Aesthetic photography is any photograph that’s visually appealing, but you might want to seek some help from an external device like the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger for the most complicated captures.
Aesthetic photography, while quite a loose term, encapsulates any photograph that is deemed visually pleasing. Generally, that includes photographic genres such as landscapes, portraiture, and wildlife, but also extends two moods and styles within images. For example, a vivid sunset, or an abstract coastal scene.
But capturing photographs that are aesthetically pleasing aren’t always easy, especially if the subject you’re trying to shoot is either rare, or occurs for only a fraction of a second such as lightning. That’s where specialist equipment provides a wider set of opportunities for image capture, as is the case with the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger.
Used either as a standalone plug and play device, or combined with the MIOPS app on a smartphone or tablet, it showcases a whole host of features that allow photographers to take images previously either impossible or incredibly difficult to achieve.
Weighing just 85g and able to fit in the palm of one’s hand, it triggers a camera to take a shot at a specific time to capture either fleeting moments or a series of moments to produce timelapses. It can be used to shoot lightning strikes which trigger with light, water balloon bursts using sound, movement using its in-built laser sensor, and can even trigger flash or as a remote camera release via a smartphone. The MIOPS Smart+ can also be used to capture HDR images for more detailed images in contrasted lighting conditions, and can be used as a bulb ramp to capture time lapses that move between day and night time by adjusting exposure as it triggers.
Take impossible photos by turning your camera into a high-speed capture device!
Take impossible photos by turning your camera into a high-speed capture device!
So below we’ll take a look at some of the most appealing aesthetic photography, and see how by using the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger, you can make the most out of your camera to capture images you never thought possible.
An absolutely beautiful natural event, lightning storms can make for stunning photography. They say lightning never strikes twice in the same spot, and while that adage may not be quite true, some truth does ring out in terms of the difficulty in capturing lightning strikes. After tracking the weather forecast and carefully positioning the camera so that it’s facing towards a storm, the real problem comes in trying to capture an image of lightning.
One method is to keep the camera lens at a fairly wide focal length in order to maximize the likelihood that a strike will appear in the frame, somewhere between 24-50mm depending on the composition. Then to set either an interval timer going so that the camera triggers every few seconds, or a long exposure in the hopes that a strike will appear during that exposure. However, there’s a simpler way.
Using the MIOPS Smart+ attached to the hot shoe of your camera simply set the device to Lightning mode and it will automatically detect changes in brightness in front. The sensitivity threshold can be altered either within the device itself using the on-board screen, or using the MIOPS app. This can help reduce false positives where the camera triggers without a lightning strike. Pre-focus can also be used to reduce shutter lag and release the camera’s shutter quickly.
Capture lightning strikes automatically using the Smart+ camera trigger so you don’t have to worry about getting the timing right.
The Holy Grail of Timelapses
Many modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras now have in-built timelapse features which take photos at preset intervals for set durations to produce a sped-up video showing subjects that move slowly appearing to move quickly, for example clouds scudding across the sky, or a rush of pedestrians moving over a crossing.
However, these in-built features still struggle to master changes in light conditions. For example, taking a timelapse moving from day to night (or vise versa) is nearly impossible since the exposure settings can’t be changed once the timelapse feature is running. Fortunately though, the Smart+ has a feature which allows for bulb ramping timelapses which automatically changes the exposure of the scene by controlling the shutter speed. Set the camera to bulb mode and engage the bulb ramping timelapse feature on the MIOPS Smart+ device and, after tweaking a few of the settings, you can capture the holy grail of timelapses - moving between day and night, and the wonderful golden hour that separates these times.
Taking timelapses that fade between day and night are notoriously difficult due to exposure issues, but the Smart+ makes short work of this problem by automatically ramping the camera to maintain correct exposure.
Concert or Gig Photography
There’s nothing more exciting than having the pumping bass vibrate through your chest and stage lighting beaming through dry ice while you capture a band performing live. It’s a real spectacle and evokes real emotion from both musicians and those in the crowd. Full of vibrant colors, textures, and expressions, concert or gig photography is some of the most dynamic sort of photography one can hope for. But occasionally, it can be tricky to get the best composition when shooting. Whether it’s limited access to the stage due to strict management, or physically not being able to reach where you need to be because of speaker or crowd placement. That’s why occasionally it helps to be able to trigger your camera wirelessly.
The Smart+ has multiple functions for camera control, but its most basic operation is to act as a remote shutter release for the camera. By synchronizing with a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth and the MIOPS app photographers can trigger the camera at any time wirelessly, meaning they can stand in the wings, or down with the crowd to get compositions otherwise impossible. Simply place the camera on a tripod (or mini tripod on the floor) and get the composition and focusing set before disappearing off and waiting for the band to strike the right poses before effortlessly rattling off one or multiple photos.
Setting up the camera remotely, one can trigger wirelessly using the MIOPS app on smart devices.
Something that photography is particularly good at is capturing a moment in time otherwise imperceptible to the naked eye. A bursting balloon is a good example of that as the whole thing explodes and disappears within thousandths of a second. Even if our brains could capture visual data that quickly, the loud, sudden noise produces an involuntary reaction to close our eyes, thereby missing the perfect moment to snap a shot.
Using the Smart+ trigger though, it can detect the loud burst of sound and automatically trigger a camera so that the magical moment is captured digitally. It takes all the hassle out of attempting to time the shutter release right because it’s literally triggered by the event taking place, meaning you’ll never miss the shot again. Volume sensitivity can be changed either on the device or in the app, so that only loud bursts will trigger the device. Occasionally, you’ll need to add a delay if you want to capture a different shape as the balloon bursts, which the device also allows. It even includes mode options for shooting either single frames or a continuous burst of frames one after the other.
A bursting balloon gives only a fraction of a second for image capture before it’s an almighty mess, fortunately the high speed trigger of the Smart+ can take the shot at just the right moment.
Creating High Dynamic Range Images
Some scenes have such brilliant highlights and dark shadows that cameras can’t capture the entire range of exposure in one go. That’s because, unlike our eyes which are constantly making metering adjustments with our brains processing the image further as we see, the camera has a fixed dynamic range, usually around 10-14 stops. That makes it tricky to get all the detail in contrasted scenes which otherwise look good. Fortunately, through the use of High Dynamic Range photography, (HDR) we can take a series of photos at different exposure settings to record both shadow, mid-tone, and highlight detail accurately without distortion - this is called bracketing. Then we can use image editing software to composite the images together, giving the impression it was captured in one shot.
This camera control can be technically complex though, and some photographers may prefer to rely on a device that sets up HDR for them, such as the Smart+. Choose the center exposure setting using the device or app, then stipulate exposure value increments from 1/3 all the way up to 2 stops to decide on the width of the dynamic range you wish to capture. Choose how many frames you want to capture from between 3-7 (a higher number will yield a smoother, more natural looking composite) and you’re all set.
HDR images can reveal hidden detail in scenes with extreme contrast and setting this up can take time unless you’re using the Smart+ trigger which sets up the perfect brackets for a good HDR shot.
Blog Credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes
Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer, educator and writer. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients. Further information can be found in his website www.jasonpb.com.