I’ve been shooting with remote cameras for awhile now. For outdoor sports, primarily baseball… I invested in a pair of Manfrotto Magic Arms many years ago to attach a remote camera to fences, backstops, etc. I have an earlier post HERE where I outline the equipment needed to set up a remote camera.
Although, I had the equipment for outdoor sports, I didn’t really have any equipment for indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball where I would setup a remote camera on the floor to provide a very low perspective. All I did was place a AA battery on the bottom of the camera with some gaffer tape so that the camera can be slightly angled upwards to capture the action. It gets the job done and it’s cheap.
The main problem with that method is consistency and accuracy. So, I decided to step up my remote camera game and purchased a floor plate from fplate.net. What’s neat about the fplate is the ability to mount a Pocketwizard directly to the fplate for an overall clean setup. I also installed an Induro ballhead so that I can precisely compose the remote camera to whatever angle I need. I don’t have to move a AA battery around to try and get just the right angle. The Induro ballhead is equipped with a QR plate so I also purchased a universal L-Bracket so that I can quickly change from a horizontal to a vertical orientation on any of my cameras.
Can’t wait to give my new remote setup a try.
I’ve been wanting to play with remote cameras for some time now and just never really tried it for one reason or another. The last couple of baseball tournaments I decided to give it a try and here’s a series of my favorite images.
The main reason I wanted to use a remote camera was in order to be in more than one place at one time. I could stay behind the plate all game but, that would take me away from all the other action. The last couple tournaments I’ve setup the remote camera behind the plate, on the third base side, and on the first base side where plenty of the action happens. There are plenty of tutorials online to show anyone interested in setting up a remote camera so I will only go over a few things that I’ve done.
Here’s where my remote camera was mounted behind home plate to take a similar image as above. As you can imagine, it’s quite possible that a foul tip can fly directly towards the lens damaging it. To minimize this, all my lenses have front filters to protect the lens and the lens hood can also help prevent damage. So what do you need to setup a remote camera yourself?
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 – DSLR Camera that can shoot multiple frames and a lens of your choice (depending on the situation).
2 – Support for the camera: A tripod is a good choice but, I have been using a Manfrotto Magic Arm with a Super Clamp that allows me to virtually place the camera in many positions and in many angles.
3 – Camera Trigger: You’ll need a device that will trigger the camera to shoot. There are many devices that can accomplish this via Infrared Red or Wireless Radio. I use Pocket Wizards to trigger my remote cameras. I can manually trigger the camera with another Pocket Wizard or attach another Pocket Wizard to the hot shoe of another camera to trigger the remote camera. I’ll have an example of that below.
4 – Pre-Release Cable: This device connects between the camera and the Pocket Wizard. It’s main purpose is to keep the camera “awake”.
The setup above is on the first base side of the field pointed towards first base. I got a couple nice images from this spot since there are many plays at first where a runner will dive back to prevent getting picked off by the pitcher.
Part of the setup is to pre-focus on your intended subject. I was lucky to have a willing model to help me this time around. It helps to know the game of baseball so you can anticipate where the action will be.
I usually manually trigger the remote camera and sometimes I’ll get lucky like the shot above where the camera was triggered as the ball hit that bat.
The above 2 images were taken roughly at the same time. I was on the third base side of the field with a long telephoto lens and the remote camera was on the first base side. Attaching another Pocket Wizard to the camera I was shooting with allows me to trigger the remote camera when I trigger the camera in my hands.