Cameratoss, addition to the photographic vernacular

I just learned about this one today. Cameratoss is a term that is much what it sounds like. Darken the room, turn on specific point light sources, set camera for longish exposure, trigger and toss. I might not be trying this with my new camera, but maybe a small point and shoot with the tether around my wrist.

Link to Cameratoss Flickr group. (photo by davespilbrow via Flickr)

Unordinary Camera Accessories

Lens Babies
The Lens Baby is a flexible lens that fits on your SLR camera to give you finger-tip selective focus on subjects. Compress the Lens Baby in one direction and you get a tilt-focus effect, similar to that of a large format camera. The results are endless. Lens Baby also makes accessories for video cameras as well.

Joby Gorillapod
The Gorillapod might be the best impromptu tripod available. Position the three fully jointed legs in any position or secure it to a railing, lamppost or chair-back to get a shake-free shot. The rubber-ringed joints stay put.
Thanks, Ray! by Jerry Lodriguss

Be sure to check out Jerry Lodriguss's web site for a terrific gallery of extraordinary pictures of celestial objects, most shot with pro-sumer Canon equipment. But the best thing about his photos are that he tells you the details about each picture giving a wealth of information about the shot. Jerry is located in Philadelphia and is a photographer for the Philadelphia Enquirer.


Astrophotography, redux #1

With the recent aquisition of the Canon 40D, I thought I'd put it through it's paces and try some long exposure to see what the noise was like. The results were very pleasing. I'm using a Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L USM lens which is a great lens, although a bit heavy. Click each picture for a larger view.

This first image is a composite of two shots, each 15″ @ f2.8, ISO 400, 24mm focal length. The bright lines at the bottom are caused by aircraft moving through the frame. The break in the line shows the end of one shot and the beginning of the next shot. The stars are just beginning to shift as the Earth rotates.

The second image is a composite of 30 shots over 10 minutes, also east 15″ @ f2.8, ISO 400, 24mm focal length. The stars have a more dramatic shift over 10 minutes. Still, the shift isn't smooth due to the time between images (I need a true intervalometer (Wikipedia) to make this work well). Several aircraft can be seen whizzing through the frame with their stobes flashing regularly.

Modifying AXIS 205/206 for correct daylight savings time

Since AXIS discontinued support for the 205 and 206 web cameras, the internal clock in these units will not adjust DST properly (since the start and end dates were changed last year). However, you can manually adjust the DST parameters by modifying the config file yourself. Luckily, there is an internal application to modify the config files on the unit easily. Login to the admin side of your camera and browse to
From here, match your settings with the image below. I believe these to be the correct values. Tell me if I'm wrong!

Handy iPhoto Date and Time adjustment Applescripts

We used three different cameras while in London (yeah it was a bit excessive but we did end up using all three). The first being the Canon Digital Rebel XTi with that new EF 24-105 1:4 L IS USM lens. The second was a Canon SD-1000 which was being used primarily as a video camera because of it's excellent movie mode (640×480 @ 30fps). The last camera was the Canon S70, my old standby because of it's small pocket size and ability to shot RAW.

The first thing we should have done was check the clock on each camera before we began shooting on the first day. It ended up that the cameras were not synced and when all images are loaded into iPhoto, they are not in order.

I found these handy scripts from Joe Maller for manipulating the dates and times in iPhoto. It's a tad on the slow side (I'm sure because of Applescript) but it does the job.


On the topic of photography..

Here are some sites about photography that I've discovered recently; not to be missed!

Lost America via Flickr.
A collection of photos that are breathtaking and haunting; shot at night using natural and artificial light sources.

Learn how to take great shots with less gear and a little know how.

Strobist Flickr Group
See shots from people like you and read how they did it; learn flash positions and settings.

A do it yourself photography blog.

iPhone Camera: Slow Refresh Rate?

The camera in the iPhone is a 2Mp camera capturing pictures at 1600 x 1200. It achieves this through an extremely small fixed camera lens on the back. As I was taking a picture while moving the phone in a circular motion, I noticed that the frame rate on the display was creating some strange warping effects (see picture on the right). This reminds me of those very early VGA digital cameras where the scan rate was very obviously top-down and left to right making fast-motion images appear to be skewed or warped.

Just an observation is all..