Micro Sync II Review with Tom Keller

Hey everyone,

We got a chance to send Tom Keller one of our Micro Sync II remote firing units to test out with his steel wool photography. For those of you who don’t know what the Micro Sync II is, it’s a lightweight wireless system for remotely firing and syncing strobes, flashes and cameras. Check out the video at the end of Tom’s review to learn more! So here’s the review that Tom sent us after he had taken the MS II out on a few trips… and he sent pictures!!!

Tom: When I first received the Micro Sync II I thought it would come in quite handy with the
Steel Wool Photography I shoot. It’s light weight, made from plastic and metal and
pretty durable. At first I was having some issues with the receiver turning on and
syncing but after some quick trouble shooting it turned on and I haven’t had a problem
since.

I have never used a remote trigger before so I was eager to try it out. Since I typically
go out with a partner, it was exciting to come up with new ideas to take advantage of
MSII. We took the remote camping with us at Lake Tahoe to test our creativity and the
device and it turned out great. Because of the landscape, it was not ideal to travel from
the camera to the desired position for either of us so MSII made this shot of “Sleeping
under the Sparks” possible.

Photo 1

Just recently I took this photo “Light Keeper.” I was able to take multiple shots in a row
with MSII to allow the model to change poses without wasting time and sparks from
the steel wool.

Photo 2

Although I typically have a partner with me I occasionally go out alone and this is
when Micro Sync II really helps me out. It allows me to better prepare for photos farther away and not have to race against a timer.

Photo 3
Photo 4

All in all I think it’s a great product. It works great for lone photographers taking multiple shots at a distance or for close up group shots. It allows a photographer to get more creative with his work because there is one less restriction.

Photo 5

Here’s how I’ve incorporated the Micro Sync II into my photo shoots. My typical night shooting starts around 11pm. Once we arrive at a location, we set up the camera angle with Marissa standing where I plan on spinning. She helps focus the camera lens by shining a light at the camera. With the camera already in focus I then turn the camera off and take out the MSII, plug the firing cord into the receiver and then into the shutter release input. I then turn the camera back on to wake up the receiver and take a couple test shots before we start spinning. Lately, Marissa and I have been doing shots with her posing with props or silhouettes to switch it up a bit while I spin in the background. Once we’re both ready and sparks are flying, I use the remote in my other hand to trigger the camera to shoot. If sparks are still flying by the time the shutter closes, Marissa changes her pose and I’ll fire a second shot. The MSII really comes in handy in these situations when we’re both in the shot.
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For more information on the Micro Sync II watch the video below and visit the website: www.microsyncdigital.com

For more information on Tom Keller check out these links:
Tom’s previous post on Steel Wool Photography
Follow him on Facebook
Follow him on Instagram: @tomkellerphotography
Send him an email: Tommokeller@gmail.com

Become a part of out Instagram community by following @tamracphoto, and like us on Facebook to stay up with everything Tamrac!

Happy Customer: Troy Daniels

We love hearing from our customers about how our bags have kept their gear safe and sound. It lets us know that we’re doing it right and encourages us to keep making the quality products they can trust. We recently received feedback we’d like to share from photographer Troy Daniels telling us about his Evolution 8.

Penang, Malaysia - Note the awesome backpack

Penang, Malaysia – Note the awesome backpack

About a year ago I purchased the Tamrac Evolution 8 backpack for a solo trek through Hawaii.  Since then it has traveled though the mid-west, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and soon to be Myanmar.  Through all this, this pack has consistently held over 50 lbs of lenses and gear for up to eight hours at a time, been submerged in a river (big whoops), caught in several rainfall deluges and generally been my go to bag for all my traveling and hiking.

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Canon Mark III with mounted Canon 24-70mm. Tripod goes on the outside and I fit a few water bottles or snacks in just below the DSLR.

Middle - Canon 100 mm Macro, Extension tubes on top, Canon 16mm - 35 mm wide angle Bottom - Tokina 11mm - 16mm, Canon 70 - 200 mm (2.8 so its extra heavy), Canon Extender III.

Top – Canon 7D, Canon 24-105 mm lens
Middle – Canon 100 mm Macro, Extension tubes on top, Canon 16mm – 35 mm wide angle
Bottom – Tokina 11mm – 16mm, Canon 70 – 200 mm (2.8 so its extra heavy), Canon Extender III.

I am incredibly impressed by the strain I’ve put on it and how other than my stinky sweat odor remains in pristine condition.  My only concern is that with the consistent weight I put on the shoulder straps (yes, I use the hip strap too), they might eventually tear, but I’ve yet to see that.  I consider it an integral part of my setup and in the event that anything ever happens to it, I’ll definitely be buying another. Awesome product.  Don’t regret the purchase at all.

