World’s Fastest Leaf Blower

More Leaves 2

Raking leaves is an exercise in futility. This is especially true since our trees still have loads of leaves on them. I’m tempted to just wait until they all fall, then hire someone else to clean them up. that strategy has worked well in the past.

Alas, though, I’m bowing to neighborhood convention, and at least cleaning off the front yard so that the house looks respectable. However, there’s nothing that says that I can’t have fun doing it.

I had thought about this video the last time I cleared the leaves off of our front yard. This would make an excellent time-lapse video. My new Nikon D7000 has an interval timer build into it, so why not put it to use? Continue reading “World’s Fastest Leaf Blower”


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I love time-lapse photography. I’ve experimented with it a bit, with both iOS devices and various cameras. However, time-lapse really takes commitment. I’ve done this math on this blog before, but I’ll do it again. Let’s say that you’re shooting one shot every 30 seconds. If your video is a standard 30 frames per second (fps), then it would take 15 minutes for one second’s worth of video. One hour would give you four seconds. 24 hours would be 1.6 minutes worth. That’s not a lot.

However, for good time-lapse you need some persistence of vision. 30 fps is probably too fast. You could either reduce the frame rate, or you could decrease the time interval to something like once every 5 seconds. Either way it’s still a commitment in time.

Plus there are other factors to consider. If you’re shooting outdoors or on location you have to protect your gear from the weather and you need to keep it secure. There’s also the issue of power. Will your camera run that long on batteries, or does it need external power? It can be daunting. Continue reading “Hyper-Lapse”

A Day on Samish Island

The view from Mrs. Wright’s living room is constantly changing. The lighting changes with the rising and setting of the sun, clouds and weather roll in, and there is the constant shifting of the tides. Throw in a couple of eagles, herons, and humming birds, along with some boat traffic, and you’ve got a constant … Continue reading A Day on Samish Island

SCETV Workshops Spring 2010

The time-lapse video above gives some indication of the frenetic pace I’ve been hitting this week. Several months ago I agree to once again do my Google Earth workshops for the SCETV Technology Conference. Had I known how hectic these past two weeks were going to be even without the conference, I might have reconsidered. However, despite PASS testing, 135th day counts, and other pressing needs in Spartanburg Five, I headed on down for the Wednesday – Friday sessions.

As I had done last year, I’m presenting two different sessions. The first is a basic introduction to Google Earth. The teachers get some time just to become familiar with the program’s controls and navigation, and I give them some suggestions for using it in their classrooms. The second session is more in-depth. I cover ways that Google Earth can be used to create highly interactive lessons buy using embedded media. I tend to get lots of oohs and ahs with that session because there is some really cool stuff you can do.

Wednesday we had a luncheon and were joined by several representatives from Discovery Education. Phillipe Cousteau, grandson of Jaques Cousteau, was our keynote speaker. In the evening the Discovery Educators Network (DEN) STAR members had a dinner at the SCETV studios, and we were again joined by Phillipe Cousteau. He spoke about some of his current environmental education endeavors.

DEN Star Educators DinnerPhillipe Cousteau addresses the DEN groupDEN Star Educators at SCETV Continue reading “SCETV Workshops Spring 2010”

Super Simple Time Lapse

When we were in the Bahamas I tried my hand at some time-lapse video using my little Nikon S50 camera in movie mode. The results were pretty good, but I found myself battling the twin hurdles of battery life and patience (as well as lack of a tripod.) The result was a shorter-than-desired video clip that went by far too quickly.

Then a couple of weeks ago I read a good blog post on the Digital Urban blog with simple instructions on doing time-lapse photography with a webcam. While Digital Urban’s instructions look great, and I want to try those out, it occurred to me that there might be an even easier way to accomplish this – use someone else’s webcam! Here’s one that I created very quickly using some simple software and the webcam for Table Rock State Park…

All you need for this project is a computer (duh) that no one will need to use for a few hours, a good steady Internet connection, a website with an embedded webcam image, and the BSR Screen Recorder. Other screen recorder programs will probably work, but I like the BSR program because it’s very easy to set the record rate, and that is the lynch pin in this method. Continue reading “Super Simple Time Lapse”