Snapshots and photo projects.

Photography, Software, School


I’m going to tackle all of these, although not necessarily in order…

View of Cleveland From the East Side

View of Cleveland From the East Side

Nothing too new with photography.  I did attend the Cleveland Photographic Society club meeting and it was quite interesting.  I plan to attend more meetings when I’m feeling better (I missed the last meeting due to sinuses).  Olessia and I headed over to Lake View Cemetery to check out the James Garfield monument.  The balcony has a nice view of Cleveland and we grabbed some shots.  I wasn’t feeling too good so I didn’t shoot much.

Calculus 2 is chugging along.  So far, it appears I am minus 12 points from 100% for 2 quizes and one exam.  I’m hoping and working hard to hold onto this lead.  Just three exams (second one will be tomorrow), two quizzes, and a final left to go.

Something new, I wrote a C# app to change my desktop wallpaper randomly across multiple monitors.  Its open source and can be found here: WallpaperChanger.

Printing Photos


Like a print of any of the pictures in the portfolio?  Order prints online!  Here’s how:

First visit my portfolio and pick a picture you like.  Click on that picture.  At the bottom, there will be a drop down box.  From the drop down box, select “Print on” (you could also print at Shutterfly, although you have less options and it is a bit more expensive).

I tested this out with Digibug and it is a really nice service.  They had the prints in the mail the next day!  I had them print poster sized pictures, which were 30″x40″ in size!  Next time, I’m going to go a bit smaller with 24″x36″ so I can buy a frame off the shelf instead of building one.

If you order a photo, let me know!  Or better yet, send me a picture of the photo you printed in action, on the wall, or anywhere else.

Nikon D80 – DSLR


If you haven’t checked already, I’ve added a new album in the gallery for Nikon D80 test shots.

After much work, saving, and research, I settled on purchasing the Nikon D80.  It was tough to pick a digital SLR.  Canon puts together a great camera and I love the PowerShot we have (A630 flavor – most of the recent digital pics have been made with this camera).  I already have a Nikon N80 film SLR camera with lenses and other gear.  So I scoped out the local camera shop and checked out the Nikon’s D-series and found my existing gear would definitely work with the D80, although not so with the D40x.

The D80 is awesome.  Being able to swap lenses around, getting close to the action or going for a wide-angle shot is very handy.  The speed of the camera has also been beneficial.  There’s no shutter lag.  There’s a lot more control over the flash, and if the onboard flash doesn’t cut it, I can attach the flash unit I have for my Nikon film camera to the D80 and use that.  As far as I can see, the D80 has all the features my N80 has, plus a bit more (in terms of photo control).

Its a bit too cold to be romping around outside with the camera just yet.  When it warms up, I look forward to getting some shots of the Cleveland skyline and the night sky itself.   In the meantime, I have been shooting indoors, with the cats, Olessia, and the plants as my subjects.


Photography Experiments


Whoa!  I was checking the ‘net to see if there’s been any updates to the CHDK firmware for Canon cameras.  I was poking around trying to figure out what was new, and low-and-behold, remote cable-release is available!  There also is motion sensing, and that had been around when I had last visited (haven’t tried it).  I downloaded Fingalo’s port of CHDK.  It is the one that supports motion detection, remote cable-release, and a lot more.  So I got the firmware loaded, how do I get the remote-release to work?  Simple!   Plug it into the computer and it will fire the camera!  It worked.  Now the trick was to build a remote cable-release button.  I found a link with instructions in Russian.  Looking at the pictures you can get a pretty good idea what is involved.  I went to Radio Shack and bought some parts.  I wanted a radio controlled cable release, but at the moment that is a little more complex than I need right now.  Instead, I went with a small project box, a push button, and a 2 AAA battery holder.  Laying around the house I had a USB extension cable and a lot of phone line cable.

I chopped the USB extension cable (chopped the male end off leaving several feet available to the female end).  I didn’t want to hack at the camera’s USB cable as that one is a bit harder to get a hold off.  So I want to be able to plug the camera’s USB cable in, then plug the other end into my doctored extension cable.  The split end of the USB extension cable then got spliced to the phone line cable I had.  During all of this, you have to take care which end is positive and negative.  Luckily for me, the USB cable and phone line had black and red wires which went nicely with the rest of the project as negative and positive.  After splicing the cables together, I ran the phone line to the box.  I ran the line in, then tied a knot on the inside to ensure the phone line can’t be pulled out.  Then I soldered the red (positive) wire to the button.  Then soldered the battery pack’s red wire to the button.  I did a continuity check (using a multi-meter) to make sure all solder joints were ok.  I then soldered the phone line’s black wire to the battery pack’s black wire.  Again, I did another continuity check.  Looked good.  I then had to get Olessia involved as I ran out of hands to do a voltage test.  Olessia pressed the trigger button while I held the multi-meter leads up to the USB cable.  We got 3 volts coming out in the right direction.  I plugged the camera’s USB cable in to the camera and my USB cable and loaded the remote trigger program, pressed the button, and rejoiced!  It worked.

I hope to prop the camera up in the tree and capture some blue jays and squirrels.  It would be fun to place the camera some where where the cats weren’t expecting.  It will be nice to have this remote cable-release for those tough times when I don’t have a tripod with me and I need to prop the camera up, yet not bump it due to a long exposure time.

I’m working on getting some pictures of this up in the gallery.  Look for the photography experiments gallery.


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