Sunday, February 21, 2010

A new toy

A few months ago I was one of the winners of a photography contest held by Fine Gardening. I was really excited about the prize - a Wingscapes Timelapse PlantCam. It arrived Friday and after reading the instruction manual, I was even more excited about using it.

The weather has been fantastic this weekend - our warmest since Thanksgiving - so even though more pressing chores needed to be done, I had to try out the camera. The instructions sounded a bit complicated but then, you have to know me. I'm not good at putting things together and I'm terrible at deciphering instructions. Michael says that I don't have common sense. I'm not going to argue with that!

Anyway, it turned out to be much easier than I expected with one exception (and after hearing it, you'll know Michael is right). You go through a menu and set various things for the camera to do - the most important being the time lapse interval. There are 11 different time lapse settings, from 30 seconds to 1 day. I set the camera up on my tripod in front of the bird feeder, went through the menu, and followed the instructions exactly as stated in the user guide. The instructions said that it would take the first photo 10 seconds after you closed the box and then do the time lapse interval that you selected. I stood back and waited, expecting to hear something. Nothing. So I keep turning it off and back on again, going through the instructions over and over and I keep thinking that it isn't working. The default time interval setting is for 1 day so I'm thinking that it is set for that and I can't override it.

After fooling around with it for about 45 minutes, I gave up in frustration, took it inside and as I was about to turn it off, I glanced at the menu and it said something about 22 photos being on it. What? I take it to the computer and download the images and there they all are with about 18 of my goofy face staring into the viewfinder in puzzlement. Michael says, "Duh, did you think the camera would make a noise? That would scare off the birds!" So, if you get one of these cameras and you don't have common sense like me, the camera is silent!
Well, they could have mentioned that in the user guide!

So far, I love it even if my first attempts are not the greatest. You can take either still photos or videos. You can also take the photos you've captured and string them into a video to create a time lapse capture, such as a flower opening. I can't wait to try this!

Here are a few still images I captured.





Here is a video -


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35 comments:

Dirt Princess said...

How fun!!! You should have posted your pics!! That would have been hilarious! Isn't this weather great! I hope it stays warm....but you know it won't!

Bo said...

What a neat prize...I can't wait to see some of the picture you take with it.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Now that looks like a fun toy! I'm pretty sure I would've been waiting for a sound from the camera too :)

Jujusdollymall@msn.com said...

Phillip,I totally agree with DP... you should have posted all pics! If I am still rolling around laughing the next time you and Michael come down here.. it is because I keep reading this. Just TOO FUNNY!

David - Pinewood Cottage said...

Cool toy -

thanks for comments on my blog

http://www.rdrop.com/~paul/hulse.html

this is the site that i found that explained how to do the rose cuttings - like i said it's the wrong time of the year - the rose has no leaves, but i still hope some of them make it. Good Luck!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can't wait to see a flower unfurl in your garden. What a fun toy. I have great faith in you that you will get it all figured out.

Les said...

What, no goofy face pictures?

How It Grows said...

Congrats on your camera...it looks like a lot of fun.

sweet bay said...

That is a very cool new toy!

Phillip said...

Hey guys, stop requesting the face pics!

Jamie, Randy and Maxx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie, Randy and Maxx said...

Phillip,

I laughed so hard thinking about those pictures you had taken of yourself! I could just hear the play of words between you and Michael. I was cracking up!!!

By the way, I am so excited for you about your new camera; it sounds delightful. Randy and I had talked about one of those before, but never really looked into getting one. Oh, and we didn't know you had won a CONTEST in Fine Gardening either. We are both impressed with that but we also know that you are a good photographer.

--Jamie

Gail said...

That will be a lot of fun Phillip! Too funny that you were waiting for the camera click! Wasn't this weekend gorgeous...Wish it were here to saty....gail

jo©o said...

You lucky thing!
What a lovely toy.
Every home should have one.

Ginger said...

Hilarious story! Those cameras are so cool for those of us who work away from home and miss out on the M-F birds.

Roses and Lilacs said...

How cool! My brother has a motion activated one he put on the trail down to his pond. Got lots of interesting photos. Now I'm starting to want one too.
Marnie

George Gaston said...

Phillip, What a terrific way to watch your garden grow. It will be like having a front row seat to witness all the action.

Judy said...

How Cool! I have seen these in gardening magazines, but didn't want to spend the $$ yet :)...congrats on winning this! I'm sure you will enjoy it~!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

How cool! Great toy

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

What a fun prize!

debsgarden said...

What! No posting of the time lapse photos of your goofy face?! This is indeed a great prize. I am looking forward to some nice time lapse photos in the future.

Cameron said...

Great fun! Congrats on your prize.

Cameron

Jess said...

What a cool gift. I think I'd like to see a time lapse garden myself now that the idea has come into my head.

And thumbs up on the weather. What a relief.

Pam/Digging said...

Congrats, Philip, on the win and the great prize. I looked on the link for the contest and winners but couldn't find it. So what was your winning picture?

Phillip said...

Pam, the direct link is below. I don't see my photo on the thumbnails but if you click on my entry on the list you'll see it (Garden Wall)

http://www.finegardening.com/item/12805/and-the-winners-of-the-november-photo-challenge-are

Ann Stumpe said...

LOL Phillip, actually I would have like to have seen your face when you saw the pictures of your face.
Ann S.

Jean said...

Oh my goodness, JEALOUS! Had to laugh about the face photos.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Well done on winning such a great prize.

I'm not at all surprised you've won a photo comp. I look forward to more updates on the new toy.

fairegarden said...

What, no photos of your goofy face? We wanted to see those too! HA I would have thought it would make a noise as well. What a grand prize, and it was a glorious weekend. Back to cold now, but there are buds on the daffs. Spring can't be far off now. Hope you don't get the silly snow in the forecast. Enough already! :-)
Frances

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thank you for a good laugh, Phillip! I bet those first images of your face are precious! The camera is neat!

George said...

I bet those pictures of you staring into the viewfinder are priceless. :D

joey said...

Congratulations! Have fun ...

compost in my shoe said...

I think the ones of you would have been more entertaining than the bird ones!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Phillip, congratulations on winning. That's wonderful. Your video was really good and what fun to watche the birds closeup.~~Dee

Lisa Blair said...

I got a Plant Cam for Christmas, and I can't wait to try it out! I am going to take time lapse photos of my sugar snap peas.