Meteor M-N2 Images

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Triggertrap Timewarp mode - clouds over Allalin

This Triggertrap Timewarp mode is quite cool assuming all the technology works together, meaning mainly that the batteries of the camera and phone don't run out.

This video is of clouds over the Allalin mountain in Saas Fee.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Triggertrap - Timelapse video

This video was captured using my Canon EOS 400D, a Triggertrap dongle and Android app using the Timelapse mode. It was processed using Stopmotion and Winff open-source software on a Samsung netbook running Lubuntu 12.04.

It shows skiers at Morenia in Saas Fee, Switzerland. The temperature when I shot this was about -14 Celsius but in bright sunshine so I'm not sure it is focussed exactly.

Triggertrap - hints and tips

These hints and tips relate to use with the Android app and a Canon 400D.

If you enable mirror lockup (Custom function 7) and use Triggertrap in Bulb mode with Cable Release (and probably other modes as well) and have the camera Drive mode set to 'Single shooting' you have to press the 'shutter' button twice to get the camera shutter to open. If you set the camera drive mode to 'Self timer/Remote control' then the shutter fires 2 seconds after the Triggertrap button is pressed.

So, the approach for long exposures in Bulb mode where you want to lock the mirror to prevent shake is to set the drive mode to 'Self timer' and accept a 2 second pause before the exposure starts.
Timewarp mode - the app takes exposures faster, then slower and then faster, depending on the type of easing selected and the associated curve. It calculates the number of pictures to take based on the total number of exposures you select and the overall time period.

However, the major failing of the app is that the number of seconds between exposures at the beginning and end of the sequence can be very small, i.e. < 1 second. The app really should take this into account and default to a minimum number of exposures per second (or a minimum number of seconds per exposure) rather than make it look like it is taking exposures when the camera has no chance of keeping up (not withstanding that different types of camera might be able to cope with different timings). Also, on looking at the app when it has settled down to (in this case) about one exposure every 12 seconds it was occasionally displaying something like "1012213344 seconds to next exposure"! I think the algorithm needs some work!

General comment on app design.

The Android app is almost unusable in bright light outside. The controls are very, very small and difficult to see. The uber-cool grey and black design might look good in the office but it does nothing for usability. Forget trying to use it with gloves on. I've had a quick look at the Apple app and the fonts are bigger. Maybe this is something to do the way the app has been ported to Android - most Android screens are bigger than Apple ones... 

Triggertrap - Android version - bugs

Timelapse mode

The first screenshot show how the app works without a Triggertrap dongle attached (presumably, how it should work) showing the number of seconds until the next exposure and the number taken so far.

The next screenshot shows the screen when attached to my Canon 400D, taking pictures but not showing anything useful on the screen.

The app sometimes shows the option 'Buy the Dongle' and sometimes not, even with a dongle connected.
To exit the app takes many presses of the Android back button sometimes, when on the main menu. However, this may be a problem with Android/my Sensation XE as it does seem to occur on other apps.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Triggertrap - second attempt

Here's my second Triggertrap photograph of half a full moon, the movement of the moon during the exposure makes it look more like a full moon. This time 6 shots of 5 minutes each with a delay of 10 minutes between each exposure. Aperture is f5.0, ISO 100, the images were combined using gimp. 

The temperature was -6.5 Celsius when I took this so much further investigation at night is going to have to wait until the temperature is a bit warmer!

Triggertrap - first impressions

This is my first photograph taken using my Triggertrap. It is a view of Plattjen taken from Saas Fee in Switzerland. It was produced using a combination of 7 images and processed in gimp following instructions on the Sandcurves blog. You can see the star trails and the trail left by the headlights of the piste machine.

My initial observations of the Triggertrap are that it is a fantastic platform for innovative photography. However, the Android version of the software needs work to polish off the rough edges - more specific details will follow in another post. The drain on the battery for long exposures is severe and this needs to be addressed if possible. I'll try to borrow my daughters iPod Touch to try the Apple version of software.

First post

I am going to post here any jottings or musings I have about my hobbies of amateur radio and photography. They may be of use to other people, as I have found out plenty of useful information from other blogs.

My ham radio callsign is G0FCU. At the moment I am particularly interested in QRP homebrew and software defined radio (SDR) using a FunCube Dongle Pro. For  the computer part of the SDR set-up I use Linux as the operating system with gqrx as the decoding software. I intend to buy an RTL2832U dongle to further experiment in this area, particularly with ADS-B reception to decode details of the aircraft that pass over our house.

I have a Double Sideband (DSB) transceiver to complete and I also have the components to build the transmit part of my homebrew 70Mhz receive converter.

On the photography side of things I have recently bought a Triggertrap. This clever device allows me to control my camera (Canon EOS 400D) from my Android mobile phone (currently an HTC Sensation XE). This will allow me to experiment more with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and long exposure photography.