Our project begins today! Well at least it does with respect to John and I visiting classes at the middle and upper schools. For me the hours began way back in February.
For the past 10 or so weeks I have been maintaining a couple of camera rigs at the existing Governor Stirling site. These cameras are mounted high in boxes, taking a photo every minute to be used in a time lapse visualisation of the entire demolition process. Usually this kind of exercise requires reasonably expensive equipment, but me being the geeky hack-it-together guy that I am, I came up with a cheaper alternative.
At the end of last year when the school was being cleaned out, equipment being packed up into shipping containers on the two temporary sites and lots of stuff being left for rubbish, I nabbed a couple of old unused digital cameras from the photography department. The cameras were Canon Powershots, pretty decent point-and-shoot cameras when they were released five years ago. Using an open source custom camera firmware, CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit), I was able to write and load my own scripts onto the camera, enabling extra functionality over the camera’s stock software. This let me program them to take a photo every minute and adjust a few other settings with regards to light levels and focus. Combined with some new 16GB SD cards and some rechargeable deep cycle batteries, I’d built two semi-professional time lapse kits for around $100 each and a few hours of tinkering.
My estimates are that over the five month period or so that I’ll be maintaining these cameras, I’m going to take close to 300,000 photos. The photos will be batch edited and compiled into video, to be shown at the project exhibition July 6th.
Here’s a taste of what to expect (this has had minimal editing).