I’m doing a 365 challenge at the moment. A photo a day for a whole year. It’s been fun, except when it comes to Facebook photo management. I didn’t realise until about 100 days in, that Facebook was lumping all of my photos together into one post. People visiting my page would see nothing, except for “David Gray Photography added 100 photos to the album ‘365 Challenge 2015′”. This was very frustrating, because I was working my butt off to post content, but Facebook wasn’t showing it. I resorted to “double-sharing” my post. I’d upload the photo, but tick “Hide from News Feed”, then I’d go to the photo, hit “Share” and share it with my own page. It seemed to work, but I knew there had to be a better solution.

After some more research, I discovered that there is a “Change Date” button in the uploader. By default, Facebook sets the date of the photo to the date you created the album (i.e. January 1st). This might work for photos of a birthday party or a wedding, where it all happens on the one date, but for a steady stream of pictures over the course of a year, it was not good.

Fortunately, Facebook gives you an option to set the dates after upload. To do it with 180 photos would take forever, so I created a bookmarklet which would find and store the month and day (Facebook gives you this info as a tooltip, which is very handy), simulate a click on the “Change Date” link, set the day / month boxes as necessary, simulate a click on the “Save” button, then simulate a click on the “Next” button. This essentially allows me to repeatedly click to set the date for all of my photos. 100 photos in, only 90 to go. Too easy!

If you’d like to use this bookmarket for yourself, drag the link below, up to your Bookmarks toolbar:

Automatically change Facebook photo date

If you’d like the source to inspect and change, check out the JSFiddle. As this was written for myself, the code is going to be messy and all over the place, but I didn’t have time to write neat code.

If you’d like to turn the source into a bookmarklet, or you’d like to write your own, check out this bookmarklet generating site. Put some code in, hit “Convert” and you’ve got a bookmarklet, ready to drag to your toolbar. Just note that Facebook blocks external scripts, so you can’t use jQuery on code destined for Facebook.

Happy renaming!

Last night I printed what has arguably been my first useful thing on my Buccaneer. I came across this lens cap holder a little while ago, but didn’t think to print it until last night. I needed to change the dimensions, so I took the Thing into Thingiverse’s customizer, adjusted the parameters, save it to my account, then printed it.

“Customizer” is a feature on Thingiverse that lets you easily modify certain objects. For example, the lens cap holder let me change the strap width and lens cap diameter without needing to touch any other programs — I simply typed into the text box what my strap’s width was (38mm) and what my lens diameter was (77mm)  and it gave me back a file that I could shove straight into the Buccaneer app and print. There are plenty of other customizable things out there, from music boxes to luggage tags and almost everything else inbetween.

The cap holder was incredibly tough to get on (and off) my strap, as there was literally no wriggle room, so next time I might try 39mm wide instead. As you can see from the image above, I eventually managed to get the holder on, and get my straps back on in the right orientation, but it took a fair amount of struggling and bending to get it on there!

 

Last night I 3D printed a model of a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. It took roughly 8-9 hours to do on a reasonably high quality setting. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The resolution is so good, you can actually see the ridges on the wheel near the shutter (on the left-hand side of the photo) and the individual buttons on the rear of the camera (not shown). The bottom is quite “rough” from where I had to snap away the supports (that kept the lens from sagging while printing) but overall I’m impressed.

This also gave me a chance to play with the “infill” setting in the latest version of the Buccaneer 3D printer app. When printing, the printer adds in a honeycomb-like structure to the inside of the print to make it sturdier (so the inside is not completely hollow, but it’s also not completely solid) and most 3D printers let you pick this percentage. The higher the percentage, the sturdier your print will be (with less chance of roofs caving in, as was the case with my TARDIS test print), but the slower it’ll print and the more plastic it’ll use. The default for the Buccaneer is 20%. I dropped it down to 15% which shaved some time and filament use off the printing total.

My next print is going to be a “davidgray Photography” sign for an upcoming art and craft market. I’ve designed it myself in Sketchup and saved it as an STL in Microsoft’s 3D Builder app so we’ll see how that goes!

Under the suggestion of a fellow Arcanum member, I purchased Royce Bair’s “Milky Way Nightscapes – A guide to photographing the Milky Way“. It’s 140 pages of practical tips on how to photograph the milky way (as the title obviously suggests). I’m still learning astrophotography, but it’s proven useful so far, even after a quick read.

In the book, it goes over many things, including how to remotely compose your shots before you even leave home (using free or cheap software such as Stellarium, along with Google Maps), post-processing using Adobe Camera Raw, lighting the foreground with a variety of lights (and even includes formulas for calculating light intensity and such) plus ideal camera settings for various print types.

If you have $20 USD and a keen interest in astrophotography, it’s well worth a look. The weather has been rather terrible most of the last week, but we’ve had some great weather this weekend, so I’ve had more chances to get out and put into practice what I’ve been learning. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m slowly getting there!

EDIT: Want to see the failed print in action? Video at the bottom of this post!

The Buccaneer sitting pretty, filament loaded, ready to start printing.

The Buccaneer sitting pretty, filament loaded, ready to start printing.

After almost a year and a half of waiting, I finally received my Buccaneer 3D printer. The printer, which was funded with Kickstarter, has experienced delay after delay, a fairly high number of staff joining and leaving, plus the ever growing angry backer crowd who were annoyed by lack of communication, delays in refunds, removed features and not knowing for sure when they were getting their printers. But those issues aside, was it worth the wait?

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The last few nights I’ve been out and about shooting the stars. It’s one of my first few times doing so, so I still have much to learn. My first port of call on Sunday night was Blue Rock Dam, a place about three quarters of an hour from home. It’s 11km from the nearest major town, about 2-3km from a small town, and about 20km (or more) to the nearest power station, so I was well away from light pollution (though you could still see some in the final shot).

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Today I travelled to Melbourne to visit my aunty, who was hosting a lunch for various family and extended family members. To get there, we had to travel along Eastlink, a tolled road that takes you to the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Along the way, there are plenty of green and orange perspex panels that line the road, seemingly purely for decoration. Turns out that due to a parallax effect, they make a really neat long exposure photo!

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And here’s another shot from Mayday Hills. I do have other photos asides from ones taken at this location, you know. Just check out my portfolio!

This place really gave me the creeps. Nowhere else on the tour did as much as this location. I guess partly because there was a bed down there, all set up, and it looked like it had been slept in recently. One of my big fears when exploring places like this, is meeting someone inside, when you don’t know they’re there. Continue reading

Laundry at Mayday Hills, Beechworth

While touring Mayday Hills lunatic asylum in Beechworth, we came to this room, which is part of the laundry. On the wall were steam pipes that could dry clothing in three minutes flat. Some of the patients were assigned to do laundry, which could be a never ending job.

The door off to the left was also nailed shut. According to the guide, it was to stop people from breaking in (because honestly, who wouldn’t want to give themselves a self-guided tour?). They’d kicked down the door so many times, the owners finally nailed the door shut. It’d take a hell of a kick to get in after that.

For this shot I used my new Yongnuo YN560-IV which can be found on eBay for around $80. It’s different to my previous flash, the YN460, but still managed to light this large area perfectly — after I’d warned my wife and the tour guide to avert their eyes, because I had it set to full power.

As with other shots in the Mayday Hills series, this one was a single RAW file, edited in Lightroom using the John and Marcus Salvation LR preset with some tweaking.