Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Manatee Viewing Center Observation Tower


At the intersection of nature and the need for power there is often a mess.
Not here, be a bystander for a moment and watch what happens.
Tampa Electric has created a very interesting thing at Apollo Beach,
The Manatee Viewing Center.

If you are local to the Tampa Bay area, or just visiting, it is a must see.
Every winter the Manatees search for warm water to survive.
Everywhere in the Southeast they flock to warm springs and power plants.
This is one of the few places where you can see this close up.
And its FREE!

I shot a time-lapse video of the center back in 2011 with blog post.

This year Teco added a nature trail and observation tower south of the power plant
and viewing center.  You cannot see manatees from the new tower but you can see
Tampa Bay and the coastal habitat in the area.
In flat Florida a good high view is a rarity making the tower an interesting
thing on its own, a bonus!

Last week I took my lovely wife out for the hike and climb.
We saw an eagle ray and a small shark from the tower.
I shot a new time-lapse of our outing.
Here are some photos and the time-lapse.
Enjoy!











Sunday, October 19, 2014

GoPro Hero4 Night-Lapse Demo Shots



GoPro FanBoy alert. You have been warned.

Once again GoPro has managed to squeeze great features into a tiny camera.
The feature I most wanted in a new camera was manual exposure control.
We did not quite get it but were getting closer.  The new Hero4 cameras have a
feature called Night-Lapse.  In it you can set exposures from 2 seconds down to
30 seconds with the ability to adjust ISO in Protune.
What does that mean? You can now shoot cool night time-lapses.
Here is a video I put together of my first test shots.
  The entire video is made from still photos.
Below are some frame grabs for your inspection.
Enjoy!




GoPro Hero4 Silver




Photos




















Monday, August 18, 2014

How Did I Shoot That Flying Tilting Time-Lapse?



You are going to do what?
That is usually how the conversation starts.
I am always looking for new ways to get cheap and easy shots with my GoPros.
Especially time-lapse.
I was faced with a several hour cross country flight and instead of embracing boredom,
I decided to try something new.
How about a GoPro flying tilting time-lapse.
It combines one GoLapse panning unit.
One home-made GoPro side mounting frame.
One suction cup.
The results are above, the time-lapses were shot at one frame every 2 seconds.
Check out this video to see how to do a tilting time-lapse on the ground.
Here are some photos that show the setup.







Monday, July 7, 2014

Lightning Sounds



Sunday.
I was going to edit some video.
No.
I was planning on gardening.
Nope.
Mother nature had other plans.
See,
Here in central Florida when tropical weather hits everything stops.
So,
I found myself sitting in the garage watching lightning.
Add a little video camera, rain, and thunder!

I offer you "Lightning Sounds" 
Ten minutes of primitive hide in your cave audio angst.

p.s. there are no actual lightning shots in this video.






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Launching A GoPro On A Model Rocket


For years I have wanted to launch a GoPro on a cardboard model rocket.
I finally did it and failed .... kind of.
Here is a link to the video of the launch. click here
And here is a video of how I did the launch. click here

I made one booster rocket and two camera mount noses, photos below.
I cut a square the size of the GoPro out of the tubes.
One looking straight down, the other at a slight angle.
If you watch the video you will see I only used the look down nose.
I underestimated the engine power needs, so I only did three launches.
I will need to build a bigger rocket with a bigger engine to try this again.
I think the camera mount idea will work, it's not perfect but the balance seemed right.
Also using a camera nose allows the camera to be above the parachute and not
below, that is if you can get the rocket high enough to deploy the parachute.
It was a fun and interesting experiment and the GoPro survived!
As I mentioned in the video, if you attempt this please read all safety materials.
Your first priority should always be safety first.
If you can't do it safely, don't do it!










Tuesday, March 11, 2014

GoLapse DIY Part 5: How To Make A GoPro Time-Lapse Panning Unit


I have a time-lapse addiction.
Love to shoot them, love to watch them.
There is no limit to the money you can spend buying high end
time-lapse motion control gear.
You can also use high end DSLR cameras to shoot your time-lapses.
All of that is great and the results are stunning.
And then there is the GoPro.
A relatively cheap camera that shoots great time-lapses.
For the last several years I have been building panning devices
for my GoPro cameras from scratch.

So? What is a GoLapse?
A GoLapse is a mechanical timer that slowly moves a small camera
as it takes pictures at a regular interval.  When you assemble the
pictures together you get a motion time-lapse.
The GoLapse is dirt cheap to make and creates a great effect.



If your interested in building one of these GoLapses,
I would suggest watching all five videos, each shows
the evolution of the ideas that bring me to part 5.
Click to watch the GoLapse DIY playlist.

Below is the new video, photos of the parts needed and a few
photos of the GoLapse in action.




GoLapse Parts

Cheap Kitchen Timer

 
 1/4 20 Coupling Nut

 1/2" Piece of 1" Diameter Dowel Rod

 1/2" - 1/4 20 Machine Screw

3/8" - 1/4 20 Set Screw

3 - 5/16" Washers

GoLapse in Action






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