All posts by Biolapse

New Test Reel

So i am trying to see if i can score a sponsor for plant lighting, the idea is if a light company sponsors me with some lights i can demonstrate A vs B brand comparisons they can use for marketing.  In order to do this i need to get some more footage out, so i put together this demo reel. it is nothing spectacular but shows some of my work so far.

I Killed my lights! ….. CRAP


I made a poor judgement call, and purchased the following a few weeks ago.

iPower 600w Digital grow lights

There is nothing inherently wrong with this product, one of the bulbs was DOA, but a replacement was quickly ushered out.

When i first set it up, WOW, what a difference it made. Plants when from a level of stasis to growing like crazy.

The other day i checked on the set, and noticed more often than not the bulb was NOT on. It would be warm, i figured sometimes it would turn on and sometimes it would not, no big deal, until it got to the point where i could not get it up and running at all.

I discussed this with a friend of mine who is a lighting tech, apparently these HID light systems are NOT intended to be on/off/on/off, considering my last timelapse ran 1,000 frames that is more than it should be turned on and off in several years.

This is my own failure for not doing enough reading on this type of light.

I have a new light that should be in today, hopefully this gets me back shooting. We will see. The biggest issue right now is budget. Most of what is within my budget are chinese knockoffs, the good stuff costs $500+ which is out of my range.. I spend quite a bit of time looking at LED lighting and finally settled on a brand,  Dirt Genius. I have seen some speculation they are cheap chinese rebranded blackstars, whatever that means. However when looking up the company it seems they are actually a newer company out of California.

I figure if nothing else they are worth a test drive.

Dirt Genius on Amazon

Dirt Genius

Right now my 4ft x 4 bulb T5 fixture is sitting about 6 inches above the set, trying to keep the plants from dying out on me.

BCM is about to be given to my friend for target practice.


Probably a faulty potentiometer. It keeps kicking itself out of a routine. Ill probably pull it off tomorrow and work on the code, give it a hard start to force it to stay in the run mode. If it keeps messing up then ill have to look at the 12v power source.  Something is acting a little bit wonky.

UPDATE 6/5/2014
I Think the issue was from the draw of the 1Power 600w system pulling enough power to drop the voltage across the BCM’s brain, which would kick it out of its routine and put it in standby. I altered the code to keep it running when activated, and the iPower 600w system is not longer connected and everything is running fine.

FIrst pull off the Sedum Tile set. Hmmmm….

So i pulled the first timelapse off the sedum tile set.

I dont know what i want to do with the footage yet, the camera moved a total of 24 inches with a set of 1000 images.

i think it was way too much movement. even though it takes 30 seconds, but with a 50mm lens it ends up moving 3 entire frame widths in about 30 seconds which turns out to be at a pretty decent clip. I may drop back to 24fps and see if it looks better.

The overall issue is i need a wider lens. Shooting this close to the subject means native fuji lenses are out of the question, they are all pretty fast, and give narrow DOF wide open. I can do the lens twist trik, and it works, but whatever is holding the internal focus parts lets go, and one small vibration and it loses focus. RIght now all i have is this 50m lens, i would love to get a 24 or 28mm lens, but right now i have too many financial commitments to justify the cost. So ill stick with the 50mm lens. I find one of the biggest killers of creativity is to have no limits. Force some limits on yourself and you have to learn ways to work around things, often with great results. So i will plug on with that old 50mm lens for a while.

Another issue is the rail started skipping somehow, maybe taking extra steps. I will note the settings and try to recreate it, on the ramp down it seemed to increase in speed. briefly. I thought it might have something to do with the extra frames, but the Chronocontroller showed the correct number had been taken. Might be a messed up cord, I think i might take an old controller and rewrite the code and turn it into a simple counter, if i get two i can put one between the BCM and Chronos, and Chronos and the camera.  Then count the images, at this point i really hate to be messing with that crap, the last timelpse turned out excellent. This time i am using Live Ramping for the movement. I just set it on 24 steps per image. With 200×20 step per inch resolution and 6 inches of travel, that should get me about 6 inches of total movement. I hope this time it turns out a little bit better. I also changed from 15 minute intervals to 10 minute intervals.

That POS MH bulb took a crap on me. i cant get it to light, so im sticking with the HPS.  Sucks, but i can get by with the HPS bulb. Apparently HPS is better for flowering while MH is better for vegetation.  Im not sure how much i buy that, but i suppose it could be correct.

So now im setup again, shooting. I trimmed some of the plants, added a couple of sticks. Not sure how much these flowering plants will work out, but the Sedum Tile is growing like crazy. It will still make some good footage. I really want to take some time and try to make a short 3-4 minute film.

SO while im not going to share the footage yet, here is a frame from the timelapse.


Now that i look at it, i think i want to warm up the white balance a tad.

i think ill go do that now