READ FIRST: Blog Closed

I don’t blog anymore. This old content is a historical record and SEO test area.  You can skip this blog and go directly to my website.

For my latest work, visit my wedding photography portfolio, portrait photography portfolio, or see my product photography examples.

If you’re a photographer and want to know why I don’t blog, check out my article titled Why I Don’t Blog and How You Can Stop Blogging Too. Continue reading READ FIRST: Blog Closed

Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 Wireless Remote + Nikon SB-5000 Review

Nikon D5
Nikon D5 Camera Body

I’m a wedding photographer in Houston and I wanted to take a minute and share some of my thoughts about the wireless remote system from Nikon.

I’ve been using the Nikon D5, the Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system, and my Nikon SB-5000s for a long time and I thought it might be helpful to other photographers if I shared some of my thoughts on this system. Before I explain how these amazing tools all work together, I wanted to first talk about some of the individual components.

Nikon SB-5000
Nikon SB-5000

The SB-5000 is Nikon’s latest speedlight. When it was released, I replaced all of my Nikon SB-900 and SB-910 flashes. That means that I needed to purchase 5 new speedlights. Two were for on-camera flash, two were for off-camera flash, and one was for backup. These new flashes work on all modern Nikon camera bodies. They’re great for photographers who are purchasing new systems or for photographers who need a replacement for older flashes like the SB-800, SB-900, or SB-910. This flash is a true workhorse for me—particularly when I’m photographing receptions in hotel ballrooms or working outside at night.

Nikon WR-A10
Nikon WR-A10

The new Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system allows me to trigger my off-camera flashes wirelessly. In years past I used the PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver and MiniTT1 Transmitter to trigger my remote flashes. Although the system worked well, I was never comfortable with the way the components were connected between the camera hot shoe or the stand and the flash. They were relatively bulky and the flashes seemed to be top heavy and somewhat wobbly with the PocketWizard devices.  By switching to the WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system, I was able to have a tiny trigger on my Nikon D5 and the wireless receiver is built into the SB-5000 speedlight.

Nikon WR-R10
Nikon WR-R10

Since I photograph weddings with two Nikon D5 bodies, I carry two WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remotes in a tiny ThinkTank pouch attached to one of my camera straps.  This allows me to quickly access the wireless remotes whenever they’re needed. Besides being able to set up my cameras for off-camera reception lighting, at any moment I can remove a speedlight from my camera’s hot shoe and trigger it remotely. This means that I have off-camera lighting available at any time without the need to carry additional equipment other than what I typically already have on my person.

For those Nikon photographers already using the D5 or D500, this combination is a must-have and a great addition to your wireless photography tactics. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 Wireless Remote Setup Instructions

The Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system works with Nikon D5 and D500 camera bodies and the new Nikon SB-5000 speedlight. You’ll need all of that equipment in order to take full advantage of this new system.

To make the wireless system work, there are several steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Connect the WR-R10 to the WR-A10 using the USB port provided on the WR-A10. Make sure that it clicks firmly into place.
  2. Connect the WR-A10 to the 10-pin port on your Nikon D5 or D500.
  3. Take note of the channel on the top of the WR-R10. The default is Channel 15 on both the WR-R10 and the SB-5000. If you need to change that value later, you’ll need to change it on both the WR-R10 and the SB-5000.
  4. Configure your Nikon D5 or D5000 wireless options:
  5. Pair your remote flash and the WR-R10. This pairing is a one-time process. To pair the two devices:
    1. turn your SB-5000 on to “REMOTE” using the Power Switch
    2. press the MENU button on your SB-5000
    3. use the flash command wheel to scroll down one item to the wireless options
    4. use the flash command wheel to select the “PAIR” option
    5. press and hold the small gray button on the front of the WR-R10
    6. on the SB-5000, choose EXECUTE by pressing the OK button twice. The OK button is located in the center of the SB-5000 command wheel
    7. the message “pairing complete” should be displayed
    8. press the MENU button on the SB-5000 to exit the menu
  6. Now that pairing is complete, you now need to activate the wireless connection:
    1. press the Wireless Setting Button on the SB-5000 to cycle through the remote options and stop when the wireless symbol is displayed.
    2. press the MENU button on your Nikon D5 or D500
    3. go to the “PHOTO SHOOTING MENU”
    4. choose “Flash Control”
    5. choose “Wireless flash options”
    6. select the OFF option and set it “On“
    7. The LED Link light on the side of the SB-5000 should change from RED to GREEN and the LED light on the WR-R10 should change from a blinking GREEN light to a solid GREEN light.
  7. You can use the menu on the SB-5000 or your camera to adjust your flash settings. To adjust the flash settings using your Nikon D5 or D500 camera menu:
    1. Press the MENU button on your camera
    2. go to “PHOTO SHOOTING MENU”
    3. choose “Group flash options”

Advanced Off-Camera Flash Photography Tip

I was recently reading a blog post on Cliff Mautner’s website and he shared some fascinating information about how to quickly control exposure levels on off-camera flashes without having to go to the camera or flash menu.

