Take Epic Hands-Free Fireworks Photos

With the American Independence day holiday right around the corner I thought it would be timely to have a quick how-to post on shooting fireworks. In the first part of this video I share basic fireworks tips and tricks for getting great shots.  

  1. You must have a tripod or something to hold the camera steady or a few seconds. I love the Leofoto Tripod

  2. Use manual mode on your camera - Shutter speeds between 2 and 8 seconds, Aperture f/5.6-8.0, ISO 100-200 if you have a P&S camera use the fireworks scene setting (still need a tripod)

  3. Use a remote release device to trigger your camera- I recommend Intervalometer with multiple connections: http://amzn.to/29xNO3M

  4. Be ready! Some of your best opportunities happen early on, as the smoke builds your shots may get hazy unless you have a breeze removing the smoke. So I suggest you start to setup before it gets dark, frame your composition and take a few test shots - use trees or light poles near the fireworks launch spot to focus on - review the photos watching for stray objects or horizon lines that might distract from the fireworks. If you end up setting up in the dark, use the following tips - set your ISO to MAX and your shutter speed long enough to get a well lit photo, we don't care if it is grainy, we just want to get quick feedback on focus and composition. Once you have those set then use the suggested settings in step 2 for the actual fireworks shots.

  5. Try to time your shots to start just as the rockets head up, longer shutter speeds are going to capture more of the action

  6. Experiment but don't forget to enjoy the show some too

  7. Finally, watch out for the Grand Finale - shorten the shutter speed during that fireworks-heavy period or you will end up with an overexposed image.

Related - Long Exposure Sparklers Photos / Light Painting

Photographer's Gift Guide: Gadget Loving Photographers

We have put together 12 lists of recommended holiday gifts for the photographer in your life. Today's list is gifts for the gadget loving photographer. Check back each day for the next list.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp2IIoYY2Kk♦♦ Link to ALL items mentioned:TriggerTrap: http://bhpho.to/1J2rBF8USB Battery: http://amzn.to/1OZ3wDJThinkTank Cable Management: http://bhpho.to/1RKkokfRoll-up Organizer: http://amzn.to/1OZ3J9OOlympus Air - http://bhpho.to/1lBiqXt  

Photography Gifts under $75

Day Two of our Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers!


Keyboard covers

kbcovers lightroom shortcutsThe KB Covers' Photoshop & Lightroom Keyboard Covers for MacBook, Air & Pro (Unibody, Black Keys) is a durable, ultra-thin silicone keyboard cover with custom editing buttons for a default keyboard layout in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. The cover allows you to improve your workflow by spending more time working on your project and less time memorizing the program shortcut keys.Buy from B&H Photo or direct from KBCovers.com


triggertrap connection diagramCreate advanced triggering setups all from your smartphone or tablet with this Triggertrap Mobile Kit, Triggertrap allows users to quickly and easily connect their cameras to their smart phones or tables and via the FREE triggertrap app offers a variety of different sensor triggering options, such as sound and vibration, time lapse modes, HDR imaging capabilities, and standard cable release settings.Buy from B&H Photo $37

Ona Insert

Ona Bag Roma InsertThe Roma Camera Insert and Bag Organizer from Ona is a unique approach to organizing and carrying your gear. It fits inside many of today's medium-sized non-camera style bags. Designed to hold your DSLR with a lens and a few accessories like batteries, it's also made with five exterior pockets that will hold everything from pens, cell phone, wallet and passport.Buy from B&H Photo $69

Print gift certificates

Gift Cards for AdoramapixSpend any sum of money for a gift certificate to print products at Adoramapix and the photographer in your life will be happy - it is special to have your own photos on the wall and a gift certificate can be a big nudge in that direction. We love the quality, consistency and diversity of products at Adoramapix.Buy from Adoramapix $10-150

Peak Design Field Pouch

Peak Design Field PouchStore your small camera accessories or smaller Micro 4/3 camera systems in the Field Pouch from Peak Design. Further organize your gear by utilizing the interior slip pockets and take advantage of the attachment point for Peak Design's Capture Clip. Keep your pouch in your bigger bag, or use the seatbelt style belt loops to wear on your belt. You can also attach the pouch to any Peak Design strap (sold separately) turning it into a lightweight sling bag. The felt padding provides light protection from everyday use, while the weather-resistant waxed 500D Kodra shell helps safeguard your gear from a sudden change in weather.Buy from B&H PhotoLexar 64GB Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Photographers can always use more space and this two pack of FAST cards from Lexar will satisfy nicely. Fast enough to handle higher bit rate 4K and nicelyBuy from B&H Photo $74.75

JOBY Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Mini TripodUltralight but ultra useful  - the Gorillapod is a Flexible joint tripod you can wrap around fences, tree branches, etc.  This allows you to carry an extremely small tripod capable of any height you want- I recommend buying with the small ball head as this does give you additional flexibility in setup and use.Buy from B&H Photo

Westcott 5-in-1 Reflector Disc

Westcott 5-in-1 Reflector DiscThe Westcott 40.5" 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector is versatile in the field and in the studio, providing shadow-lightening detail in your subject, using available, or studio lighting. It starts out as a translucent white disc -- perfect for softening direct sun, or lights without diffusion. Use the removable, reversible zippered slipcover to reflect light into shadow areas of your subject. Your choice of color -- silver, gold, white, black mix -- will be determined by the lighting conditions, and your personal preference.Buy from B&H Photo $39.90

How to: High Speed Flash Photography

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ntAXVz9tyw Gear List:


