Tag Archive: video

Video Project for 3D Printing


Trent and Elaine with Video Setup

File this under one of those “now that you have the time” requests. John Kaup handles science education outreach for Furman, and had first approached me about this project. Elaine Smith is a chemistry teacher at Marion High School in Horry County, and she is spending the summer developing modules for teachers to use with 3D printing. As part of this project she wanted to develop short introductory and closing video segments for each module. That’s where I came in. They needed my services to help put together the videos.

The project itself is quite fascinating. Elaine is working with Tim Hanks and Casper Wright from Furman on using 3D printing to create biomedical structures. Tim and Casper’s research involves developing alginates that are electrically conductive. These alginates can be loaded into a 3D printer and printed into any shape, and research is being done to see if they can eventually substitute for neurons and other tissues. Elaine’s portion of the research is to develop simple demonstrations for these techniques for high school students.


For this project I wanted to use the best possible image source that I could, and I decided that was my Nikon D7000 DSLR. I hadn’t really done any video with it. In fact, I had shied away from video on this particular camera because the audio quality wasn’t what I wanted. The built-in microphone tends to pick up motor noise from the autofocus and image stabilization on the lens. (more…)

GoPro on Lake Robinson



It’s been a tough winter. I hadn’t been out on my kayaks in a long time, and I missed a great Lowcountry Unfiltered trip on Saturday. I needed to get out on the water. So, Sunday morning before the rains started, Laura kicked me out the door with my touring boat and pointed me in the direction of Lake Robinson. The plan was to give the GoPro camera a shake down and make sure it would do everything it promised.

I chose Lake Robinson over the other local paddling venues quite frankly because it’s boring. The scenery from the park is spectacular with the mountains in the background, but once you get out on the water your only view is of the housing developments that ring the lake. Granted, there are interesting birds, and if you just want to get out and paddle it’s fine. However, nearby Lake Cunningham has much more to see with its lily fields and other quirks.

Lake Robinson (1 of 11)

Yet, this suited me perfectly. I was here to test the new camera, and if it didn’t work correctly, I didn’t want to be disappointed that I’d failed to get a shot. I had my Fuji waterproof camera and Panasonic Lumix as back-ups, but the GoPro was the focus of the mission. (more…)

Flickr Video Artifacts


Flickr has its flaws, and has come in for some warranted criticism from photographers such as Thomas Hawk in San Francisco for its management practices and failure to keep up with Google+ and other photo-sharing communities. However, I find it a cost-effective service that still meets my needs for both blogging and photography. At last count I have nearly 19,000 images on Flickr.

There is one flaw in Flicker that has really jumped out recently, though. That’s with it’s video compression routines. Video uploaded to Flickr looks horrible. Period.

I’m more of a photographer than videographer. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of video compression, etc., etc. I also get that Flickr is primarily a photo sharing site, and has limited functionality as far as video uploads are concerned. However, there are some times that it’s quicker and easier to upload to Flickr. I also like the control over privacy, which tends to be an all-or-nothing proposition with YouTube and other video hosting. (more…)

GoPro Time-Lapse – More Lessons Learned


GoPro Hero 3 Black

I’ve been having fun playing with the little GoPro camera. It has some quirks, but it’s great for what it’s designed to do. Of course, one of the things I’ve been using it for mostly is time-lapse. I’ve learned lots of things about this little camera, and about time-lapse in general. I can add these to my growing list of lessons learned about time-lapse.

Lesson 1 – Christmas Dinner Videos

As with leaf blowing/raking videos, it seems that everyone does Christmas dinner time lapse videos, too. There were tons of suggestions and recommendations on the page with my Christmas video, and they all had similar titles. Here’s a playlist with 10 samples…

So, the lesson here is that whatever I may come up with for a video project, someone has already done it and uploaded it to YouTube. (more…)



Screen Shot 2012-10-16 at 10.42.22 PM

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. (more…)

Beethoven’s Ninth Video


Videographer Valdas Katovas recorded our spring concert, a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and Greenville Chorale. This video is the entire fourth movement.

You can occasionally see me on the front row of the Chorale, next to the tympani and behind the trombones.

Beethoven No 9 from Valdas Kotovas on Vimeo.

Jocassee Falls – A Preview


Houston at Whitewater Falls

My brother, Houston, recently informed me that he starts feeling anxious when I don’t update this blog often enough. I’m afraid I’ve given him ample reason to be irritated over the last week or so. I just haven’t had much about which to write. The usual excuses apply – work has been nightmarish, Laura’s sister and mother have been visiting, and a massive heat wave have combined to keep me away from any explorations this week. OK, so maybe those aren’t so usual.

Regardless, I’ve still got several projects in the works. So, to allay Houston’s anxiety I’ll provide a sneak preview… (more…)

A Day on Samish Island


Samish Morning View

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 spectacle.

I wanted to try to capture a bit of that, and it seemed like a time-lapse video was the best way to do it. I first tried with a little application on my netbook that uses its webcam. The results were OK, but it didn’t have the resolution I wanted, and I couldn’t find a good safe place to set it up for a long series of shots.

I decided to see what was available for the iPad. I downloaded the iMotion app, which let’s you do time-lapse with exposures at various intervals. It looked like it would do the trick.

The next step was to figure out some way to mount the iPad safely. In the workshop I found a clamp with a place to attach the head of my tripod. Perfect. I found the right sized screw and used a was cloth to cushion the device, and I was in business.


Since it wasn’t supposed to rain, and since we were going to be out in the yard working most of the day, I set up the iPod under some trees on thick grass. That way, if it did fall over at least there would be some cushion. I set the interval to 30 seconds and let it go while we did our chores.


Here’s the result of that first test…

While this was able to catch the tide change and the late evening, I really wanted an entire day from dark to dark. for that I needed a more secure location. I found that the front window of the master bedroom had a great view albeit obscured a bit by overgrown shrubbery. It would have to do.

I set up the tripod so that it was ready to go. I got up early at 4:00 am and started it running. Sixteen hours and 2851 images later I shut it down at 10:00 pm I finished the process. Here’s how that video turned out…

I like the view from the first video better, and I wish I could have figured out how to keep the iPad secure. As it turns out, the day with the long exposure started with rain, so it was a good thing I brought it inside.

A couple of the older Nikon cameras I’ve used had and interval mode. A smaller camera like that would work better than something as bulky as the iPad. Even so, I like the results. Someday I’ll find another point-and-shoot that that has interval mode, and I’ll try this again

2010 €“ Paddling Year in Review


Paddling 2010

2010 certainly had its ups and downs for our extended family. We lost a family member to cancer, several of my family and friends had other health issues, and the lingering financial cloud presented challenges at work as well at home. Laura and I weren’t exactly able to take a vacation, but we were able to take advantage of conferences and family visits to do some traveling.

The one thing we were able to do in abundance this year was kayak – and we did A LOT of it. Apart from quick run-outs to Lake Cunningham or our local lake in the backyard, we participated in over 20 paddling expeditions this year. We explored some new areas, and I was able to make new friends and set up new paddling associations with folks. Here’s just a quick run-down of some of the trips:


Lowcountry Incredible



The other day I was going through photos of our various paddling trips and itching to get back on the water.  As I was looking at the pictures, for some reason the theme song from The Incredibles by Michael Giacchino kept running through my mind.  I started collecting some of the shots, and wound up creating a video of several of the trips we’ve taken with the Lowcountry Unfiltered group.  Here’s the result…

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