shoot a solid shot for a poster of each participant.  This time includes getting them into the right position, getting some action, and getting some standard portrait shots.

    My first setup was the typical right at Home Plate.  The flash setup is my usual quick 3 light setup, with a scrim to block out the sunlight.  I use all Elinchrom Ranger Speed AS pack for the daytime flash power, The Elinchrom 27 in Beauty Dish, Elinchrom 53in Strip boxes, and the Westcott Scrim Jim 6 foot model.  Everything was fired with the Pocket-Wizard Flexx TT5 using Hypersync.  I shot with the Nikon D800 and 35mm F 1.4.  I love this setup for the portraits fro the high recovery of the D800 in the highlights to make up for the white uniform.  The lower F-stop of the 35mm Prime lens also helps separate the participant form the background.  This was great setup as my assistant or I could grab the participants as they went into the locker room.

#BTS shooting a participant with the Elinchrom setup.

A different angle of the #BTS shooting a participant with the Elinchrom setup.

Here I am holding the Scrim Jim and Boom set up during some of the random gust of wind on the field.

    I also Decided to step it up and set up and outfield shoot to get a different background than the previous years this year.  I love this shot because it gets the massive green wall and score board. 

    The biggest challenge with this spot was not just getting the shots but also the setup.  I did the same 3 light setup for this location but I used the Wescott Apollo Strips and Orbs as the Light source.  I also set up the Elinchrom Ranger Speed as Packs and Nikon D800 with the 35mm F1.4 again.  I left the Nikon D800 on the Induro C313 Tripod so I can run back and forth between the locations.  The most intense part of this shot was setup just outside for the sprinkler system that was running at the time and still getting the background that we wanted.  You can see some of the sprinklers running on a few of the shots below.  I was able to get all the participants shots by corralling them as they went to or left the batting cages from this location.

The Setup for the outfield location

    For the third and back of the baseball card shot I set up in the locker room.  There was extremely limited space and it was packed.  I could only set up a single lite and was lucky to get that.  I used on Elinchrom Ranger Speed AS and the 27in beauty dish set up.  This location was a super fast click and run witch each participant.

The All Day action and Event Coverage

    One of my favorite parts is going into event coverage mode after the portraits.  I have total freedom to move all over the field and park during the games.  I also have full access to the locker room and any other are you can think off.  For example I was able to get on top of the massive scoreboard to get a good overview shot from an unusual angle.  I am even able to sit in the filed during play, or even get right on the pitchers mound during warm ups!  I love that I have the creative freedom to get some different angles for each participant in their different positions.

Here are a few shots from a the Event Coverage

    The event is truly amazing for everyone.  Participants get to play baseball and hang out in the locker room just like one of the Atlanta Braves.  They actually use the main Atlanta Brave Spring Training Locker Room.  There are also post ball day poker games at the hotel, “man cave!”  They even get an entire day off and play a round of golf with the Braves Players of they want.  If you have not experienced the Fantasy Camp yet I would highly recommend it to anyone that is into baseball!  It is such an interactive experience with the Baseball Legend that you almost forget you are only on the team for a week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

CamRanger | Go Wireless

    This is  quick write up I did a while back for about the new CamRanger.  I bring the CamRanger to almost every shoot now because I never know if I can use it.  The few times I did not bring it I could have used it for some weird angle or camera control!  Be sure to check out the link below for the CamRanger and I also recomend getting an extra battery as well!


A quick shot of the CamRanger in action onto of the Induro C-313 Tripod during the Axis T22 release Campaign studio shoot.

In the Beginning

I have been using remote cameras and tethering for a variety of action sports and commercial clients for years. When I use remote cameras I am able to get second angles as well as angles I cannot access during the action. When I am tethering directly to my computer I am able to instantly view and edit my images full-screen onsite. I can also set up real-time client viewing if needed for specific shoots.

These options have always worked great for every situation but each has had a variety of drawbacks I felt held me back in the past. Remote cameras always work well with any PocketWizard and a motor drive cable. The biggest drawback is there are no controls over the camera and no way to view the exact shot you have. Tethering works very well with cables from the camera connected directly to the computer that can be mounted on any mountable workstation. The largest drawback of tethering is the ball and chain feeling I get with the wires.

Going Wireless

There have been options on the market that solve one or two problems but then would fall short in other situations. Nikon has been making wireless transmitters for cameras for a long time. The early ones were large and bulky, offered no camera control, were a nightmare to set up, and cost a quarter of what the camera cost. The newer ones are great and offer limited camera control but have slow upload speeds and eat the camera battery. They are also very costly for the higher-end models, but very inexpensive for the lower-end cameras. The Eye-Fi card is a good inexpensive option but gives zero camera control.

CamRanger – Chris’ Wireless Solution

Finally, the CamRanger came out and saved my life! The system offers everything I could ask for out of my Nikon camera system. I am able to remotely set up my camera and have full control over almost every option of the system, even manual focusing. I have the feel of holding my camera in my hands when it is mounting up on the roof . This is also very helpful because I can view the image right from my iPhone or iPad to see if I nailed the shot and if it is in focus. I tend to almost always shoot with speedlites. When I set up a remote camera I use PocketWizards as the transmitter on the camera and the CamRanger with my iPhone as the camera remote trigger. This setup allows me to check for athlete style, action and my lighting style right from my phone!

I also tend to run into a lot of last-minute same day deadline assignments on the editorial side of my life. The CamRanger has come to my rescue many times in these situations. The jobs usually involve being in very remote place, in very bad situations with very limited time. In the “good ‘ol days’ I would normally shoot as much as I could until we thought we had what we are looking for, rip back to the computer, upload the images, edit, send off to the editor, and cross some fingers. Now I am able to attach the CamRanger to the camera, turn on the Wi-Fi, connect my iPad, and set up a Dropbox folder where I can sync the images. So as I am shooting, images are immediately uploading to a folder that’s viewable on any device.

Achieving the Difficult Shots with CamRanger for Composites

I have a technique that I have been using lately for a few commercial shoots with boats and cars. I am almost only able to achieve this with the CamRanger. This style involves me shooting a series of images with different lighting. I then layer and mask everything into one photo to complete a final image. It is extremely important for the camera not to move one bit during the process. With the CamRanger I have complete control of the shutter with zero chance of the wires being touched and moving the camera.

The shot below was completed with a Nikon D800 mounted on top of a Kupo C-stand about 9 feet in the air. We controlled everything from an iPad mounted to the magliner cart on a Kupo Grip Arm. We also remotely uploaded the images to the laptop for quality control and periodic focus checks. The final shot is a c4d rendering advertising campaign for the new Axis T22 from the crew at

Another option I like is the remote live view control from the iPad. The art director can watch the iPad screen as I move the camera to get the exact angle they are looking for. For the “walk through” shot of the Axis T22 below I set up the Nikon D800 on an Induro tripod with a sandbag for stability in the boat. I just easily adjusted the ball head and took direction straight from the art director. I was also able to use the live view option the “cheat” and see which way the light was reflecting to the camera to get the exact spectral highlights I was going for.


The CamRanger has so many uses and should go into every photographer’s bag. I use it for commercial shoots all the way down to a quick Instagram upload. It has opened so many new creative windows and gives me all the freedom I want on my shoots.