Floor-Mounted Remotes Made Easy
Dave Hahn is a Freelance photographer based in the New York metro area. His primary focus is sports and action photography. Below, Dave explains how he sets up floor-mounted cameras during basketball games using both PocketWizard’s new PlusX transceiver and the Plus III.
If you’re new to remote photography hopefully this will help explain how easy it can be using a camera mounting plate I developed, combined with a couple of transceivers from the folks at PocketWizard.
Here I’m going to talk about setting up remote cameras for basketball using both the PlusX and Plus III radios triggers. In the image to the right, you can see my set-up for the Women’s NCAA basketball tournament at UConn. The camera was mounted to a plate called a “fplate” (floor plate) and a Plus III was used to trigger the camera from the opposite side of the court.
If you’re new to remote photography, the newly-released PlusX is a great way to go. The benefits of the PlusX transceivers are affordability. It’s the first time PocketWizard radios break the $100 barrier. Next is, its simplicity in design and ease of use. The Plus II’s had only four channels to work with, sometimes making difficult to find an open channel when there are other photographers working the same event. The PlusX radios have ten channels. 1-4 will work with all the older models. With the addition of channels 5-10 you now have six low-use channels that will also work with the Plus III’s and the MultiMAX radios. Setting the channels on the PlusX transceivers is as easy as turning a dial.
Now on to setting up a remote camera. Basically, if you don’t already have a couple of PocketWizards for your off-camera flash, you’ll need to get two. One will mount to the fplate and connect to the camera. The other will be used to trigger the camera. Both radios need to be set to the same channel. Also, most of us have an extra ballhead or two lying around. So, why not put those items to use and set-up a remote camera? The only other item you might need to pick up is the camera cable. (it’s easy to find which cable you’ll need based on the triggers and your camera by going to PocketWizard’s Cable-Finder page and plugging in the information)
Above is another camera location I used during the NIT in Providence, Rhode Island this past week. This game I used two remote cameras, one on each side of the floor. To do this and not having both cameras constantly firing I used the Plus III transceivers. This allowed me to take advantage of the “quad-zone” triggering available on the Plus III’s.
Both cameras were set to the same channel (channel 20), but were set to different zones. The camera on my side of the court was set to zone “A” while the camera on the other end was set to zone “B”. This enabled me to fire only the camera where the action was. It’s like having two other photographers working for you.
Some of the other benefits of the Plus III’s include: Two-Stage triggering, Long Range mode and High Speed Receive. Plus, the LCD screen makes setting up your Plus III a piece of cake! All images the cameras were fired remotely using either the PlusX or the Plus III transceivers. All this was made possible by combining PocketWizard transceivers (with the correct cable), a ball head and an fplate.
Not only can the fplate be used for sports, I have heard others using it for a lite mount for hiking (it weighs less than a pound, without the trigger and ballhead), time lapse photography, as well as for weddings. Just think if you are not allowed on the alter during a ceremony. Use of a fplate can enable you to capture a very unique view of the ceremony looking out into the church.
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Dave Hahn, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.