Monday, March 26, 2012
My new toy
I've been bitten by a bug! I've been reading an interesting blog lately by a fellow in Australia. I'm intrigued by that country in general, and by the wildlife and Aboriginal people in particular. Lately this fellow (Dave) has been posting some photos and video clips taken with a trail cam set up out in the bush. Photos and video of kangaroos and wallabies. Fantastic! Well, the bug bit me. Of course trail cams have been around for awhile, but I've never owned one. The results from older models I have seen were unimpressive, but they have come a long way since then. I just had to try one. I've had it in my hands for a few days now, and for a first trial run I set it up in my back yard.
I had no expectation of digitally capturing any wildlife, but I have a flock of free ranging chickens and a flock of pigeons that would do for test subjects. Yesterday I strapped the camera to a clothes line pole in the yard and set it to take still photos. It is set to take 2 still photos about 5 seconds apart, then pause and reset itself after a minute. The photo at the top of this post is the result. The original was a little dark, and not as sharp as a photo taken with one of my still cameras, but I was able to correct both problems with an editing program.
Today I put the camera out in the yard again, but this time set to record video. I set it to record 15 seconds of video, but I can increase that to 30 seconds if I want to. As before, the camera will reset after a minute and repeat any time it senses movement within range. The result is below. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the camera also takes a still photo before it begins recording video. As with the still photo, the image was a little dark and not as sharp as it would have been if taken with a good digital video camera, especially a HD camera. I lightened the exposure with an editing program, but there is not much I can do to sharpen it. Not bad though if you take it for what it is, and don't try to view it full screen. The next step will be to set it out in the woods for a week or more and see what I come up with. It has often been said that wildlife photography is like hunting with a camera. Using the same train of thought, setting up a trail cam might be compared to setting a trap; whether setting over bait or a blind set on a well used game trail. I expect to have a lot of fun with this.