Friends don’t let friends buy from spammers

I admit it, I don’t have much time to check this site any more. And so some spam gets through the filters – people posting comments about how wonderful my blog is (gee thanks) and by the way they also write term papers.

Those are spammers folks, don’t buy from them. And if you don’t, sorry but don’t be surprised if it is all junk.



More dog food – and DIY SG-3IR

I actually used the photo script for the first time in probably a year a couple weeks ago.  I wanted to do some bulk document copying, specifically to do copies of some old paper photo albums.  There were far far too many pages to sit and scan properly, but I wanted soft-copies as backups as they are important personal things.  So as a compromise, and to test my understanding of how to do document copying, I decided to quickly set up a station to do that.

Camera on a tripod pointing down, then two flashes in brollys left and right very low, to get a good even illumination.  Seemed obvious I should also use Camera Control to control it as a “remote” and also as a big preview.  So plugged it in and got it working fine, amazingly haven’t forgetting how to use it.  🙂

But in the end didn’t find it all that useful, the delay between shooting and displaying on screen didn’t allow me to work fast enough so I ended up looking through the viewfinder anyway to line up shots (my attempts at using masking tape to define the right place to put the albums just didn’t work accurately enough due to their thickness and floppiness.  Then using the PC as a remote seemed painful, and slow, so I just used a simple wired remote to avoid pressing the shutter button on the camera itself.

In the end I did get over 300 pages copied, though only about two thirds are as straight as I would like and I may go back and redo the first third before I realized my positioning was off.  Point for me though was that tethering prooved pretty useless to me in this context.  I’ll have a think about whether I can improve it, but perhaps it just isn’t relevant.

Only DIY aspect of this venture then was that because I was using CLS to trigger the flashes I had a problem with the commander pulse reflecting off the albums.  Despite what they say even when you sent the commander to “–” it still fires enough to show when basically shooting into a mirror.

A crumpled piece of silver/aluminium foil tucked under the pop-up flash to reflect the commander pulse upwards instead of towards the albums worked fine though!  A lot cheaper than one of those IR filters that Nikon sells – SG-3IR which is more than 10 bucks!

Meanwhile over in my other life, trying to earn a living, I’ve been doing a lot of CSS/HTML5 work so hopefully can reapply that and get Camera Control restyled with CSS to be a little (only a little) less ugly!  One day…


Should have got there earlier

Was going to a redbull “soapbox car” race yesterday, took all the gear hoping to get some nice pics.  Of course by the time my bus finally gets there the police are saying it’s closed and nobody else is allowed in.

Finally ended up taking a couple of pictures in the mall on the way back home.  That’s about it for my photography these days.  With kids how do you find time!?

Turn any object into a shutter button…

Take a look at this:


It can turn any object into a mouse click or a spacebar press.  Which of course can be used to press a button in a tethering software, mine or anybody elses.

Photobooth with a banana as the shutter button?  Not just possible, but easy, using this.

Reports of my death have…

… as Mark Twain put it, been greatly exaggerated.  Well to be more accurate it was this website that was reported dead, but it isn’t, it’s here and I still pay the hosting bills, but it isn’t being updated.

At the moment my life is well….  Not so free as it once was.  Some good reasons, some bad.

Photography has taken a back seat though, and as I no longer take many pictures, and never make pictures, I’m not updating this site as there is nothing to say.

I do hope, dream even, that I’ll get back to photography and hence to making little DIY things to help with it.  And that time would include working on the camera control script which I am gratified to say has helped some people.

So for those of you who would like to have a script that does more, then if you are a programmer I say go and write one.  Maybe looking at mine will be an inspiration, I know I read code examples all the time to find bits of syntax that work for me.  Or perhaps better to start from scratch, I tend to prefer clean-room and don’t like to look at other peoples finished programs to avoid being influenced.

But as far as I am concerned Camera Control is my script, my secret sauce, and it’s currently in the freezer waiting the day when I can get it out and work with it again.  Not today, not tomorrow, but some day.  That’s what dreams are made of – possible, maybe, but not now.


5.1 dev = 5.2

Oops, I see I failed to increment the number on the header of the script before publishing the last version. So “5.1 dev” is really what I mean to call 5.2.

Interest in Photobooth functions?

I noted that several people have used the Camera control script as the software to drive a photobooth as events, such as wedding, where guests can come up and take their own picture.

The script can be used like that, but is hardly ideal. However I can imagine making a “photobooth mode” specifically for this purpose which would take away some of the problems.

E.g. you could have a simplified control – basically only one button to press.

Let me know if that sounds interesting and if you have any ideas to add and see if I should spend some more thought on it.

Maybe it is all in the cable…

Seems strange but if you are having trouble with Camera Control being unreliable or failing to perform, try making sure that your USB cable connection is good:

  • Use a short cable
  • Use the best quality cable you have
  • Plug the cable directly into the PC, not via a hub

Strange as it may seem this has fixed some of my own problems. Apparently it is possible to have an unreliable USB connection which is good enough for some purposes (including downloading images in batches), but not good enough for tethering.

The details I don’t understand, but give it a try if all else fails.