Probably like most photographers I have had a play in my sitting room with using a smartphone app to control my DSLR; but it was a while before I used it in earnest. My DSLR doesn’t have built in WiFi but it does have a WiFi enabled SD card. The Canon Camera Connect App will connect to the WiFi hotspot of the camera and allow me to control many of its functions.

The first two times I did this was when I was trying to get photos of Great Spotted Woodpeckers going in and out of nest holes. The first of these was at Shipley Glen, above, when the main motivation was because I didn’t have the strength to keep my camera and lens on the subject waiting for that split second when the parents would arrive to feed the young.

The second time at Ferniehurst Dell was mainly because the parents would not return to the nest with me near the foot of the tree. In the Dell I set the tripod up such that it was next to the railings and so disguised slightly but in Shipley Glen it just had to pretend to be a tree. I then tucked myself against a tree so that I was slightly hidden, I could keep half an eye on the nest tree, half an eye on my phone and listen for the woodpecker. I can tell you that the chicks make a heck of a racket when they want to be fed.

The last time I used this method of firing the trigger was a little more complicated. I inverted the centre column of my tripod and set the head close to the hinges of the legs. This was to give me some freedom to work on the positioning of the legs without worry of the camera hitting anything. I had to get the centre column as vertical as possible so that I could use the camera would stay horizontal as I panned.

Once I had the legs set properly I lowered the centre column until the camera was just above ground/water level and set up WiFi control of the camera.

I took these photos of a Swan at Tong Park Dam. I quite like the one above. It’s different.

With the camera being close to the water it gives a different perspective of the Swan. I could do with being braver and getting the camera closer to the water or doing the same thing where there is not so much water front to back. Even when close to the surface it is still difficult to “hide” 100m of water.

The header image is a rather abstract reflection of the reeds at the far side of the Dam.

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