Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SmartPhone Macro Lens DIY

It was collecting dust.

It didn't work.

It had served me well.

Sometimes a little destruction has a positive end.

I have a new macro lens for my smartphone.

But first, destruction.

After destroying the first camera, I decided to shred a second broken
Canon Elph, to make a YouTube video.

Here is the video I made for YouTube.

Taking apart technology is always interesting, I encourage you to try it.
Even if it's and old broken camera.
If you look at the top photo you will see the LCD was made by Sony.
Hilarious right!
I guess if your competitor makes a good LCD why not use it?

Here are some photos I took with the macro lens and a Samsung S5.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Glimpse of old Florida

Old Florida.

Before interstate highways. 
Exclusive walled communities,
And canyons of high rise condos.
There was sun and warmth in the dead of winter.

To get there you had to navigate a maze of secondary highways peppered
with a group of hard scrabble entrepreneurs selling ANYTHING.

New Florida is complicated. 
Desperately trying to shed the old skin.

Every now and again you will get a glimpse of the old.
Experience the silly.
Spend three dollars to feed some fish.

If you drive south on Route 1 down the Florida Keys
just below Key Largo on the north end Lower Matacombe Key
Or as the slick tourist ads prefer "Islamorada"

You will find Robbies

They offer many things at Robbies but there is really only one "attraction"
PT Barnum and every old Florida cracker would understand.
People will line up every day, pay you three bucks to make a fish jump.

Here is a quick video that sums up our Robbies experience.

Is nice some old Florida hangs on.


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.

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.

GoPro Hero4 Silver


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

I was going to edit some video.
I was planning on gardening.
Mother nature had other plans.
Here in central Florida when tropical weather hits everything stops.
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.

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