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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