Time Lapse with a DSLR - Canon 70D

Work in Progress post. Updated as I add new material and followup video showing how to "develop" the time lapse into a video file rather than a series of images.Summary of video

  1. set the camera on a sturdy tripod and choose your composition and exposure (Manual Mode or AV Mode)
  2. Set file size to JPEG or smaller RAW(if an option) you don't want to deal with 3,000 plus RAW files unless you really want an ability to edit before creating the timelapse.
  3. Configure the intervalometer/TriggerTrap to take a picture each X seconds and X amount of  times
  4. Disconnect the lens while holding down the depth of field preview button to the "sweet spot" to avoid flickering in your TL
  5. Wait A LOT- e.g. if you set the DSLR to take a photo every second and run that back at 24fps.  1 minute of real time equals 3 seconds of video. Shorter intervals give smoother results. Longer intervals allow you to speed through time more quickly.
  6. Dump every photo into editing software, do a little magic (Video how to on this part coming soon)

Watch the example time lapse shot after the filming of this video: http://youtu.be/lbkM5ekaDl8?t=10m44sGear seen in the video: MeFoto Travel Tripod, Lowepro Photo Sport Pro 30L, IntervalometerTriggerTrap Dongle Related: How to use an Intervalometer for family photos.

Triggertrap Strikes Again - Flash Trigger for High Speed Photography

It is no secret that I love my Triggertrap app/dongle.   We walk around with these little computers in our pocket and I love folks that increase the versatilty of these devices with such a simple idea -use your smartphone or tablet to trigger your camera.  You could do it just once with a clap, or set it up for a time lapse, or use motion detect to capture how many times a day your cats spend eating (I have that video coming soon, it is about as exciting as it sounds but I love the ability to add all these features to my dumb DSLR). Drive lapses too, and that is just a few ideas. Now the app with a flash connector is also capable of firing your flash, this opens up an exciting world of high speed photography, Typically high speed photo rigs cost thousands of dollars, this works with your existing camera and external flash. A review unit is on its way and I am excited to try out some balloon popping, water dropping and whatever else I can manage.Introducing Triggertrap Flash Adapter from Triggertrap on Vimeo.[gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="3687,3686,3685,3681"]

Full Press Release

Triggertrap Mobile Brings High-Speed Photography to the Masses with Latest Update and Accessory

iOS camera triggering app exponentially improves performance speeds in latest update, combines with just-launched Triggertrap Flash Adapter to simplify high-speed photography for all skill levels  

LONDON – June 26, 2013 – Triggertrap, developer of creative camera triggering solutions for photographers of all skill levels, today announced updates to both its iOS mobile app and product line that will provide users with the ability to easily capture jaw-dropping, professional-grade high-speed photography.  With its latest update, the Triggertrap Mobile iOS app enables trigger response times that are up to 12 times faster than previously possible, complementing its launch of the Triggertrap Flash Adapter accessory and putting high-speed capture within reach of any photographer with an iOS device.High-speed photography, those dramatic, split-second moments captured at the very instant an action occurs, previously demanded the sort of skill, precision, and patience typically reserved for experts and professionals. It was impossible for the average consumer-level photographer to capture those special, frozen microseconds, whether it be a bouncing tennis ball caught hovering millimeters from the clay, breaking glass shattering into a million pieces, or a tiny pipistrelle bat darting out of the night.This type of true, stunning high-speed photography is now possible for users of all skill levels with the combination of the new Triggertrap Flash Adapter, a Triggertrap Mobile Dongle, and the free Triggertrap Mobile app installed on an iOS device. Photographers simply attach the Flash Adapter to any hot shoe-ready flash gun and iOS device in a darkened room, set their camera on a long exposure, and use any of Triggertrap Mobile’s many triggers including the sound sensor or vibration modes to simultaneously fire the shutter and flash.For high-speed photographers, the reaction time involved in triggering a DSLR camera from a smartphone is critical, and the delay between a screen-tap or hand-clap and the camera going off has been, unfortunately, detrimental to their efforts.  With the Triggertrap Mobile app’s reaction times now up to 12 times faster (improved from 60 milliseconds to as low as 5 milliseconds depending on the device used), these shutter lag issues are a thing of the past and users can take full advantage of the Flash Adapter’s creative capabilities.“Whether it be timelapse, sound triggering, or our new high-speed capabilities, Triggertrap has always taken pride in simplifying previously complicated photo techniques, once only possible with years of expertise and expensive equipment, and making them available to the masses,” said Triggertrap CEO and Founder Haje Jan Kamps. “Quite frankly, we think that high-speed photography is pretty awesome and presents limitless creative opportunities. The sky is now the limit for anyone with a smartphone and the creative instinct to give it a try.”The Triggertrap Flash Adapter is available for a MSRP of $29.99 and is available for direct purchase through Triggertrap’s online shop at http://shop.triggertrap.com/. To purchase the Triggertrap Mobile app for iOS, click hereAbout TriggertrapTriggertrap Ltd was founded in 2011, and was brought to life through crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Based in Bristol, UK, the company’s flagship smartphone-based camera triggering solution, Triggertrap Mobile, has been downloaded more than 75,000 times , and their triggers are in use by thousands of photographers in more than a hundred different countries. Triggertrap’s entry-level products are a set of affordable hardware and software, which enables photographers to connect their smartphones to their SLR cameras. In addition to the entry-level products, Triggertrap sells a line of more advanced products, aimed at advanced amateurs and professional photographers, in particular for photographers who do high-speed studio- and experimental photography. For more information, please visit www.triggertrap.com.