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DIY Sound-Activated High-Speed Photography 106

eldavojohn writes "Have you ever wanted to catch the perfect photo with your SLR camera but couldn't time the shot just right? Photography enthusiast Matt Richardson brings us an instructional video over at Make Magazine that shows how to use some very basic breadboarding and an Arduino Nano to do some high-speed flash photography that is timed by sound instead of your finger hitting the button on the camera. He pops a balloon and smashes a wine glass to show some results. His code is available on Github, and you can find more of this sly hardware hacker on his YouTube channel."
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DIY Sound-Activated High-Speed Photography

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  • OK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hjf ( 703092 ) on Monday November 29, 2010 @11:40AM (#34374798) Homepage

    Seriously, why do we need an Arduino to make a sound trigger?

    Oh yes, all the cool kids use arduinos now, so if you make an electronics project without one, no one is going to read your article.

  • by bucaneer ( 1594601 ) on Monday November 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#34374996)
    Real life, macroscopic events (i.e. stuff you'd want to photograph) happen at speeds that are closer to the speed of sound rather than that of light, so catching the very first wave of photons probably would not be very useful practically, not to mention insanely more difficult.
  • Re:OK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Monday November 29, 2010 @12:10PM (#34375060)
    Well an Arduino would not be the right choice if you were building a large run of a commercial product. But we're talking about DIY here. The advantage of using something more powerful and general purpose like an Arduino is:
    1. Easier to rapidly prototype, tweak your setup, or add features. (It's faster to re-code your Arduino than to rewire some electronics you soldered.) You can increase the scope/complexity of your project quite easily.
    2. If you're already familiar with the Arduino, and have one on-hand, it's faster/easier/cheaper to use that. (Again, not everyone has a box of Arduinos, but the DIY-ers that this tutorial is aimed at may very well have some on-hand.)
    3. When you're done with this project, you can remove the Arduino and re-purpose it easily.

    Obviously you can make a cheaper/faster/more-efficient sound trigger using equipment more basic and specialized than an Arduino. (You can also build far better toys using dedicated materials rather than Legos.) For playful building/testing/etc. using an Arduino is quite useful. And, yes, there is an advantage to a DIY community ("all the cool kids") settling on a common set of general-purpose tools, since it lets them exchange design plans, code, experience, etc.
  • Re:OK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eil ( 82413 ) on Monday November 29, 2010 @01:52PM (#34376398) Homepage Journal

    Because otherwise there wouldn't be anyone to complain about it on Slashdot? Do you read your email in pine over a serial terminal too?

    The photographer had minimal electronics experience and simply used what knowledge and equipment he already had on-hand to create a useful hack. The great thing about Arduino is that it's flexible and simple. It allows people to slap together all manner of interesting projects without the benefit of an electronics engineering degree. In fact, it was explicitly designed as a way for artists and non-geeky folks to add basic electronic features to their projects. So what if it's overkill for a purpose like this? For the hobbyist, one Arduino board beats having to stock dozens of common single-purpose ICs.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury