Two's company, especially during a pandemic...

This morning I googled the phrase "wedding photo" and was not surprised that what came up were lots of images of couples! Of course, this is hardly unexpected considering weddings are supposed to be all about celebrating two people's choice to exchange deeply meaningful vows that create a life-changing commitment to one another!

But maybe I've got this wrong though, because from the way certain elements of the wedding industry press are bleating on in the new post-COVID-19 world you might get the feeling that weddings are only about extravagant and expensive parties hosted to benefit the suppliers who pay their advertising rates.

Don't get me wrong, a handful of the images I found on the first few pages of my google search did show people having fun at glamorous receptions, but the truth is over 90% of the "wedding photos" were just images of couples looking wonderfully happy on their special day - the sort of photos people put on their walls and that become family heirlooms. And when are most of these "hero shots" captured? Yep, you've got it - mostly when the couple were off away from the pressures of hosting a huge party, sharing some quality time together.

Although your second cousin twice-removed likes nothing more than to get a skinful on someone else's bar tab and boogie on down at a big family shindig, the truth of the matter is that despite what some elements of the wedding industry believe, you don't need hundreds of guests to have a memorable wedding. You just need two people, very much in love, to say some tender and considered words to each other and the rest will follow naturally. Indeed, some of the very best weddings we have ever captured have been the smallest celebrations of love.

So, what do you actually NEED to make your day the best it can be? Spending time writing loving, meaningful vows will give you something to reflect on during the photo session and help to generate even more emotion. Elegant, perfectly fitting attire, with great hair and make-up, will definitely help too - giving you the confidence to really shine in your photos. And yes, a talented and discrete photographer to capture those precious fleeting moments is a must.

What you don't need though are extravagant forests of floral arrangements, expensive transport options or the monolithic confectionery creations you see in too many wedding magazines. Unless you want them that is. Otherwise, if you can do without them, give them a miss. Don't be bullied by bridal blogs into feeling your day is somehow inadequate if there aren't doves released at your ceremony or flocks of flamingos at your reception. If you end the day with a happy glow and a piece of paper that says you're legally wed, that's all you need to consider your wedding a roaring success.

The conditions imposed by this pandemic are nothing new. Marriages still took place during the 1918-20 Spanish Flu epidemic, as they did during both World Wars, and whilst weddings were, generally, more simple affairs in these times, but the love and commitment they represented was in no way diminished by the size of the celebration. Indeed, despite what much of the wedding "industry" would like you to believe, there is absolutely no correlation between the scale of your nuptial celebrations and the success of your marriage. Like most good things in life, that's just down to hard work, dedication and patience.

So, don't let a little thing like the restrictions imposed by a global pandemic get in the way of your happiness - go ahead, enjoy a simple and relaxing wedding day and then throw a massive party when all of this is over.

My favourite camera…

You’ll now be well aware (if you’ve read the previous Tech2 Tip articles that is), that not only am I a serial camera hoarder, but I’m also a massive believer in the maxim that the best camera to have is the one you have with you! So, I’ve told you what the best camera to have is, but I’m sure plenty of people are still keen to know what my personal favourite is at the moment and why.

So, what makes the perfect camera? Obviously, that will change from person to person depending on an infinite number of personal preferences such as what genres you want to shoot (landscapes, family portraits, street, action, nature and so on); how you want to shoot (automatic, manual, a bit of both); when you want to shoot (daytime, night-time); as well as other factors such as fitting into a brand “system”, portability and so on. This is exactly why there are so many different cameras on the market, because no single camera can ever hope to tick all the boxes for all the people, no matter how much the manufacturers tell us otherwise.

For me, as someone who has access to the gamut of professional imaging equipment, there is another important but more intangible consideration, and that is I want the perfect camera to be one I enjoy shooting with. It sounds odd, but for me, as someone who spends all their time working with the “best” cameras available on the marketplace, my perfect camera is one I use to shoot my own private work, not imagery being paid for by a client. If you check out my personal Instagram channel @mpvdave you will see that I am fairly eclectic in my tastes and that I shoot personal projects that encompass a myriad of genres, from travel imagery to pet portraits and natural history to sports. Obviously, there are plenty of situations in which I bring out the big guns to capture something specific, like astrophotography or surfing imagery, but more often I want a camera that can do lots of things well...

like cat photos...


or concert photos...

