I’m Getting Married!!!!

That’s right folk, this man is getting married. I’ve been dating this gorgeous girl named Amy since March. You may be thinking, wait, March?!? That’s not long enough… But it is. I’m reminded of Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally. He says at the end of the film “…when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” So, folks, I’ve found the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with.

With that said, I’m jumping in with both feet.

Easter 2014 – Timelapse

This last Easter I decided to try and do a time-lapse video of the whole Sunday. I had at my disposal my trusty Canon XTi with a 50mm fixed lens. I bought the lens about 3 years ago and I’ve got to be honest. It hasn’t left my camera since. I love it, and shoot everything through it. They say that having a non-zoom lens will make you a better photographer, I’ve got to agree. It makes you frame your shot, and not be afraid to get in strange places just to get the right angle. I also had a copy of Lightroom 5.4 (the latest at the time). My macbook pro and an external drive.

As with any time-lapse you want to make sure your camera doesn’t move. To get this acomplished I grabbed a mic stand, and an adapter we use for our on stage static shots. It worked quite well I think. I set the camera up at FOH right in front of me, and a little higher (though as you’ll see in the short movie, not high enough). I then ran a USB cable from my camera to my laptop, plugged in my external hard drive and fired up Lightroom.

In Lightroom I started a Tether session. (File -> Tethered Capture -> Start Tethered Session…)

The capture settings I used for my Easter 2014 time-lapse
The capture settings I used for my Easter 2014 time-lapse

I named the session Easter 2014. Next I changed the naming settings. I added the date on to the settings it already was going to use by default. Looking at it I should have added a space between the Sequence Number and Date (Month). (I’ve since gone in and fixed it as well as created it as a preset.) After that we need to tell Lightroom where we are going to save the images. I like to keep my stuff organized so I created a folder that had the same name as the Session Name. That way I know what I’m searching for. After that I filled out my Metadata with location, contact info and copyright. Lastly I filled in some keywords. After having to go back and fill out keywords for some 5000 images when I started with Lightroom I try to stay on top of the keyword game.

Then I turned to Apple Script to tell Light room to Trigger Capture. Now here is where I ran into an issue. You see by default “F12″ is the short cut for Trigger Capture. As I learned the function keys are not scriptable by apple script. (If someone knows a way to script them please let me know.) So, the first thing I had to do was change the keyboard shortcut. For mac this is done in the keyboard section of the System Preferences. I’m using Mountain Lion (10.8.5). To change the short cut we head to System Preferences -> Keyboard ->Keyboard Shotcuts. Then in the list on the left find Application Shortcuts, and click the “+” at the bottom left of the list that appears on the right. Here we can either add a global shortcut or an application specific one. I chose to make it application specific for obvious reasons. To do this we need to select Adobe Lightroom 5 from the drop down menu, and enter the exact name of the Menu Title we want to trigger. For us it’s Trigger Capture. Then finally we choose the new keyboard shortcut we want to use. Now, Lightroom being a massive application has a lot of keyboard short cuts. I got lucky with Shift+Command+9 (not the keypad, but number row 9). Now that that’s done we can exit the System Preferences and head back to Apple Script.

The script I’m using is pretty simple. It’s a loop, and does only a few things. First it checks the System Events to see if Lightroom is running. If it is running then we tell the application to come to the front or “activate”. Then we send Lightroom the keystroke of 9 with command and shift held down. Next we wait 10 seconds, or how ever long you want. Lastly we tell the script to repeat. The cool thing about this script is that it will run in the background until Lightroom is closed. Then it will exit. Me personally I’m gong to run it from the Apple Script editor so I can just hit Stop when I’m done. With other scripts I’ve found online there is a run for X number of times. I don’t like this as I then have to figure out exactly how many pictures I want to take. I’d prefer to just say “I want to take a picture every 10 seconds” then the video is as long as it is.

The script:

tell application "System Events"
repeat
if exists
process "Lightroom" then
tell application "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5"
activate
end tell
tell
process "Lightroom"
keystroke "9" using {command down, shift down}
end tell
delay
10
else
exit repeat
end if
end repeat
end tell

Download the script here.

Once all of that was done I simply clicked run in the Apple Script Editor and went to work mixing the service.

Once the service was done I went into Slideshow in Lightroom and applied a preset I found online. That’s a pretty good video on how to do this inside Lightroom once you’ve got your images captured. In the description is the link for the presets.

I then just exported the video at the resolution I wanted (720p) and sat back and waited.

The finished video

Something to note I did go into the preset and change the line 100/2397 (I used 23.97fps) to 500/2397. This made the image stay on the screen for 5 frames instead of just 1. Which makes for a longer video.

One last thing, make sure your settings on your camera are all set to manual. I had mine set to program and as you can see the images look good, but the focus shifts around, which I don’t like, but it is my first time-lapse.

All in all it was a lot of fun to do this and figure out the kinks. I know I’ll be doing this a lot more, especially since I ordered an external power supply for my camera. I’m thinking of doing a week of ministry style video. A full 7 day time-lapse. Should be a lot of fun…

Go and Experience Life with Someone

jlillie-2014-00039Took a hike yesterday. I recommend it to anyone, and everyone. Get out there. either by yourself, or with someone else. Maybe the special someone. Maybe just a friend. Maybe some random stranger. It really doesn’t matter. Go out, experience stuff, and the world around you. I don’t care if it’s a drive to somewhere you’ve never been, or that loop you do every week. Just do it. Take someone with you, experience it together and then talk about it. Put the phones away, or on airplane mode for picture-taking, and experience.

Words…

According to the Oxford English Dictionary there are almost a quarter of a million words in the English Language. It’s a little sad then that we use so very few to define and express our emotions and thoughts. Anyone else think we need to raise our vocabulary to something a little higher than, say, a fifth grader’s? Unless of course you find yourself a fifth grader…

Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

A little something to get you thinking…

Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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