Time Lapse Video at an SF Convention using Linux and a webcam

20 01 2012

For quite a while I’ve been interested in using commodity hardware (a webcam, a small linux machine) to take time lapse videos. It didn’t seem like that complex a problem, but there were a lot of logistical and mildly technical obstacles to overcome. After a couple tests and short videos, it was time to set things up to record a four day long video at [Arisia](http://arisia.org/), in particular, a shot of the registration area.
Here’s how I did it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Fall in New England

12 10 2009

Around the south endIt’s no secret I’m not a summer person. I don’t like heat and sweatiness and all that goes with it. So as fall rolls around, the weather gets cooler and drier, my satisfaction with being out in the woods goes up accordingly.
Sunday we took a nice 3 mile walk around Gates Pond, a good sized pond (really, IMHO, a lake), about a mile from us.
The weather was glorious. Low sixties, breezy and sunny. Perfect for enjoying the colors and sounds of the woods.
It also gave me an opportunity to haul out my camera, dust it off, and spend some time taking pictures again. I’ve really neglected my photography. I had to learn how to work with iPhoto and CF card adapters, but all in all, it went pretty smoothly.
Click through to see the gallery!





Mac photo editing software?

8 08 2009

Mosaic at nightAs I continue my migration to my new Mac, I need to figure out how to fill in the holes for tools I’m used to having under Linux. At the moment, I need a tool to edit pictures.
iPhoto seems to be pretty capable for cataloging and uploading, but I’ll need photo editing. My default tool is Gimp, but I’m wondering what I should be using on the mac. I’m trying to avoid dumping hundreds of bucks into things like Photoshop (particularly when I feel Gimp is as capable as Photoshop). But is there a tool I should be looking at before I install Gimp?
I include the photo above as an example of spiffy pics I’m taking that I need to do minor editing on (this one needs to be rotated about 10 degrees).
Suggestions?





Cohousing Day #10. We have a home.

7 04 2009

img_7113.jpgA week and a half now. We’ve been living at Mosaic for a week and a half. Even though only 3 houses are now occupied, the life that is slowly coming to what was once just another construction site is tangible. I see people I’m close to almost every day – if just in passing, or to sit down for a chat. People are coming by to borrow tools, or to say hi, or for no reason at all.
Inside our house, things are starting to look sane and liveable. The living room is turning into a comfortable space, with the boxes receding like a flood tide, leaving furniture and decorations behind.
img_7112.jpgThe site in general? Wet wet wet. Color it mud. But even with the ongoing work, the dirt and rocks, the double parked construction machinery, and the strangers in your house at 7:30 in the morning working on an electrical problem, there’s no other place I’d rather be living.
In the next 2 weeks, I know of 2 definite move-ins, with 1-2 more possible. The neighborhood grows a little more, and a little more dream is realized.
Is is that shimmering utopia we imagined 10 years ago, when we started this project? No. But I’m starting to see glimmers of the thing we’ve been building. Sure, it’s been there, in the community at large, but it hasn’t been tangible and here.
Now. Bit by bit. It’s turning from a dream we all shared, to a place we can all call home.





The Photographers Rights

24 01 2008

P2250049.JPGI found this handy PDF while surfing around last night. It describes the rights a photographer has to take pictures out in the Real World. All too commonly, even the police don’t know the law.
In short, in most cases, “If you can see it, you can photograph it”. This rapidly approaches 100% if you are on public land. It is perfectly legal to take pictures of private land FROM public land. Under no circumstances is it legal for a private entity to demand your equipment or film.
If you take pictures out on the streets, print that PDF and keep it with you.





Settlers

16 11 2007



Settlers

Originally uploaded by eidolon

Back from NJ, a few friends over, family together. Let’s play Settlers.

It’s good to be home.





Photo Managers – Digikam rocks

6 11 2007

Today I am full of Mad Love for DigiKam, the photo manager distributed with KDE. I’ve been using it off and on for a few years, and for one reason or another, I would stray away and use manual file copies for a while.
As of about a year ago though, I’ve moved to using it full time for managing the (sometimes hundreds) of pictures I take in a given session. There’s a whole slew of wonderful functions in it, but the ones that made me finally stick with it can be summed up as follows:

  • Automatic directory creation and sorting when importing from the camera. Directories can be created according to the date the picture was taken (importing 250 pictures from my camera may make 4 directories, if I was shooting over several days)
  • Direct support for my Canon 400D. When I plug in the USB, KDE prompts me to start Digikam, and everything is imported.
  • Full support for Exif data, including image orientaton, etc. Exif data is never removed or ‘flushed’ from the images.
  • Excellent export functionality to either Flickr or to a series of HTML files and thumbnails.
  • Very good gallery organization, sorting, and previewing. I can work with thousands of images and sort them into appropriate directories.
  • Tagging allows sorting and categorizing of images without reordering the directories. Searching for tags, dates, or other data generates a new view based on the tag criteria.
  • Easy calling of external programs such as The Gimp for post-processing.

All of this, combined with, well, it LOOKS great, make Digikam one of my favorite KDE apps.