When you suggest you want a camera that does lots of things well, people tend to immediately think of Interchangable Lens Cameras (ILCs) such as DSLRs or Mirrorless camera systems. I have plenty of both of those and their inherent flexibility is mostly as a result of the system that accompanies them (things like lenses, flashguns etc), not necessarily the body on its own. This, in turn, means a big heavy bag to carry all those wonderful extra gubbins in. That’s not so great when you want, or need, to travel light. No, ILCs are out as far the perfect camera goes for me because of all the “excess baggage” that goes with them.

What I do want though, is a camera with a decent size sensor (but not necessarily a massive megapixel count though – you have to thinks of storage limitations when you’re travelling light), with plenty of manual controls in an ergonomic form (I want dials and buttons, not endless menu functions) and that means something bigger than a traditional compact camera. I’m also partial to a decent zoom lens, preferably a nice fast one (f2.8) or better. It’s a lot to ask for, however, fortunately for me, and maybe for you, such a class of camera does exist, and they are known as Bridge cameras.

Bridge cameras sit between compacts and ILC’s, offering a size similar in format to a small ILC but with a fixed lens. This size allows them to have larger sensors than most compacts and a more ergonomic layout with dials and buttons that permit plenty of manual control. Bridge cameras have had some negative press over the years because they have often been used to mount extreme focal length zoom lenses (up to 1000mm or longer) with smaller sensors resulting in questionable imagery results, however, continued development has now resulted in some exceptional cameras from all the major manufacturers, with Canon, Sony and Panasonic all being worthy of note. Canon have bridge cameras with large sensors and mid-range zoom lenses that feature their propriety “L series” glass. Sony have models that feature similar size sensors but with longer zooms (up to 600mm) built using Zeiss glass and Panasonic have sensors and zooms available in a range of sizes that use Leica glass. All three brands have models that offer F2.8 or faster apertures and that offer features such as weather sealing.

For me, I found it impossible to go past one of the Panasonic offerings – the Fz300 – which gives me a 25-600mm f2.8 constant aperture zoom lens (and yes, you read that right), full manual control, RAW image output, 4K 30fps video (+1080P at 60fps) in an ergonomic, weather sealed shell. It even has a proper, flippy-out LCD screen and a microphone jack that makes it perfect for Vloggers!

This camera is an absolute workhorse, with exceptional battery life and the flexibility to capture almost any situation. I use it as my emergency backup at professional gigs and would have few reservations trusting it to do the job if it ever came down to needing it. I also use it for much of my own personal project work because of its discreet form and portability. The Fz300 is an absolute joy to shoot with – it is comfortable to hold for long periods of time and is beautifully balanced, even with the lens fully extended – with a mix of technical sophistication and manual control that makes it the perfect companion for almost any photographic situation.

So, there you go, my favourite camera is the fabulous Panasonic Fz300 – an incredible all-rounder with great specifications and almost no flaws that makes photography, and videography, a lot of fun. It’s not a new camera by any means, having been originally announced in 2015, and you can get hold of one of these for around $600AUD now. Of course that will be too “old” for some, however, before you write it off as a poor investment think about this - it hasn’t been replaced, yet still sells well which, very tellingly to me, means Panasonic must know they created a real winner and one that would be hard to replace! 

Disclaimer - If I am being 100% honest, whilst I love my Fz300 to absolute bits, I would swap it for a Sony RX10iv, simply because the Sony has a slightly bigger sensor and some incredible video specs, but only if an Fz400 doesn’t come along soon that is!