Here’s how it works. When a Nikon speedlight is on a hot shoe and the flash is set to TTL or A and the camera is set to manual mode, you can quickly change the flash output by using the camera’s exposure compensation button. On Nikon cameras, that button is typically located to the left of the shutter button. This feature allows you to change flash power quickly in 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments.

Remarkably, this feature also works with the Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system and the SB-5000 when the SB-5000 is positioned as an off-camera flash. Although you can certainly control the off-camera flash power from within the camera menu or the flash menu, you can also use the exposure compensation button if you’re in a hurry to adjust the flash power.

Brewery Studio Frequently Asked Questions

When I lived at the Brewery downtown, I was often asked many questions. Those curious folks include clients, other photographers, neighbors, and Brewery Art Walk attendees). To answer some of those questions, I’ve developed this brief list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that I hope you’ll find helpful. Continue reading Brewery Studio Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the Right L-Bracket | Kirk vs Really Right Stuff

In days far past, when a photographer wanted to move a tripod mounted camera from landscape to portrait orientation, he or she would flip the camera to one side or another using capabilities present in most tripod heads.

But flipping a camera using a tripod-mounted head can sometimes take precious time. It also means that the camera is no longer perfectly balanced on the top of the tripod causing the head to take more of the camera weight than is necessary. Also, depending on the size of the camera and the tripod being used, some photographers may find it difficult to achieve perfect 90-degree positioning.

Finally, the photographer will likely need to recompose the scene after flipping the camera. Although you may think this particular problem is a trivial matter, reorienting a camera makes a big difference when taking photographs in the field under rapidly changing lighting conditions; every second counts. Continue reading Choosing the Right L-Bracket | Kirk vs Really Right Stuff

Brewery Studio Party Photos

We had a little party for friends and clients this weekend so I set up a photo booth area. I wish I had more photos of our guests! To be honest, I’m sure a lot more people wanted photos but I think I was too busy saying hello to everyone and no one wanted to drag me away to take their photos. Anyway … no more excuses. Here are a few photobooth photos. Continue reading Brewery Studio Party Photos

Brewery Studio Tour

Well I finally found some time to take a few photos of our live / work studio! We’re located near downtown Los Angeles in the heart of what is known as the Los Angeles Brewery Artist Complex. Although there are many buildings on the property, our studio  is housed in the south facing wing of the former Southern California Edison  Electric Power Station #3. The building itself was built in 1903 and is  registered as a Historic Cultural Landmark by the City of Los Angeles. Continue reading Brewery Studio Tour

Brewery Studio Wedding Photographer Party

Last night we hosted a studio open house / party for forty-five(ish) of the hottest area wedding photographers (and also a few fine art photographers). We even had a few out of town guests including Jerry Ghionis (Australia) and David Beckstead (Texas). I set up a mini “photobooth” in the back part of our studio and here are just a few photos from that experiment. Much food, fun, and jumping was had by all. Continue reading Brewery Studio Wedding Photographer Party

Brewery Studio CSI Miami Episode

Last week a location scout for CSI: Miami contacted me about shooting part of an episode in our studio. After visits by location scouts, directors, and finally the entire production team, our space was selected for filming. The production crew came by on Tuesday morning to dress the set. On Wednesday morning at 6:00 a.m. I opened our gate and the crew began to enter our space. Continue reading Brewery Studio CSI Miami Episode

Brewery Studio Ariel Photos

Today a buddy sent me a few aerial photographs of our Brewery Art Colony studio so I thought I’d post them here on my blog. I wish I had more time to post client project photos but right now the “big move” has all of my attention (when I’m not working). I should “emerge from the darkness” of the move sometime late next week if all goes well. Please note that these photos are not recent as images show the previous tenant’s “stuff” completely filling the back patio area. The connected building on the right hand side with the huge smoke stack (as seen in the first photo) is often rented by movie studios; it remains always empty for that purpose. Continue reading Brewery Studio Ariel Photos

Brewery Studio Moving In Photos

Earlier this month I signed a lease on a new live / work studio space downtown (only 15 minutes away from my old place). The studio is the south facing wing of the former Southern California Edison Electric Power Station #3 building located within The Brewery Art Colony.

The building is registered as a Historic Cultural Landmark and was designed by John Parkinson in 1903. The space is 4800 square feet (not counting the back patio) with open ceilings 3 stories tall. It even features a roll-up electric door large enough to accommodate tall trucks.

As you can see from the photos below (that I took this morning), everyone is still working furiously to get it ready for a September 1 move date! Continue reading Brewery Studio Moving In Photos

Equipment – Photonbox Model B Pinhole Camera

I purchased this custom-made pinhole camera to try and get back to the roots of photography and have some fun with film.

The camera’s back, lens mount, cap, and strap retainers are made out of Zebrawood. The top and front are made of solid maple. The curved back holds a 4″ x 10″ sheet of film giving a very wide panoramic image covering approximately 120 degrees horizontal by 55 degrees vertically. The focal length is 110mm. The flat front piece pivots out, upward, and off the front allowing for film reloading.

The photos seen below are by Bryan Dahlberg–the creator of this camera and a fine photographer in his own right. For more information, visit the Photonbox web site. Continue reading Equipment – Photonbox Model B Pinhole Camera