Stick Up Your Cams

Creative uploads photography videotaping videography

Been doing some timelapse captures. Going to have to finish another video edit before I get to them. But here’s a #Prisma of my GoPro twelve feet in the air. (Comic style)

I also grabbed some really low shots. But I do like the high overhead angles, what I used to refer to as the Hitchcock shot (mostly because of staircase shots in “Psycho” — as if he only had one angle himself).

I also “edited” in camera, shooting one angle at a time and basically deciding on the next shot during the previous and saving a few shots for certain steps in the timelapse process. So hopefully I have enough coverage since I won’t have another shot to cut in if something didn’t work.

That’s another thing that Hitchcock supposedly did, not shooting extra footage to prevent studios from taking his movie and re-editing his cuts. If he didn’t want a wide shot he didn’t shoot it, so that left only the tighter intercuts he intended.

It was a little bit of self-promotion on his part; I think sometimes he shot more than he admitted. And I wasn’t being too cocky, I had hours to plan shots since I was only grabbing a few stills each minute. When you add up the frames it’s perhaps one second for every four minutes, even less when I decided to play it even faster during the edit and I will.

Anyway, get a backup battery and don’t drop your camera by accident.

—–David

P.S. I really should make chart for timelapse purposes instead of doing a bunch of math on my head. Had to plan for 24 or 30 frames a second, because that greatly affects the math. A shot every ten seconds garners 24 in four minutes and 30 in five, so am I getting twenty percent more or less footage based on that one choice? Then do I need to get more frames or can I afford less depending on how much motion I need to show? Water flows smoothly so that should be smooth, but a static shot of construction could be shot on an otherwise jumpy frame rate. Things to ponder.

Stick Up Your Cams was originally published on Creative Uploads

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Disco Lives!

Creative uploads prisma

Never thought I’d have to write that headline. But the featured image today (repeated below) was processed with Prisma’s latest style, Disco. 

As always don’t get the fake ones, it’s available through prisma-ai.com and is a free universal app.

Above is Old-Fashioned which seemed fitting for this secure undisclosed location featuring old signs that do not even reflect its current use.

Also old-fashioned is this square format that the Android app still has while iOS has gone wide. Both apps now feature a Prisma social site I haven’t activated yet. (C’mon, I can barely feed what I have.)

Also the app demands that you turn on geolocation in order to post so it can create local feeds, which is great, but I don’t want to tag my photos with geolocation. I turn it on when on trips but off at home. Would be nice if they let you assign a city or zip code instead.

I thought I was just going to post a couple of photos today and not write anything on this post and on I go. Well off I go.

—–David

P.S. And I thought it looked nice with the Roland style. More like a painting than a filter, which is really the point of the app.

Creative uploads prisma

P.P.S. Disco is dead. That’s where we started right? (I still have a Bee Gees 45 in my collection, alongside “Le Freak” though)

Creative uploads prisma

Disco Lives! was originally published on Creative Uploads

Mixing Electricity In The Pool


creative uploads cameraphone photography prisma

Resurfacing the pool is a great photo opportunity if you like standing at the bottom of a pool without having to hold your breath.

Oh, and still being able to breathe. Without gills.

—-David

P.P.S. And if you save it and reapply the same Prisma style again (Electric) …

P.P.S. So the iOS Prisma app gets updated first, then Android, which means my earlier post about being able to go widescreen doesn’t YET apply to the Android phone I took this one, and I sort of like the familiarity of the box but this one could have benefited from the height. Might do a pointless followup if I feel like copying the photo over to the iPad.

Mixing Electricity In The Pool was originally published on Creative Uploads

Waterproof Versus Water-Resistant

I may have dropped my GoPro in a pool the other night. Without the waterproof case on. And sworn a lot.

On the plus side, the pool was draining since we are having it resurfaced. But it wasn’t done. So the three feet of cold water in the deep end kept the GoPro from crashing into concrete ten feet down, but also: Water. No case.

pool timelapse creative upload

Half empty or half full?

My daughter was amused inside the house as I took off my shoes and phone and rushed to the shallow end so I could drop into the pool and trudge into ever deeper chilly water, which I had to reach down into to grab the camera. One shoulder stayed dry. I sloshed out shaking the camera and swearing more. Even I appreciated the sound effects. She didn’t even know what had happened having only looked out the window due to my interjections.* Hilarious. But so polite about it. She just asked me to stop swearing so much, and pretended she didn’t know why I was wet or even that I was wet.

Well, it was polite or maybe just afraid to get yelled at. Either way, respect!

Oh, why no case? Timelapse photography people already know. I needed more battery life. GoPro batteries run about an hour on video and somewhat longer for still photo timelapses, but if you have Wi-Fi on to frame your shot who knows. I’d already lost the end of an earlier timelapse angle when the battery died well before I came back to check it.

TIP: I started setting and resetting a forty-minute alarm to check in on the camera. I used our old oven timer because the buzzing amused me but you can use your phone.