Next time in Tech2 Tips Dave is going to suggest something VERY controversial…

Post-Iso Couples Photo Shoot Offer

If you spent iso dreaming of walking along a beach at sunset hand-in-hand with your special person then we have the perfect post-lockdown pick-me-up for you. For a very limited time you can book a couples photo shoot for just $295. 

Now, as restrictions start to relax, is the perfect time to get back out and about to one of your favourite places where we can capture some wonderfully memorable moments for you.

Your package includes 2 hours on location at a favourite spot (with all appropriate social distancing observed of course) plus your selection of twenty hi-res images from the selection presented.

To book your couples photo shoot just email us today.

Valid for dates up to 31 August 2020. Certain locations may attract a travel fee.

The very best camera…

It’s just a short article this time after the last, marathon-length monologue addressing my ongoing camera addiction. 

As a pro, a question I get asked a lot - at jobs, at parties, pretty much anywhere in fact - is that age-old cherry “what do I think is the very best camera?” I know my answer always annoys some people (usually those brand-tragic types who can’t see reason), but I’ll tell you anyway, and here’s a big clue – it’s not Canon, but it might be!

The best camera to have is the one you have with you!

It’s really quite simple, and something I learned incredibly early in my photographic journey – if you don’t have a camera, you can’t get the shot and if you don’t get the shot then did it really happen? So, ergo, the best camera to have is the one you have with you, because any camera you have with you can capture that moment, but if you don’t have a camera you can’t.

Obviously, with today’s smartphones there isn’t really much excuse for not having a half-decent camera with you at any time (and part of the reason why there will be a billion crappy images uploaded to the web this week), but at least it is a camera. Of course, I fully understand that the DSLR snobs will raise their noses to this, suggesting that smartphones can’t zoom worth a damn, or that they’re no good in low light (in response to that I would ask if have they seen the new iPhone dark mode?), but the reality is that NO ONE carries a DSLR around all the time, because, if they did, they’d end up with bigger back problems than Quasimodo. That means your DSLR, as fabulous as it is, isn’t going to be there all the time and what happens when it isn’t?

Personally, when I’m not shooting with the big guns, I always carry two cameras whenever I am out and about – my smartphone and a small, compact camera with a decent size sensor and a respectable zoom that can fit in my pocket or my “man-bag” – that way I never miss that fleeting chance shot- unless I’m looking the wrong way that is – then there’s nothing, not even the very best camera that can help.

Next time in Tech2 Tips we take a look at Dave’s favourite camera…

We can help you keep your lockdown promises...

If you're like us, you spent at least some part of the lockdown promising yourself you were going to get some new art for your walls. Thanks to COVID-19, we're all a little bit sick of our electronic devices, and our phones, which once seemed like such a wonderful diversion from work, are now a dark reminder of hellish Zoom meetings and the eye-strain brought on by binge-watching all those crazy Tiger King episodes in bed.

Just a few months ago you used to love being able to scroll through all those pics on your phone, but after 6 weeks in iso you've realised just how bare your walls are, not to mention the guilt of seeing your co-workers's wonderful, portrait-adorned walls during those meetings. So, you've made the decision to get some proper prints done, but now, with things getting back to normal more quickly than we all anticipated, you're just not sure how you can find the time to get them done.

Well, luckily for you, that's where we can help out...

With MyProPhoto you can deal directly with our professional lab, cutting out the middleman and accessing a stunning range of photographic prints and enlargements, framed, canvas, metallic or acrylic prints and much more. Professional lab prints have longer guaranteed archival life and are much higher quality than those to be found at retail outlets, with better colour matching that make your images truly pop. There's no limit to the number of prints you can order and, even better, they don't have to be images we have captured for you - you can use your own photos too!

All you need to do is log in to and enter the account number 31454 and then upload the images you'd like to print direct to the site. To make it even better, MyProPhoto are offering a 15% discount on all first-time orders. 

Just email us for a discount code to use at the MyProPhoto checkout and you'll save 15%.We hope you enjoy creating some wonderful wall art to brighten your rooms.

The secret diary of a cameraholic...

Hi, my name is Dave and I am a cameraholic! 

