Camera Mods and Moon Shots

Moon 1

When I went on my photo walk with Fred Graham a couple of weeks ago I noticed that he was using a Black Rapid camera strap and an extra battery clip. My nephew, Chip, had one of these straps, and I liked it the first time I saw it. The outing with Fred reinforced how useful this strap could be, so I decided to get one.

At Thanksgiving Chip had also added a hand strap to his DSLR. I could see the utility of that, as well. However, there were a couple of problems with these straps. First, if I used the Black Rapid strap it blocked my tripod point, and it would be a pain to putting it on and taking it off to use the tripod.

I decided to re-engineer the setup with several small swivel clips that I found online. The clips allow for rapid re-configuration of the straps and camera.


I found a plastic loop on the bottom of the hand strap. Adding one of the swivel straps here would let me use both the Black Rapid strap and a tripod quick release.

P1030119 Continue reading “Camera Mods and Moon Shots”

Soma Madness

Soma Puzzle

In 1933 Danish mathematician Piet Hein proposed a three dimensional variation on the tangram puzzle. The puzzle consists of seven polycubes in different configurations that can be put together to form a 3X3 cube.

Soma Puzzle

Hein called his puzzle a Soma Cube, the name purportedly taken from a Sanskrit word for “diversity.” The cube puzzle was popular in Scandinavia, but it wasn’t until Parker Brothers licensed the puzzle in 1969. It remained popular for a decade until it’s popularity was supplanted by another upstart cube puzzle. Continue reading “Soma Madness”

Time Lapse Shoot Out

Backyard Time Lapse Setup

In the last post I made some comparisons between creating a time-lapse video with a DSLR and creating one with an iPhone app. I was curious as to how these would compare, so I decided to do a shoot-out.

I set up my Nikon D7000 in interval mode shooting at 1 frame every five seconds. Right next to it I set up my iPhone 5 with the iMotion app, also set to take 1 frame every five seconds. Both of these were set up next to our lake, showing the same scene.

Backyard Time Lapse Setup
Backyard Time Lapse Setup
Backyard Time Lapse Setup Continue reading “Time Lapse Shoot Out”

Smart Phone Bracket

In my last post I wrote quite a bit about iOS apps for time lapse photography. Of course, if you’re going to do time-lapse with an iPhone, you’re going to need some way to keep it steady. For my iPhone 4 I had one of the Otter Defender cases with belt clip. With that case … Continue reading Smart Phone Bracket

More Time-Lapse Observations

Source: via Tom on Pinterest


After posting my time-lapse video the other day I made several observations. First, it seems that anyone interested in learning time-lapse starts off by making a video of leaf-raking. There are TONS of them out there on YouTube. The most common soundtracks were Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” or Boots Randolph’s “Yakkety Sax.”  Here I’ve made a short playlist that contains no less than 19 Youtube videos, all of time-lapse leaf raking.

Leaf raking/blowing obsession aside, here are some other observations I’ve made…

1. Video vs Images

Video is really just a series of moving images, or frames, so the “versus” implied in the above heading is false.  However, there is a distinction in how certain apps and cameras treat time-lapse.  Some capture a series of images using an intervalometer.  Those images are single, stand-alone photographs, which then must be combined into a time-lapse video using another piece of software such as Lightroom or iMovie.  Others capture the images in the same fashion, but software within the camera or the app automatically renders the video, which can be output as a .AVI, .MP4, or .MOV file.

If you capture a series of images before they are processed into a video there are more steps involved, but you’ve got much, much more control over the video.  You can adjust the images for exposure and add other effects such as HDR (if you want).  You also have greater control over frame rate and other video aspects. Continue reading “More Time-Lapse Observations”

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”

The Time Lords of MI-6


When I did my mini-review of “Skyfall” I speculated out that James Bond must be a Time Lord because he keeps changing his appearance. However, he’s not the only Gallifreyan in the mix. MI-6 is lousy with Time Lords, and here’s the proof…


Doctor Who’s arch nemesis (apart from the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Sontorans, etc.) was another Time Lord known as The Master. Like The Doctor, The Master could regenerate, and his appearance changed over the long life of the series. Continue reading “The Time Lords of MI-6”

Dueling D7000s Downtown

Reedy Falls 5

My friend Fred Graham (aka Photobug Fred) has the same camera I do – the Nikon D7000. Since buying mine last summer I really haven’t had a chance to get out and learn how to use it. This fall in general I haven’t had a chance to get out and shoot at all. So, when Fred suggested a downtown photowalk, I jumped at the chance.

It started out as a perfect fall day with interesting clouds and bright sunlight. Our plan was to meet at 3:00 at Falls Park to take advantage of the late afternoon sunlight. However, as the time approached the clouds started building. I wondered whether or not the good lighting would stay with us. When the time came, the clouds had broken into interesting patterns, and it looked like it would be a great shoot after all.

I me Fred by the fountains at the top of Falls Park. The fountains had been colored purple for some sort of cancer awareness something or other.

Purple Fountains Majesty

It looked like half of Greenville’s population had joined us. What’s more, it looked like most of those were similarly armed with cameras. And, it wasn’t just camera phones – there were quite a few high-end cameras out and about. After awhile I stopped counting. Fred and I wondered how may thousands of photographs had been taken in the park just this afternoon.

DSC_1855 Continue reading “Dueling D7000s Downtown”


…or “Sean who??” I believe that James Bond is a Time Lord. That’s the only way to describe his regenerative abilities and ability to change appearance over the past 50 years of movies. In this latest movie, under interrogation Bond himself states that his hobby is “resurrection.” Be that as it may, in this 23 … Continue reading Skyfall