A photographer made history by hosting the world’s first live webinar from the edge of the Grand Canyon using a Starlink satellite dish, solar panels and a battery pack. The webinar brought in over 2,700 live attendees from the remote wilderness at Toroweap Overlook — a place so remote that there are no electrical outlets, running water, or cellphone coverage, three hours from the nearest paved road.
The only way this event was possible was because of Starlink’s introduction of the roaming feature, which allows users to access high-speed Internet outside of their home location.
“When Starlink announced the roaming feature, I knew I had to try this. Hosting a live webinar at the Edge of the Grand Canyon had never been done before, and it allowed so many photographers around the world to experience what it’s like to create fine art landscape photographs from America’s best landscape photography destination,” said award-winning landscape photographer and Photography Academy founder Tim Shields. “There’s nothing more inspiring to me than seeing everyone’s energy and feedback when they were tuning in, learning, and getting hyped up to go out and take their own awesome photos.”
To host a live webinar off the grid, Shields required a high-speed Internet connection, and a battery source with an inverter that could provide a consistent, clean source of electricity. Starlink provided a constant 200 Mbps down and 15 Mbps upload speed that enabled Shields to be connected to the 2,700-person-strong live audience, while the electricity was produced by a Jackery 1000 system with solar panels.
The Jackery 1000 is a small battery pack with a sine wave inverter capable of providing 110 volts output generated by clean solar energy. The two panels in the full sun were also able to generate more electricity than was used by the Starlink Dish and wifi router, Asus laptop, and the Sony A6500 camera combined.
“Every little piece came together and made this world’s first live webinar a success. We couldn’t have done it without this innovative new technology that is enabling people around the world to stay connected and work whenever and wherever they want,” Shields said. “Thank you, Starlink, for making this possible in a destination so remote, that there weren’t any other humans around for miles.”
The technology allowed Shields to reach photographers in a way that had never been done before. Now, for the first time ever, photographers can learn from and interact with professionals as they’re working live from the most remote, stunning landscape photography destinations on Earth. At the edge of the Grand Canyon, he showed photographers the importance of using HDR to get a perfect exposure when there are bright, cloudless skies and deep, shadowy canyon walls.
Photographers like Barbara Gunner and Roberto Biaggi took home some great lessons and inspiration to go out and create some incredible images of their own.
“Thank you Tim, Michael, and the team, this was amazing! I must say you really gave me the confidence to move forward!” Gunner exclaimed.
“Thank you both for such a great webinar! I only wish I was right there with you Tim right at the edge of the Grand Canyon! Just a fantastic seminar,” said Biaggi during the event.
The event was so successful, that Shields will be hosting a second live webinar using this system, only this time, deep in the remote rocky mountains.
“The response from our Photographers who watched live was overwhelmingly positive, so I decided to do it again in an equally remote location, but this time, in the Rocky Mountains,” Shields said. “It inspires and motivates people to pick up their camera and walk out the door.”
If you’d like to see the full-length webinar on the edge of the Grand Canyon, you can opt-in to see it here.
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