Make time-lapses, or trigger your camera with lasers, sound, or any other method. London, 25 July 2011: Photography fans are throwing themselves at the opportunity to get their hands on a new device enabling them to take a photo when it detects a broken laser beam, a sound, or anything else you could think of. Even though the device is only at the prototype stage, more than 720 Triggertraps have been snapped up at crowd-funding site Kickstarter, by photographers eager to get their hands one of the devices once it goes into production later this year.
The Triggertrap is a brand-new photography gadget developed by photographer and writer Haje Jan Kamps. It is a user-friendly way of remote controlling a digital camera when ‘something’ happens. The creative spark is that ‘something’ can be nearly anything you think of.
Opening the gateway to creative photography projects
The device comes with a light sensor built in, which doubles as a laser sensor: Point a laser-pointer at the Triggertrap to trigger your camera, or set it up so the camera triggers when a laser beam is broken – much like the laser maze in Hollywood blockbuster Entrapment. It also has an audio sensor, enabling you to trigger the camera when it registers a sound – like clapping your hands, the sound of a bowling ball hitting the pins, or somebody slamming a door.
Triggertrap also has a built in time-lapse photography functionality. This means that you can take a series of photos over a long period of time. When these photos are shown in quick succession in a video, it makes events that normally take hours or days (such as a flower wilting, or the sun coming up) appear to happen in minutes.
In addition to normal time-lapse photography, Triggertrap has a nifty trick up its sleeve: Non-linear time-lapses. Instead of, say, five minutes between every shot, the Triggertrap can be configured to increase or decrease the interval between the shots. When you play the resulting video, this makes it look as if the scene you are photographing speeds up or slows down.
The Auxiliary port on the Triggertrap makes it possible to trigger the camera using external sensors, paving the way for many other creative photography projects. Suggestions so far include mounting a camera in a car and triggering it when you press the car horn; placing a camera in the fridge and take a photo every time you open the fridge; automatically take a picture of everyone who walks down the red carpet at a movie premiere; or police completely automatically taking a photo of people coming and going at a suspicious address.
Crowd-funded by hundreds of small investors
The Triggertrap has been in development for 18 months, from the simple idea of a laser trigger, to a fully developed product. As with any new product, money is required to make an idea become a reality. Instead of turning to venture capital or privately funding the Triggertrap, Kamps took the unusual approach of turning to the internet for crowd funding. In a video and text on crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, he explained what Triggertrap could do for photography fans.
The project was launched on with goal of US$25,000 on 29 June 2011. Three weeks later, with only a week left to go until the funding is complete, Triggertrap completely destroyed its funding goal: 708 fans have pledged more than $60,587 (£37,100), in return for more than 700 Triggertrap device.
Dozens of e-mails with great customer suggestions have already arrived with the Triggertrap team. Functionality like using the Triggertrap with flashes instead of a camera; the ability to trigger when a sound stops (as opposed to when it starts), and a feature that lets the user trigger the camera manually are all the result of suggestions and feedback.
Because the Triggertrap is open-source and built on the Arduino platform, it is easy to implement additional functionality through a software update, even after the Triggertraps have shipped to the customers.
Shipping in October
The Triggertrap is shipping in October, and can be pre-ordered for $75 + $5 shipping via Kickstarter until 31 July 2011. After that, the price increases to $125.
For more information about Triggertrap see http://Triggertrap.com
Triggertrap media resources
The Triggertrap pitch video is available for viewing, downloading, or embedding via Vimeo:
The Triggertrap logo and press images can be downloaded in a pack:
About the Triggertrap team
When he is not developing electronic gadgets, Haje Jan Kamps is an author and technical editor of more than a dozen books about photography. Most recently, he wrote Focus on Photographing People (Focal press / ISBN 978-0240814698). He also works as a photographer, and is a prolific photography blogger on Pixiq.com.
Before being a writer, Kamps was the senior producer responsible for Channel Five’s The Gadget Show website (fwd.channel5.com), and the editor of gadget website T3.com.
The other people working on Triggertrap are electronics engineer Michael Grant and programmer Noah Shibley of NoMi Design (nomidesign.net) and Ziah Fogel, who is involved with the administration and planning of turning the Triggertrap from idea to retail product.
More information about the Triggertrap team can be found at triggertrap.com/about.
Triggertrap is an open-source, open-hardware electronic device that enables photographers to take photos when a particular event happens: Breaking a laser-beam, clapping your hands, or any other sensor you could connect to the device. In addition, it does time-lapse photography.
The Triggertrap can be used with the vast majority of digital SLR cameras and many compact cameras, either via a connection lead, or by triggering the camera over Infra-Red.
Triggertrap is based on the Arduino (arduino.cc) rapid prototyping platform, and supports all current digital SLR cameras.
About Time-lapse photography
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that which will be used to play the sequence back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, and then played back at 30 frames per second; the result would be an apparent increase of speed by 30 times. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.