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In Digital Imaging ResetEric gave us a small webcam to play with. Our challenge was/is to take the sensor and construct our own camera around it. I thought it would be fun to quick & dirty a digital camera that writes to the browser using my Zone VI large format camera & some basic code from Live Web. The marks are dust on the sensor. Even at my most formalist moments, I’ve always been partial to dust, cords & tripod legs in my images as a nod to the means of (photographic) production, or whatever.

The tiny spectrum-reflective rectangle in the center is the CCD sensor.

I removed the sensor circuit board from the camera and fashioned a cardboard film holder.

Quick & dirty film plane.

I had some initial trouble knowing what I was looking at. Because the focal lengths for the lenses are calibrated to throw an image that covers a 5 inch by 4 inch space, the micro inch of the sensor plane only captures a fraction of what one would normally see on the ground glass and at great magnification. Using the camera and 210mm lens Eric was able to make this streaming video image of the Empire State Building antenna from the window of his office.

ER’s First captures of Empire State Building antenna tower. So neat, also pink.

Because of the bot conference on Friday, I took the rig up to the 9th floor and made some more tests of the water tower and construction cranes.

function someFun(4×5 camera, laptop, screen, webcam sensor, ice coffee){ return someLearning }

the magnification the camera movements are extremely sensitive, fractions of inches resulting in changes of hundreds of feet. My next step is to figure out a smaller format camera that is easier to work with. Rather than this overly-complicated telescope. But I’m pleased with this proof of concept. Once I get an easier rig set up I can start figuring out what to do with it…

Live image of distant city sky-scape drawn in the browser. The canvas is within the rectangle.
theScene seen from an iPhone.