Sunday, January 26, 2014

50th Annual Camp Jorn Pancake Breakfast

The photo booth was set up this morning for the 50th Annual Camp Jorn Pancake Breakfast.  Fun group of Camp Jorn staff, alumni, and campers who participated in the photo booth.  This group made full use of the prop selection, and had a great time.

Click the image below to watch slideshow!

Click the image below to view more images from the Camp Jorn Pancake Breakfast Photo Booth.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photo Booth: Dennis & Terry Celebration

Pulled the photo booth out of storage last night to help celebrate Dennis & Terry with the Camp Jorn family. It was the perfect group of CJ Alumni to get into the booth and bust our some fun props.

The photo booth has a secondary monitor on the back side which shows the images in a slide show and overlay after users exit the booth.

You can view the entire Gallery here:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Slow Motion Time Lapse Cable Cam

Recovering from back surgery in November, I had some downtime this winter to work on some new DIY photography rigs.  I started by replacing my original ladder time lapse dolly with a new adjustable width time lapse rig with parts from Actobotics and Next, I modified a channel slider kit to use a DPDT relay to go back and forth very slowly. And my final project is a remote control slow motion time lapse cable cam.

The purpose of this cable cam rig is to get motion time lapse sequences  over a larger distance than you could get from a slider.   Every single cable cam that I've ever seen has been "geared" towards capturing video.  This rig moves along the cable very slowly, and has been designed for capturing time lapse sequences.  I'm using a 50ft 3/8" cable, with a 2 ton cable winch.  I plan on setting this up between a couple of trees when the weather gets nicer.

I have 2 different pinion and hub gear combinations, along with motors with different speeds.  With the biggest hub gear, the rig moves at a little less than 10 feet an hour using a 1/2 RPM gear motor.  With the smaller hub gear, it travels at 25 feet an hour.

I plan on using this with 2 different camera combinations.  The first will use dual GoPro HD Hero 3 cameras mounted on Servo Blocks using a continuous rotation Hitec servo.  This allows me to remotely rotate the camera using a Remote Control receiver.  Having the GoPro's wifi turned on will allow me to view where the camera is pointing through the GoPro ipad or android app.  Please keep in mind that the only portion of this rig that is remote controlled is the camera gimbal.

The following video clip demonstrates the dual GoPro camera gimbal rotation from a RC controller.

There is a micro limit switch mounted on aluminum beam which can stop the rig once it gets to the end of the cable.  I would assume that I'll be waiting for it when it gets close to the end, but adding the limit switch will help prevent motor burn out if it is left unattended.

I can also use the Cable Cam rig without the RC components and servo blocks, with a simple mini ball head and my Sony NEX-5 camera. 

Unfortunately, winter has made a come back in Wisconsin, after a few days of tolerable winter weather, so I may not be able to test this until it has warmed up a bit.  I had hoped to post a video of a time lapse sequence made from this rig, but it will have to wait.  I have allocated a 50ft coated wire, a hand winch, and some lifting straps.  Basically, the nylon straps are to protect whatever tree I attach this thing to, and the "Come-a-long" winch will help get the slack out of the wire.  I don't think that I can go too tight, as that might put too much pressure on the rig and bend some of the parts, so I'll need to be careful.  I believe that the wire is 1/8" with a plastic coating that makes the outside 3/16". Parts:

12" Aluminum Channel (585454)

2 x 3" Smooth Hub Pulleys (615138)
1 x 1" Smooth Hub Pulley (615130)

2 x Dual Ball Bearing Hub A (545444)

5 x 4.62" Aluminum Beam (585412)

1 x .5 RPM Gear Motor (638142)

1 x Aluminum Motor Mount B (555128)

1 x 16T - 32P Gearmotor Pinion Gear (615242)

1 x 84T - 32P Aluminum Hug Gear (615210)

D-Shaft Tubing
1 x 2.75" (634074)
1 x 1.75" (634066)

2 x 0.777" Set Screw Hubs (545548)

3 x Channel Bracket A (585484)

3 x Small Square Screw Plate (585478)

2 x Dual Screw Plate (585472)

1 x Single Screw Plate (585474)

1 x Vertical Aluminum Mount (SVM275-115)

1 x Standard Hitec Servo Block (637110)

