Using the Triggertrap v1 to control a flash


As many Triggertrappers have rightly figured out, the shutter lag on most cameras makes it hard to use Triggertrap for high-speed photography if you're connecting it to your camera. However, you can also connect it to your flash, which triggers within a matter of milliseconds. That is how you'll be able to get those amazing shots of balloons popping or other moments of motion frozen just at the right time. So I though it would be a good idea to describe the very basic set up of how you can make your Triggertrap control your flash, for those scratching their heads at where to begin. I didn't have any balloons handy tonight, and besides, I don't condone violence against inanimate objects. Instead, I decided to rope my housemate into being a guinea pig moving subject, which I would capture in several positions within a single frame.

These are the components I used:

Essentially you need a camera (not pictured, as it was taking the photo!), a flash, a Triggertrap v1, a flash adapter, and a 3.5mm male to male stereo extension cable, which we don't stock, but which you can get very easily and cheaply from any electronics store or online at places like Amazon or eBay. I got mine on eBay for about $AU2 I think.

Included in the photo are the iOS app, the Triggertrap mobile dongle and a camera cable (in my case the CL-DC2), but these aren't essential. I wanted to leave the camera shutter open for longer than the 30 seconds allowed by my Nikon D7000, and to do that I would have to hold the shutter release button down myself for as long as I wanted it open, in Bulb mode. "No thanks", I thought, and used the Timed Bulb (press to start, press to stop) setting in the Cable Release function on the app.

I placed the flash on a tripod (the flash adapter fits the standard screw mount), and connected it to the TTv1. Unfortunately I didn't have a second tripod handy, so the camera had to go an a table. The camera was connected to an iPhone 4s via the camera cable and the mobile dongle.

After making sure everything was working OK, I took the set up outside to the backyard, and dragged my housemate away from his dinner (cup of tea pictured) and forced him to march around for a few minutes while I played around with different combinations of settings.

In the end, I set the TTv1 to timelapse mode, taking 3 shots with an interval of 3 seconds, to get the image below.

In a set up this simple, you might not need to use the timelapse mode on the TTv1 - you could just be triggering the flash yourself. But doing it like this frees you up to get creative - for example, you could move the camera and keep the subject and light source constant. But once you get something like this working, as a start, you can go on to do anything with any of the other modes on the TTv1, or external sensors you connect up to it.

1 Comment