I’m Jim Cossey, 28 and living in Bristol. I have also spent 3 years living in the French Alps running ski/mountain bike chalets. I’m self taught, I gained a lot of knowledge from just experimenting with the camera and picking up tips along the way.
My photography first started when I was 15 years of age, riding BMX with my mates. I got a basic point and shoot digital camera, we had some really good riders but no one was really documenting it. So I started shooting BMX pictures. But over the years I have now shifted to shooting landscape and more recently I’ve started taking more long exposure and astrophotography shots. Living in the Alps has really changed my appreciation for the outdoors and it also inspired me to take more landscape pictures.
I love shooting the Milky Way and being under the night sky, it still sends shivers down my spine when I see it come up on the camera, its funny because as a kid I was afraid of the dark.
Since moving to the city It’s helped me broaden my photography to take photograph’s which I wouldn’t have taken previously before moving to Bristol. One of my greatest achievements was having my picture on the front cover image of the Visit Bristol 2015 official visitors guide.
My favourite time to go out with the camera is around sunrise and sunset. I really love seeing the sky come alive and the soft light, it can really make a photograph.
How & Why I Use Triggertrap
Ive been using the Triggertrap Mobile for over a year now, it was perfect as I always have my phone on me so it makes sense to use it to control my camera rather then clog up my kit bag with other shutter releases when I can rely on just one. I shoot a lot of long exposure so being able to remotely release the shutter and change exposure times quickly without coming in contact with the camera is essential.
My favourite mode is Star Trail. When it comes to setting up the shot its easy, just open up the Star Trail mode in Triggertrap, set the timers and how many exposures I want then just leave it to do its thing. I also love the Solar Calculator.
Triggertrap's interface is so clean and easy to use but most importantly is how good the people are at Triggertrap are all about product development, they really want to know how us as photographers can improve the app and make better changes. Which in the long term helps to create a great creative partnership.
TT: Hey Jim! What are your 3 top tips for star trail photography?
JC: Foreground subject, star trails are amazing when you have an interesting foreground subject this can be anything from a lonely tree to abandoned buildings to rocky coastal locations.
Before you start shooting turn off the cameras long exposure noise reduction as this can delay the camera between taking shots. This will cause gaps in your star trails when you come to editing them together.
Keep Warm. Pack a warm jacket, even if you don’t feel cold at first you will be sitting around for about an hour or even longer so I always pack my trusty down jacket when going out at night. Also take a thermos flask full of your favourite hot beverage.
TT: What's the one essential tip for any photographer shooting at night?
JC: Take a mate along with you. Having someone else with you can be pretty handy when setting up as they can shine a torch onto the subject so you can set the focus right. Your going to be sat around for around about an hour or even longer if you want to really get a good rotation on your star trails so having someone there you can chat with really helps to pass the time and some places may be quite remote so for safety purposes its nice to help you feel more at ease. You can also use them has part of your picture. Once you’ve got your desired amount of shots for your star trails you can experiment with using them as foreground subjects, a cool effect is to get them looking up at the stars with their head torch on. Then you can blend that shot with the completed star trails in Photoshop.
TT: Which do you prefer as a photographic location – Bristol or the French Alps?
JC: I would have to say the French Alps, as much as I love Bristol and how friendly, diverse and colourful the city is. I seem have a deep connection with the Alpine and it has a big place in my heart. I could sit and look at the mountains for days. The scenery can provide you with 360 panoramic views of 3,000m tall peaks to hidden valleys, waterfalls and secluded lakes. I love the wilderness and the feeling of being remote. Of course the cheese and wine isn't bad either!