Gear Reviews: Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX & Swift Solo

I’ve been wearing the Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX‘s for most of my adventuring lately and I love them. They’re light weight but stable, have incredible traction, and edge decently well for a non-approach shoe. I feel much more stable on steep terrain than in my old Keens. They use the Continental Tire Rubber which feels very stable in most conditions.

Low Key product photo of Adidas Terrex Swift Solo shoe. 

Also the Adidas Terrex Swift Solo approach shoe has been a nice addition. I’ve worn them while climbing 5.10’s and they’re comfortable around town. A bit lighter than the Scarpa’s and quite a bit more attractive, I think. I grab them for many different occasions.

Product Photography: Multi-light Look with Only One Light

When I get new gear for whatever reason I want to shoot it before I dirty it up. I recently got some shoes from Scarpa for a spec shoot and some shoes from Adidas Terrex. Before destroying them I set up my home studio and went to work.

I started off with the Scarpa Crux approach shoe. It’s a sturdy shoe with good Vibram rubber. It is quite comfortable, but I haven’t taken it out on any long approaches yet.

Using a piece of glass under your subject adds a bit of interest to a product photo, but as with anything, don’t over do it. In this case I used a piece of glass from a broken 16×20 frame. Taping the edges helps it not cut things and you, and I think makes it a bit sturdier. 

I employed a method of lighting using only one light but giving off the appearance of a complex multi-light setup. Put your camera on a STURDY tripod and use and cable release so you do not bump your camera during the process. For this to work you camera has to stay completely still.

I use a LumiQuest SoftbBox LTp with my Speedlite 580EXII on a wireless slave as my one light. It’s 10″x14″, giving you over 40x the surface area of a Speedlite. Interpretation: it gives you much softer light. With the Speedlite on a wireless slave I can move around my subject freely without bumping the camera position. I take multiple shots with the light in every possible different position.

Next step: Photoshop! In Photoshop open all the different versions of the image that you think you’ll use. Pick one to be the base image then drag all the other photos on to your chosen “base”. Holding Command + Shift while doing this will align all of your images. Create inverted layer masks on all but the base layer and begin “painting” in the light that you want. Presto: Magical Multi-Light image.

Lighting a Cave & Problem Solving

A few weeks ago Jon Cardwell asked me to come out and shoot with him and Chelsea Rude for a project.

Chelsea Rude climbing Rubble (5.13b)
We went back to Sex Cave in Clear Creek Canyon to get some shots of them sport climbing. It was an ideal location because of the easy access from the road and the ability to shoot from the ground. I hadbroken my back a few weeks before and could not hang from a rope. 
With the help of my girlfriend I set up my lights how I wanted them and prepared to shoot, but I realized I was missing something. I had forgotten to pack the connector wires for the radio slaves. My studio strobes could not be fired remotely, well directly from the slaves. So I quickly figured out a solution. 
I would have just used my Canon Flashes, but they are not powerful enough to get the results I wanted. I connected my Pixel King radio slave to my flash and used the built in optical slave on my White-Lightning strobe to fire into an umbrella that broadly lit the underside of the cave. The spill light from the umbrella hit the optical sensor on my Yongnua YN-560 flash, firing it into the back of my other White-Lightning strobe, giving me the rim light I wanted. It was super complicated and tricky to enact, but the diagram below might help you visual types. 
The diagram is, of course, inexact, but it give you the idea. Using optical slaves to pop your lights remotely is a great, fast and easy approach to lighting. A lot of times in my studio I will just use a speedlite set to 1/128th power to pop all the lights in my set up. But in a less controlled environment using wireless slaves gives you much more control. 

Jon Cardwell on Rubble

After the climbing we used the great afternoon light over the Flatirons to shoot a few portraits using just one Speedlite in an umbrella and the sun as rim light. 

I don’t recommend leaving behind pieces of equipment you need. I definitely need to be better at double checking my gear. 
Till next time,