Thursday, June 24, 2010


Since simultaneously returning to sewing last August and blogging about it, I have had one continuing frustration that I'm sure many sewists can relate to. Getting photos of my garments on my body. For this to happen successfully, the following had to align perfectly:

  • One of my daughters had to be around, and have the time, energy, and inclination to help me out. (Though, to be honest, various techniques of coercion were used on more than one occasion.) :)
  • I like to photograph outdoors, so the weather and time of day had to cooperate. (How often, during the winter months, was a photographer available only after dark had fallen.)
  • I had to look reasonably decent (though I sometimes slack on this requirement, if the other requirements are in place).

My kids are teenagers, both intent on attending college far away, and I sometimes found myself wondering, "It's hard enough now, but how the heck will I take pictures when they really aren't around?" Well, it turns out that the answer was easy. Far easier than I could have imagined, but I have to thank a Audi and her blog, Fashion for Nerds, who showed me the light. Audi takes great photos of her daily sartorial efforts. To do this, she says she uses a wireless remote with her Canon Digital Rebel.

Huh? Come again?

It just so happens that I use (and love) a very old Canon Digital Rebel. In fact, it was the first model released, the DS6041, which was later called the 300D. I wasn't sure a wireless remote would work with this model, but I started to do some research. The manual that came with the camera said it would work with an RC-1 or RC-5 wireless remote. More research told me that the difference between the two is that the RC-5 has the ability to take the photo immediately, where the RC-1 has the ability to take the photo immediately, or with a 2-second delay. The delay has the obvious advantage of allowing you to strike a more natural pose. I then discovered that there is a very low cost substitute for the RC-1, the Opteka RC-4 Remote Control for Canon, available from Amazon for $12.95!

I ordered the Opteka and it arrived in two days, with free shipping, thanks to Amazon Prime. The tiny remote works out of the teeny box, once you remove the plastic insert that preserves the battery. To set up the camera, push the little "clock" button on top, next to the shutter button, to put it into Self Timer mode, and make sure the camera is in Automatic mode. Set the camera on a surface and point it in the desired direction. Stand in front of the camera, push the 2S button, and assume a pose.

WHIRR... CLICK! (goes the camera, after adjusting the focus)


This is soooo easy! This changes everything! I can't think of the last time I improved my life quite so much for $12.95. :)

My next goal is to dig my tripod out of the garage, but I was delighted to find that you can buy a reasonable tripod for around $20.

I should add, the Opteka has three other buttons as well. The S, W, and T buttons in the lower box do not work with Canon DSLRs, like mine. Those are used with the Canon point-and-shoot models. I gather the S is for shoot and the W and T are for zooming in and out. I use the buttons in the upper box: the S button shoots immediately and the 2S button (my favorite) shoots after a 2-second delay.

Oh, I should also add, to take the camera out of Self Timer mode, push that little clock button again. You can tell if you are in that mode by looking at the LCD display on the back of the camera. When in Self Timer mode, a tiny clock is present in the display.