American Ruins in 3D! That sounds almost like a scene from THE AMERICAN BACKROOM… or rather like a photo project by Matt Bergstrom. He’s creating three View-Master Sets of abandoned buildings in decay.
“American Ruins” is a three-dimensional, photographic series exploring unusual, abandoned buildings — like a candy factory! — to be viewed on an old-fashioned View-Master. Both an exploration of architectural history and a fun throwback to childhood, backers will receive their very own View-Master viewer and a complete set of reels!
Matt needs a little financial support to get things started so he launched his project on Kickstarter: American Ruins in 3D! How cool is that. Definitely worth our support. Click the image below to check it out:
We’ve been mentioning it before, but haven’t shown anything from our little tilt shift miniature faking video shoot we did during our research trip last fall. At least so far! Finally found the time to continue working on it and it will go online before the end of the month. That’s a promise. And here’s a little tease. Enjoy!
Man, feels almost like in a post office these days. The i-Blue 747 GPS Logger arrived at our offices today and is put to the acid test right away. The little bugger is able to record up to 150,000 way points. Depending on your pre-determined log interval that’s enough for more than a day in the field. In connection with a bluetooth-enabled notebook or mobile phone you can also use it for GPS navigation.
It comes with software that allows you to configure it and download the recorded geo data. While it took me three attempts to get the software running and to detect the device connection, configuration of the logger itself was fairly simple. For the beginning I set the logging interval to 1 second and every 10 meters. And since we want to use it to tag our photos with GPS information, I grabbed the camera and the logger and went for a little walk. Important note: You first need to make sure that the clock in your camera is matched to the clock of the logger. Syncing of your photos to geo data is solely based on time.
So I went around the block and downloaded the recorded data via the software that also allows you to immediately draw a path in GoogleEarth. At first glance I’d say I had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.2 percent and bashed my ahead against the wall several times. Well, I better zoom out and look at it from a high altitude, so the path looks not so staggered anymore. Obviously measuring accuracy has some room for improvement. But what about geo-tagging of my photos?
The i-Blue’s software itself is not capable of photo tagging. So you first need to save the gps information to a file – you can either choose between saving it to Google’s .kmz-format to load your path into Google Earth, or .nmea-format. For now we need the latter one.
I’m going to use Copiks PhotoMapper, a free software to match your photos to your gps log file. It is simple and rather self-explanatory: Choose “Import GPS Data” from the menu to load your .nmea-file. It will immediately draw your path on a small map. Then choose “Import Images” from the same menu and open the photos you want to tag. Again, the software immediately does its job, matching longitude and latitude to your images. That’s it. Now just select all images and save them into a .kmz-file.
You can now load your .kmz-file into Google Earth…. et voila, there you have it: your tagged photos! Guess what, it doesn’t look too bad. In fact, almost each one of them is placed at the right spot, some more, some less. But overall it pretty good. Now if deactivate your zigzag path no one will ever notice any measuring inaccuracy. Hooray! Click here to download the .kmz-file from my little test and have a look at it for yourself.
We’ve been looking for a feasible audio solution for the Canon 5D Mark II for couple weeks now. The camera itself features a built-in microphone that is serviceable at best offering only a short pickup distance and mediocre sound quality. There is also the possibility to plug-in an add-on mic, but the camera offers no way of audio gain control or even monitoring recording levels (only with a third-party firmware update, but we wouldn’t want to install that one on a rented camera). Plus there is no headphone jack on the camera. So after reading through several bulletin boards and blogs on the topic we decided to give the ZOOM H4n portable digital audio recorder a try. The recorder is kindly provided by Sound Service GmbH, the European distributor of ZOOM products.
The audio recorder features a high-class onboard stereo mic, but more important for us, it also offers two XLR connectors for professional-level microphones. It accepts SD-cards of up to 32GB to capture digital audio in WAV or MP3 file format.
The recorder arrived at our offices today. Over the course of the next weeks we will see if it lives up to its promise. We can already say for sure that it is handy, lightweight and operating it seems kinda self-explanatory.
Getting a picture of it:
One of the reasons that led us to the ZOOM H4n was the audio testing conducted by P3Pictures. They tested several different audio gadgets with the 5D MkII. Here’s a short video with their final statement – for those of you who like to know the whole story, scroll down to find links to each and every testing video:
Delivery service just rang! Making travel arrangements for our research trip sometimes feels like christmas, as we are getting little gift packages almost on a daily basis. This time it’s a Navigon 4310 max, so we are making sure not to lose our way in the USA. Thanks to the kind people at Navigon who provide this one for our trip. Usually the 4310 max comes with only European maps, but it seems as if they made an exception for us
Note the small label on the lower left corner… I bet this’ll help us find remote and secret access roads to Area 51! (Click to enlarge)
Speaking of GPS, navigation and geoinformation: To be able to tag the photos we are going to take, we just purchased an i-Blue 747 GPS Logger at everybody’s favorite online auction house. For a mere 45 dollars. The i-Blue 747 tracks itineraries and geoinformation that can be synchronized to Exif information of digital photos. I don’t know yet how (good) that’s gonna work out, but will keep you posted as soon as this little gadget gets dropped off… Like christmas, as I said.
Today at the MovieBrats office: delivery service dropped a little package we have eagerly been waiting for. You must know, we are already planning to produce some “content” during our upcoming research trip. Not yet for the final feature documentary, rather to be made available online, so you all can take part in it. We just like to capture footage of encounters, chats, interviews, moods and atmosphere, faces and stories. Hit the jump to see what the little package has to do with our plan.