The Wonderful Possibilities of Shooting With Remote Cameras

Words and Photos by Ryan Taylor

More and more these days I have been using remote cameras in a lot of my work. Especially in a lot of the "one and done" moments that I often find myself shooting. This usually means that I might be shooting a trick or "stunt" that the athlete will only be able to do once, if at all.

Shooting multiple angles allows me to not only double my chances of getting the shot, but also lets me explore multiple angles for one setup, oftentimes something a bit more creative than I would have originally decided on.

Typically when entering a spot I try to find the "safety angle," something that I know tells the story of the spot and does the trick justice. This usually is fairly standard and more often than not, would work well as a sequence. I then set up a remote camera from that position, usually a camera with a higher fps rate like my Nikon D4 and set it up with a remote on a tripod.

Once that angle is set, I try to find something a bit more creative. Usually this involves me shooting a bit wider and with my strobes. From there I set up this angle and then proceed to check to make sure that it doesn't interfere with my first angle. If it does I usually have to weigh the decision as to which one is probably going to be the better shot and then change the other to accommodate. I can honestly say it's usually the more creative angle that wins so I find myself changing the "safety angle" numerous times in order to hide the flash or even myself.

While shooting, my typical setup goes something like this. Since I am shooting strobes on one camera I can only fire one frame and cannot sync the two cameras like one might do at a sporting event. Instead I have to trigger that one with my right finger while firing the "safety angle" with my left finger. It takes a bit of work but luckily for me I consider myself to be ambidextrous.

It definitely adds a bit more stress to the shooting scenario but at the same time, it gives me peace of mind knowing that I am going to have multiple options to choose from, not to mention a sequence option as well.

Generally when I am shooting it is cold out, so shooting multiple angles has its benefits as well. It keeps me busy as I have to constantly check the second camera. It keeps me moving and not lazy, which in turn, keeps the mind busy, as well as the body warm.

Gear used:

Nikon D4

70-200

2x PocketWizard Plus II

Custom SLR M-Plate Slim

Flash Zebra Remote Trigger Cable

Tripod


Nikon D810

16mm Fisheye

PocketWizard TT5 Remote

Custom SLR M-Plate Slim



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