Game-Changer: The Best New Piece of Gear for Night Photographers

While night photography has been reaping the rewards of the continual improvement in cameras, lens, tripods and flashlights, there have been very few gadgets that have come out and revolutionized the way we approach night photography. Well, I’m here to share that the Case Relay by Tether Tools does just that. It is the best new piece of gear for night photographers.

The Case Relay gives you power, and lots of it. The constant bane for photographers—during the day or night—is running out of juice. Once I’ve got my shot all set up on the tripod for a series of long exposures, I dread having to take the camera off mid-stream just so I can replace a battery. And good luck realigning the shot!—especially during a time-lapse when you have an extensive rig set up.

The Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System.

The Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System.

With the Case Relay, you replace your regular battery with the Tether Tools Camera Coupler, which looks exactly like your battery with a cord at the end. That cord connects to the Case Relay. The other end of the Case Relay has a 6-inch USB cord that can be plugged into one of the many USB battery packs on the market.

The Case Relay isn’t just a conduit of power, but actually has its own secondary internal 1200 mAh battery built inside. This allows you to hot-swap your USB battery packs without missing a shot. When you tap into a 10,000 mAh battery—like the Tether Tools Rock Solid—you are tapping into a long night of shooting on one battery. The Rock Solid has two USB out ports, so we can also power our phones in the field!

I like adding a little grip and protection to the Rock Solid battery pack with a protective silicone case that comes in black or orange. The final ingredient that literally ties all these items together in a very organized and neat way around your tripod is the StrapMoore.

My first test of night with the Case Relay System—4 1/2 hours of shooting stars, trains and people lighting up the scene, all stacked into this one image. And I still had plenty more power to tap into.

My first test of night with the Case Relay System—4 1/2 hours of shooting stars, trains and people lighting up the scene, all stacked into this one image. And I still had plenty more power to tap into.

I’ll be transparent here: We have a sponsor relationship with Tether Tools. But I’m not plugging their product because we have a relationship; we pursued that relationship because I absolutely love this product for how it changes my approach to night photography.

We recently made a video demonstrating the unlimited power of the Case Relay during my last Bannerman Island workshop with Matt Hill. I was shooting for eight hours and … not to give away the ending … but I still had juice in the tank!

So if you are into shooting time-lapses, long star trails, or just for many hours during the day or night, I think you’ll find the Case Relay Camera Power System to be a must-have tool to bring on your shoots.

(Note: There are several components to assembling your very own Case Relay System, so to help, we have organized all the pieces you’ll need on our Gear page.)

Gabriel Biderman is a Brooklyn-based fine art and travel photographer, and author of Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (Peachpit, 2014). During the daytime hours you'll often find Gabe at one of many photo events around the world working for B&H Photo’s road marketing team. See his portfolio and workshop lineup at www.ruinism.com.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS FROM NATIONAL PARKS AT NIGHT