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Posted on 2010.07.02 at 15:00
Current Location: 75070

With the City set to provide its citizen's a fireworks display, I'm growing nervous wondering if I could push the limits of "The Little Point & Shoot That Could" (TLP&STC) and get even a semblance of a decent shot. The Canon S3 is a lot of things, but "remote shutter" isn't one of them...nor is BULB mode, two important factors of shooting fireworks.

I return to our old friend CHDK, the Canon Hack Development Kit, which allows non-permanent (read non-disruptive) firmware tweaking. While the TLP&STC is already awfully full-featured for a point & shoot, CHDK adds functionality such as RAW mode, among other things.

And while I don't have the time, nor inclination to build a remote from a USB cable, a Chinese door-bell ringer, and a shell script...
@title Remote button
while 1
wait_click 1
if is_key "remote" then shoot

...I am interested in the BULBING, which is done with an intervalometer script without a "dark frame" subtraction followed by image stacking in Photoshop.


What they fail to tell you (and I learned this attempting to manipulate my camera's dizzying array of controls during my failed ISS overflight shots) is that unless you have your settings memorized, its going to be difficult to change them at night. When its dark.

As a silver-halide photographer I often had to uncap and respool undeveloped film in the darkroom, or a light-proof bag which you stuck your arms in. That was easy compared to the back of my camera, and the back of the camera is easy compared to the software menus on the LCD screen. I need a red-light "night mode" for my display so I don't completely burn our my retinas during after dark shots.
EricHowton: Did you know the camera in my blackberry is better than my first two digital cameras?
ProfessorTom: Maybe you should shoot fireworks with your Blackberry instead of TLP&STC
EricHowton: :D
You'll be the first to know if I'm successful, though just like the International Space Station I'll be working with a tight window. I'm going to crash some neighboring cities' displays prior to ours in an attempt to carve out the final solution.

Wish me luck.


Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-07-02 20:17 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck.
ehowton at 2010-07-02 20:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks dude. Of course had I a Nikon D70, it would be child's play. As it is, I'm giving up picture-perfect....well, pictures for another challenging TLP&STC assignment!
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-07-02 20:20 (UTC) (Link)
The camera only does so much. I need more glass.
ehowton at 2010-07-02 20:42 (UTC) (Link)
Challenge yourself to look past the limitations...and into the possibilities.

"More glass" won't make poor pictures better, but your imagination can transcend all obstacles!
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-07-02 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
You're right. If I think hard enough, I can take that crappy picture and imagine it something beautiful. There might even be rainbows and unicorns!
ehowton at 2010-07-02 23:09 (UTC) (Link)
While no longer emotionally agitated by your asinine statements, clinically speaking, it fascinates me that you honestly and sincerely believe yourself to be correct in this matter.

Even after having been proven dumb, you continue to make the same dullard mistakes over and over*

Things which can be purchased won't make you smart, or creative, or motivated. Only you can do that, and you hide behind semantics and ridiculously immature statements as an excuse for your inaction - again, not angry, just....fascinated really.

* http://ehowton.livejournal.com/167704.html?thread=4202008 ; http://ehowton.livejournal.com/327482.html

ehowton at 2010-07-02 23:52 (UTC) (Link)
I've pretty much decided that if I shoot a real winner of a fabulous shot, I'm going to frame it up in my blog all pretty-like and caption it, Captured with my BlackBerry.

(Anonymous) at 2010-07-02 23:29 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck! Seems a challenging project you've set for yourself.

ehowton at 2010-07-02 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I may get a chance to practice on a lighting storm tonight if all goes well.

Lightning's kinda like fireworks...right?
irulan_amy at 2010-07-03 02:10 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck! Fireworks are hard to grab...
irulan_amy at 2010-07-03 02:10 (UTC) (Link)
Well obvisouly hard to grab, I mean to say hard to photograph properly. For me anyways. :)
ehowton at 2010-07-03 03:17 (UTC) (Link)
It'll be a learning experience if nothing else.
thesweetestnote at 2010-07-03 06:49 (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I just thought about one good thing about this city... there's a bunch of firework displays everywhere starting tonight and running through till the 4th. I'm bummed that I missed Cheap Trick playing at our downtown street festival tonight though :(
ehowton at 2010-07-03 13:45 (UTC) (Link)
That West Texas town sounds like a hip place sometimes.
thesweetestnote at 2010-07-04 19:14 (UTC) (Link)
Marty Robbins seemed to think so! :P

It has it's moments.

Edited at 2010-07-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
thesweetestnote at 2010-07-03 06:51 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2010-07-03 13:45 (UTC) (Link)
thesweetestnote at 2010-07-04 19:11 (UTC) (Link)
Du bist willkommen
(Deleted comment)
ehowton at 2010-07-04 14:53 (UTC) (Link)
My wife's woefully substandard, yet newer & greater megapixel depth point & shoot has a "fireworks" mode on it :/
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