Cheapest follow focus ever for canon 7d / 5d mark II

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Ever since I have fallen in love with the Canon 7d dslr, I have been fantasizing about making a legit follow focus for a dslr. It allows you to have more control over the focusing, and a smoother camera because your rotation is in a different axis as the lens. (You may hear more of my traditional FF plans in a few) In the meantime I saw a vimeo clip that had this little gem of an idea in it. For quick focus pulls a lever like this can’t be beat, and it’s dirt cheap as well!
rack focus for canon dslr

Here are all of the parts from the old home depot. Simple stuff. It totaled around $6, and it’s enough to make 2 and have parts left over.

worm screw

The first step is to cut out a few teeth in order to make room for the bolt.

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Why I love dropbox.

Picture 1

This will be a simple post.
I want to put my love for dropbox into words. For those out of the know, dropbox is a simple online storage solution. They give you 2 gigs of storage for free. Some of the space can be web-accessible (should you choose) so you can post zip files or pictures for grandma, or even html and simple web sites. If you choose you can also not have the storage be web accessible. Simple as that.

Picture 4

The even cooler thing about dropbox is the way they handle the file transfer. On a mac dropbox installs as a menubarlet (tiny lil guy up by your battery monitor / wifi icon) and it syncs with a folder on your hard drive. You can put the dropbox folder wherever you choose. From now on, whenever you put something into the folder, or move it out, the same thing will happen with your ‘online’ version of it.

This is a super easy way to share files between the home and office computer, between office mates, quickly post quicktimes for review, or even share application settings. There are a TON of useful things you could use this for, simply because it shows up as an actual folder on your drive, not some only-web-accessible data ghetto like so many of the other services.

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star trail stacking in photoshop

flattenedFullframe

I have always wanted to do this kind of photography, but with most digital cameras there is simply no way you can leave the shutter open and the sensor on for a few hours. My D40 starts to get some serious noise after a few minutes, and there clearly must be an upper limit due to the sensor overheating. Luckily for me there is a relatively simple way to compose LOTS of shots into one image and achieve the same effect.
For those who only want to mile high review of it, here it is. Take a ton of pictures with a long-ish shutter speed. (for this one I used 10 seconds) and then layer them all in photoshop on top of each other and use the
“screen” blending mode to get them all visible.
The actual application of this can be difficult, because it is either REALLY time consuming, or it requires some thought and scripting. I decided to go for the latter and use my noggin a bit.

Scripting a photoshop action.
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nikon d40 camera external power supply hack

d40powercord crop

I have been looking for a way to add external power to my camera for a while. I have had some good ideas and even hacked together a workable prototype a while back. The problem was it wasn’t very ‘tight’ and I was always afraid I was going to reverse polarity, or short it out, and it took a lot of time to set it up every time I wanted to use it.

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