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Trigger Trap: The Universal Camera Trigger's video poster

Make time-lapses, or trigger your camera with lasers, sound, or any other method you can think of - That's the magic of Triggertrap. Read more

pledged of $25,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on July 31, 2011.

Make time-lapses, or trigger your camera with lasers, sound, or any other method you can think of - That's the magic of Triggertrap.

About this project

SHIPPING: Please remember to add $5 to your pledge for postage to anywhere in the world. So, for the $75 option, please pledge $80 to ensure shipping is included. Thank you!

UPDATE: When the project funds, the price of the Triggertrap will go up to $125 per unit. Kickstarter is your chance to get a 40% discount!

What is Triggertrap?

Triggertrap is an open-source hardware project for photographers and geeks. And geeks who are photographers. And photographers who are geeks. And photographers who wish they were geeks, but really just want to play with the cool toys.

What will the Triggertrap do?

The idea is simple: Create an universal camera trigger that makes it easy to trigger your camera any way you could possibly think of.

Out of the box, Triggertrap will support being triggered by:

  • LASER - someone breaks a laser-beam, the camera takes a picture.
  • SOUND - clap your hands, take a picture. Great for hands-free photography in the studio
  • TIME - Time lapse photography in the palm of your hand. 
  • EVERYTHING - If the above options don't float your boat, there's an Aux port. If you can find a way of connecting it, you can use it to take photos. The possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.

Oh, and because the Triggertrap will be optically isolated from the camera, the very worst that can happen (say, if you connect your Triggertrap to a 10,000 volt mains line, whether by dumb accident or - even dumber - on purpose), is that you blow up your Triggertrap device, whilst your camera stays safe.

Where's your money going?

The money will be spent developing, prototyping, and manufacturing two versions of the Triggertrap:

Version A - A professionally developed and designed product in an eminently portable and water-resistant case. Perfect if you just want to plug it in and get going. The idea is to make Version A as good as something you might buy in the shops. In fact, that's my goal: Triggertraps, in all good photography stores worldwide.

Version B - An Arduino-based home-brew version that you can build yourself. Instructions and source-code will be available on the Triggertrap website for free, and I'll offer kits for sale so you have all the bits and pieces you need to make one.

Kickstarter exclusive pre-orders

As you will have spotted in the 'rewards' on the right-hand-side of this page, the Triggertrap only costs $75.

Two notes on that: Firstly - $75 is half what other, similar products cost (although, of course, none of them are as awesome as the Triggertrap). Secondly - This price is exclusive to early adopters on Kickstarter: Once the project is a success (how could it not be?!), chances are prices are going up. I'm in talks with manufacturers, distributors and retailers, and whilst they are great for reducing the workload on me, it means that they all take a cut...

In other words: Get 'em whilst you can, at a price you may never see again...

Finally, I will be asking everyone to pay $5 towards packaging and shipping for a Triggertrap. That's flat-fee for shipping all around the world - I'm some will be more expensive and some a little cheaper, but hopefully it'll all average out...


  • The Triggertrap device will be as 'open' as we can make it. That means:

    - Source code will be 100% available for you to hack and modify as you please, and will be released under a GPLv3 license.

    - The schematics for building one of these will be free to use and distribute, under Creative Commons - to be precise; CC BY-SA 3.0.

    - The Eagle files to create your own PCB will also be available under CC BY-SA 2.0 (same as the schematics, above).

    The only thing we are keeping control over is the Triggertrap name and logo. So; if you want to make your own, that's fantastic, but you can't call it 'Triggertrap'. Call it Troggertrip, or Trippertrap, or 'Camera Trigger That Is Awesome' if you want, but we reserve the right over the and Triggertrap name. Of course, if you make something awesome that is a Triggertrap derivation, we'd love to hear about it, and we would probably blog about it over on This 'keeping our name but sharing our technology' approach has worked very well for Arduino (see for their take on it), and it makes sense to us, as well.

    Full details about our approach to licensing is available on the website:

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  • Boring? I disagree. However, Triggertrap is going to take timelapse into the future. (Timelapse. Future. See what I did there?)

    Apart from the linear time-lapse photography you're used to, the Triggertrap will do non-linear time-lapse photography. This means that it can add (or remove) time from the clock for every exposure, creating time-lapse images that look as if they speed up - or slow down.

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  • Version A comes with an USB port and will be Arduino compatible, so if you know how to code an Arduino, then yes, you can.

    Version B is completely open source, and ludicrously hacker friendly. Build whatever parts of the device you want, build the whole thing, or use it as a starting point for your own mad professor-style inventions.

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  • There are a few, actually.

    The website for the project is

    Haje's company website with details of his book projects is on

    The website referred to in the bit about the Auxiliary connections is I have no idea if that domain actually exists.

    The Timelapse segment was contributed by the rather awesome Tim Haynes, and the photos are his. Because he's fab, he allowed me to use the pictures, though. To see the full timelapse, check it out on Tim's website:

    Finally, my e-mail address for more information etc, is

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  • I built a Macro extension tube out of a Pringles can. Reddit, Digg, and the internet as a whole rather enjoyed it, and my web host hated me for it. These things happen.

    If you want to read the article, it's available on Pixiq: .

    The lens design was also featured in Make magazine: and they did it as a Weekend Project on YouTube, too:

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  • It works, but it was more of a proof of concept than an actual product. That's partially why I want to create the Triggertrap - I want a portable laser (and sound... And timelapse...) trigger that I can keep in my photo bag for whenever I need it.

    There's more about the laser trigger (even a little video explaining how it works!) on the Triggertrap website, here:

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  • The Triggertrap is powered by a couple of AA batteries. We're still optimizing its power consumption, but at the moment, a fresh set of Duracells is enough to power the device for about a week of continuous operation.

    I expect to be doing some battery-life testing before the end of this project, and will be publishing the results as part of this FAQ!

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  • Yes, the Triggertrap has two sensors built in:

    A photo transistor, which is used for the laser trigger. You point a laser beam at it, and the Triggertrap knows about it. There will be several trigger modes, including 'break to trigger' (so, break a laser beam and the Triggertrap will cause your camera to take a picture) and 'make to trigger' (so, point a laser pointer at the Triggertrap to take a picture.

    The sound sensor is a bit more crude: it's of the piezo-electronic variety. It can pick up vibrations and loud sounds (clapping, gunshots, that kind of thing). If you want a more precise sound sensor, you can plug in a microphone into the Aux port.

    Of course, all sensors can be calibrated to operate in different situations.

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  • Some times, you don't want the camera to take a photo immediately when it notices a trigger; perhaps, you want to take a photo of a water droplet hitting the surface of the water, for example. If the camera triggers as soon as the laser beam is broken; that's simply no good.

    We know this, and there will be a configurable delay built into the Triggertrap: You would press 'select' until 'delay' shows up in the screen, and then you can choose the delay you want.

    The delay will probably be configurable ranging from 0 to 1,000 milliseconds, but this isn't completely finalised yet. Stay tuned!

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  • Please add $5 to all orders that require shipping - flat-fee shipping to all around the world.

    If you've already pledged, you can add $5 to your pledge like so: head to the project page: there should be a big, green button (Just under "This project will be funded on Sunday") that says "Manage Your Pledge".

    The amount you have pledged shows up, and you should be able to edit it there. If it reads $75, simply change it to $80, and it's done!

    Thank you!

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  • I've had an overwhelmingly positive response on the Triggertrap launch video - shucks, thank you guys! There were even a few high school teachers and other educators who wanted some more info about how it was made.

    At your service, ladies and gentlemen, here's the 'making of' article about the Triggertrap video:

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  • If your camera supports wired remote controls: Yes.

    If your camera only supports Infra-Red (IR) remote controls: Maybe.

    There's a pretty long answer with more detail here:

    There's an even longer answer here:

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    19 backers

    Our sincerest thanks, and a mention of your name, website (Twitter? Flickr?) on the Triggertrap website

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    3 backers

    Same as above, plus a post-card from Haje & Ziah thanking you for your support!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    3 backers

    A limited-edition Triggertrap T-shirt and a thank-you on the website!

  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    29 backers

    Get a do-it-yourself Triggertrap kit with all the parts you need and instructions for how to build it. (plus a mention on the web-site)

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    769 backers

    Get a ready-built, ready-to-use Triggertrap camera trigger. (plus a mention on the web-site)

  • You selected
    Pledge $140 or more

    50 backers

    A build-it-yourself kit AND a ready-built trigger trap. (plus a mention on the web-site)

  • You selected
    Pledge $275 or more

    14 backers

    3x ready-built Triggertrap devices, and signed copies of Haje's two books - Focus on Photographing People and Macro Photography. Also: a post-card, a mention on the web-site, and a strictly limited-edition Triggertrap T-shirt!

  • You selected
    Pledge $499 or more

    1 backer

    3x ready-built Triggertrap devices, 3x Triggertrap kits, and signed copies of Haje's two books - Focus on Photographing People and Macro Photography. Also: a post-card, a mention on the web-site, and a strictly limited-edition Triggertrap T-shirt!

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,999 or more

    1 backer

    Get a Canon Rebel T3i digital camera, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, and 3x ready-built Triggertrap camera triggers, signed copies of Haje's two books (Macro Photography and Photographing People), a limited edition T-shirt, and a separate page with a huge thank you on the Triggertrap website.


Funding period

- (32 days)