A Remote Trigger in a Remote Location

I’m a fan of using remote shutter releases. They’re great tools not just landscapes or self-portraits, but work as well in any controlled setting where you are working with people—think child portraits or commercial shoots. Remote shutter releases let you step away from the camera so you can show your subjects your face, instead of hiding it behind a giant camera box. Remote shutter releases allow you the freedom to interact with the people you’re photographing, creating more trust between you and your subjects and allowing for some spontaneity. Remote shutter releases mean you won’t be behind your camera the whole time, fiddling with buttons, but actually talking, joking, making the shoot fun. Even with landscapes, it’s nice to be able to step away from the camera and enjoy the scenery.

Nikon has some very reliable and extensive options when it comes to remote shutter releases, and these triggering capabilities don’t necessarily come in the form of a remote. For instance, you could use the WU-1a or WU-1b Wireless Adapters to control your DSLR through your smartphone. However, when it comes to simplicity and ease of use, I like using infrared triggers such as the Nikon ML-3 Modulite Remote.

The remote in question.
The remote in question.

I know some people scoff at infrared, and that’s due to the potential downside of needing the trigger to be within your line of sight. The cool thing about the ML-3  is that you can rotate the trigger in the hot shoe so that it’s facing you no matter where you’re standing.

Earlier today, I went out to Park of Roses to capture the last look of its gorgeously barren, muddy trails, the last vestiges of a brutal season. Winter makes me hate Ohio, but whenever the weather gets nice again, I remember that Ohio can actually be an OK place to live. The parks and wooded areas around Columbus make me crave nice weather even more.

With the Nikon ML-3 I knew I would need a ten-prong in, so I took a used Nikon D700 from our extensive new-to-you case, a Three Legged Thing tripod (which we just recently started carrying), and a PROMASTER ND filter.

The original plan was to long-exposure the creek that runs through the park. This is why I brought the remote trigger and the filter. However, the sun was pretty bright this afternoon and I just couldn’t stop the lens down enough to make a longer shutter speed work.

However, I did take advantage of the Three Legged Thing’s immense height, and brought my camera all the way up from the ground so that it was standing probably around a foot taller than me. Here, the Nikon ML-3 came in really handy, as I could not reach the shutter release button anymore. The wireless remote really allowed me to get creative with my angles in a way I couldn’t have if I was tied to my camera.

camera on tripod

I grabbed a couple of quick shots, drove back to the store, converted to black and white, and I got a couple of nice images from a slapdash half-hour shoot.

park of roses bw 1

park of roses bw 2

Check out Nikon’s extensive Learn & Explore page for more tips and insights.

Midwest Photo

2 thoughts on “A Remote Trigger in a Remote Location

  1. Interesting Bill. I’m shooting with Nikon D300 and have been thinking it would be great to have a remote trigger. Any thoughts on what might be a good way for me to go? Ron

    1. Pretty sure the D300 has the ten-pronged connection you need for the ML-3. It’s an intuitive, simple trigger that works well. What are you looking to shoot, Ron?

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