Talking fast cars and slow shutter speeds with Max Gennel

There's nothing we love more here at Triggertrap than finding out all the awesome and innovative ways that you, our wonderful users, are using Triggertrap to create inspiring photos that we ourselves couldn’t even dream of creating. And when we saw Max Gennel’s photo of a Renault Spider on Instagram, this was no exception. We just had to get in touch with Max to find out more…

The Renault Spider shot that caught our eye. Shot by Max Gennel using Triggertrap Mobile.  

The Renault Spider shot that caught our eye. Shot by Max Gennel using Triggertrap Mobile.  

So Max, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Ever since childhood, I have loved photography and travelling. At six years old, I took over my father's Agfa Click-In, and Kodak Instamatic with loose flash bulbs. In recent years, Minolta and Sony have become my favourites and I am now Sony's ambassador in Sweden. I have a passion for wedding, car, product, portrait, and night photography. I really like going to photograph a wedding or a car without seeing the location first, it brings a challenge. When it comes to lighting, I prefer simple solutions. I work a lot with natural light and reflectors at weddings. For other types of photography, I use my Profoto B2 off-camera flash. I also organise photography courses and photo walks with my colleague Patrick. Through our company Mästerfoto, we want to inspire others to learn to shoot and be more creative.

You come from a pretty varied photography background. How did you come to shoot the Renault Spider?

The shot of the Renault came about through one of my friends. Normally I drive my old Volvo to work while friends of mine drive classic cars. One of them has far too many ’toys’ He wanted me to do some shots and the idea came up. I used the same setup with a Westmill Super Seven during the spring. Using Triggertrap as a remote works really well.

Super Seven by Max Gennel taken with Triggertrap Mobile.

How did you capture the Renault Spider shot?

First of all I take a look and see what is most important about the car; the lines, curves, and shapes. If you look at the behind-the-scenes shot, you can see there is suction cup mounted on the car and a Manfrotto carbon tripod. I always use a safety strap as well. I fitted my Profoto B2 to the tripod, and a generator was placed inside the car. I hooked Triggertrap up to my camera with a 2.5m extension cord strapped outside of my car. I set the shutter to 1/25 and off we went! The perfect solution would be to use a smartwatch to trigger Triggertrap on my phone.

Behind-the-scenes shot of Max's set-up.

Behind-the-scenes shot of Max's set-up.

How many attempts did it take for you to capture the photo you wanted?

It took me five or six shots to get the correct speed to achieve the background blur that I wanted. If you use a driver that is used to doing shoots like this it could take even fewer attempts.

Is it important for both cars to be travelling at the same speed?

The cars need to be travelling at the same speed because the shutter speed could be as long as 1/20 second, or even slower. For these sorts of photos I usually drive at a speed of 40km/h.

Do you have any advice for someone embarking on a similar shoot?

If you want to try something like this, it’s easy to start out with one suction cup and a ball head on your car, but it won’t be as sturdy as my set-up. Think of safety first. I have done shoots like this on highways before, but early in the morning when there was no traffic around. Don't forget to get your equipment insured.

Please note: Most countries have some guidelines on where things can and cannot be mounted inside and on the outside of vehicles. Be sure not break any of these laws or obscure your vision when driving.

Fiat 600 wrapped in fire shot by Max Gennel using Triggertrap Mobile. 

What other projects have you used Triggertrap for?

I've used Triggertrap a lot for long exposures. My photo of a Fiat 600 wrapped in fire was a 30 second exposure. I've also done a couple of DistanceLapses. You can find one of them on my Youtube channel. I covered a distance of 200km. The setup for those was made by using two suction cups and a boom between the back windows of the car.

You have some fantastic stuff, where can we see more of your work?

You can find me on Instagram, 500px, and my company's website:

What projects will you be working on next?

In two weeks’ time I'm going to Iceland for a 12 day trip to teach a photography workshop. Triggertrap is going to be really useful for DistanceLapse, timelapse, and of course long exposures. After that I'm going on a trip to Barcelona to start up our next project, a city photo tour. I have a few more projects in the pipeline to be revealed in late 2015. Some teasers for those are ‘old agents and cars’ and ‘angels’.

We want to see your shots!

Max is keeping us in suspense here, but you don't have to! We would love to see your photos over on our Flickr pool. Get in touch by tagging us #Triggertrap and @Triggertrap on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.