Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sierra Club Work Party (Oct 16-17, 2010)

We gave back a little this weekend... Kimbo and I cruised up to Clair Tappan on Friday night, worked on stocking wood at Peter Grubb Hut on Sat & Sun.  Learned how to use the chainsaw, met some great folks, and stayed at the Hutchinson Lodge... we also got to check out Clair Tappan, which was at max capacity due to the Scottish Fiddler's from SF.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tutorial: How to take a Time-Lapse on your Canon

This is for the folks that have asked me how I make my Time-Lapse vids.

I'll dedicate this one to the one and only Messy, since his time-lapse (of the dragonfly... or is it a mayfly... below) was what really inspired me to try it.

Anyway, I almost got a Nikon because the canon doesn't have this mode... or so I thought.  Then I found CHDK.  It's a hack for your Canon to add a few more features to your camera, including the "ultra-intravalometer" a script that allows you to make these cool time-lapse.

So here's the steps:
  1. If you have a canon camera, make sure there is a CHDK is supported for your model.  Go to and look for your model under "Supported Models" on the right hand column.
  2. Make sure you have a SD card that is 4 Gb or smaller.  
  3. Download CardTricks
  4. Open the application and select the CARD's LETTER by clicking on the picture of a SD card. 
  5. Click the Format as FAT button, read and accepted the notice.
  6. Click the Make Bootable button, read and accepted the notice.
  7. click the Download CHDK button and pick your camera model ZIP file.
  8. Click the CHDK Card button and point to the ZIP file you downloaded.
  9. Then go to:, and open your notepad, and make a bas file (EDIT: See comment below... much better script)
  10. Open explorer, and put the bas file into the folder "scripts" under "CHDK"
  11. Protect the card (by moving the tab on the side).  Place the card in your camera. 
  12. Press the printer button to load your script (you'll have to play around here... but I usually have it set to take a pic every 1-5 seconds or so... depends what you are taking a pic of... set it to take infinite pics)
  13. Lower the resolution (you won't need the highest resolution for these vids anyway, but it also quickens the processing time on your camera... I put it on M2, which is 4 MP and 2272 x 1704... and FULL HD = 1920×1080) 
  14. Turn flash off
  15. Turn display off (if you can)
  16. Put it on Manual Focus (I set it on Infinity)
  17. Adjust the exposure (often on sunsets, I'll put it at -1 or so)
  18. Use a tripod, and UR good to go.  
Once you have the pics, most folks use QuickTime Pro to merge the footage.  Just put the images in one folder, "open Image Sequence", export at 30 fps, high res, etc, and you are good to go.  

Also, check out if you really get into it. 

Here are some cool tools as well: