Triggersmart Workshop – December 2014
Dec 15, 2014

In December we’ve organised another Triggersmart Workshop in cooperation with Flaghead Photographic in our studio here in Bournemouth.

Triggersmart is a system  which you can connect with your camera which helps you to trigger it with changes in sound, movement or light by using different kinds of sensors.

Aside from it’s obvious animal trapping uses, it’s also really useful to get some amazing creative studio shots!

So, on the 4th of December, 8 photographers visited us to learn more about this system – and it was a great success!

Below you can find the different set ups we used to show the different features this time around.

Set Up One – IR beam – Waterdrop

In our first set up we wanted to demonstrate the Infrared beam, which means that the camera is triggered as soon as something breaks the beam between two sensors, that are pointing at each other. We used a filled water tank with a waterdripper above it, and the Triggersmart sensors were installed directly under the dripper. When the water droplet passes through and broke the IR beam the unit fired the camera. We needed a longer delay to catch the right splash shape, which you can adjust with the delay dial on the control unit!

/4     1/800 sec.     ISO 1250

For the lighting we used a Hedlerlight (which is a very nice continuous light) – together with a blue gel, to give the image the right ‘look’.

Set Up Two – IR beam – Coffee

Our second set up was another creative environment to make use of the IR beam triggering function. This time we dropped some sugar cubes into a small cup of coffee to create a nice splash. This set was essentially an evolution of the classic water drop shot, and demonstrates how you can use the Triggersmart to make commercial advertising images. Again, by variating the trigger delay we could influence the style and shape of the final frozen liquid!

/4.8 1/250 sec. ISO 100

Set Up Three – Passive Infrared – Hot Vegetables

The Triggersmart unit can work with a variety of sensors, and we helped demonstrate the PIR (Passive Infrared) this time! The passive infrared sensor, which notices/detects the movement of heat is perfect for wildlife photography – however we thought it best to avoid live animals int he studio… So we warmed up some vegetables and dropped them in a great looking bowl – the results are some great shots of flying vegetables!

f/    1/100 sec.     ISO 200

We used two flashguns to light the image, one with a blue Honl filter in front of it to create thew coloured background, and another one to provide the front key light which also helped to freeze the objects.

Set Up Four – Sound – Smashing Nuts

Anything that makes noise is able to trigger the sound sensor, and for our latest event we decided to smash some different nuts to show how it works! By changing the delay we were able to influence the picture style/end result quite a lot, and the interesting thing about this set up is that the sensor wasn’t triggering the camera. This image was create by using an open shutter (bulb) and a very low flash output (and therefor duration) on a Nikon SB 800 speed light. As soon as the hammer touched the nut the sound fired the flash and made our image. We varied the final shot by adding delay on the main control unit.

f/16     2 sec.     ISO 640

As a little highlight we’ve smashed couple of porcelain figures, check this image out!

Set Up Five – Light Intensity – Flash Paper

We decided to use some magicians flash paper for the last set up, which sounded like a great idea to set off the LIS sensor. Two Hedler continuous lights were used as basic lighting, and the sensitivity of the sensor was increased so that any brighter light received would trigger the camera. When the paper was ignited the much brighter fire of the burning flash paper made this image!

f/8     1/125 sec.     ISO 400

You can find out more about the Triggersmart using the links below, and if you have a creative brief where you think we could use this equipment for you then do give us a call on 01202 280157 – or send an e-mail to