Yes, I know, I am a professional photographer and cinematographer and, as such, you would expect me to have a fairly extensive collection of image-capturing paraphernalia. And I do! I have Canon for stills photography, I have Sony for cinematography, I have action cameras, I have drones and I have a multiplicity of other specialist cameras for things like 360 shooting, live-streaming and even 3D applications. And that would be fair enough, but I have also become a serial camera hoarder and that means I have a LOT of cameras! 

The sad thing is, I never used to be. Back in the halcyon days of film (and even the early digital years), I would happily trade-in almost all my old camera bodies when upgrading to a newer model, heck, I even traded my entire Mamiya medium format setup when I switched to a fully digital workflow (big mistake – huge!). But over the past 15 years or so things have changed and now I tend to hoard cameras, which is why I now find myself with an awful lot of them.

So why the big change and why do I now find myself with cupboards chock-full of increasingly “antiquated” and “obsolescent” cameras? The answer is threefold…

Firstly, there is the sad fact that some of these older cameras simply have no realistic resale value. With fewer shop-front photographic retailers out there, the options for trade-in against new gear are more limited than they used to. Retailers used to keep second-hand stock prices fairly high, but with manufacturers releasing new models at all too frequent intervals, and pawnbrokers like Cash Converters treating photographic equipment as a commodity, prices are pretty much in the gutter. Added to that are the EBay “grey market” sellers who sell new equipment at massive discounts (even if the warranty status is dubious). EBay also used to be a reasonable channel to dispose of gear too, but their new policies on the sale of second-hand equipment means you are not safe from the scourge of the “try before you buy” scammers who purchase a piece of kit, use it for whatever project they need it for and then return it claiming it has a problem, at which point EBay issue a refund and take the money back from the seller without any recourse. I’ve been a victim of this and will never use EBay to sell equipment again because of it.

The second issue is closely related to the first, and that is with secondhand gear at low prices, selling gear you were probably using right up until the day you choose to sell it is basically giving your potential competitors an advantage. With photo and video work suffering from the machinations of the “gig economy”, it really has become the “race to zero” with far too many new entrants into the profession desperate to “break through” by offering to do jobs at ridiculously low prices which are unsustainable in any normal business model. Although they think that this will create client loyalty, all it does is encourage those clients to keep shopping around, driving prices ever lower. The reality this creates is one in which I am not going to let equipment that for me was “good enough yesterday” be sold for a fraction of its value and be bought by someone for whom it is “good enough tomorrow” because they could then use that gear to compete with me and befuddle a client who is hung up on the technology being used, not the person using the technology. I know it sounds crazy, but I have won out on getting jobs simply because I shoot Canon and missed out on some because I don’t shoot Nikon! As if it matters! Ansel Adams had it right when he said that the most important piece of equipment is the 12 inches behind the camera, alluding to the fact that it is the photographer’s expertise that counts, not the camera capturing the scene. This means I do tend to hold on to “obsolete” camera bodies for some considerable time after they have been usurped in my arsenal before applying the theory of Marie Kondo and “letting go”. Trust me though, it takes a long time for a camera not to bring me joy anymore!

I’ve alluded to the third reason I tend to hang on to cameras in both points one and two and that reason is I genuinely don’t think that most of these cameras are anywhere near as obsolete or antiquated as the manufacturers would like you to think. In actual fact, many of my older bodies are still superior to their successors in significant ways and the reality is that newer isn’t always better. Far too often, particularly of late, manufacturers have become lazy with new iterations of existing models, adding a whizzbang, headline grabbing gizmo, but losing the best feature of the original model in the process. With the mega-pixel “war” happily now a distant memory, most manufacturers are adding incremental changes at best (things such as video frame rates or touch screens) that allow them charge a premium but don’t necessarily improve the offering as a whole, especially if the dynamic range, shooting speed or other factors are compromised (or at least no better than the previous model). This means that gear can still be profitable long after it is “fashionable”, particularly if it has a very specific purpose, and that means it can be worth hanging on to bodies far longer than the manufacturers might want you to!