Troy

Troy will be happy to know that all of our backpack straps are reinforced with internal webbing and sewn through the entire seam twice where they attach to the bag with nylon boot thread. This ensures that those straps will not pull out and explains why they haven’t torn while carrying a consistent load of 50lbs of gear.

Troy wanted to give a shotout to Eldar who’s a sales associate at ePhotoCraft.com where he purchased his Evo 8. He’s thankful that Eldar highly recommends Tamrac bags, and gives him great advice along with an occasional discount. So thanks, Eldar!

Here are some more images that troy sent us taken during his trek through Hawaii.

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Big Island, Hawaii

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Big Island, Hawaii

Oahu

Oahu

Photographer Spotlight – Q&A with Max Roper

We’re excited to to partner up with concert-photography maven, world traveler, and entrepreneur, Max Roper. We got to pick his brain about some of the visually striking images he’s captured and packaged it all up this this blog post for your enjoyment! So read on and enjoy!

Mute-Math – Drum Jump!

Tamrac:  Tell us about your first experience with photography and when you knew it was something you wanted to do.
Max:
  I am a fairly new photographer in general, I got my first DSLR back in 2009 and started just taking photos of anything I was doing. I travel a lot so I was very excited to start getting some good documentation of my travels. Music is a huge part of my life so I think once that was blended with photography, I was into it!

Black-Keys

Tamrac: How did you get started with concert photography? Did you know the bands or just show up with your camera in hand and start taking awesome photos?
Max:
I love and play music and was going to shows all the time and I thought that I would try and sneak my camera in to get some shots of this artist I was seeing at a smaller venue. I separated the camera up between a few of my friends and I got it in. After the show, I posted the photos on the artists facebook page and they loved them. It was really unexpected. I honestly really had no idea what I was doing, but they really liked my photos. That encouraged me to continue.

MUTEMATH-Dallas

Tamrac: What kind of camera gear do you usually take on your concert shoots? Do you ever use a flash as a fill or use only stage lighting?
Max: My first camera was the Nikon D80 and I loved it, so now I am a Nikon dude! I use the D700 now and pretty much just the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8. Once in a while I will bring out my fisheye or the 50mm 1.4 if it will work for the shoot I am on. The 24-70 f/2.8 is pretty much my go-to lens. About 90% of my shots are with that lens.  I bought a flash a few years ago and the first time I tried to take it out it got dropped in a lake and that was that. I am a big proponent of using only stage lighting.

Jay-Z

Tamrac: You’ve managed to capture some epic moments in concerts (Mute Math drum jump). Are some of these simply being at the right place at the right time and do you also have an idea of how the show will go so you’re able to plan your shoot out?
Max: Thanks :). That Mute Math concert was actually the 4th concert I had taken photos at so I was still getting into the swing of how it all works. I had never seen them before. They were just unreal! Still to this day, they are one of the most amazing bands touring. That night may have had a bit of luck on it. I was also just so into their energy. I think it contributed to how good all of the shots came out. Since then I’ve been on a few tours with bands where I’m shooting their show every night which allowed me to really learn the pace of their sets. You can be very calculated in that type of situation.

Mumford-and-Sons

Tamrac: From all of the concert shoots you’ve been on I’m sure you’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff. Do you have any funny or crazy stories you can share?
Max: There is always something crazy happening at every concert. Haha. I was taking photos in New York once and it was a pretty insane show; mosh pits everywhere and crowd surfing galore. I was up front and taking photos and some dude from the crowd that was (obviously) pretty drunk decided that it was the best call to pour the remainder of his beer all over me and my camera. My camera was a bit sticky but it was all good. He ended up apologizing. It was pretty funny afterwards.

Tamrac: So what do you like to do when you’re not shooting Jay-Z or traveling around the world?
Max: I have a few things going on. I do tech stuff over at Red Bull and just finished up the Red Bull Stratos project where we had an athlete skydive from space. The project went very well and I am glad he is alive. I also have a tech startup called Appetize. It’s a mobile app that allows you to order food/drinks/merchandise at stadiums and get it delivered to your seat. It is going very well and we have some pretty awesome products that I am very happy about. I love the blues. When I am not working on my other projects, I am playing some blues guitar.

Gimmelwald

Tamrac: Are there any projects or opportunities on the horizon for you that you’d be able to share with us?
Max: I am a licensed skydiver and am trying to get as many jumps as possible to be able into get to base jumping. I am pretty excited about it and plan to start base jumping everywhere I travel to. Hopefully some of my photography can carry over into that space and I can starting getting some new and innovative shots.

Tamrac: Lastly, do you have any advice for other photographers that have been inspired by your work?
Max: Every photographer should strive to be as unique as possible. Just trying to copy someone else won’t get you very far and ultimately will just put you in the cloud of others. Strive to be as personally creative as possible!

To see and learn more about Max:
Website: www.maxroper.com
Instagram: @maxroper
Twitter: @maxroper