My Variable Interval Timer for long exposure photography

I have been working on my custom made variable interval timer for long exposure photography and now have all the initially planned functions working and have added a couple features. I consider it a fully funtional proof of concept/prototype.  I have searched and have not found anything like it except for hardware that depends on your cell phone to provide the interface and computing power, mine is completely stand alone.

The current feature list:

  • shutter speeds from 1 second to 4 hours in the standard single EV progression
  • timer to support the camera’s built in long exposure(dark frame) noise reduction (currently Pentax only)
  • trigger focus of the camera
  • field adjustable settings
    • starting exposure
    • number of exposures
    • enable/disable dark frame noise reduction
    • save 1 set of settings
    • recall saved settings
    • use current settings without saving
  • Known to work with Pentax(tested)
  • Should work with Canon(untested)
  • basic help screen

Potential future features(subject to change):

    • long exposure noise reduction support for Canon cameras
    • support for other cameras that have a wired remote connector
    • ability to save more than one set of settings

    To be able to confirm support for Canon cameras, I need access to one that has the 3/16″ remote connection to test with and determine how long the long exposure noise reduction exposures are, the save to card speed of the camera with a slow memory card, etc.

    If someone is interested and has the technical skills to make one themselves, they should contact me.

    Red Rock Conservation Area

    On Christmas Day 2015 while we were in Las Vegas, we decided to go to the Red Rock Conservation Area just west of town.  I had heard about it and seen others photographs of the area and knew it would be a good area to go photograph.  Here are two photographs from that day and I will post others as I finish editing all the photographs that I took that afternoon.


    Central Nevada landscape

    We went to Las Vegas, Nevada for Christmas. This was taken on the drive there from Reno.

    This panorama is build from sixteen HDR photos.  I will post more from the trip as I complete the editing process.

    Increasing exposure length interval meter

    I have been working on more HDR night photographs and as part of streamlining my workflow I build a custom timer.  It is based on an atmel microcontroller with a touch screen. I currently programmed it to work with a Pentax camera with the long exposure noise reduction turned on.  It will automatically take the number of exposures that it is currently set for automatically delaying for the noise reduction.  Since most Canon cameras use the same connector and pinout for the wired remote it would work with a Canon camera, with minor tweaks to deal with any differences in the noise reduction.

    I defined the shutter durations as follows: 1 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec, 8 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours.  I have yet to do anything that I needed more than a 15 minute exposure, but I have plans to try some longer exposures in the future.

    I used this for my Reno Motels project that I started working on this fall and it worked very well after a few tweaks the first night out.

    I will share the schematic and code directly with people that are interested in using it only if they are willing to provide feedback to improve it.  I will consider building them for people that do not have the interest or skills to build their own.  If I build it for you there will be a cost involved and it will depend on the cost of parts, build time and something to support additional development and features.

    We are Giving Away a Fine Art Print

    We are giving away a print of this photograph!!  Would you like to have it?  The links to the rules and entry form are below the photograph.

    This is a low resolution copy of the photograph that is being given away.  The actual print that is being given away is printed on metalic photographic paper and mounted to a plastic board.  The logo in the lower right corner of this image will not be on the photograph that is awarded.

    This is a low resolution copy of the photograph that is being given away. The actual print that is being given away is printed on metallic photographic paper, mounted to a plastic board and is 12 inches by 18 inches. The logo in the lower right corner of this image will not be on the photograph that is awarded.

    The contest rules are here and the entry form is here.