Sunday, February 3, 2013
Mad Photo Booth
Just to let you know this post is pretty darn geeky. Most of you will just look at the pictures, which is just fine with me :-)
I've been playing with Arduino, an inexpensive, easy to program microcontroller. I started with an experimenters kit from here, and burned through all of the practice circuits in two days. Rubin gave me an infrared LED, and I started to wonder if I could use the Arduino to control a camera. After quite a bit of experimenting, I had a working prototype together with the following breadboard layout:
When you push the button the red LED flashes for a period of time (7.5s) and then the IR LED is used to trigger the camera five times with one second between (all times configurable in the script). We rented a backdrop from the local camera store for less than $50 and Lisa found all kinds of great props on Etsy.
Knowing that there wasn't any way a breadboard with a tiny push button switch would have any kind of WAF (wife acceptance factor), I got on ebay and ordered some big red buttons, and crafted a button with a status light from a radio shack project box and some cute 4 connector intercom wire.
After seeing the whole setup, Lisa remarked: "I didn't know you could make something so professional", which was a proud moment for me.
The photo booth ended up being the hit of the party. Usually you have about 3 photos from a party and this time we ended up with hundreds. Many of which are so fantastic they aren't fit for the blog.
The best thing about Arduino is the super-helpful community. Nearly everything that I used for this project was cobbled together from friends. In that same spirit, here's all the necessary Arduino code bits: