In case you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, its a site where people can post information on projects they need funding for and which the general public can then pledge an amount to with each pledge level having its own benefits should the project proceed. The sort of projects offered cover everything from book production to Android watches to films and there have been a couple of high profile cases of projects getting way over what they asked for (one project had a goal of $100,000 and actually raised over $10 million!). However I’m mentioning Kickstarter here because there are some very interesting photography projects on the site.
First of all I should make something very clear. Pledging money is not like purchasing an item. You don’t know when you’ll get the item (if that’s offered) or even if the item will have the same features and design. Its a fluid process and pledging should be viewed in a similar way to investing with the same sort of risks.
Right – now that that’s over here are some of my favourite Kickstarter projects related to photography hardware at the moment. They are all based around timelapse in one way or another (as that’s an interest of mine) but there are plenty of others on over on the site.
Astro adds pan & tilt movement to your camera, and it allows you to set up time lapse programs by defining the duration, the range of movement (in degrees) and the interval (in seconds) in which you want the photos to be taken.
It basically looks a bit like a thick round coaster set but has a neat way of configuring the settings you want to use.
Its already exceeded its funding goal and you can still join in and fund this project before August 25th if you are interested.
First up a disclaimer – I’ve funded this project!
Trigger Happy consists of a special cable and a smartphone app. The cable connects your phone to your camera (its compatible with a large range of cameras) and the smartphone app allows you to configure the settings you want to use for your timelapse.
I liked this because its very little extra kit to carry around with you; basically just a cable. Once I get it and its gone on general sale I’ll see if I can do a fuller review. Funding has closed for this but the team behind it are looking at selling them online.
The Genie is a multifunctional device. Its an all-in-one device to combine image capture with motion control, capable of panning and/or linear movement common in timelapse photography.
The basic device allows you fix a camera to it and provides an interval timer and the ability to pan your camera round 360° during the timelapse. Additionally you can thread a wire through it and the Genie will move your camera laterally along the length of the wire.
Again funding has closed for this but expect to see them available to purchase online in the future.
As well as hardware projects there are a lot of photo book projects looking for funding on Kickstarter. These range for people that already have the images and want to produce a book and/or exhibition to others that are seeking funding to shoot images for an eventual book.
Kickstarter definitely has some interesting projects for photographers and is certainly worth checking out, but don’t forget, by funding early stage development your are also taking on the risk of a pre-production project.