Capturing HDR lighting spheres onset means being as quick and accurate as possible.
In the past I’ve used a shutter release cable and then adjusting the shutter speed by hand – which works ok – but you’re in danger of knocking the camera or forgetting where you are in the series of shots.
There are a couple of commercial solutions. The most popular being the Promote control, which is great but it costs a fortune.
There is also the Open Controller system which uses a hacked Nintendo DS. This looks great but it’s a lot of work – perhaps a project for the future.
In a fit of DIY excitement I had been working on a custom trigger using an Arduino but after much research I discovered that there’s a lower limit to the speed at which Canon cameras can be fired in bulb mode so this seems like a no go. I’m not sure how (or even if) the Open Controller gets around this limitation, but many times I’ve needed some very quick exposures to fully capture the dynamic range of a scene.
Just when all seemed lost I discovered the DSLR Controller app which is available for iOS and Android for around £6.
Using the app is simplicity itself and so far it’s working out perfectly for shooting HDR images. In fact with the liveview feature giving you a live feed on the mobile screen it results in a perfect mobile photography studio for almost any purpose. You can control almost any feature of the camera and capture photographs or video.
A few extra features such as being able to save camera setups would be welcome but I’m really impressed. Get yourself a Moviepeg and you’ve got a complete portable photography studio !
I’m using it with a Samsung Note 2, and I’d recommend trying the free Remote Release App first to test if your phone and camera will work together. You’ll also need a special USB cable called an OTG cable to connect to your SLR camera.
Many of the OTG cables you can find on Amazon are a bit cheap and flimsy but Lindy has a great quality 2m version (make sure you get the mini USB B to micro USB B version if you’re using an Android phone like me).
I’m a highly experienced freelance CG & VFX Artist. In the Commercials world I’ve led many award winning projects; both as an onset VFX Supervisor and as a CG Supervisor. I’m now branching out into Film VFX and am currently at Double Negative as a 3D Generalist. read more