Entries in photography (5)

Friday
Dec032010

Windows Binaries for QT Canon

A while back I compiled some Windows binaries for my QT Canon application.  I did a couple of videos with it, but I sold my DSLR before I got to play too much with it.  Until I get a new camera SLR, the QT Canon project is on hold (mainly because I don't have a camera to test with).  At any rate, I figured I'd put the binaries so that others could play around with it.  There are bugs in the app, and this is beta at best, but feel free to download and make some cool time lapse videos.  All you have to do is download the zip file and then extract it some where.  Then plug your camera in, turn it on, and then fire up the application.  On Linux, the app will find your camera even if you start the app before you plug the camera in.  This is not the case on Windows though.  You must plug in your camera, turn it on, and then start the app.  From there you just set up a few things and start shooting.  Have fun!

Download for Windows (XP/Vista/7): QT Canon

I recommend turning off the auto focus when shooting time lapse.  Otherwise the camera has a tendency to "hunt for focus" between shots, and this can produce a jerky video when stitched back together.  Kind of like this one I made with my Canon Rebel:

Tuesday
Oct192010

I bet you don't have this much fun driving to work

Over the last few years, I've tried to ride my bike to work as much as I could in the summer (along with taking the bus).  I recently got a new single speed mountain bike, and for some reason, I've been having a ton of fun riding.  Add to this, I have a GoPro camera which I really want to use more, and my need to become a better video editor, and you've got the potential for some good video.  I took this video one day on my way to work and here is what I've got so far:

This is only part one, as it's time consuming as hell to get good video by yourself, and I just didn't have time to do the entire ride.  I hope to get a bunch more footage and put together part two in the next few weeks.

Anyway, here are the details on the video:

Camera: GoPro HD helmet camera

Song: DLZ by TV on the Radio

Edited With: Kdenlive on Ubuntu

Wednesday
Oct132010

10.10.10

Flickr had a blog post about 10.10.10 encourageing people to snap a picture for the unique date.  I decided to do a quick grab with my phone, and here is what I came up with:

Pretty lame to just shoot a watch, but at least I got 10.10.10 @ 10:10....

 

 

Friday
May212010

new camera!!11!

 


Canon D10
Picture courtesy of Flickr user bartheq and used under a Creative Commons License

 A few years ago, I bought a Canon Rebel XSi because I wanted to experiment with photography, and have a nice camera to take with me when I was on one of my many adventures.  I also, thought I wanted the ability to change lenses, which is why I didn't buy a little more high end point and shoot instead.  Over the last few years, I've taken tons of pictures with my SLR, and even done some experimenting with HDR, Pano stitching, DOF shooting, and a number of other photograhy tricks.  Despite all the fun I had with my SLR, I often found myself leaving it behind when going out to do stuff just because it was so big, and I didn't want the hassle of carrying it around.  My girlfriend Kim was starting to get tired of us missing good photo ops because I just didn't feel like taking the camera.  So, after some thought, I decided to sell my camera, and get another point and shoot.  At one time, I had an Olympus 770SW that I took everywhere with me.  I loved this camera.  I never had to worry about breaking it or getting it wet, so I just stuffed it in my pocket/bag and forgot about it.  I had this camera for about 2 years, and I abused the hell out of it.   There were a few things I didn't like, like night shooting, but I didn't mind making these compromises for the flexibilty the camera gave me.  I even have a ton of great underwater pictures from my trip to the USVI.

So naturally, when the time came to go back to a point and shoot, I new I wanted a rugged water proof camera.  I looked around, and there are quite a few manufactures that make these types of cameras, but only a few that fit my criteria (in addition to being rugged and waterproof): had to use and SD card, had to have an optical zoom, and had to be under $300 bones.  Also, in my head, I kind of new the camera had to be a Canon (I'm a fanboy, what can I say?).  So here it is, the Canon D10.  It's a little bulkier than my Olympus, but it doesn't use xD cards, and it has an optical zoom.  Anyway, it's on it's way from Amazon, and when it gets here, I'll use the hell out of it and think about posting a real review.

 

- - Rob

Wednesday
Feb042009

20,000 pixel pano

In the last few months, I've been interested in learning how to put my SLR to better use. Let's face it, 99% of the pictures I take with it are on auto. What's the point of having a an SLR if you're just using it as a point and shoot? So I read the manual and started to poke around on the net. I first wanted to do some exposure shots or maybe something with a cool blur effect. What I settled on was a night shot with some blurred lights. My Canon makes this pretty easy for beginners by including a mode called shutter priority which allows the photographer to adjust the shutter and the camera will adjust the rest (aperture, white balance, etc..) itself. This is pretty cool, because all I have to worry about is framing the shot and keeping the camera still. As you can see, I got some pretty good results:

I like this one the best

I digress however, as this post is to talk about a shot that took quite a bit longer to get together: a 20k pixel panorama of Denver's front range. Because the picture is so large, you can decide if you want to load it or not:

Panorama of the Front Range

To set this shot up, I found a high point (of which there are many around these parts), set up my tripod, and then started taking picture from left to right overlapping about 10% of each shot. At first I did this on full auto mode, but then I decided to go all manual, because the contrast varied too much between each picture which adds a lot of post processing time. After I was satisfied I had enough pictures, I headed home.

When I got home, I decided to fire up The Gimp and see what I could do. As it turns out, unlike Photoshop, The Gimp doesn't have a quick way to create panos. out of the box. Also, unlike Photoshop, The Gimp has a ton of free plug-ins that do everything you can imagine. So after about one second of Googling, I found a plug-in called Pandora. The site has the download and a easy to follow tutorial on stitching your picture together. Using the tutorial, and about a hour of my time, I figured out how to stitch these bad boys together. I even started getting "advanced" and adjusting the contrast and brightness as well as rotating and cropping.

So I was able to put together a really nice picture with about 4 hours of my time and I got some exercise to boot. Now that I have the technique down, I hope to hone my skills and I expect the next shot to look even better.

- - Rob