Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GoLapse: How to make a GoPro panning unit part 4

After years of building egg timer time lapse thing-a-ma-jigs, kitchen timers, panning units
ect ect ect,  I finally have a model I like and carry in my run bag everyday.
I call it the GoLapse.
When I first built these things I had a Canon Elph, then I found the original GoPro Hero.
Since then I have been almost exclusively using GoPros for work and play timelapses.
The problem with my original and even the Ikea timers was the size, too big to put in a
camera bag.  The two new modifications save size by using the GoPro mounting shoe.
The models differ in how they mount to your tripod.  The model below uses the mounting
design from my original timer, a !/2 inch metal screw to 1/4 20 coupling nut.  I have used this
design mounted to clamps and suction cups on vehicles traveling up to 70 mph for extended
periods of time with no problem.  So I would use this one in extreme circumstances.

The other version below is not as sturdy, but is so small it will fit into the smallest
go bag.  This GoLapse mounts to the tripod using a 1/4 20 nut super-glued to the
bottom of the timer unit.  If you over tighten or put excessive strain on this joint it will
break.  Most users can make this model easily and not run into any problems. 

Any cheap egg or kitchen timer can be modified into one of these GoLapses.
The two models here were made from Ikea Stam kitchen timers for $1.99.

Below are a few shots of the GoLapse in action at the Sarasota Chalk Festival.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Let one go

So what happens when you let one of those very familiar broccoli heads go?
You get an explosion of little yellow flowers.
I love to eat fresh broccoli, but every winter I let at least one plant escape my dinner plate.
Why?  Seeds and bees.
I always need seeds for next season and winter time is a hard time for bees to find food.
Here is a post showing seeds.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Flowers

Have you ever seen a sweet potato flower? I guess you have now, but I had never laid my
eyes on one of these purple flowers till I completely neglected a couple sweet potato vines this
past fall.  I've never really liked sweet potatoes, but my wife loves them.  Last August a sweet
potato she bought at the store started to sprout, so instead of throwing it away or composting it,
I planted it.  I didn't think there would be enough time to get any meaningful potatoes from
the resulting plants but why not try.  After watching the vine grow and then slowly start to fade,
a surprise.  Who knew a simple sweet potato would have such a beautiful flower? 
The flowers only last a few days, but they are wonderful.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Calm Before The Storm

Cotanchobee Fort Brook Park on a January day, peaceful.  Tampa Bay Times Forum quietly
looms overhead. Seven months from now this will be the focus of the nation's attention.
In late August 2012, the RNC convention comes to town and all that it will attract.
Politicians, Protesters, a potpourri of bad hats and silly slogans.
I can't wait.
Too bad the St. Petersburg Times decided to change the name of their paper this year.
This convention could have given the often slighted people of St. Petersburg
the opportunity to exact a kind of revenge one never gets on a rival.
Imagine the throngs of reporters filing stories from Tampa and the St. Petersburg Times Forum.
Where are we?
See, West Central Florida has an identity problem.  Two towns, yet only one gets the "attention".
Tampa Bay is a body of water not a town, yet it contains a town's name.
Every time the national news or sports media circus comes to town there are always mistakes.
Funny? Yes. Sad? Yes.
There was a time you could expect a reporter to know where they are,
the Tampa Bay Times has made it much easier, you're "in" Tampa Bay.
I hope you have a snorkel.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lido Beach Rewind

Remember bare feet?

January is a tough month, even in Florida.
Soon, the sun, heat and bare feet will be back.
I saved one Lido Beach time lapse and some photos for a January rewind.

The time lapse was shot with a GoPro Hero. 1 frame every 2 seconds.
4,591 frames.

Frame 1,756 intruder.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

360 Degree GoPro Driving Timelapse Tampa to Sarasota

I shot this timelapse early last year and never got around to posting it.  So, here you go.
It's very similar to my driving home timelapse, but this has a twist.
I mounted my standard def GoPro Hero with magnet mount in front of the panning unit
to get a timelapse of the panning timelapse.  I mounted the HD Hero with a suction cup
and a shoelace tether.  The panning unit I used for this lapse is one of my original
Walmart mainstays egg timer units

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Moment with Broccoli

Broccoli has got to be my favorite winter veggie.
If for no other reason, I don't have to cover it when we get a freeze.
I bought a pack of seeds several years ago, and the plants you see here are the
offspring of those seeds several generations later.  After you harvest the main flower head
the plants send out several smaller heads.  A dozen plants can provide you
with a side dish of fresh broccoli for weeks. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Garden Grim Reaper

Day three.
  Freeze.  Death.  Survival.

It's hard to explain the simple joy a fresh tomato brings to my lovely wife.
No mater how many times I coax fresh produce out of my impossibly tiny garden, she is always
enthusiastic and overjoyed to consume these fresh morsels.
This morning was like going to a funeral.
One by one, as we removed the tarps covering the tomato plants, the reality of three cold days set in.
The garden grim reaper took his pound of flesh and disappeared into a beautiful day.

The full extent of the damage won't present itself for a few more days, but most of the plants
will turn to mush.  A few lucky vines survived, so maybe we can get just a few more
morsels before the next freeze,

 My wife is crossing her fingers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Florida Freeze Down

Frost on the cars is never a welcome sign when you have a vegetable garden in Florida.
The regular January cold blasts are never a surprise but they always seem to hit when my
tomato plants are full of fruit. 

I covered as many of my plants as possible, but it will be days before I know
the extent of the damage from three days of freezing temperatures.

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