Tag Archives: New York City Marathon

Using the PocketWizard Pedal to shoot the NYC Marathon

The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world and runs through all 5 boroughs of the City. In 2019, there were over 53,000 runners and it was the goal of event organizers to capture 1.8 million images, hopefully capturing every single runner – at least once! To meet that goal, they hired over 70 photographers and placed them in 22 locations.

One of those photographers was PocketWizard’s own Lenny Christopher. Lenny is a professional photographer and videographer and brings that experience to both our support and marketing teams.

Take Care of Your Hands

Lenny has shot many races before, and he said, “Taking 20,000+ images is hard on your hands!” We agree – can you relate? That fine muscle control of half press followed by a full press while holding the camera gets tiring. Now imagine that you are going through that same motion for over 7 hours.   

Using the PocketWizard Pedal to Activate the Shutter

Lenny employed the PocketWizard Pedal to take the strain off his fingers. He connected a PocketWizard Plus IIIe to the Pedal and attached a Plus IIIe to his camera with a remote camera cable. With this set up, he could switch between using his finger and his foot to control the shutter.

Using the PTMM Adapter to Activate Focus

Using the Pedal alone wasn’t quite enough for this unique situation. Lenny needed the ability for fine control of focus since he wanted a shallow depth of field and his subjects were on the move. That’s where the PTMM Pre-Trigger Switch came in.  This cable is a pre-trigger adapter and offers a switch to turn pre-triggering on or off.  When turned on, the camera wakes up and behaves as if you were half pressing the shutter and the camera (set to continuous focus mode) will constantly refocus. With the PTMM Adapter and the PocketWizard Pedal, Lenny could control the shutter and focus simply and easily without tiring his hand.


Benefits using the PocketWizard Pedal and PTMM Adapter

  • Lenny took over 27,000 photos over a period of 7.5 hours. Using the Pedal helped to relieve the strain he would normally feel in his hands.
  • It was a cold morning and Lenny was happy to be able to wear gloves since he didn’t need the fine motor control of his fingers. 
  • The PTMM Adapter kept the camera awake and constantly focusing so Lenny could keep one hand on his monopod for stabilization and one to zoom for quick composing and framing of an image, while using the foot pedal to actuate the shutter. The end result was increased speed and stabilization.

Pro Tip: Reviewing Images

When the PTMM cable is on, the camera behaves as if the shutter were being half pressed. As a result, you are not able to review images. You can use the on/off switch to disable Pre-Trigger for quick image review. When you are ready to continue shooting, flip the switch to turn Pre-Triggering back on.

Two Items to Add to Your Kit

The PocketWizard Pedal is a great way to free your hands when capturing an image.  And, in a situation where your focus point is changing, the PTMM Adapter is an indispensable tool to keep the focus activated. How will you use yours?