Long exposure photography with the Triggertrap shutter release
I had a coastal path wander with visiting family on the Seven Sisters, and I decided to take a lightweight tripod with me, some ND filters and my Triggertrap remote shutter release app and camera dongle to take a few pictures.
For those not familiar, Triggertrap is an extremely fun shutter release tool, comprising of a free phone app (Android/iOS) and special cable+ dongle (£23).
I beta tested the application and dongle when it first came out (excellent then), and since then it has gone through several iterations in both hardware and software, and is much improved in both features and user experience.
Where this application really comes into it's own is at dusk, when the light starts to go. Combined with a ND filter, you can accurately time shots, and make small adjustments, without having to fiddle with your camera.
In this instance, I only used the basic timed shutter release for a short shutter period, but there's a whole host of other things one can do with it like:
Sensor modes (through your phone): like sound sensors (clap, whistle or tap), vibration/motion sensor and facial recognition.
Timelapse modes: Timelapse, 'TimeWarp' (timelapse with acceleration), DistanceLapse (good for road trips), Bramping – bulb ramping timelapse to keep your exposure smooth (often used when transitioning from day to night)
and finally Star Trail mode – extreme exposure control to create images of the night sky.
For those into HDR, there's also various HDR modes, but I haven't tried that out.
Considering that a decent digital shutter release cable costs about the same as their cable release, you get a whole host of modes for the same price. My only advice to those doing star trails is to invest in a small phone charger battery, as you can then shoot for several hours like:
Triggertrap have published a host of useful how-tos on their website, and have also release a timelapse specific application that I am especially interested in, and will be experimenting with next, along with finding a decent adaptor for my iPhone that can clip onto my tripod.