France 2017 in photos

This year St Malo – Cherbourg. Whole week on  the bikes, weather superb as well as food. In fact was a bit too hot, despite cloudy start in St Malo. We slowly learning from mistakes, and creating list of gear. So far we learned that the best weather is guaranteed when you got all possible rain gear with you overshoes, over-trousers and rain jackets 😉

Story in photos below.

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Yet another egg timer time-lapse project

Pretty simple way of making diy time-lapse video with pan. I used Fackelmann 41936. The second part is a mount for CCTV Cam (some leftover I found in the office).

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As on the pictures below I pulled out the top part to have a look how it’s made inside. Then ripped the bottom magnetic pad one as well and found screws underneath which holding in place all “guts” in plastic compartment. (the magnetic pad can be used with as fridge magnet ;-)).

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The screw holes were not exactly matching the pattern on eggtimer so I needed to drill new ones.

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The camera is setup with intervalometer (Canon A470 with CHDK firmware) taking picture every 15 seconds (configurable). After copying pictures to PC I used Phatch to resize them. Then I used a bit of perl scripting and ffmpeg to “normalize” photos and stick them together into video file. I’m using Gnu/Linux system and all the software is free (including CHDK firmware) but there’s plenty tutorials how to do same things under Window$. Talking about diy and tutorials, I found absolutely brilliant webpage with tons of diy tutorials, ideas etc, strongly recommended.

The first attempts below (shots from my garden)


GC underwater pictures…

This year on Gran Canaria we’ve tested new toy – a waterproof bag for digital camera. We choose as Guinea pig old Canon A570 and put it into DiCAPac WP-510 bag. I must admit it’s quite tricky to make decent pictures in the sea, but lot of fun in swimming pole (as you can see below). Finding bag for camera was easy, as on the website is a guide, just click on make and find model. Costs £15 and proven to be waterproof even deeper as they claimed. I was probably 5-6m deep and camera stayed nice and dry. I’ll probably not experiment with DSLR or expensive cam, but cheap used Canon can be found on ebay and used. Anyway similar bag might be a good option for DSLR when used on the beach (not underwater), but definitely that’ll give another dimension to a set of holiday pictures. 😉

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first timelapse video

Just playing yesterday with old Canon A560 (been given by Steffano) and canon open source firmware.As a part of standard CHDK firmware installation is intervalometer script which allows set up camera to take picture automatically in given intervals. Exactly the same method I’ve used to takie pictures from kite. Camera been set up to automatic setting,s 640×480 resolution, taking pictures every 18 sec. All together took 950 pictures before batteries died completly. Later, a bit of geekery and linux command line:

to create list of files (frames)

ls -1tr | grep -v files.txt > files.txt

to generate video “output.avi” with mjpeg compression

mencoder -idx -nosound -noskip -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mjpeg -o output.avi -mf fps=15 ‘mf://@files.txt’

and final product you can see below. From murky morning, through nice early afternoon to a bit of drizzle later. Just a standard British weather ;-).

Just a quick foot note for people afraid of upgrading camera. At first of all, there’s no risk. Basically firmware doing nothing to original camera firmware. It’s stored on SD and it’s not modifying camera at all. You can switch camera back to standard mode just by unlocking SD card (physical switch on SD card). Secondly. It’s dead easy. Under windows it’s just a question of downloading one exe file to format card called CardTricks and zipped firmware specific for your camera. Then all you need to do is stick your SD into card reader, run CardTricks and click in order Format as FAT, “Make Bootable” and “CHDK ->Card” (select firmware file and destination – your card). Job done. Switch SD to “lock” position and power up camera double clicking “on/off” button. Obviously I’ll recommend RTFM and familiarize yourself with options.

Have fun