Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"EPIC" Egg Timer exposed by Philip Bloom Key West Meet Up

"EPIC" !!! That is how you would have to describe the moment when one of your
home made tools makes it into a famous blogger's camera bag.
Now I have carried one of these silly things in my gear bag for a couple years now.
First to spin my Canon Powershot SD870 in time lapse mode, and now to spin
my GoPro Hero cameras. I often set up a second camera on shoots
to get a cutaway or a time lapse.
So when Philip Bloom had his meet up in St. Petersburg and invited everyone
to shoot time lapses of the sunset ..... I knew I had a tool that no one
else would have ..... so i put down my 7D and cranked up my egg timers.
Philip liked my sunset enough to drop me a line asking for one of my rigs.
A couple days later my little Frankenstein egg timer is
sunning in Key West, hanging with south Florida's HDSLR elite.
I wonder if it will write?

Here is the egg timer in action next to the Grand Tetons.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Philip Bloom meet up GoPro Eggtimer time lapse

Last night I attended Philip Bloom's St. Petersburg Pass-A-Grille meet up.
The pitch was, come hang out and shoot time lapses of the "epic" clouds and sunset.
I ran two GoPro Hero cameras on the event, one at the waterline (see above)
and one of the crowd.
The crowd camera failed, more on that in a later post, but the other worked well.

As usual my homemade egg timer rig got some weird looks and questions.
Don't laugh, they are small and cheap and provide
a 360 degree panning movement.
They are a perfect match for the GoPro Hero cameras.
If you want to make one check the video out below.

It was a fun meet up with an amazing sky.
More soon about my brush with the HDSLR rock star and more video.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Catching a Space Station .... not easy

So the idea is, set up two cameras and get a long exposure shot of the
International Space Station (ISS) flying over.

Easy right.

Not so fast.

First check this website for flyover possibilities.
Then set your cameras and wait.
Now depending on a million different variables, make a best guess
and do a few test exposures.
As a general rule I would use a low ISO and set your shutter on bulb, aperture
at say F8. Adjust to taste.


Well here is the best of the night.

The ISS was overhead for FOUR minutes. The orbit was from Southwest to
Northeast. The shot above is looking Northeast as the ISS flew away.
The white line in the middle of the frame is the ISS as the sun reflects off
of its skin.

Now the shot above was going to be "IT", until I bumped the tripod.
Have you ever seen a grown man cry.
The shot was there and I muffed it.
If you look closely you can see the white line from the bottom of the shot
until it jumps to the right for a bit then ends.

After I bumped my sticks I quickly spun the cameras around in an attempt to
save the opportunity. The results were a good test, of course I would like
to have gotten the "IT" shot.

In a few weeks I will try again, maybe my fat feet will stay out of the way.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sony Handycam DCR-SX63 Test and Review

I had the chance recently to play with a Sony DCR-SX63.
I made a Youtube test and review video.
It includes a tour of the camera and some test shots at the end.
It's a good solid little camera.
Watch and enjoy.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cucumber Bandit

So, I had planned to blog about cucumbers.

Nice photo above, right?

I wanted to write about the sharp flavor and crispness of fresh cucumbers.


Fresh cucumbers are so much better than the waxy rubber things
that pass for cucumbers at the store.
The funny thing is they always seem to come all at once in my garden.
I placed a couple in the crisper in the fridge and forgot about it.

Tonight I went to make a salad and found the photo below.

Frozen in the act of theft.
Its as if the worm knew he needed to make a break for it.
But it was too late.
The last silent scream, cucumber bliss interrupted.

After finding this veggie felon in his death pose,
I had to wonder. Is he dead?
Will he come back to life if he warms up?

In the end I have to ask the question, would you want to eat
a cucumber a worm wouldn't eat?
Nope, but that does not mean I want the extra protein.


Swallowtail Returns

After an unseasonably cold winter,
twelve days straight of freezing temperatures,
I had not seen any swallowtail butterfly's.

Until yesterday.

This gal, pictured above, flew right in front of me, as if
to say ..... hello were back!
I had no choice but to stand dumbfounded, watching as she stopped
by every nice flower to have a taste.
Swallowtails do not fly at a frenetic pace, they lope along or
push and glide. They are not in a big hurry, so they should
be easy to photograph? Right? No, not really.
But they will go through their entire life cycle in front of
you without hesitation.

Below are two swallowtail videos, I never get tired of watching
them do their thing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nature's Symmetry

Everyday I have the pleasure of walking my garden.
1 million small adjustments.
A constant vigil.
Looking for new things to photograph.
Fruit to pick.
Bugs to document or detain.

I keep a close eye on everything. Really.

So it came as a big surprise when I found a
complete string of ripe cherry tomatoes.
See, I usually can't wait and slowly pick them
from the bottom up.
But these guys were hiding from me, and they hang
as a reminder of nature's symmetry.

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