Lights by Ellie Goulding - Photography

Yesterday i heard this song on the radio, it was called Lights by Ellie Goulding.  It's a pop song but i liked it.  So after i got home i watched the video on youtube.  I was surprised to see some of the lighting effects they used.
lights ellie goulding photography exposure night lighting photo

They used multiple camera's to create the effect of a 180 degree rotation but it's basically the same concept as what i did with the spinning wool photography
spinning wool photography night exposure camera setting video

Here's the video, watch it to see exactly what i mean.  If you don't want to watch the whole thing just click on the link below and the video will start at 1:55 into the song, where they really start showing all of the cool spinning light photography effects.

Obviously it's not exactly the same thing as i did but the idea is the same.  I'm guessing that they had her in a blacked out room, spinning different type of lights around.  Their exposure time looks like it was only about 1 or 2 seconds.  Compared to mine which were 15-20 seconds.  Also they must have used a bright flash during the exposure to make her body show up clearly.

I did the same thing by shining the flashlight on myself during the exposure.  Here's a photo i made by shining the light on my face 3 different times, in 3 different places during a 15 second exposure.

I took these pictures when i was screwing around in my backyard at night after it snowed.  It was fun trying to get the right timing and lighting to write your name with a flashlight.
how to write your name with a flashlight at night photography camera

I just think that it's cool to see and understand how they did those light effects in a video.  Sure they probably used thousands of dollars of equipment but basically it's a simple and easy process that anyone can do.


Homemade Craft Table and Workbench

Since Karrie always has some sort of project going on, i thought it would be a good idea if she had a nice place to work. My idea was to make her a table similar to my workbench in the basement, only it would be for all sorts of arts and crafts projects.

As usual, it started with a quick sketch on my whiteboard. I guess i was lazy because that's also where it ended. This was all i came up with.

arts and crafts table, U shape, L shape, drawn on whitboard, design

Like before, the table top would be made out of one 4'x8' sheet of melamine.
Melamine is a smooth plastic coating that is added onto a type of particle board. It's great for workbenches and simple table tops.

Last time i cut the melamine in half and use the first 2' section for my workbench top and the second section for a table by the washer and dryer. This time i cut the board in half, then cut one of those pieces in half again. That way i could connect all 3 pieces into the shape of a U-bend.

But before i did all that i decided to hang up another peg board. That way she would have lots of space to hang supply's and tools on the wall. Luckily i bought a second peg board a long time ago when i made my workbench, i was always planning on hanging the 2nd one up but never got around to it. I figure you can never have too many peg boards, like garage space, you will always be able to fill it up with something. So i cleared some space out where the table was going to be.

how to hang a wall peg board, work area for pegboard

Then i hung the peg board on the wall.

basement tool pegboard, how to hang on wall, mount, drill, backer board

I attached it to the wall the same way as i had before. I used a masonry drill bit to drill into the concrete block wall. Then i inserted those "plastic screw spacers" into the hole, then attached two 1"x2" boards vertically. That gave me a solid support to simply screw the peg board into.

Then just to get an idea of what the table would look like, i used milk crates and set the melamine board on top.

arts and crafts area with work area in basement

And then used more milk crates to make the U-shape.

easy to make arts and crafts table, smooth wood top, melamine, white, projects

Then i drew another highly detailed design for how the legs would be made and what they would be made out of. I decided on PVC pipe because of it's simple and clean look. As long as the table didn't wobble, it would work just fine.

types, versions of legs for craft table, wood 2x4, PVC, design

Then the plans sort of changed. The original idea was to make it only around 28" high so that Karrie could sit in an office chair and work. But after talking about it, we decided that instead of using it as a craft table it would just be sort of a storage area for some projects. It's actually not that fun sitting and working in a cold dark basement. Usually if i'm working on some tedious thing i try to go upstairs and do it while sitting in front of the TV.

So i just decided to make the table the exact same way as i had made the other table. The only difference this time is that i planned on using nails instead of screws. I decided to use nails for two reasons. The first is that i didn't have any more 2.5" screws and the second is that building the table out of nails would go a lot faster.

So i bought the 2x4's which only cost around $2.60 each.

wood and material needed for arts and crafts table, make, how to build, plans

Then i measured and cut all of the boards to length.
how to cut a 2x4, wood clamp, saw, measure, square, measuring tape

It was easy not having to rethink how everything would work and fit together. I just measured the piece from the table that i had already built. Also instead of using the miter handsaw i used the new 18-volt circular saw that Karrie got me for my birthday. Cutting all the boards just took a few minutes. You can see it in the background in the picture above.
instructions and wood pieces cut out for work bench, 2x4, wood

Then i built the two end pieces. I used the 90 degree square and made sure that the top and bottom board were flush to the legs.
how to make a work bench, woodshop, wood 2x4, cheap and strong

Then i nailed the front and back rails together and added the bottom center brace. I actually had to use 2 screws to attach the bottom support because it kept pulling apart and the friction from the nails weren't enough to hold it together.
diy how to make a wood 2x4 bench for shop, tools, nails, simple, strong

That was basically it, i just had to push it into place. Like before i didn't attach the white melamine to the table. It just sits freely on top.

wood 2x4s bench and peg board on wall to hold tools
This is actually a very easy DIY homemade work bench. I built this second one in under an hour. It helps when i was able to walk over to the work bench i had already made and check my measurements. The first table took some time because i had to think about how the pieces would fit together and decide how high and long each board needed to be. But this time there was no thinking involved. Just measure and repeat.
great basement workshop, woodshop, bench, tool peg board

Here it is all done and in place. Since i took this picture i added a board on the bottom support for a lower shelf. And we also hung up a lot more stuff on the wall.


Up at the Cottage - Taking out the Docks

Karrie and i went up to visit Katie and John at their cottage for Labor Day. We arrived on Saturday just before sunset.
sunset by lake, red and pink sky at sunset, clouds in water, boat on cottage lake

Again i tried using the homemade ND filter to take pictures of the lake, during the day.

DIY ND filter, homemade nd filter, lake calm water dogs

The colors didn't come out great because, just like when i first tried it at the waterfalls in Tennessee, i forgot to set the camera to RAW. So in that case it's just best to convert it to black-and-white.

You can see that max stood really still in the water during the 15 second exposure.

black and white nd filter, lake floating, calm sunny floating lake, cottage lake

This was us sitting by the fire on Sunday night.
bonfire at the cottage, night fire by the lake, sitting by the fire at the lake

That same night i tried again to make a time lapse video of the stars in the sky. Here's the result.


I still need more practice doing this. There needs to be trees or something in the foreground to give it a sense of scale. But i made sure to point the camera at the north star.

And this is what combining all of those individual photos into one picture looks like. You can really see from this picture how the north star stays constant in the sky.

star in sky rotation, star trails around north star, night sky stars rotating

Before we left on Monday we helped take out the docks and boat hoist. Here's another time lapse of that. It didn't take that long, less than an hour.