Oh oh I hear you say. Here we go again. Another technical post. Yep - another flash of inspiration, or something. The seed cases on my Chinese Lantern plant look fascinating now the orange outer coating has rotted away leaving just a skeleton surrounding the seed case. How best to present it?
First I tried a normal photo:
I also tried a series of focus stacked photos but the result was awful. While the outer casing was fine the stacking program had great difficulty resolving the red inner seed case. What would be better, to my way of thinking, would be a video but how to set about it. That's when the Heath Robinson in me came up with an idea. Find a way to turn the seed case and take a series of stills and then make them into a video.
I had recently acquired some stepper motors:
Normally a motor keeps going round when you apply a voltage. A stepper motor only turns a small distance each time you apply a voltage. The one I chose takes 48 steps to turn one revolution so I set up an Arduino 'computer' to control the steps and wait while I took each photo.
The seed case is being held on top of the motor with some pink Blu Tack.
Canon EOS 350D Canon EFS 18-55mm lens
f14 1/20sec ISO 200
Lighting - two 12V LED lamps.
Next - find a program to convert the still shots to a video. I had lost the program I previously used but a quick Google found the freeware program Images to Video HERE which has a simple interface and seems to do a great job. It only works with .jpg files but can make .wmv, .avi, .flv or .mov video files.
Once the video it made had been rotated in Corel Video Studio and repeated a few times the result was:
I think that occasionally it is interesting to be able to show and look right round an object.