So after spending my few batteries which we recharging, and since I was on the edge of the pool, literally high and dry, I had the case off with my Anker backup battery plugged into the USB port, which lets it run for hours.

Unless you drop it into a pool.

Yes, despite the brick on the plastic frame it was mounted on and the weight on the USB cord to the battery, I didn’t get a good grip on it, and that USB plug is happy to disengage. In slow motion, or so it seemed to me.

In hindsight, my first good grip should have been on the GoPro not the Anker battery when I moved the brick, because one of those is much cheaper than the other. Or I should have screwed it onto a tripod laid flat on the edge instead of the smaller frame, but I was afraid the dogs would bump it in.

So I took out the SD card and the battery, tapped the soggy camera repeatedly on my dry sleeve at all angles and put them all in a sealable plastic bag with a bunch of silica gel packets then closed it up for three laborious days to dry it out.

Yes those silly “desiccant: do not eat” packets that come in shoeboxes, with cameras and bags and hard drives. Save them! Silica just sucks up humidity like nothing else. You can dry silica gently in an oven on low to make it stay more effective over time, but Note: at some point it will have chemically bonded with too much moisture even just laying around, and will no longer do a good job. You can actually buy silica gel that changes color to let you know that. Some pros use containers they just keep in their camera bags. Here’s one example I haven’t purchased myself, yet. I do keep the little packets in my bag and try to throw them out before they rip. So far that has worked.

Two things: First, rice does work. It just doesn’t work nearly as well as silica gel. Like ten percent as well. If you care about your device, rice may be marginally better than just leaving it on a counter. Just use silica gel.

Two: Some people will put the wet electronic device, be it a phone, camera or whatever, into a bag or a sock they can swing around with the open ports to the outside of the swing, using the centrifugal force to help force the water out so whatever moisture left can evaporate faster. I think this is brilliant, except having been clumsy once I didn’t want to risk throwing my camera into the ceiling too. You can though.

TIP: If you soak your electronics in salt water, dunk the item again in fresh water first to try to rinse out the corrosive salt, which will take out your electronics in just a few hours, before it gets a handle to dry.

creative uploads Diving board pool gopro photographySo when I dunked my camera, I was angry in part for my stupidity but also because it meant I couldn’t finish the creative project I started without a camera. Isn’t that weird? Of course after I sealed up my camera to dry, I went and pulled out my video camera with the expanded battery pack and carried it into the pool. (One camera down….)

Well, I had a project! To be fair I kept a brick on the camera strap and was way over in the now empty shallow part of the pool on a tripod (actually a vinyl pod but that’s another story) and zoomed in to frame the remaining water many feet away. So I just let the video run for hours and will speed it up later in Adobe Premiere. Yes I lost a chance at a shot I wanted but just chose another angle. And I had to shoot the dusty grinding off of the old surface the next day with the same camera, on a tripod at safe distances.

In my case it all worked out. After three impatient days I didn’t want to rush in case it was too soon for whatever critical drop might still remain and short out something, the camera powers on and seems fine, with no internal lens spots or obvious defects, though I suspect its life expectancy is somewhat reduced.

Timelapse video of pool draining and resurfacing to come. After the pool guy returns. Ironically, he hasn’t been able to start on the tile yet because of excess water. It’s been raining. Go figure. My camera will be ready and waiting for the rest.

—-David

P.S. Patience is a virtue. There are times you don’t want to hear that from anyone else. What I did was schedule my thinking about or testing the camera for at least two days away, and put the baggy in a place where I would eventually notice it but wasn’t in my daily path, so if I was really good at forgetting I may have trashed my multi-hundred dollar camera and SD card, one day I might go, “Oh yeah, I was drying out that GoPro.”

P.P.S. Ignoring a potential tragedy is not as easy as I make it sound. But it helped a little.

Yes those are links through my Amazon store because these are products I use from the vendor I got them from: http://astore.amazon.com/megawatson-20/

* Interjections! Show excitement! Or emotion! They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.

Pool drain timelapse creative uploads

Waterproof case on the pool step

Waterproof Versus Water-Resistant was originally published on Creative Uploads

WordPress WordPress

This will not seem like a rant.

So I originally created a small Creative Uploads site on wordpress.com, creativeuploads.wordpress.com and since I really wanted a fancier hosted site, I created that later when the opportunity arose. That’s at megawatson.com/cu, or now that the subdomain works, cu.megawatson.com. If you are reading this, you are probably at one of them.

creative uploads wordpress mobile app

Use Your Brain!

That’s because I carefully copied over the original site’s posts over to the new one, likely using the offical WordPress Importer, though now I can’t recall.

Then I set up cross-posting on the new self-hosted site (which is much fancier you know) so that it would publish the new posts I write into the original blog, thereby increasing the chance someone could stumble across me, though not always where I want….

And if I decided to slim back down to the WordPress.com site and drop hosting, I don’t lose content, just the setup and add-ons.

