Posted by David Bayliss

An article from a Willfield Camera Club member on a high-speed photography shoot he undertook recently.

My Final Results:


How did I do it?

Please see below:

What to do?

Well it started with a picture I saw in a magazine that showed the movement of a second finger on a watch and I thought I could try that with my watches. Well it turns out it harder to do than I thought!

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It’s great to capture what the eye can’t see and I had a IPhone App called Trigger Trap which I knew would allow me to trigger the camera every second accurately (costs about £25 for the cable and App).


Preparation: I used a room in my house and set the gear on top of a table. As I was taking the photos in the day I used a black pop up box I had and covered the sides with black paper and a black paper on the top to stop reflections from the light behind me.

I then spent some time finding the ideal exposure etc and also set the focus on manual to remain the consistency.  My final camera settings were F2.8  ISO 1600  1.0 second.

The camera was located on a tripod and I used Adobe Light room 5 in tether mode as it’s great software and then adjusted the photos later in black and white.

I only expected to get about 2 photos out of 500 which is what happened in the end – expect to delete lots of photos as it just takes patience, many many hours.

Filters: I used a polarizer filter to stop any reflections, as this is a big problem with glass in general.

Camera trigger: I used a cable connected to my iPhone with an application called Trigger Trap where I can set this up to take a photo every 1 second (time lapse mode) and capture lots of photos and just let it take photos.

Computer: for my photos as the focus is critical, I tether the camera to my home pc so I can get a closer look at every shot to check on the focus and clarity of the photo.

The only major issue I suffered was buffering as although the camera could take a picture every 1 second, the tethered computer processes these slower and it ends up buffering in the memory of the camera and stops picture been taken, next time I will set up the camera via the computer for focus etc , then disconnect the tethering and let the camera write directly to the cameras own memory card which should be quicker or slow the timing to every 2 seconds to allow the buffer to clear down.

Camera: I used my Canon 5D Mk11 as the frames per second speed is relatively fast.

Stacking of Photos: I used Abode Photoshop to do stacking of the 10 photos and found great help guide on the Adobe Website – see Photoshop / Image Stacks (Photoshop Extended)

Please note I used the Maximum setting when stacking the photos as the others removed some of the second fingers.

How long?

These 2 shots took 3 sessions and about 3 -4 hours for the photos taking a full evening of concentration.  Plus 3 hours in Photoshop

What did I learn?

  • Its harder than I thought
  • Needed to learn stacking in Photoshop

To see more examples – visit my Facebook and Flickr accounts:

Flickr –
Facebook –