Photos of Phones and Phonographs (occasionally)
Stus Tuesday Challenge #2
This weeks theme was water. Yet again I had loads of ideas for setup shots, but somehow didn’t get around to shooting any of them. Not having a photo-a-day to keep me shooting seems to be making me lazy! It’s a good job I went out last week and shot some emergency-backup-shots-of-fountains.
I quite like this one in an abstract kind of way. It would be interesting to see what a long exposure would do to this particular fountain.
52 Projects Progress
I’ve had a productive weekend projects wise. I’ve made some significant progress on the following:
- Circuit Bent Toy Train
I bought a toy train in a charity shop for 75p. It’s a pretty simple bend, no glitch potential as far as I can see but you can get some odd sounds out of it by putting body contacts across the speed resistor. This will all make more sense when I’ve shot the video. This one is finished, apart from the writeup/video.
- Ring Flash built from disposable cameras (aka “Deathflash”)
Designed and built the trigger circuit so I can safely fire 5 disposable camera flashes from a DSLR (The trigger voltage of a disposable camera is in the region of 230V which would do the DSLR no good whatsoever) – I now need to mount the flash units to the test rig, wire the whole lot up and fire it. Then I need to buy something to use as the final reflector (time to start searching ebay for jelly/jello molds)
- PVC Flute
I’m building a flute out of PVC pipe. The first attempt is now playable, although the tuning leaves a bit to be desired (especially if you like your notes to follow some form of scale). I think I may just document the build and call it a day for this one. The tuning seems to be too difficult to get spot on, and I don’t have enough interest in learning to play it anyway. Still, it filled an empty couple of hours!
So none that I can cross off the list and call “done” just yet – but I thought I should post something to show I haven’t forgotten completely!
Interesting desktop lighting, with no budget!
This post came out of a slightly ranty comment I left on Colins blog this morning. (Sorry Colin, I didn’t sleep much last week, so have been decafinated for 5 days now! Remember kids – NTMPG – No Tea Makes Paul Grumpy!)
I reacted to the phrase “(I’m going to) wait until I have some more light sources” – light sources are easy to come by, and interesting light can be cheap to prepare, so in my world, waiting until you can buy a new flashgun is no excuse!
I’m aware though that not everyone thinks like me, so this post is an attempt to show my thought processes when lighting a subject using whatever-I-have-to-hand.
Step by step photos, explanations, and setup shots after the jump…
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People at work…
The first Tuesday of Stu’s “Tuesday Challenge” had the theme “People at Work” – I frantically scribbled several ideas down in my notebook, and then failed to shoot any of them to any degree of success. I mostly wanted to capture the side effects of people at work, the little clues which get left that tell you there is someone working nearby. This shot is the closest I got, and it was so boring I had to add some false colour to make it even half way interesting:
On Thursday, I went for a lunchtime photowalk and happened upon this chap.
I’m not sure I like either photo really, but felt I should at least put them up so that you can see I tried Stu!
I found a clocking in/out machine at work today, which looks as though it’s not been used for years. I thought the message on the display was quite appropriate.
IN project news, Project #2 is stalled at the moment, while I try and work out what I did wrong when making my first attempt, and also while I try and work out what the hell I’ve done with my needle files! They don’t seem to be in any of my three tool boxes…
Edit: Yes the focusing sucks, the composition isn’t great, it’s poorly lit, poorly posed, and noisy ;-)
I went for a walk on Brandon Hill at lunchtime today, and inspired by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery I thought I’d have a sit down and see what wandered into range. These two shots were the result.
If anyone knows what species that second photo is, let me know. I *think* it may be a female blackbird, but I suck at ornithology!
Project 01/52 – A blackboard
I’m a fairly visual thinker, and I also like to make lists. I have a blackboard in my kitchen for things I need to buy when I next go shopping etc, but wanted a bigger one for my office – mostly to track the remaining 51 projects!
So project 01/52 was to make a blackboard.
- Scap battening
- Blackboard paint
- Hardboard culled from the Ikea desktop that served as my desk for almost 10 years
The construction is fairly simple, the hardboard was cut to size and the battening chopped up to fit around the edge, and the chalk holder screwed to the bottom piece of battening from behind. The frame is held together with nails on each corner.
Three coats of blackboard paint on the hardboard, sanded back to get rid of some visible brush strokes, then nail it all together. Job’s a goodun!
I know the description is brief, but if you need more detail than that you have no business building one ;-)
Well, I’ve had a week off – and you know what? I miss the whole photo-a-day thing. Or at least, I miss having something to think about on the way to/from work, in the tea room, and all that.
So. I have a plan!
52 projects, in 52 weeks.
2009 is to be the year that I finish all those little things I started work on. It’s going to be the year that I build the “RS232 over tin-cans-and-string” thing, the year I build that ring flash out of disposable cameras, the year that I build a small scale AM transmitter so that I can tune the valve radio in my kitchen to the 1950s…
- I have 52 weeks to complete 52 projects.
- Photos will be taken, build notes will be written up, software will be published.
- While I aim to average a project a week, completing two projects in a week then taking a week off is allowable
- Progress will be reported when it’s available, even if the project is as yet unfinished.
I’ll be maintaining a page which lists (and numbers) the projects, with links to the blog articles describing progress. Wish me luck!