Splash Photography Arduino Timing Rig

splash photography arduino timed dice in water

Have you ever wondered how a picture like the splashing dice above was taken? Maybe you assumed the photographer had excellent timing (which is possible), but with this howto article from Make, you don’t have to rely on timing or luck, you can actually predict when the splashdown will happen and trigger the camera appropriately.

If you remember back to high school physics class, distance (d) traveled by a falling object is predicted by: d = 1/2gt^2 or you can just guess, as they do in the howto. The Make setup shown below starts a falling object with a solenoid, meaning that there will be a set time until the object hits the water. Whether you guess or calculate, things should be consistent once calibrated. Quite clever.

splash photography arduino rig setup diagram

When I saw this splash photography rig, I thought that they were going to use a sensor to predict when the falling object was about to hit the water. If you could find an appropriate sensor for this, I think that would be a good way to do it. On the other hand, those kind of sensors can be expensive, and there would still need to be some guesswork, since you might have to offset it to not get in the way of the shot…

I’ll add this to the list of projects that I probably won’t get to. Anyone try something like this? Let me know in the comments!

Trigger Trap for Android Reviewed


New Dongle (left) Old version (right)

After taking a look at the Trigger Trap device, which allows your smartphone to interface with a camera, it’s obviously a really cool product.  It can replace a number of different triggering methods on your DSLR using your cell phone’s audio jack.

The most obvious trigger method is that of an intervalometer camera timing gadget (I also have this intervalometer -Amazon).  It can also do a number of other more advanced options, like accelerating the speed of picture taking during a time-lapse sequence.

Now that I actually have an Android “smart” phone,* I thought this might be a bit more practical than my iPad to use as an intervalometer substitute.  It works well with the features available on Android.  There are, however, a few drawbacks to using Android version instead of iOS.

One consideration, not really connected with OS, is Continue reading

DIY Panasonic LX7 Remote Shutter Release using an Air Freshener

Panasonic LX7 remote shutter release with air freshener

I’m a huge fan of automatic air fresheners.  Not for freshening the air per se, but as a source of mechanical hacking components.  After seeing that I’d made something similar in function (but not nearly as practical), Michael was kind enough to write in with his mechanical camera air freshener release setup for the Panasonic Panasonic LUMIX LX7 (Amazon) “enthusiast compact.”

According to Michael, the Panasonic LX7 is the best camera in its class, given the number of ways that it can be used in manual mode.  Also, it has a built-in ND filter (see my filter use on waterfalls), which seems especially awesome.  The only thing it doesn’t have, is remote-triggering capability.  This was almost a dealbreaker for Michael, but fortunately, a hot shoe adapter is available to use with a manual release.  Combined with creative use of an air freshener, and remote triggering was accomplished!

Unlike my remote trigger (featured here), this might be something one would use for actual photography.  Mine was more of a proof-of-concept.  Keep reading for video of this device in action, as well as step-by-step directions to build your own! Continue reading