Category: Just for Fun

How to create a Slow Motion Wedding Photo Booth

http://vimeo.com/72365593

I watched this wonderful video yesterday and came to wonder how easy it would be to recreate without a huge budget.

The guys who did this had access to a Red Epic which shoots HD up into hundreds of frames/second (This camera was used on Prometheus, Hobbit and the like)
Even they were limited (to 160fps) by a limit in the amount of light available.
These 160 fps videos are then played back at quarter speed.

So, what about that budget – There are going to be two problems.
1. finding an affordable camera with the right specifications
2. dealing with a requirement for serious amounts of light.

1. Finding a camera – Most consumer cameras with high frame rates or fps drop off in resolution as the frame rate climbs.
Interesting cameras to look at include;

Panasonic Lumix FZ200, which can shoot HD (720p) videos at 120fps and VGA-level (640 x 480) movies at 240fps
Nikon 1, which shoots 640 x 240 at 400fps
Sony A77, which shoots 1080 at 60fps for super smooth slow motion
Note, there are tricks employed by manufacturers to give higher frame rates. Lots of reviews should be read and tests performed in selecting your camera.

Make sure to consider file formats, access to bright lenses, high ISO performance, frame rate (fps), resolution etc.

Another thing to consider is the availability of software to interpolate between our frames.
This offers the advantage of increasing the range of cameras to choose from and presumably reducing the need for such high shutter speeds.

vision Effects’ Twixtor, a plug-in for Adobe’s After Effects, is the best-known program for creating slow-motion videos from standard footage. It can produce stunning results with the right sort of input, such as high-quality videos from a Nikon or Canon digital SLR.

Unfortunately, Twixtor costs more than most digital compacts (just over £200) while After Effects costs £911 at Amazon.co.uk. This is not a good option for amateurs.

However, anyone who fancies this sort of thing could try the free, open source slowmoVideo.

Jack Schofield
Friday 11 January 2013

Wanted: a cheap compact camera for shooting slow-motion videos

2. Lighting – We have a couple of ways to ensure we have enough lighting.
Being video we must have a continuous light source which ideally doesn’t run too hot (though our subjects won’t remain under lights for more than a minute or two.
It is difficult to describe what lights will be needed since a Sony A77 will be able to handle low light better than a Nikon 1 or Panasonic Lumix due to it’s clean high ISO

You might choose to spend a few dollars on some halogen work lights, but this is going to generate a ton of heat.
You might opt for LED, but this would prove expensive and you would need a lot of them.
You could go for the large banks of lights commonly used in TV Studios for the last couple of years.
You could even manufacture your own lights from a skip full of fluorescent lights.
Problems to solve here include cost, brightness, running cost, convenience (size/weight), suitability (flouroscent lights may cause flickering on video).
This whole area is a bit of a minefield and since your camera, budget and needs will be different to the next person, you will simply need to experiment until you find a solution.

Luckily, here in Australia, we have copious amounts of continuous daylight.
A large scrim or diffuser (or even a large white outdoor tent) might be all we need to get started.

Happy XNY – I’m starting a thing…

My signature for Christmas, as of just now, is going to be Happy (or Merry) XNY

I just don’t like the full ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ greeting anymore so I simmered it down to the most basic I could imagine using (in actual fact it could become :-) XNY, but there has to be something to make it clear to all)

To see if this greeting is already popular with a quick Google Search today (for Happy XNY and Merry XNY) revealed nothing.

Perhaps by next year I will have forgotton all about this new greeting with the world never noticing, but if not – this post is ground zero (off I go to hit send on the first ‘Happy XNY’ signed message)

 

Snapseed – Nice Photo Editor for iPhone

Having had a quick play you when I first downloaded Snapseed months ago, I finally got around to giving it a proper go over the last couple of days.

It really is quite an amazing little app with a lot of options that I was surprised to find on an iPhone app, including such things as control points and a ’tilt shift’ effect.

Below are a couple of images created in Snapseed with the untouched images included at a lower Resolution for comparison.

20121123-203332.jpg

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Lightning fast?

My iPhone 5 just charged from 63% to 83% in 20 minutes
This was using the included charger and lightning cable – I can’t remember my 4s charging so quickly.
It’s risen another 4% in the last 4 minutes. Further testing is required

I can’t wait to see how fast the next iPad charges (I imagine Apple were not delighted with the ten hour charge time of the current model)

Update: I will keep posting unscientific observations here
1. Monday Oct 1st – at least an hour off the charger and still at 99%
2. Eight hours off the charger now and my battery is at 84%
3. Tuesday Oct 2nd – 17 hours off the charger now and we are only down to 70% (a lot of this had to do with not leaving the house, but it shows how good the battery life can be when the iPhone isn’t struggling to amplify its connection)
4. 40 minutes charging and we are up to 92%
5. Tuesday Oct 9th – Charge the client iPhone 4S today, 10 minutes to charge to 2%
6. Saturday Oct 13th – From 28% to 90% in 61 minutes

I haven’t given this much thought for a while, but my iPhone was on 5% today at 8:34pm.
I put it on charge and by 8:46pm it reported 30%. In the last 4minutes it has added another 6%
That’s pretty amazing – Lightning by name…

Poetry…

My first (improvised) poetry in more than 25 years.

When explaining depth of field to a client recently I showed a couple of comparison shots.

Molly the cat captured at a large aperture for shallow DOF Molly the cat captured at a smaller aperture for greater DOF

They asked “did you pose the cat” to which I smiled and said;

The cat sat, where the cat sat
and That was That

Doug