Photographing Pancakes with Triggertrap Mobile's Motion Sensor


It’s fast approaching Pancake Day here in the UK, so it's time to flex those pancake-flipping muscles! And what does one of the sensors on the Triggertrap Mobile app detect? Motion. That’s right, you’ve guessed it: we've not only got a recipe for a whole lot of mess, but a whole load of awesome photos into the bargain! We've been having a lot of fun here at Triggertrap Towers using the Motion sensor to capture pancakes mid-flip, and we want to show you just how easy it is to do. Warning: will make you hungry.

What you will need:

The basics:

  • An SLR or ILC camera
  • A tripod
  • A Triggertrap Mobile kit for your camera. ($30 approx.)
  • An iOS device running the Triggertrap Mobile app, available free on the iOS App store
  • The Triggertrap Phonetrap to keep your smart device steady. ($20 approx.)

So how the flip did we do it?

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First, set up your camera on a tripod and and angle your smartphone towards the action. You can use your Triggertrap Phonetrap on the hotshoe of your camera, or on a separate tripod, to get more control over the angle. It’s important to keep your smart device steady when using the Motion sensor. You may find holding it in your hand will cause the camera to trigger at unexpected times.

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In terms of camera settings it's completely up to you - just aim for a good exposure. Although you won’t want too large an aperture, as you want your pancakes to be in focus! Mirror lock-up is key for this set up, as it makes the camera’s reaction to the motion of the pancake flipping much faster. To use this, enable mirror lock-up from your camera's menu and trip it manually from your camera's shutter button. The Motion sensor can then trigger your camera to take the shot!

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Connect your Triggertrap kit between your smart device and your camera, and open up the Motion sensor mode in the Triggertrap app. We used the rear-facing camera as it was easier for us to compose the shot this way. You can change which internal camera you use by touching the white camera symbol in the top right hand corner of the screen. We’ve got our sensitivity threshold set about half way and we found it works well. Of course, you can experiment with this if the motion doesn't seem to be enough to trigger the camera. Press the big red button to start the Motion sensor and get flipping!

Share your shots with us this Pancake Day!

As always, we love to see what you guys come up with. Send us a tweet @Triggertrap or post your photos on our Facebook wall! Don't forget, you can find us on Instagram, or drop your Triggertrap shots in our Flickr pool - be sure to tag @triggertrap and #triggertrap on any awesome photos you post online!

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Our full kit list (for all you photo geeks out there!):

  • An SLR or ILC camera (we used a Canon EOS 6D with a 50mm 1.4 lens)
  • 2 x tripods, one for the camera and one to help aim the iPod Touch
  • A Triggertrap Mobile kit for your camera.
  • The Triggertrap Mobile app running on an iPod Touch
  • Triggertrap Phonetrap
  • 2 x light stands
  • 2 x Yongnuo YN-560 III flashes
  • A Yongnuo YN-560 TX Flash Controller
  • A 5 in 1 reflector
  • A reflective umbrella

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