All Packed And Not Even Close To Ready To Go

It’s 3:00 AM, and I’m all done. Well, other than the two dozen items left on the living room floor, including most of the tools and unassembled tool tube. Oh, and the house: it’s not quite ready to see me go.

There's still stuff left!?

What am I rambling about? I’m leaving! I’m riding a motorcycle all the way down to the southernmost tip of South America, Ushuaia in Argentina, and back. This trip has been about a year in the making, though it’s only since about May that I’ve been taking it seriously. The original start date was today; now it’s Monday, September 3rd, mostly because there’s so much left to do:

Shit. WordPress deleted everything. F#*% it. Here’s another shitty photo:

Time to crash on the couch, since all the bedding is being washed. Good night. Good morning.

Time Lapse Video at Red Deer Lake

Thought I’d try my hand at stringing together as many images as I could in a time-lapse video, capturing a busy party on a picturesque static background as it melted into the night. It turned out well!

A DSLR camera hooked up to an intervalometer captured every 90 seconds and FFmpeg transformed and packaged it up into a high-quality video. Specifically, an Olympus E-510 with a 12-60 mm zoom shot full manual — in hindsight, a mistake to not use auto or aperture priority — set on a short ~30 cm tripod.

This was a learning experience, as I normally use FFmpeg to transcode video from one format to another. It’s command line interface can seem quirky. For instance, the 270 images had to be numbered in sequence from 1 to 270, not the index my camera had assigned. To change this I tried to create a set of local symbolic links enumerated correctly, pointing to the photos on my media server, as per the FFmpeg documention.

iMac:~ pillowfort$ cd /Volumes/Public/*Pictures/*2012-07-08*/cabin
iMac:cabin pillowfort$ $x=1; for i in *JPG; do counter=$(printf %03d $x); ln "$i" ~/tmp/img"$counter".jpg; x=$(($x+1)); done

This didn’t work! I think there was an issue following the sym-links across my network. Anyway, my kludge fix was to physically copy the stills locally.

iMac:cabin pillowfort$ $x=1; for i in *JPG; do counter=$(printf %03d $x); cp "$i" ~/tmp/img"$counter".jpg; x=$(($x+1)); done

I made two versions: one 1080×1920 (1080p) and one 640×480 (VGA). -r 9 means 9 frames per second, which translates into a 30 second video from 270 images.

iMac:~ pillowfort$ ffmpeg -r 9 -f image2 -i img%03d.jpg -qscale 2 -s hd1080 outHD.mp4
iMac:~ pillowfort$ ffmpeg -r 9 -f image2 -i img%03d.jpg -qscale 2 -s vga outVGA.mp4

I like how the stars move near the end of the sequence.

2012-07-06 RDL-sequence VGA from Tyler Lucas on Vimeo.

The VGA or HD version are available for download (right-click, save…).

Photos from hiking up Mount Ernest Ross

Many friends and I went camping for a weekend in September near Nordegg, staying at the Kootenay Plains Cavalcade campground. Several photos were taken!

click for photo album!

Click the image!
If you want a super-high resolution JPEG, around 10MB each, note the “Name” of the photo, click [THIS LINK], enter the username and password that I should have already sent you personally on Facebook, then download the file whose named matches the “Name” of the photo. For example, the name field of photo #2 is “P1011756”, as displayed on it’s ‘detail page’, go to, wait for your browser (please not Internet Explorer) to ask for then enter your username and password, then right-click and save “P1011756.jpg” to your hard drive. I’ve tweaked almost all of the images in Aperture (a Mac OS X photo editing program), sometimes to extremes (’cause it looks neat!) — if you want the original [Olympus] RAW or untouched JPEG, it’s no problem to upload it, so just ask. If you don’t get a username and password, or have trouble downloading an image, ask and I’ll make it work.


An idea coming from the below xkcd, Depth Perception, and a few working examples[1,2], I wondered what it would take to get the parallax to look at the Moon or even the Sun in 3D as if they were the size of a bungalow as seen from the sidewalk.

xkcd 941, Depth Perception

Let’s take this bungalow to be about 5 m tall ($d_2$), 40 ft from the sidewalk, and the space between our eyes to be 7 cm ($d_1$). That’s right, I can mix units haphazardly. The angle to a point 40 ft away will differ by a small amount as viewed from each eye — I’ll call this difference $beta_0$. It looks familiar, and probably has a standard name and definition in optics.

beta_0 = dfrac{d_2-d_1} {d_2+d_1}
= dfrac{5 m – 7 cm}{5 m + 7 cm}
approx 0.972386588

The relation between object size and image size becomes this:

d_1 = d_2 dfrac{1-beta_0}{1+beta_0}
approx d_2 times 0.014

The Moon would require images 48 km apart; the Sun, 19’488 km (3x radius of Earth) apart. The Earth orbits the Sun at about 30 km/s, so those 19’488 km would conveniently go by in under 11 minutes. If there weren’t any clouds, you could have a setup that films the Sun and displays two output streams: one delayed 11 minutes behind the other. Any surface details that had changed during that time would be lost or at least blurry. As for the Moon, it would take a bit of planning with a friend that lives 50 km away and similar cameras with identical settings.

Something tells me that this only works for objects far away, as that distance isn’t in the calculations.

What’s that? I’m supposed to be doing homework? Oops.

Playing With Photomatix

My messy kitchen sure looks swanky when revealed by nine 1EV bracketed shots. You can see where I’ve mucked away the “Photomatix” watermarks. It’s a pretty nifty program, but I still want to see what GIMP can do before investing.

messy kitchen made swanky
3 bracketed shots (+/-1EV; 3 shots) for a total of 9 captures, handheld in the kitchen.