Showing What You’ve Got and Telling It How It Is

Here is the audience at Xname’s and my Show and Tell on 25th March at Access Space, Sheffield, UK.
Xname aka Eleonora Oreggia is the current artist-in-residence and we will be sharing space over the next few weeks in an already crowded Access Space. I talked a bit about how this project had come about and the potential outcomes and Eleonora talked about the workshops she will be running later this week and the “insertion” of noise objects into the landscape.

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The Mighty Arms of Atlas

Well things not progressing so well this week, as I have been distracted by other timelapse work. It’s not exactly off-topic but I forgot to order a few bits and pieces that I need, including the PICAXE USB programming cable, so I’ve resurrected an old Toshiba Satellite 230CX that I bought from new, and had used before to programme PICs and PICAXEs over serial.
However, Access Space had a two day mega clearout last week and I shot timelapse on six cameras. I am going to make a proper promo video out of the files which show just how much activity is going on here.
I’ve been listening to music from Access Spaces (Linux Open Source Software (LOSS) project from a few years ago, to use in the edit.
Another distraction is a project I’ve been trying to make happen for about nine months, which is a two-channel High Dynamic Range (HDR) timelapse video shot in Site Gallery’s meeting room.
It has one of the most amazing views in the city and the video will be two synchronized shots, one looking in and one looking out. I’m hoping for a sunny day and I’ll keep you posted.

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Wait for it…

Synchronized timelapse video of day 2 of my R&D bursary period at Access Space, Sheffield, UK. I had a number of visitors today, including Susanne Palzer (shown) and Mike Kutcher (off camera).
The 3 cameras were synchronized using the Gentles GentSTEREO-proSDM remote, which works very well but only operates over USB. My project is an attempt to make a multi-protocol version that can simultaneously operate over USB, infra-red, serial, Ethernet – TCP/IP and possibly radio. The cameras are Canon PowerShot A560s “hacked” with the Canon Hack Development kit (CHDK).
Music by Chris Barky c/o

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Research is Hell

Work, work, work and no comfort except friends, chocolate biscuits and tea.

Susanne Palzer and I sharing treats on day 2 of my research and development bursary at Access Space, Sheffield, UK.
I had a number of visitors today which forced me to formulate my ideas more coherently.

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But why?

I had a lot more visitors today than last week and been a bit distracting, although it’s been interesting and quite productive to have to explain the project other people.

I am pretty much certain that I will be using the PICAXE system. I have been taking stock of the equipment I already have, but not looked at for a few years, and need to acquire a few more bits and pieces, although nothing major.

Next week I should be at a stage that I can actually start building the first prototype of the simplest version which will be a receiver for serial, IR and USB pulse signals. The image above is an unpopulated PICAXE 08 Proto Board and will be the basis of my initial design. It’s very small, low powered and reprogrammable in-circuit.

One of the question that cropped up more than once today was why was I doing it this way. This project is an attempt at only one method of capturing time-lapse video. I am interested in having access to a number of methods that would suit different situations and installations. Using CHDK on compact cameras allows me to shoot on very small cameras that can be run on batteries for 10 hours or more and do not need a computer to be connected whilst shooting. I will be discussing the other potential configurations in a later blog post.

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The Glamour of Research

Here I am on day 1 of my R&D bursary at Access Space in Sheffield, UK. This was shot pretty randomly and edited together from 2 Canon PowerShot stills cameras hacked with CHDK, an open source hack for Canon PowerShot cameras that adds lots of new features, including the ability to run scripts. I use it for time-lapse shooting.

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Be careful what you wish for…

Ok, here I am at Access Space for day 1 of my R&D bursary. The project I am researching towards is a multi-protocol interface box to simultaneously trigger multiple time-lapse cameras.

I have been working with time-lapse techniques since 2006 and originally was using standard definition DV cameras capturing to Macintosh computers, and started off using iStopMotion by Boinx Software. I soon moved on to custom-written software using Max/MSP/Jitter by Cycling 74, but more recently I have been using Canon digital still cameras “hacked” with the open source CHDK software.

I am interested in using either video or stills cameras, and it depends on the application is and the physical installation. The reason I favour stills cameras for most purposes is the lack of need for it to be connected to a computer. There are disadvantages too.

I want to be able to synchronize multiple cameras so that they capture stills at the same time and this research project is towards that end. Having applied for, and been awarded the Access Space Small R&D Bursary 2011, I now have to do it.

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