Tag Archives: control

Videoing the Hummingbirds

Sometimes you just forget what you have tucked in the garage.  I have been trying to get shots of the hummingbirds in our back yard and more recently shot a little video with the DSLR.  Then it occurred to me that they might be wary of people but not of inanimate objects.  Why not stick a camera on a post right next to the feeder.

While it hasn’t had much use recently, I have a GoPro (or two).  I have an adaptor that would sit on top of a lighting stand which is plenty tall enough to get up to the height of the feeder.  Moreover, I can control it all remotely using a phone/tablet including a live video feed.  I sat indoors with the iPad on watching for movement on screen while doing other things.  As soon as one appeared, a press of the button and they were being recorded.  The initial attempts failed until I remembered to switch off the beeps and the LEDs that flash during recording.  After that it was easy.  The results were rather pleasing.

Time Lapse Up the Old Tower

My trip up the tower at SFO got me thinking about what things I wanted to get done while I was there.  One thing I had in mind was a time lapse.  I was a bit bothered, though, because we would only have about 20 minutes and setting up the camera and getting it going would eat into that time.  Fortunately, Nancy had just given me a new GoPro to replace the one I killed in Hawaii.  This one had a time lapse function built in.  Also, because it is small, it would be easier to get it close against the glass to minimize (but not totally remove) reflections.

When we got up the tower, I went straight to the window, hit the start button and leaned the camera against the glass.  I had no idea whether it was working or not so just left it and hoped.  I then started taking the other shots I was after.  When our time was up, I had to remember to go and get it again.  Only when I got home did I find out that it had taken a steady string of images.  I then processed them using my usual software of LRTimelapse aided by the lens correction in Lightroom for the GoPro.  The result is this video.  It is a little wide angle for some of the distant action and it would have been fun to have a longer time to capture images over but, overall, it worked out quite well.

The Old Tower is Stripped Out

The rebuilding of SFO has included building a new tower.  I wrote about the old versus the new a while back in this post.  The new tower has now been commissioned and is operational.  It is time for the old tower to be demolished.  Fortunately, the airport invited people to visit before demolition started.  The inside of the tower was looking a bit sad.  The equipment had all been ripped out.  I doubt much of it is getting reused since the new tower will already have been equipped with the latest generation of air traffic control gear.  However, the surrounds for the old gear were still there looking rather skeletal.

A week later the process of everything coming down would start.  Soon it will look a lot worse and then it will be gone forever.  We got a fleeting glimpse of its last days.  I hope someone takes some pictures as everything comes down to preserve the last days forever.

Lightroom Furor Missing the Point?

Adobe recently updated Lightroom and introduced a new version of the import dialog. This move caused consternation in the online photo world and they are currently planning to revert back to the previous version. So much of the focus was on lost functionality in the new version. I have struggled to see how bad the losses were. Everything I needed before was in the revised dialog and from what I can see, the bits that went away were not exactly game changers. Of course, different people have different uses so it might matter to them.

What I am surprised about is that far less attention is being given to the fact the new release is horribly buggy. The new import dialog is a prime example. You have the import presets as before but if you change to a new preset, the location that is shown for where the files will be copied is the previous one. If you click to change it, you see that the correct folder for the new preset has been selected. It actually sends them where it is supposed to but it shows a different location. This is annoying but not impossible. The import dialog presets have been buggy for as long as I can recall with certain elements impossible to get rid of once selected.

Overall, the program is a lot less reliable. I have had develop screens lock up when it gets tired with a blue block replacing the image in question. If I leave it open long enough, it locks up completely. Sometimes, when I go to the Open Recent tab, the arrow appears but no recent catalogs are on display.

So, while everyone has been getting really messaged up about the import dialog, I am not that bothered. I think they should have been focusing on how Adobe released an update to Lightroom that seems to have a ton of problems with doing the basic stuff it is supposed to do. That seems far more worrying to me.

Old Versus New SFO Tower

wpid12576-C59F7616.jpgSFO has been undergoing quite a program of investment in recent years. Upgrades to the runways, redevelopment of terminal buildings and a new control tower. The new tower is not yet finished but it appears to be getting close. I thought a couple of shots to compare the old with the new were worthwhile before the change is permanent.