Arduino Camera Trigger: studio setup & first photographs

01.08.2014

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After making the necessary modifications for actual use, I have a fully functional system.  I’ve set the code up to accept either the laser tripwire input or the piezo sound/vibration input, and have set some basic timing & sensitivity variables to handle variance in the environment.  After that, the only thing left was to finalize the studio for photographing.

For the sound/vibration input, I’ve placed the piezo element beneath a container of liquid, and propped the camera & flash up on makeshift tripods (actual tripods would have been very useful, but I don’t feel like shelling out the cash for them quite yet).

For the laser tripwire input, I’ve just positioned the laser pointer on one side of the studio, and the photoresistor on the other side.  I have the laser pointer forced “on” with some masking tape, and did all the positioning by hand.  For a more reliable, long-term setup, I would definitely consider mounting the laser pointer & photoresistor to two ends of a wood or metal device, so that the positioning is constant.  But for now, I’m comfortable with a margin of error in exchange for saving some time up front.

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With all that set up, it’s on to my first attempt at high-speed photography!

As expected, the first attempt looked like little more than a first attempt.  I spent the remainder of the day adjusting the flash intensity, camera settings (aperture, white balance, ISO, etc.), and environment variables in the code (mainly making the sensors more sensitive, and adjusting the delay between when the sensors are triggered and when the flash is fired).  I also made some changes to the studio setup (black background instead of a white one to decrease reflective glare, etc.)  I’m sure I’ll continue to make adjustments as I go, but by the end of the day I’ve at least produced a few photographs worthy of posting.

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More to come!



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