It’s a Friday night and I’m getting my equipment ready for next day’s wedding. I’m reformatting my memory cards, cleaning lenses and packing batteries when I get a call from the bride. Apparently, the minister who was supposed to perform the ceremony got sick and the replacement minister told them that he finds photographers distracting. He told my couple that the only way he would allow a photographer in the church is if the photographer stays all the way in the back corner behind the last pew. I photographed at that church before and I knew that staying all the way in the back would mean that I would not really be able to get any usable photos. The church is very large and a 200 mm lens (my longest lens) is not nearly long enough to get any type of decent close-up. If I had known in advance, I would have rented a 300 mm or a 400mm lens. Moreover, because of columns on either side of the isle all the photos would be from the same angle – essentially throughout the entire ceremony I would be photographing the bride’s and groom’s back. The bride was understandably upset and I had a few hours to come up with a solution. My first idea was to place a camera in on the other side of the altar and fire it remotely. The only problem was that I could not find a motor cable for my PocketWizard trigger. So I had to get creative. I made a quick run to my office and borrowed a Dell laptop. The next stop was a BestBuy store where I picked up a wireless router. When I got home I set up a wireless network between the Dell laptop and my MacBook Pro. Once the network was set up, I download and installed Canon EOS Utilities on the Dell laptop and Microsoft Remote Desktop Client (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/remote-desktop-client) on my Mac. Once everything was setup and configured, I used a 15-foot USB cable (I normally use it for on-location tethered shooting) to connect my Canon 7D to the Dell laptop. Then I launched Remote Desktop Client on my Mac and was able to control Dell laptop’s screen, EOS Utilities and subsequently my Canon 7D remotely. With this setup I was not only able to trigger the camera remotely, but I could also see what the camera saw and was also able to control settings and focusing points. On the wedding day I got to the church an hour early, set up the camera on a tripod behind the altar, hid the Dell laptop under the pulpit and ran the USB cable under the rugs. Everything worked like a charm. Even though I was stuck in the back of the church and my view was blocked, I still managed to get more than a few great shots.
Last weekend was insane. Really insane. On Friday I loaded my wife, my daughter, my mother-in-law, my camera bag and approximately 200 pounds of luggage into my Nissan Versa and drove to New York City. It was supposed to be a busy weekend – I had a photoshoot scheduled for Sunday, meet with some friends, give my mother-and-law a tour of Manhattan and drop her off at JFK on Monday for her flight back to Belarus. To make the long story short, it rained cats and dogs the entire time. My photoshoot was cancelled. I spent the entire day schlepping around Manhattan in pouring rain. I was wet and miserable. Finally, toward the end of the day we met with a few friends who took us to the roof of their apartment building in Manhattan; even through the rain the view was absolutely breathtaking! View from Liberty Park in New Jersey City Manhattan through the rain, photographed in pouring rain from the Ellis Island Ferry View from my friends` apartment building