The free mobile WordPress app is pretty cool too. I can start, edit, schedule and read posts on it, for both sites. I can start on the computer and finish on the app. Or vice versa. When there’s a feature set that works better in one, I switch between. Or I can upoad camera photos to the media library while watching tv and use them later in a post.

But boy do I hate it when I have switched between sites and don’t go back tot he main site before I create a draft or a post and it gets pushed to the WordPress.com site and not the megawatson.com/cu version, which DOESN’T CROSS-POST AUTOMATICALLY!* Because then I have to manually copy the post and media over, hopefully while it’s a draft or still scheduled.

That doesn’t seem like a rant. More like pointing fingers at myself.

TIP: If you have more than one WordPress.com site on your app, doublecheck that you are creating in the intended site before you start.

—–David

* (and that’s okay, because imagine the redundant loop of never ending cross-posts!)

P.S. Ooh and it doesn’t update my Google+ page Creative Upload page either! No wait, BOTH do if the post is unique. That’s even more annoying! I miss you, Google Plus, you were like a cool party where you could just engage or eavesdrop on cool conversations with potential friends and acquaintances. You aren’t gone, but I don’t see your party flyers around like I used to.

 

WordPress WordPress was originally published on Creative Uploads

Prisma Goes Widescreen

In addition to new styles, Comic, Old-Fashioned and a Land Rover-sponsored Winter, you are no longer constrained to a square picture, so no automatic cropping. 

Creative uploads piano keys
Unfortunately that also means if you wanted a square aspect ratio you have to crop in something else first (Instagram will do it if you export to them, otherwise do it before you start.)

If you take a picture in the app, it’s full portrait, which displays under some of the controls (though you can hide them to preview). So you can no longer shoot square in the app that I found, and if you want a widescreen landscape aspect you have to shoot with another camera app and import it from your gallery, at least in my iOS experiments.

—–David

Don't forget the cheese says creative uploads
P.S. It aso has this weird split screen feature; when you slide your finger in the screen you can adjust the force of the style in percentage. That still happens but if you tap it brings up a split screen, half unfiltered and half with the chosen style. It seems like each tap twists the dividing line: horizontal, diagonal, vertical, off. It could be useful but it’s also annoying since that’s not what I want when adjusting the style.


P.P.S. Cropped and filtered more in Instagram. I am on there, As @megawatson, though I sometimes forget to feed it.

Prisma Goes Widescreen was originally published on Creative Uploads

Converse Amongst Your Self

​Converse. Hey Prisma has a New “Old-Fashioned” style and I had just the picture for it.


My shoes. Finally got them broken in on the heel that rubbed, after bring them years ago and frequently ignoring them.

—-David

P.S. I have some other things to break in, too, like the Syrp Mini timelapse panner I got a while ago that keeps turning itself on automatically. What’s that about? Sent a note to tech support, it will work in the meantime if I can figure out a project. Wanted to try it at Luminarias and the battery was dead. But now I get why.


Converse Amongst Your Self was originally published on Creative Uploads

If I See One More Kid In A Box …

 

Box of cuddly things

It’s not really one more kid. It’s the same kid, in a different box. It’s over a decade old but I love this picture.

Stay-At-Home dads rock. Have fun with it.

Oh, stay-at-home moms too, but I thought I should let a misunderstood subset get a little cheer.

—–David

P.S. I miss when she was this little and had less attitude, and I miss giant Eeyore head.

P.P.S. I am glad she grew up with the ability to be independent and strong willed but it really stinks to be the one being practiced on.

If I See One More Kid In A Box … was originally published on Creative Uploads

Flashback Photo: My Kid

She put herself in there.

I was a stay-at-home dad for many years, and I can’t think of a better way for a photographer to practice. Now, you don’t want to sleep or have a lot of time to do anything else, do you? At least photography lets you keep a constant eye on children, even if they don’t necessarily get eye contact.

TIP: The kid is low. Shoot low. Who wants to see pictures of the top of cute little heads all the time?

TIP: Learn to aim your camera without looking through the viewfinder.* You can use the rear screen but even better, just learn where it points and learn how to twist your lens between wide medium and closeup and what that means.

This helps you get shots of kids that like to run or duck pictures too.

Also even though I say flashback, try to shoot without the flash out. Kids hate bright light in their eyes. Not just kids. Get natural light and a good look and don’t teach the kid to blink and hide from the camera because it’s uncomfortable.

—–David

* Yes, I have said this before, and I hear you say, but how do we learn? Take a bunch of pictures and review them. You do look at your pictures during and after a session don’t you? While the scene is still fresh enough in your mind to learn something from it?

P.S. Use a flash when you need to. Realize you often don’t need to. If it’s really dark or your subject is moving fast in dimmer light, well, that gets tricky doesn’t it…. We had a good run with the mannequin challenge where you could lie and get someone to stand still pretending to shoot video, but that’s so 2016.

 

 

 

Flashback Photo: My Kid was originally published on Creative Uploads