April 2014 - CamRanger is now capable of controlling StackShot!
January 2014 - Don't want to build a Water Drop Stand? Check this out.
June 2013 - Check out the StopShot Studio - a 12 channel computer controlled version of StopShot
April 2013, Capture insects in flight with our new portable Insect Rig.
January 2013 - Check out our new Water Valve Mounting Bracket for multiple colored collisions
December 2012 - Introducing the Shutter Support System. Completely portable high speed.
October 2012 - Check out our latest one of a kind product - the High Speed Shutter - finally you can capture insects in flight.
August 2012 - Take your StackShot into the field with our new Controller Carrier Also works great with StopShot.
February 2012 - See our new web page on creating Three Drop Collisions with StopShot.
January 2012 - Check out our latest sensor the RangeIR. Designed for birds and wildlife.
The RangeIR is the perfect sensor for birds and mammals. It is by far the easiest to use sensor we have ever developed. There is no separate transmitter and receiver, this sensor has both integrated into the same package. To use this sensor simply point it where you expect your subject to be and adjust the distance knob so it will not detect anything behind your target area. We like to call it our point and shoot sensor. This is also the first sensor we have that does not require StopShot. StopShot does make the sensor much more flexible and it gives you the capability to use two of the RangeIR senors in a cross beam configuration but it is not required. If you do not have a Cognisys Shutter Interface cable you will need one to fire your camera with this sensor.
- The RangeIR sensor is powered by 2AA batteries, it is compatible with Alkaline, rechargeable NiMH, or NiCad batteries
- A set of 1900mAHr Enelope NiMH batteries will last for 25 hours of continuous use
- The indicator LED shows both power (green) and a trigger (red)
- Adjustable range from 0.25m to 10m
- Will detect small subjects like hummingbirds
- Integrated 1/4-20 Tripod mount on the bottom of sensor.
- Can be used in bright sunlight
- Not affected by shadows moving over the sensor
- Capable of triggering a camera directly with a camera interface cable or switch
- Two RangeIR sensors can be used with StopShot as a cross beam sensor or directional trail sensor
- Maximum response time - 16mS
- Extremely portable, sensor measures: 140mm x 66mm x 28mm
Setting up the RangeIR
This image shows how we set up this sensor to capture birds at our feeder. In this setup the RangeIR controls the camera and the camera controls the flash. The RangeIR is connected to the camera using our Shutter Interface Switch. The camera is controlling the flash via a set of Pocket Wizards. The camera is set to Manual Mode.
For the setup shot a shutter speed of 1/60 and an aperture setting of f/4 was used. We wanted to expose for the background as well as the bird in this shot. We could get away with these settings without much blur due to the very dark day when this image was shot. . It also happened to be snowing as you can see from the little white dots in the shot.
When you shoot close up shots of birds in flight you will want to use the fastest shutter speed your camera can sync with (the shutter is fully open when the flash is fired), this is usually around 1/250. For the chickadee and goldfinch shots below we used a shutter speed of 1/250 and an aperture setting of f/11 and f/18 respectively. . The lens is stopped way down to prevent ambient light from causing blur in the birds. The idea here is to set up your camera so that the image is completely exposed by the flashes. Any exposure by ambient light will cause a ghost of the bird to appear in your image.
Notice the perch on the right side of the image. The perch is provided to give the birds a place to land before they go to the feeder. If the feeder is busy several birds will wait there for an opening. Notice also how the perch is lower than the feeder. This position ensures the birds have to flap their wings in order to get up to the feeder. This makes for much more interesting shots than if they were just jumping and coasting from a perch that was above. It is amazing how predictable the birds wing beats are when they are always flying from the same spot. It is not unusual for the birds to fly from the perch to the feeder and then back to the perch. This allows for two captures each trip. The sensor is capable of capturing birds flying in from long distances away but the path is much less predictable with this method. We found the perch as a great method to "steer" the birds to the right position.
RangeIR Results (click images to enlarge)
Chameleon in Action
This image of the Chameleon was taken by Joe McDonald and David Northcott at the Hoot Hollow Institute using the RangeIR sensor.
This image of a male juvenile Allens Hummingbird was captured by Roy Dunn in Southern California using a pair of RangeIR sensors and StopShot. Roy uses the sensor connected to StopShot so he can us more than one sensor and be able to delay the next shot until his high speed flashes have fully recharged and are ready for the next capture.
This Black Capped Chickadee was captured with a setup very similar to the one shown above. The big difference was that a white background was added and the flashes were used to illuminate the background instead of the subject. This technique makes for some excellent silhouettes.
This bobcat was captured with the RangeIR sensor while snooping around Roy's place in Southern California. With our Shutter Interface Switch StopShot can be used to wake up the camera. This increases the shutter lag but saves the battery for critters that don't come by very often.
This African Genet was captured by Joe McDonald using the RangeIR sensor on one of his trips to Africa. Joe has a great explanation of how he uses the RangeIR in one of his features: The Story Behind the Photograph. This page has some excellent content and is well worth visiting.
For More Details - Download the Owner's Manual (1.1MB)