1 x HSR-1425 (Continuous Rotation) Hitec Servo  (31425CR)

3 x 1/4" Flanged Ball Bearings (535044)

1 X 1/4" Aluminum Set Screw Collars (9946K11)

1 x 1/4" to 6mm Set Screw Shaft Coupler (625106)

6-32 Socket Head Machine Screw (various sizes)

2 x 1/4"-20 Round Screw Plate (545468)

2 x 1/4-20 Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 3/4"

1 x SPDT miniature Snap-Action Micro Switch (605634)

1 x Micro Switch Mount C (605626)

2 x 1/4" Shafting & Tubing Spacers (633104)

Non-ServoCity Parts:

Portable DC 12V 4500mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

2.1mm x 5.5mm Male CCTV Power Plug Adapter

2.1mm x 5.5mm Female CCTV Power Jack Adapter

*Obviously, the GoPro HD Hero and Sony NEX-5 cameras were used, but not included in this list.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ServoCity Actobotics Channel Slider Project: Part III

Gear Reduction Auto Reverse Time lapse Slider

I plan on using this super slow motion camera slider for time lapse sequences.  Part III of this series will focus on the addition of the DPDT Power Relay and limit switches to make the slider go back and forth as slow as possible.

Part II: Adding Mounting Channel

Finalized Channel Slider with Micro Limit Switches and DPDT Relay Mounted on MeFoto Tripod

Slow the slider down...

For the final modifications to the ServoCity Actobotics Channel Slider, I have added a pinon and hub gear to reduce the speed of the slider, and a DPDT relay and limit switches to make the slider go reverse direction when it gets to the end of the channel.  I originally tried a 32T pinon gear with a 64T hub gear to slow the slider down.  I had to extend the channel by 1.50" to accommodate the gears.  

Without any gears to reduce the speed, the slider took 11 minutes one way to traverse the channel.  With the gears, there wasn't a dramatic change in how fast the slider moved across the channel, around 24.5 minutes side to side.  I want to be able to use this for dramatic time lapse sequences, so ordered a 16T pinon and 80T hub gear to slow it down even more.

Using this new gear ratio, the slider now takes 61 minutes to traverse the 24"channel one way using a .5 RPM gear motor.  In the original design, I had limit switches to stop the slider when it got the end to prevent motor burn out.  Ideally, I wanted the slider to go back an forth.  I saw a blog post on where they figured it out using a 12V DPDT power relay, and posted the schematics here.  I cannot take credit for this wiring wizardry, as I just followed the diagram.  The nice thing about having the second, lower Actobotics channel, is that I was able to mount the relay and all wiring out of the way. also just released their own limit switches and mounts, so I replaced mine with a pair that mount to the channel.  Having the gears mounted to the end of the track reduce the slider throw by 1/2", but reducing the speed of the slider was more important for my time lapse needs.

The new micro switches mount cleanly, and work great with the channels.

In addition to the 1/4" screw plate, I added a 3/8" screw plate to provide maximum mounting options.  The black section is velco to hold the 12V battery.

Using the slider in tandem with a Camalapse rotational mount, here is a sample time lapse sequence to test the slider.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Before you take those Holiday Lights Down: Bokeh!

A couple of years ago, I used my vinyl cutter to create some DIY bokeh discs, to create custom shaped background lighting.  The idea is to cut out a shape and put that in front of the lens, set your camera to a shallow depth of field, and then the lights int he background will take the cut out shape.  Unfortunately, I always forget to test these out when the holiday lights are up around the house.  I remembered today, and used my trustworthy pooches as models, again.  What I discovered is that I cut the shape of the "dog paw" to large, as it cuts off the shape around the edges.

If you're looking for a quick way to get into Bokeh shape lighting, sells a kit here.

I used a 50mm f/1.2 prime lens on a Canon 5D Mark III.  The closer you could get to the lights, the bigger the shape would appear.  Dora, my youngest Weimaraner, always cooperates with my photo shoots, but has a hard time keeping her ears up.  

Maximus is always interested in helping.  

Here is the DIY bokeh shape with dog paw.  I'll try and cut a smaller version of the paw to see if that solves the problem of cutting the edges of the shape off.  I use a rubber band to hold it onto the lens with the 3 tabs.