Had a fun shoot last night with Big Wik of SURTHRIV. The word is a combination of Survive and Thrive and the site has articles and a forum about preparedness, wilderness survival, camping and other outdoor activities. Check it out if you're into those kinds of things (and most Jeep/off road people are).
We were doing the shoot for an upcoming article I'll be doing on off road trailers because Dan has a really cool off road trailer he custom built. Since it's too hot in the desert this time of year we went to one of the local foothill canyons so we could get the trailer off camber and show off its capabilities. In the canyons you lose daylight long before actual sunset when the sun dips behind the mountains. As soon I noticed that we were about to lose the light I convinced Dan to let me get a shot of him in front of his Jeep. I didn't want to ask him to re-position his Jeep and trailer yet again because he had already done so many times for me, and anyone who tows a trailer knows that turning it around isn't the most fun thing to do. So I had to balance some tricky light, with Dan and his Jeep in the shade and the hills brightly lit him. I was using my quick-and-dirty one light set up. It took a few tries to get it dialed in but in the end I managed to pull off the slightly edgy hard look I wanted. It's not a lighting situation that I recommend though!
I love the fact that my 7D can wirelessly trigger my flashes because it makes it easy to use off-camera lighting in the field (or my studio lights) whenever I want with minimal set up, it's perfect for the fast-paced shooting I typically do. But truthfully the whole line of sight thing with IR triggering is getting old, especially when I'm shooting things like the interior of a vehicle and I don't have an assistant. I really need to get radio triggers. A few years back I was using the (cheap) Cactus triggers in studio, and while I never had any reliability problems with them, they just aren't sturdy enough for the type of abuse my gear is put through out on the road (jammed in the back of the Jeep). I've seen good reviews of the Yongnuo triggers, but I'll probably end up going straight to Pocket Wizards unless someone/something convinces me there is an acceptable reliable substitute. I don't care about E-TTL because I always use manual flash settings, it needs to work with a mix of different strobes as well as my Broncolor studio lights, and I sure don't want something like the Photix Strato Multi a friend has which requires her to put the strobe on her camera first to start the communication process, then remove the strobe and attach the transmitter, and repeat the process any time they stop communicating (which according to her, they do often). I do not have the patience for that!
Anyone have any input on recommended radio triggers besides Pocket Wizards?