Tag Archives: PocketWizard Pedal

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?


Hands free photography

Have you ever wished you could step away from behind the camera when taking a photo? Sometimes you need an extra hand or another body to hold a reflector, flip a bride’s veil into the air or distract the baby or pet of the family. With PocketWizard, taking a photograph “hands-free” is possible when using a remote camera triggered with a foot pedal.  

Putting the PocketWizard Pedal to the Test

Portrait of Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography
Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography

To test our new pedal, we reached out to a local Vermont animal portrait photographer, Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered her time and talent to the local animal shelter, the Humane Society of Chittenden County (HSCC) in Burlington, VT. Her photos are used to promote animal adoptions by sharing them on the HSCC website and on social media. The photos are also displayed as art around the shelter and even inspire local artists to paint portraits of the animals.

Kelly goes to the shelter every Friday to take photos of the new animal arrivals. On the day we met with her, the shelter had gotten 40 new kittens – our work was cut out for us!

PocketWizard Pedal Set-Up

Kelly’s set up included a remote camera triggered with a foot pedal and two lights – one to light her subject and a second to light the backdrop with colored gels. For this, she needed 4 PocketWizard radios. Since we needed to fire the lights at the same time as the remote camera, Kelly needed to use PocketWizard’s unique relay functionality that is built into our radios. To do that, all Kelly had to do was set the Channel on her lights one Channel higher than the Channel used by her remote camera. This set up works with all PocketWizard transceiver radios.

  • Camera was set up on a tripod
  • One PocketWizard was set on her camera attached to the camera using a remote camera cable
    • Set on Channel 1
  • One PocketWizard was attached to the pedal via the miniphone port
    • Set on Channel 1
    • This PocketWizard was placed on a small tripod to keep it elevated off the floor for best radio transmission
  • One PocketWizard for each light
    • Each set on Channel 2 (one higher than the transmitting radios)

Taking Photos with the PocketWizard Pedal

Kelly put her camera on a tripod, set the focus and then got out from behind the camera. She moved the foot pedal so that she could get closer to the animals to engage them with toys and her hands. It was also great for her to be closer to the animals to keep them keep them from jumping off the table and hiding!  After taking some with her foot, she moved the pedal on top of the table to get the animals to take a selfie.

Cat taking a selfie using a PocketWizard Pedal and PocketWizard PlusX

The set-up was portable enough that we could move it to a smaller room where some kittens were housed. In this small space, Kelly appreciated not being stuck in a tight corner behind the camera.

“I love working with this pedal! I find that the minute I go behind the camera, the animal loses interest or will become alarmed by the scary looking lens which looks like a big eyeball. Working with the PocketWizard Pedal, I can stay closer to the animals to keep them relaxed and hold their attention. With only a few minutes to capture each animal, the pedal really helps me move quickly.”

~Kelly Schulze, Mountain Dog Photography



The PocketWizard Pedal is available on Amazon or at the PocketWizard Shop.