I have been looking into shooting other sports outside of the motorsport world, and I have been particularly interested in soccer, basketball, and baseball. After doing some research, I found that some sports shooters covering these type of events use different remote trigger setups such as foot pedals and cable release buttons.
When I setup remotes, I usually have the PocketWizard with me and one mounted to the remote camera, and I press the test button on the PocketWizard to fire the remote camera. But these guys take it a step further and use something like what I am about to show you to have complete control over your remote cameras while still having two hands on your main camera.
Here are the steps I took to build my foot pedal remote shutter release, I also included links to the products I used.
- 2x PocketWizard PlusX or Plus III
- 1x Sustain Pedal
- 1x Shutter Release Cable with Pre-Release Switch (For Nikon I have been using this one for years, it works great!)
- 1x 3.5mm to 6.3mm (1/8 to 1/4) Stereo Audio Jack Adapter
Putting It Together
Once you have the parts together, assembly and testing are pretty easy.
Connect the Sustain Pedal to the 3.5mm to 6.3mm Adapter.
Connect the Adapter to the first PocketWizard. You can use an extension cable like this one if you need more reach, but the pedal comes with a good length of cable.
Connect the Shutter Release Cable to the second PocketWizard.
Here’s the finished product:
Connect the shutter release cable to the camera, and test it out! (Excuse the cell phone video.)
In testing, I did notice that when pressing the foot pedal, it instantly fires the camera, but when releasing the pedal, it does take a second or so to stop firing. This is probably for the best, so you don’t miss the shot when first firing the camera.
This setup is extremely useful for shooting from the sideline such as soccer, basketball, or baseball. Also, if you swap in a Female to Female adapter, then you can connect it directly to your camera without the PocketWizard. This is useful for shooting DIY projects or time-lapse flat-lays as it lets you use both hands. It lets you start or stop the video or fire the shutter without reaching up to the camera between each step.
About the author: Andy Noggle is a professional commercial and automotive photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Noggle’s work on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.