Of course, there is one extra reason I have too many cameras, and that is that I do truly love them, and I like to keep my favourites for posterity. But I’m not a collector, I am, as I alluded to earlier, a serial hoarder! To be in my “collection”, a camera must have been one I used at some time in the past and it must be in functioning order, still be able to capture images. But how do I decide what stays and what goes? For me, each and every camera has a soul, its own unique personality traits and its own foibles. Inevitably, at any one time I own multiple copies of the same body model, to make shooting easier and to make my post-production workflow smoother. But I always have a favourite. Yes, just like those parents of identical twins who secretly harbour a preference, there is always one of the pair that just seems slightly better “tuned”, more reliable or more accurate and is the one you turn to first, even when you try to balance the shooting load between the two. Having a favourite like that can create issues though, especially with balancing shutter counts, yet often it is the body with a higher count I keep in the longer term, simply because it was just that little bit better than its stablemate.

So, there you go – that’s why I have cupboards full of old cameras, some dating back to my earliest days of shooting film in the 1970s, but most more recent acquisitions I simply can’t, or won’t, part with, and why I have to consider myself a serious, unreformed cameraholic. 

Next time in Tech2 Tips I’ll be talking about the best camera and why you might just have it…

Back out and about...

So, here in Australia, we've finally been given the green light to start getting out and about again after COVID-19 decided to rain all over the first half of 2020. Our first tentative steps took us to Godwin Beach, near Sandstone Point (and within the mandated 50km of home), for a stretch of our legs and the chance to shoot something a bit different than studio work or an urban safari in our own backyard. Finding the "legendary" Tree of Lost Soles and a veritable army of blue soldier crabs made it well worth the trip...

Contre to popular opinion. Why I love shooting towards the light.

Yep, it’s time for another Tech2 Tips and if you think they’re coming thick and fast at the moment then you’d be right, and you can blame that pesky little critter COVID-19 for it. Unfortunately, thanks to the Corona Virus, and the virtual lockdown and travel restrictions in place to reduce infection rates, my workload has, like many photography and video suppliers, pretty much dried up, with little relief in sight until later in the year. That means I have a bit of rare downtime, and, whilst I’d normally be out shooting personal projects, staying safe and practicing social distancing means I have time to write a few more blog articles.

If there is one photographic technique that stands out as my absolute favourite, it has to be contre-jour. I first fell in love with the dramatic imagery created by this type of imagery when, as a young child of 5 or 6, I was first exposed to the masterful work of the Victorian photographic pioneer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe worked in the seaside town of Whitby, on the north-east coast of England, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, capturing stunning large-format, wet-plate images of the local people and places. His beautiful, sepia-tinted prints won photographic awards all around the world, from Tokyo to Paris, during his lifetime and have become an eternal reminder of life in that period of history. The small gallery that sold prints of his work on the steep, winding cobbled streets of Whitby was a favourite haunt of mine during family holidays and I became increasingly fascinated by his work as I developed my own passion for image-making.

Sutcliffe's image of a stranded ship during a storm at Whitby ©The Sutcliffe Gallery

Sutcliffe was a true master of his craft and his body of work is exquisite, encompassing the genres we know today as landscape, portrait, documentary and street photography. His images, in general, are superbly exposed and full of detail but there are also those that exhibit experimentation with techniques and styles. For me, the images that had most appeal were his darker and broodier seascapes, with sailing ships standing stark against the sky, images that were full of harsh contrasts and deep shadows and, as I delved more deeply into the art world, I discovered this technique was known as contre-jour. 

Contre-jour means, quite literally translated from French, against the day and basically means placing the light source (most often the sun), behind the subject of the image. This creates deep shadows in front of the subject and can create silhouetting when the ratio and positioning of light is right. The style was already popular amongst painters when photography arrived in the 1850s and early practitioners, relying on more primitive methods of measuring exposure, discovered that it could have significant impact on photographic imagery, creating drama within a scene and helping to focus the viewer on the intended subject.

