Sometimes I Get Obsessed


A few days ago I started fooling around (again) with Magic Lantern. ML is firmware for my camera which makes it do all sorts of things it wasn’t designed to do! Magic Lantern enabled me to get hummingbird close-ups. Now I’m using it for timelapse photography.

This is the norm for me. Once I get a new tool I use it obsessively until I’ve mastered it.

I set my camera up at the end of our street. Cloud timelapses almost beg for a wide angle photography. I used a 10mm lens tilted up to catch lots of sky. Magic Lantern took one frame every second, producing a video 30 times normal speed.

The hills in the background are part of the Loma Ridge, foothills of the Santa Ana range.

Here’s the result of my effort. Click the box to watch it full screen.

Trying To Get My Rig Together

When I decided to become a web developer I realized the only way to compete in a crowded marketplace was to offer websites with integrated video and photography. These are areas where I have expertise and many ‘devs’ do not.

I’ve got a website video shoot Monday.

My Canon 7D is primarily a still camera, but also great with video. Lots of TV shows and movies are shot with 7Ds and similar DSLRs

It’s just not ergonomically designed for moving pictures. For movies you need to add a ‘rig.’

A rig is a mount system for the camera which makes it more stable and easier to use when shooting video. I bought one with follow focus, hand grips and a shoulder brace. It came without instructions.

It was a little confusing to assemble. Even more confusing is deciding on a final configuration.

I headed over to my friend Steve’s house for some Allen Wrench therapy. He is the tool man!

There have to be at least a dozen possible adjustments. Each affects all the others. This is where instructions probably would have come in handy!

Did I want the hand grips moved forward? How I should I hold the rig for the camera to be parallel with the ground? Should the shoulder mount be long or short or… well, you get the idea.

We screwed with the assembly making loads of adjustments until it was reasonably comfortable. I shot some video of Steve, who at 6′ 5″, is a challenge to shoot. The video was steady. As I walked around, motion was smooth.

I’ll experiment a little more tomorrow, but I’m confident the rig works and will make a big difference. All I need is my own 9mm Allen Wrench!