Monday’s Update for March 17th, 2014

A weekly review of art related activities.

This week:

1.) Installing Magic Lantern on my Canon 600d DSLR

2.) Failure to complete my film project on the history of the Irish community of Cork-Town, located in Hamilton (Ont).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cork-Town is known for being the historical heart of the Hamilton’s Irish community, but during the 19th century, most Irish lived outside its boundaries. So, why did Cork-town become so associated with the Irish? This is the question that I wish to answer with a film project entitled “tales of Cork-Town”.

Last year, I did extensive research on the history of Cork-town. It is surprising how little historical research is available on Hamilton. You would think that there would be lots of research available given the age, size, and importance of Hamilton; to both Ontario and Canada. If you read the history books, it seems only Toronto had any significance.

Another challenge is how much of the past has been demolished or reshaped beyond recognition. Even when you have photos, things have changed so much that it is almost impossible to place a building within the contemporary landscape.

Last year, I hoped to create a series of prints that captured various aspects of Cork-town. The perspective that I hoped to use was the arrival of the Irish at the docks in the 1850s-1880s. Unfortunately, the project never gelled, and I decided to move on to other things.

This year, I decided to use art and photos to create a film project. Each short film would be 1-2 minutes in duration and would tell a different story of Cork-town.

While I did not expect to have the project completed by March 17th, I did hope that the previous efforts would quicken the development process. Unfortunately, film-making is proving to be more challenging than I originally imagined.

For example, I needed to install the firmware, Magic Lantern. This should have been straight forward task, but it took over 24 hours to discover that the software only works on 32 GB memory cards when you are installing it for the first time.

I want to do time lapse photography, but the Canon DSLR 600D only permits intervals of 5 seconds. To do anything faster would require an expensive timer remote controller (for example, the Canon TC-80N3 for $200) or installing of special software. Since Magic Lantern is free and can be used for other film-making tasks, I choose this option.

My current 32GB card was partial filled with family photos, so I decided to buy a new card.

The office supply store had a 32 GB card priced at $99.00 (Lexar 32 GB SDHC 600x class-10 card), but you can get a 64 GB card for $120 (Lexar 64 GB SDXC 600x class-10 card). So, for extra $20, I could double my memory. Unfortunately, I did not realize that Magic Lantern does not support on 64 GB cards, unless you first install it on a 32 GB card.

So, I did want I didn’t want to do; I backed up my family photos on my external hard drive and formatted the 32 GB card. Once this was completed, I then installed the latest Canon firmware and Magic Lantern software on the card. I was then able to repeat the process on the 64 GB card.

By 3 pm on Sunday afternoon I was set to go, but exhausted by all the technological twists and turns. As a result, I decided to start preparing my weekly update.

As a friend noted, the Updates are created on Sunday and not Monday, but once the filming, editing, rendering, and loading are finished, I would run the risk of missing a Sunday deadline. So, the Updates are posted on Monday.

Next week, I will need to do my calculations for how often the camera should take a picture, then what should be the proper light exposure and film speed settings.

Once the filming is finished, I can then convert the digital photos into a format that is acceptable for my film-making software. This will complete the work on this aspect of the project.

I will do a test using time-lapse photography, likely a melting ice cube. I will post the results to the blog next week.


P.S., thanks you to everyone who provided feedback.  I am pleased to read that the sound on my videos is improving, and that the reflection in the Tim Horton’s window provides an interesting effect.

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