Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Hyperlapsing Through Life

A couple more speeded up videos using the excellent Hyperlapse iOS app.

First, dog walking through the village churchyard at 4x speed with pauses while Penny investigated:

For the next one I fitted the iPod Touch to the car windscreen for my lunch journey to the Wagon and Horses, North Reston. This will be about 4x speed. Unfortunately while I was meeting a friend there I must have accidentally touched the screen making it save at 6x speed. That was too fast so I slowed it down and added the title in iMovie:

You can see from the jiggling of the windscreen wipers at the bottom of the screen how much the iPod was shaking but somehow the rest of the view has been very well smoothed out by the app. The faint grey blobs near the wipers are reflections of the dashboard air vents.  I must remember to clean the windscreen next time.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Choose Your Colour

Colour splash with a difference. Using the very versatile PowerCam iOS app it is possible to create the colour splash / pop effect at the time a photo is being taken. There is one choice out of the many available which enables me to touch the screen at a place showing the colour I want and the app then just picks out that colour. It was not easy to see the screen clearly in bright Sunlight.

Three photos taken from the same spot:



I must have touched on grey somehow for this one:


Blue sky:


Not really the best of subjects. All were post processed to some extent to increase contrast a bit and lessen the depth of shadows.

A couple taken through the kitchen window this dull Thursday morning.
These have not been retouched, exactly as taken.

Green grass chosen for colour splash / popping:


The inverse can also be picked where all colours except the chosen one will appear in the photo. This time the green of the grass was removed:


The process is instant. The result can be seen before the shutter button is pressed. Also it is possible to lock a chosen colour which helps as slight movements of the phone can vary the effect.

What will they think of next?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Recently a new video app came to my attention. Hyperlapse is written for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. It was created by the Instagram people but you don't have to be a signed up Instagram user to download and use this free app. Videos can be shared with Instagram and Facebook or just saved to the camera roll.

What is so special about it?

The name implies time lapse and so it does but instead of taking stills at regular intervals it takes continuous video. Once the recording is stopped there is a short pause during processing. Then it gives the choice of speeds to save the video. There are choices from 1x to 12x which can be instantly viewed to see the result. Once the speed is chosen there is a longer pause while the video is finally processed.

Equally useful is an automatic stabilization process which apparently uses the built in gyroscope to keep note of any 'wobble' in the camera position.

This short first test was taken with an iPod Touch 5th generation hand held as we went for walkies up and down our lane. Pauses are where madam stopped for a good sniff. This one has been saved at 6x speed. It was taken in thee sections which were put together in iMovie.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What

gold star

A full house again for last week's Twister with TexWisGirl, Frank, Adrian, Wilma and Ragged Robin all correctly identifying the twisted spider's web therefore gaining my congratulations and virtual gold stars.

IMG_0668     IMG_5820c.jpg

I have a feeling that this week's crystal ball twister shouldn't cause too many problems.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed next Tuesday along with the answer.
No prizes. Just for fun and a virtual gold star.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Helophilus pendulus

Bit of a mouthful, sounds exotic, actually a pretty hoverfly:

DSCN3223  Hoverfly

DSCN3225  Hoverfly

For once I didn't have to go chasing to take a photo. This hoverfly was resting on a planter and obligingly waited while I took a few photos with the Nikon S9050 from just a few inches away. These are still small crops as the lens has to be set to its widest angle to take close shots.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Killer Fly

Following a suggestion from Phil  (Cabinet of Curiosities) I put a copy of yesterday's photo on the iSpotNature site to see whether anyone could identify the insect. 


Within a few hours a user had suggested it could well be Coenosia tigrina, one of a group of killer flies. Putting the name in Google and looking at the photos it shows I am very sure this is the fly I saw and it certainly looked as though it was attacking the other fly. Some information about the killer fly can be found on BugGuide.

The iSpotNature site looks to be an excellent resource for finding the identity of many unknowns in the natural world.   What is the iSpot site?....  This is from their help page:

"iSpot is a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature. People upload their observations of wildlife, help each other identify it, and share and discuss what they've seen.
A good place to start is to look at some of the latest observations - you can see what people are observing right now. Anyone can see what's on the site without registering - just go back to the home page, and click on the photos for the latest observations.
We'd love you to make use of the site yourself, by showing your own observations, or commenting on other people's and helping them to identify what they've found. To do this you'll need to register on the site - this is totally free, and does not commit you to anything. All you need to provide is a user name, an email address, and a password."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Is Going On Here?

Some time ago I noticed what looked like a couple of flies 'fighting' on the ground. I took a few photos with the Nikon and have only just got round to looking at them.



These are small crops from the original photos. Maybe the top insect is a wasp of some sort though it didn't have the bright yellow / black colouring of most wasps. I haven't managed to identify it as yet.

No Friday at the Flicks yesterday. Nothing much going on here recently as Autumn seems to have arrived early with a couple of nights with temperatures down to single figures. The only new bit of video is over on Midmarsh Pi.
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