Must Have Accessories

Shutter Release

Article By Damion Fearron
Images by Ali & Jessica also known as Jess Baba Studios

We have all heard the words shutter release mentioned at some point or another, whether it was in talks amongst fellow photographers, or perhaps you’ve seen these words and were unsure what the purpose of one was. If this is the first time you’ve heard about this device, then we will quickly discuss the benefits of using this camera accessory.

A shutter release is simply a device that allows you to trip the shutter of your camera without touching the camera. Sometimes these are the kinds of devices that many would consider to be too much of a hassle, but once you get familiar with using one, it can potentially make your life as a photographer much easier.

There are two types of releases for cameras: tethered and untethered. The tethered, or “cable release” is still in use today, but it’s less common with digital photography. The more common release used is the untethered or “remote shutter release”. The difference between the two is that a tethered release is a wired device whereas an untethered release is a wireless one. The cable release is normally less expensive and easier to use. The one deciding factor when purchasing a tethered release is how long the cable will be. An untethered release is connected to the camera via a receiver, and you hold the wireless remote in your hand. The untethered release uses a radio frequency signal or infrared technology to trigger the release of the camera shutter. The untethered radio trigger offers the most versatility; you can literally be standing a very long distance from your camera and still fire it at will.

There are several situations when using a remote shutter release can be extremely helpful to you and it will allow you to become more creative with your photos. The remote shutter release is great when long exposure times are necessary or when it’s important to achieve shake-free photographs and critical sharpness. Also, for when shooting macro photography and telephoto pictures, or when you just may need distance between you and the camera. If you’re using a remote shutter release or cable release you’ll want your camera to be mounted on a tripod.

Situations when a Shutter Release is useful

1. When using a telephoto lens
2. Landscape photography
3. Macro photography
4. Shooting star trails
5. Shooting multiple exposures
6. Using slow shutter speeds in low light
7. Using slow shutter speeds to create movement
8. Shooting dangerous subjects
9. Painting with light
10. Capturing momentary bursts of light/fireworks
11. Shooting HDR images
12. Self portraits/selfies

When your camera is on a tripod and exposure times are quite long, pressing the shutter button on the camera can introduce vibrations into the camera that have an effect on image sharpness. Using a shutter release means that you do not have to touch the camera to take the photos, so this will allow you to capture photos with an extremely long exposure time. This simple tool will instantly improve the quality of your images!

This past weekend two of our Customer Service team members Ali and Jessica decided to put the shutter release to the test. They began by recreating an image of Jessica and her son from when he was younger, then went on to do some candid headshots of themselves for their photography business Jess Baba Studios, and finally some creative portraiture. Check out their end results and how the shutter release helped them to achieve these images.

Jessica and her son Landon love munching on healthy snacks together, a couple years ago Jessica captured this fun image of them both eating their apple sauce packets. She wanted to recreate this image since some years have passed.

© Jess Baba Studios

© Jess Baba Studios
Jess & Landon: 45mm: 3.5 1/60

“Recreating images with your children through the years is such a fun way to capture their growth and development. Being a creative mom, having a shutter release handy is super helpful to this process. This image couldn’t have been achieved without the help of the Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 prime lens and our shutter release.

Also, this is a great way for your kids to become familiarized with your equipment, check out Landon’s selfie!”

© Jess Baba Studios
Landon selfie: 24-70mm @42mm : 2.8 1/60

Ali and Jessica shoot events and portraits together for Jess Baba Studios and needed a fun candid portrait of the two of them for their website. Since they are both photographers it wouldn’t make sense to hire someone when they could do it themselves with their shutter release. This also ensures they will maintain their creative style and have full control of their image. Sharing a fun image of themselves helps to familiarize their clients with who they are and what it might be like to work with them.

© Jess Baba Studios
Ali & Jess: 45mm : 3.5 1/160

Lastly, they wanted to do a photo composite to create a dreamy surreal image. For this they needed 3 photographs. One with the subject in focus, the next with the hair in motion and another with the dress in motion. Since the shooter was the one moving the dress and the hair in the photograph it was imperative to have a shutter release. Running back and forth with self-timer would take away too much control from the shooter.

© Jess Baba Studios
composite: 24-70 @50mm :2.8 1/250