I moved to a new location!

Moving is undoubtedly a stressful activity. I can’t imagine how other people can move 4 times a year to different places. Right now everything is still a mess but we’re working hard to finish it.

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Arduino + EasyDriver = Motion Controlled Dolly

A couple of weeks ago I’ve decided to motorize my homemade SkaterDolly but I didn’t know how until I came across the Arduino microcontroller. It’s a great little microcontroller which can do when programmed correctly various useful tasks. It has been already used by the OpenMoco community with amazing results for motion control based time-lapse photography. Check it out it’s awesome!

Myself Im absolutely no programming guy at all therefore I asked for help in a couple of forums until I’ve met Brian Schmalz the designer of the EasyDriver stepper motor driver board. He was willing to do the programming for my retro “EasyDriver Handbox” cable remote control. He’s still working on the programming and I hope he finish it soon :-)

In the meantime, here are some pics of my homemade EasyDriver Handbox remote control + schematic.

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This remote control allows me to move the SkaterDolly with the camera back and forth adjusting max speed and ramp for smooth camera motion. Also it makes it possible to save 2 positions and move back and forth between these saved positions. Furthermore by selecting a very low speed Im able to do time-lapse photography too with the SkaterDolly or any other dolly with a stepper motor connected to it. My whole project is Open Source and the code will be available for download here in this blog and on Brian’s page.

Simple Schematic:

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Afternoon Session with Mark T. in Downtown LL


I’ve met Mark in Downtown LL and talked a lot about the good ol’ days in school. We walked to the city center where we had some coffee. After our conversation, I asked if I could take a couple of photographs. He was more than happy to pose for a couple of shots.

Mark is a very talented musician.
Checkout his myspace site:
http://www.myspace.com/marktarmonea



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Noise test with 1/3 ISO settings on Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III & 1D Mark IV

Do you use 1/3 ISO settings on your Canon EOS body? On the new 1D Mark IV you should because that means less noise!

After reading this very informative article at Northlight Images I took myself some shots with incremental ISO settings with the Canon 1Ds Mark III & 1D Mark IV side by side. The camera was set to manual, with a lens cap on and the viewfinder shutter closed...



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My homemade skater dolly

My homemade skater dolly (thanks to DP Bill Hawkins for the inspiration)

The body and wheel cages were cnc-milled from thick plywood to allow mounting of heavy 35mm rigs. For the wheel holders and washers I used POM as material. I designed the scale in Illustrator and printed it on glossy paper. Afterwards they were fixed with screws to each acrylic disc...



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My homemade rig for my Canon 1D Mark IV

Finally done my new camera rig!

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I finished today my homemade camera rig - yeeessss!
Made from standard parts found in a bike shop and at the metal store. I’ve got the shoulder pad and the small rail (for holding a 7” TFT) from a very old video camera.
The design is easy and straight forward. It allows me to add several parts to the hand grips like a RODE Mic and a Zoom H4 audio recorder. At the end of the shoulder mount I will fix a rechargeable battery that acts as a counter balance and that will power the 7” TFT.
This design can of course also be used with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D or 500D that have the movie function integrated. Feel free to use this design. If you have any questions let me know.



Nightshooting in Schondorf

A touch of Monkey Island :-)

This time I went at 2.00 a.m. to “Schondorf am Ammersee” and found this very nice playground. It was bloody cold outside but it was worth the pic! With a simple flashlight I’ve painted the ship with light. Combine that with a long exposure of approx. 30sec and you get this very nice atmosphere.



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