Sunday, 31 August 2014

Choose Your Colour (2)

Another experiment with choosing or removing colours in a scene using PowerCam iOS app on an iPhone 4. Each scene has three photographs which are untouched, exactly as the app took them:










Friday, 29 August 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, 28 August 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, 27 August 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, 26 August 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, 25 August 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, 24 August 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, 23 August 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.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Some Public Toilets Are a Bit Too Public

We never know what we will come across on an early morning walk round the village:

2014-08-20 06.44.07

2014-08-20 06.44.16

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What

gold star

My thanks to all who have a go at guessing what the twisted photos are of. This week congratulations and virtual gold stars go to Adrian and TexWisGirl who correctly identified the twisted Sunflower.

IMG_0678     DSCN3190

This week's twisted photo should be a lot easier to identify.
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.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Sparrow Family Mealtime

There have been several broods of House Sparrows here. This seems to be the latest with just one youngster.

Junior sat on top of the the Green Man's head. Maybe the spiky hair reminded it of the nest. Mum spent some time hunting around for any insects. House Sparrows are very agile. They can hover for short periods and easily cling to rough vertical surfaces:

Sparrow Family 01

Sparrow Family 02

Most of the time mum watched while dad fetched bits from a nearby peanut feeder:

Sparrow Family 04

Sparrow Family 03

Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Baby Snail

As promised earlier in the week here is a short clip of the baby snail.
The body is so transparent I think that is its last meal which can be seen:

Hand held so somewhat wobbly though I did stabilise it a bit in iMovie.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What

gold star

Congratulations and virtual gold stars go to Adrian, TexWisGirl, Wilma and Ragged Robin who all worked out that last week's Guess What was a twisted squirrel:

IMG_0661   9324412433_06d56560bd_k

On to the latest twisted photo.
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.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tiny But Perfectly Formed

Just about to put some weeds in the green waste wheelie bin when I spotted this tiny snail on the lid. Fully extended is was no more than 12 mm long. The body was almost transparent as it stretched out moving from rain drop to rain drop.



I was surprised how fast it could move. Wait for Friday to see that.

Small crops from photos taken with the Nikon S9050.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

A Touch of Country Life

Always nice to see this group of ladies exercising their horses through the village:


Been making the most of the brighter light today. A couple of hefty showers yesterday dumped an inch of rain on us. Could have been worse as Louth, the nearby market town in a valley, had a couple of inches in an hour with the inevitable results. I've experienced being in the shopping area at the bottom of the valley when the heavens open and rain rushed down every steep road, lane and path down to the bottom. Instant paddling pool.

Tomorrow could be wet and windy when the remains of Hurricane / Atlantic Storm Bertha reach us.

I decided to start an additional blog devoted to the Raspberry Pi so I don't clutter up the more nature like happenings on here as I record any disasters or occasional successes with my experiments. Of course I have called it MIDMARSH Pi!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Eating Upside Down

Well, to be accurate, not really eating upside down but collecting food to take to a nearby branch to eat. This youngster seems to prefer this method for pecking off bits from the peanuts in the all mesh feeder. I'm pleased I bought this particular feeder as it gives a good opportunity to watch the acrobatic skills of Blue Tits, even from an early age.

Sorry I'm getting more than a bit behind answering comments and visiting blogs. A lot of my internet time has been taken up with finding the information and programs I need to get on with programming the Raspberry Pi.  At last I have found a version of BASIC called FUZE which is more to my taste as most of my computer programming has been with various forms of that language.  Sinclair BASIC on the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, BBC BASIC on the BBC model B and GFA BASIC on the Atari ST so at least many of the structures are familiar though the remaining grey cell needs a good prodding to remember how to use them. I have reached the age where learning a new type of programming language is well and truly a very slow climb along a steep learning curve.

(BASIC - Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Does It Taste Better Upside Down?

A new cheap peanut feeder has given the Blue Tits a chance to show off their agility.  Unlike my other feeders which have solid bases this one continues the mesh underneath.

Not brilliant photos as they were taken at high ISO on a very dull morning but I couldn't resist the antics of this juvenile Blue Tit:

Upside Down 2

Upside Down

It makes sense to attack the bottom peanuts as the weight of those above help to keep them in place while the bird pecks at one.

Video to follow on Friday.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What

gold star

It would appear last week's twisted picture turned out to be a bit more difficult to identify. Anyway, congratulations and virtual gold stars go to Adrian and Wilma who managed to identify the cone:

IMG_0656_1c     vlcsnap-2014-07-28-09h31m14s7

I hope this week's twisted photo will be a bit easier to work out.
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.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Soon be All Grown Up

Many of the young birds are moulting and changing their fledgling plumage for their adult colours:

Juvenile Robin IMG_1577

Juvenile Starling IMG_1584

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Raspberry Pi

Penny has been though the wars again. Thursday she had yet more treatment for her teeth. This time she only lost one little one. Mike, the vet, is trying a new, to him, treatment which coats the teeth below the gum line to help slow down decay. This treatment has had very good reports but is a first for Mike. This time she seems to be recovering much faster and I need to wear sun glasses to look at her teeth they are such a dazzling pure white now.

I have toyed with the idea of buying a Raspberry Pi to play with. This is a bare bones programmable computer. Recently a new version has been released, the B+, so I decided to order one. One thing which interested me was the built in interface for a specially designed camera, obtainable extra so I got one of those along with a USB WiFi 'dongle':


In use I plug in a mini keyboard and mouse.
A good job they increased the number of USB ports from 2 to 4 on the B+.
There is an HDMI output which I plug in a 15 inch TV.

The Pi B+ does not come with an operating system but takes a micro SD card which can be loaded with one or more of several free programming languages.  One aspect of using the camera I liked was being able to monitor it over WiFi or even the internet. The camera has 5 Mpixels which is reasonable and the software can be programmed to take still or movie.

This is a 640x480 capture taken over wiFi with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4:

2014-08-02 18.53.53

For android based phones or tablets there is a very easy to use free app (RaspCAM Remote).
There is a free iOS app (BerryCam) which takes much more setting up.

The Pi seems to me to be a bit more delicate than the Arduino in one respect. The input signals cannot exceed 3V and many extras were designed to work on 5V so, as far as I am concerned, an interface is a sensible idea. There are many interfaces which do one job but also available is this versatile Tandy jobby which comes as a kit:


It was designed for the earlier versions of the Pi (A & B) but should be OK with the B+ as far as I can see. There are about 70 items to solder on the board but as some have up to 20 pins I reckon about 200 solder joints will have to be made. Should keep me out of mischief for hours! As will coming to terms with learning to program the Pi as the languages used seem nothing like those I have used in the past.
Related Posts with Thumbnails