Having identified what it was that so attracted me to Sutcliffe’s imagery, I began to practice contre-jour shooting at every opportunity. Fortunately, growing up in higher northern latitudes meant I had plenty of opportunity to practice, with the long winters creating plenty of low suns to shoot against. However, as a young teen in the early 1980s, buying film and processing it was an expensive business and, not having access to a dark room, required careful husbandry of my limited resources. Despite this, I did manage to capture plenty of shots I am still proud of to this day.

The Palace of Westminster and River Thames from Westminster Bridge - October 1983 

Street Scene - Bath - August 1984

The High Street - Yarm - February 1986

Whilst professional film-based photography tended to be rather stilted (you usually had only a very limited number of shots to get creative with), the advent of DSLRs meant professionals could really let loose and begin to experiment with our imagery again. I began to capture much more contre-jour imagery and I was pleased with clients’ reactions to the dramatic and memorable moments it can create, particularly as stand-alone art pieces. 

Hannah & Michael - Woodlands of Marburg 2009

Fast-forward to the present day and contre-jour continues to play a big part in my professional repertoire and is a significant element of my “style”. Indeed, many of my favourite images (and, more importantly, those of my clients), are ones that feature contre-jour lighting techniques. New technology, particularly bright, portable LED lights; hugely improved area-metering on cameras; massive leaps in the dynamic range of camera sensors; and the development of sophisticated HDR (high dynamic range) software have all combined to make contre-jour shooting ever more exciting and more popular than ever.

Of course, contre-jour techniques aren’t for everyone and there will always be a place for perfectly exposed imagery captured with the light in the traditional place over the photographer’s shoulder. However, if you’re looking for lighting conditions that are a little more challenging and that can create stunning effects like lens flares, sunbursts, hairlights and silhouettes, then next time, when you’re out shooting, try pointing your camera towards the big flashbulb in the sky – you might just fall in love with the results too. 

In my own work, I'm going to keep #channellingsutcliffe

Next time in Tech2 Tips we deep dive into Dave's secret obsession...

Pandemic Portraiture...

With the COVID-19 restrictions keeping us restricted to our immediate locality for several weeks, we've been keeping busy with housekeeping tasks in the office such as archiving our files and cleaning equipment ready for the big restart that's coming soon. We've also been using the home studio for some in-house portrait shoots and luckily we had a one very willing team member who was keen to get in front of the camera...

Feeling triggered?

Welcome back to Tech2 Tips where this time I’ll be taking a closer look at one of the smaller pieces of kit in my bag, which, despite its size, packs a big punch and finds a use on nearly every shoot I conduct – the MIOPS Remote Plus remote camera trigger.

So, what exactly is a remote trigger? Well. In simple terms, a remote trigger is something you use to make the camera operate without having to touch it. If you read my last article about bokeh, you’ll remember how I mentioned unintentional camera movement (UCM) as a source of blur we try to avoid. UCM - aka camera shake – occurs when we use slow shutter speeds and is most often addressed by using a tripod or some other form of support for the camera. Sometimes though, when the shutter speed is particularly low, even the tiniest movement imparted by gently pressing the shutter button can result in unacceptable blur, and, in those situations, you need something to press the button for you. Early pioneers of photography quickly developed mechanical cable releases which enabled the photographer to be “hands-off” with the camera, and these were still widely in use when I started my photographic journey in the 1970’s. Developments in technology and camera sophistication allowed these remotes to become electrical during the 1980s and eventually “wireless” thanks to infra-red technology in the 1990s, although these tended to be part of a larger camera “system” and were locked in to use on one particular brand or model of camera.

A sophisticated Canon wired remote trigger

Move on a couple of decades and third-party developers have used the advent of wifi and Bluetooth technology to create remote triggers to become ever more capable and “smarter”, controlling more camera functions with programming via mobile devices, as well as the ability to respond automatically to external stimuli such as light and sound. Even better, these triggers are not tied to one camera system, but can operate across most of the major brands by use of a dedicated cable for each system. For professionals like myself, who use different brands for different aspects of my work, this is important as it means I need only carry one remote and a couple of cables for most gigs.

