$17 Arduino-based nikon IR intervalometer + code

invervalometer_4

This is one of those projects I’ve been working on for quite a while now, but never well enough to actually put it in a box! Well.. it still has no box, but it’s much closer to a boxable form.

It is a RBBB arduino clone (but any arduinowillwork) with an ir led, a potentiometer, a resistor, and some perfboard. The perfboard is as much there to help provide a little bit of wire strain relief as it is to provide a place to mount the pot. The code simply reads the pot input and converts it into a delay() function. Then it fires the IR led with the nikon-specific magic to tell my d40 to shoot.

Here is an example of one of the timelapses I have shot.

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How to use Ac power to replace the Nikon D40 battery

I still haven’t gotten the grip I mentioned a few posts ago. I don’t know if I will. I have figured out a clumsy hack to get the job done and I might just run it this way, or perhaps clean it up a tiny bit.

This is the battery with little aluminum strips taped to it. The battery compartment is too tight for regular wires, so foil was the only way to do it.

aluminum foil wiring for battery pack d40

aluminum foil wiring for battery pack d40

This pic shows the “wires” coming out of the battery grip. I have alligator clips on a 7.3V 200Ma cell phone charger. I connect it to the foil and off we go!

battery grip showing aluminum "wiring"

The reason why I have the battery in there is because without it, there isn’t enough juice to fully actuate the shutter. I think that some kind/type of capacitor would also do this, but I’m afraid I don’t what kind would work.

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8 tips for Time lapse photography

Here’s a few things I have learned while sitting in fields waiting for my camera to finish working for me.
8 tips for shooting SLR time lapses

 

1) Put your camera on full manual – otherwise the still will flicker from one to the next.

 

2) Try to pick objects that are still, or are far away enough that they won’t be overly distracting (trees are great in the background, but tend to look bad in the foreground because they move so much.)

 

3) Set your camera to a fixed iso – mine was on auto iso (even in manual mode) and it took me a while to really figure that out.

 

4) Sometimes you will have to make concessions for the brightness / amount of motion blur issue. Either get more light, a faster lens, or a more realistic view of what is possible.

 

5) Set your camera to be as energy efficient as possible. Turn the auto preview off, and turn the auto focus off (after focusing) It is uncanny how much power holding the mirror up takes. If you are planning on shooting all night you’re going to need to be running efficient.

 

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time lapses – getting to know your intervalometer

I’ve been inspired to shoot more pictures lately. Like everything else in my life I tend to go for quantity over quality, so I shot a LOT of pictures. I acquired a battery/intervalometer for my Nikon D40 a while back and didn’t even notice the intervalometer settings until recently.

 

I’ve shot quite a few tests with it and I’ll post them below. The first was clouds through my kitchen window.

 


The second was more clouds from the roof at my work.

 

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