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Raspberry Pi Projects

1 Post authored by: VictoriaJones element14 Team

As a keen photographer, I was intrigued by what the Point and Shoot Camera could deliver. The bundle is created using the Raspberry Pi, PiFace Control and Display and Pi Camera, all packaged up in some rather smart cases.

 

The set up and execution of the timelapse is brilliantly simple, with the hardest part of the whole project being deciding what the subject should be. One thing I will say is choose a place that will be undisturbed by movement or light – discovering my sunrise timelapse which involved a 5am kick off had fallen over mid-recording, was just a little annoying...

 

What you’ll need:

Photo1.jpg

 

So, first things first – get your kit together:

1 x Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi

1 x PiFace Control and DisplayPiFace Control and Display housed in separate Camden Boss caseCamden Boss case

1 x Pi CameraPi Camera  housed in separate Camden Boss caseCamden Boss case (or Pi NoirPi Noir if you want to record at night)

1 x Portable battery

1 x PiViewPiView (for reviewing your efforts later)

 

Then assemble your kit following the instructions provided.

 

Photo2.jpg

 

IMPORTANT – there are 2 ways to position your camera – I opted for a bit more flexibility by feeding through the gap near the USB which allows the ribbon cable to remain free but you can mount through the SD card end as well.

 

Once you have your lovely camera ready, you need to prep the software.

 

Software for your Point and Shoot Camera

 

Assuming you are using your Raspberry Pi from scratch you’ll need to download the NOOBS software to the SD card from the Raspberry pi Foundation page.

 

Then once you have this, you’ll need to enable the camera software on the PiFace Control & Display. See the set up guide here.

 

And there we go, ready to shoot.

 

Setting up for timelapse shot

 

So next steps are:

 

- Choose your subject

- Choose a position for maximum visibility (if you have time, test the set up of the camera by taking test shots and reviewing). Be careful of reflections – the camera’s red LED will flash at each shooting  so if you place right in front of glass for example, there’s a good chance you’ll see the light or get a lovely red glow.

- Make sure your SD card is cleared of images AND REMEMBER NOT TO OVERFILL – you’ll need to keep some memory back to run the Raspbian to download your pictures. I found a maximum of around 1500 images is fine. The display below shows that there are 1623 photos remaining (not that have been taken). If you want to take more, then getting a larger SD card will solve the problem (I'm using an 8GB).

- Power up your battery and wait for the PiFace Control & Display to boot up.

 

Photo3.jpg

 

- Use the bottom left button to scroll through to ‘timelaps’

- In the bottom left corner of the screen you will see the text ‘S1s1’, these are the settings for the timelapse. The 1st number is the period that the timelapse will take over and the 2nd number is the delay between each photo. The characters before these numbers represent the time unit for this number, currently set to ‘s’ for seconds. Press the 3rd button from the left to set the time unit for the period, and the 4th button for the time unit for the delay between pictures.

You may notice that one of the characters is capitalised, this is the setting that is currently selected, to change this number, flick the rocker switch right or left. Press the 2nd button from the left to switch between the period and the delay. The number of pictures taken is equal to the period divided by the delay between pictures. The number in the top right of the screen is the number of pictures there is space left for on your RaspberryPi, if the settings for your timeplapse will take more pictures than there is space for, you will be notified with an exclamation mark when the timelapse starts.

The ideal length of time between successive pictures will depend on your subject, fast moving and detailed scenes like the car park look better with more frames per second whereas you could expand the delay to every 2 or 3 seconds for a less detailed scene like a sunset. But this is the joy of the project – you need to experiment.

- Make final adjustments

- Push down on the jog wheel to begin shooting.

- Slowly step back and leave alone – the red LED will continue to flash as the camera is shooting.

When the LED stops flashing, the timelapse has been recorded and it’s time to review your work.

- Make final adjustments

- Push down on the jog wheel to begin shooting.

- Slowly step back and leave alone – the red LED will continue to flash as the camera is shooting.

 

When the LED stops flashing, the timelapse has been recorded and it’s time to review your work.

 

Connecting up your Point and Shoot Camera to review photos:

 

Photo4.jpg

 

- Plug your PiView into your Point and Shoot Camera via the USB, take the HDMI connection and connect into an HDMI cable which has already been fed into your monitor.

- Switch the Point and Shoot Camera on via the portable battery.

- A boot up screen should appear on the monitor.

- After the command ‘raspberrypi login:’, type ‘pi’... wait

- After the command ‘Password’, type ‘raspberry’ (you won’t see any characters appearing but it is writing it)... wait

 

Photo5.jpg

 

- After the command ‘pi@raspberrypi ~ $’, type ‘startx’ and Raspbian OS will boot up.

 

Once you’re into Raspbian, you can pull your photos.

- Click on the first icon in the bottom left to display the windows, then open the ‘snap_camera’ foldePhoto6.jpgr

 

- Open the ‘images’ folder to find your images.

 

Photo7.jpg

 

- Copy over your photos

 

Photo8.jpg

 

- Once you’re sure you’ve copied them over, you can remove the images from the SD card so that it’s clean and ready to use straight away.

 

Now you have your photos, download a timelapse compiling software – there are loads of free versions but these have limitations in terms of frames per second or you could go the whole way and purchase a professional version – it’s up to you.

 

- Add your images to the software and play around with the settings to get the speed and effects you’re after.

 

And here is what I made early on a Monday morning, whilst having my first coffee of the day:

 

 

 

And the lovely people over at PiFace have also made their own versions:

 

 

 

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