Friday, June 14, 2013

How To Paint Light With A GoPro Hero3 Black

Update: If you want to try this, do not update your Hero3 Black with the new
app firmware 3.03. The new firmware disables the exposure lock on
.5 and 1 second time-lapse interval modes. So we will be back to auto everything.
As you might guess I am not happy with this, I updated my Hero3
not knowing the exposure lock feature was being taken away.
Now I have to figure out how to back my camera up.


 A couple months ago I wrote a post about the Siesta Key Drum Circle.
In it I used a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition to get some cool light
painting still photos and time-lapses, check out the video click here.

So how did I do it?
Short answer, long exposure still photos.
Long answer, you have to trick the all automatic POV camera.
The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is the latest in a series of
"point of view" POV cameras made for sports and adventure
photography.  It's made to be idiot proof, so it's all automatic.
This new camera has a much better chip then previous models
so it is much better in low light.  A new feature to this model
is that the exposure will lock in time-lapse interval mode (stills).  
So if you want to do light painting, you need to get the longest
possible exposure, which is a half second at 2.8 at ISO400.
When you start your time-lapse the exposure will lock on the first frame.
So, if you put a lens cap on the camera, making it shoot black,
the auto exposure will open all the way up.  Then pop off
the lens cap and do your light dancing.
I set the time-lapse interval mode to a half second so
that the camera is always shooting with no pause in between shots.

Important note, if you start a time-lapse during the day
with the lens cap on, all your photos will be overexposed.
This trick is only for night shooting.

Below are some sample stills and camera setting shots.

I made a companion video to this blog post with new light painting
time-lapse shots, check it out here. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


There are two kinds of people on Kaua'i, those that see the chickens and 
those that pay them no mind.  Of course, yours truly shot tons of photos
of the wild ubiquitous island residents, marking me as a main-lander.
Oh well, so much for fitting in.

The Hawaiian island of  Kaua'i is amazing.  A treasure.
If you can, go, but be cool and leave her as nice as you found her.
Below are some photos and a list of links to YouTube videos I shot on our trip.

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