Whilst there are a number of these “smart triggers” out there, the one I have chosen comes from MIOPS. I looked at a number of brands, including the Pluto and Arsenal products, but settled on MIOPS because it is part of a larger “system” itself, with other products such as rotation units (for time-lapse work) and sliders (for video or time-lapse) also available. 

The MIOPS Remote Plus

MIOPS have a number of different trigger options available but I use the Remote Plus which is a compact unit that is controlled using a smartphone app. The build quality of this remote is excellent and the flexibility (with 10 different cables available allowing use on several hundred different camera models) is second to none. I have explored the full functionality of it without encountering any issues on Canon, Sony and Panasonic cameras and have achieved the desired results every time. The small size of the remote (about the size of a DSLR battery), means it is perfect to pop into even the smallest bag when packing light, but its small size is far outweighed by its capabilities.

The MIOPS Remote Plus on one of my DSLRS with the controller app on my phone

The MIOPS Remote Plus can be used for remote shooting (with basic cable-release, manual BULB, timed-release and self-timer modes), for time-lapses (and road-lapses using the GPS on your phone), for lightning photography (using the light-detect modes), and for high-speed photography scenarios using either a laser or sound trigger modes. The unit also boasts an HDR photography capability and a great little trick is the ability to use the “vibration” mode (in which the trigger responds to a shake of your mobile device) for capturing action photography because you can set the camera up and then watch the action directly (not through the viewfinder) whilst activating the camera at the optimum moment.

Personally though, more often than not, I use the trigger either as a basic cable-release (especially when shooting astro-photography to remain absolutely hands-off with camera), or in the manual BULB mode when shooting creative scenes at weddings and events, however, as you will see below, the results I have achieved from lightning photography are particularly impressive. I have also created some excellent night-lapses with the unit that you can see over on my personal Instagram channel (@mpvdave). 

It does exactly what it says on the tin - triggered by lightning!

The Remote Plus has a rechargeable lithium battery (not removeable) and is charged with a USB cable provided. I find the battery life to be good but not exceptional (it will last all day from a single charge), though the battery does drain over time and you have to ensure it is fully charged before taking it out shooting. One of the things I do particularly like though, is the sophisticated, but easy to use, app that drives the remote. The trigger creates a strong and steady signal for the mobile device and works well even when your phone goes into power-save mode. Not only is the app simple and easy to use, but it also includes an extremely useful Neutral Density calculator for when using ND filters in the field and a solar calculator that shows first light, sunrise, sunset and last light for the current day and tomorrow in your current location.

The simple screen layout of the controller app

With this particular model priced at US $149 (including one cable of your choice – additional cables can be ordered for US $20 each), the MIOPS Remote Plus is very reasonably priced for its specifications and is an invaluable piece of equipment in my kit bag. I would struggle to think of a photographic genre workflow that couldn’t utilise a remote like this in some positive way because of its flexibility and small size and I make heavy use of mine on both professional assignments and personal projects. Being mostly a solo shooter, I have used my remote trigger as an assistant on location many times, capturing a second, usually wider, angle (or behind the scenes shots) remotely and allowing me to concentrate on getting closer to the action and the “money shots” I need. 

With a variety of add-on kits available, including options for remotely triggering flash units, the MIOPS Remote Plus is a compact, highly versatile and sophisticated unit that offers significant workflow benefits and the ability for hands-off control of your camera in a wide range of shooting scenarios. Whilst not a good a human assistant, this little box of tricks can give you a virtual set of extra hands in the field and is highly recommended for advanced photographers looking to ease their workload and for less experienced enthusiasts wanting to capture more advanced scenes and imagery.

Next time in Tech2 Tips we take a look at one of Dave's favourite photographic techniques - contre-jour lighting...

Disclosure - Dave is an ambassador for the MIOPS brand but did not receive any financial incentive for this article.