Syncing Multiple Cameras using your Computer

This is part one of a three part series. In part one I will show you how to sync your cameras to your PC or Mac system clock. Part two will show you how to adjust the capture time of images shot in another timezone. In part three, I will show you how to how to sync the GPS metadata with your cellphone photos.

When complete, you will have georeferenced photos. Ready for Lightroom’s Map feature.

Why sync your camera’s time?

For one, its easer to identify photos when they have the correct time. If you have multiple cameras, then it will be convent to see all the photos you took in one location all grouped together.

Why should I sync my camera using my computer? Its easier, and if you are using a time-server then the time on your cell-home will also be the same.

How ofter should I sync my cameras? Well most camera don’t automaticlaly adjust for daylight savings time. So at a minimum at least twice a year—during daylight adjustments. Most camera’s clocks are not all that accurate and will tend to drift. I would recommend once a month. Well at least just before a big event, or photo-shoot. 

Well lets get started!

Software.

First off you will need to download and install the software to sync your camera. This is available on your camera’s web site.

For Nikon users you will need to download Nikon Transfer; it’s free from Nikon.

For Canon users you will need to download EOS Utility; it’s also free from Cannon.

Ensure your computer clock is using a time server.

This will ensure that your system time is correct. For PC double click your system clock, then click the Internet Time tab. From there you will be able to set your NTP (Network Time Protocol) server and timezone.

For PC double click your system clock, then click the Internet Time tab. From there you will be able to set your NTP (Network Time Protocol) server and timezone.

For Mac double click your system clock, then select “Open Date & Time Preferences.” Click the padlock at the bottom to unlock the settings. Then click the “Date & Time” tab. Ensure that the “Set date and time automatically” is checked 9qnmlmk. Then select a time server.  Click the padlock to lock again.

Connect your camera using a USB cable to your computer and sync.

Using the software you previously downloaded.

For Nikon users, launch “Nikon Transfer.”  Select the Preferences tab. Ensure that the “Synchronize camera datea adn time to comuter when camera is connected (supported cameras only)” is checked. Then click the Synchronize button.

For Cannon users, launch the “EOS Utility.” Then select “Camera Settings/Remote Shooting.” Your specific camera dialog will popup. Select the setup icon; third from the left, below shooting details. A “Date/Time/Zone Settings” dialog will pop. From there click the “From PC” button.

Now all your camera should be synced to the current time.

Globe Life Park – Texas Rangers – Outfield

REC-20140509-195037_222_342_419-Edit

Being a Bostonian transplanted to Texas, the arrival of the Red Sox for a three game series inspired me to photograph the Ranger’s ball park. Unlike Fenway, Global Life Park is situated in a big field making it easier to get an external shot. I had tickets for game two, but I decided to go out to the field for game one to get some evening external shots with the lights on.

Researching the the location before hand using Google Maps, I noticed that the field had two ponds located on the north and west side of the field. I wanted an evening photo with the glow of the stadium lights. The slight water vapor in the air would be good for the dome glow effect. The pond on the west side of the stadium was ideal as the sun setting behind me would not interfere with the lights from the stadium. The trick is to get the sky dark enough so that we can see the glow from the stadium lights, but with enough ambient light to illuminate the exterior facade.

I got to the park about an hour before sunset, and scoped out the best shooting location. It was a bit windy, so I decided that a long exposure would be best to soften the ripples in the water. Initially I used the Tiffen Variable Neutral Density ND Filter – 2 to 8 Stop Light Control; ISO 100; f16 – 22 for 30 second exposures. As it got darker, the need for the ND diminished; and the stadium lights kept getting better. This final print came from my last shots.

The final image is comprised of three images ISO 100, f16 10s, 15s, and 30s. They were merged together using Photomatics Pro software. Final edits in Lightroom using the gradient filter over the ball park to enhance to lighten and cool down the color of the glow hovering just above the stadium. I used the dodge tool to brighten up the trees in front of the stadium and added a slight Orton effect. Finally a little vignette to darken the edges to highlight the stadium.

The Boston Skyline

BostonSkyline_MicrosoftICE

I find that the Rose Wharf view from the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse very picturesque. I have attempted this photograph several times. My past attempts were with a Nikon D2x using the 12 – 24mm f/4 lens (which was barely wide enough to capture this skyline).

An issue with my past attempts was that I was not paying close attention to the buildings and their orientation. I was too focused on Rose Wharf. In past photos the Custom House Tower, an important Boston landmark, was hidden behind the foreground buildings. As it turns out, there are only two spots along the waterway where the Custom House Tower is not blocked.

The key to a good night skyline shot is choosing a week day evening where the sun sets early enough so that people at still working after sunset. Around winter solstice would be best, but I was not due to be back in Boston until Christmas/New Year. I was planning on taking this shot on Thursday, but the weather was not cooperating which forced me to take this shot on Friday evening. Sunset was at 4:19pm.

Finding the light for this photo took patience. I only had 4 sheets of film with me (and I left my digital camera home). At sunset the sky is way too light for a night skyline shot. And if you wait too long the red glow would be gone. I waited so long that most of the other photographers there were gone. This shot was taken about two hours after sunset; after I pack up and started started to leave, I was thinking that I took the shot too early.

For this shot I used a 4×5 camera with the Rodenstock 90mm f/6.8 Grandagon-N Lens. The final image is actually two images stitched together. I almost gave up on this photo using Adobe Photoshop CC, but for some reason, I stumbled upon Microsoft’s ICE software while looking for alternative stitching software; it was free so I thought I’d give it a try. To my surprise it is very fast and does a remarkable job.

Time: December 27, 2013 @ 7:00pm
Camera: Toyo 45AII
Lens:  Rodenstock 90mm f/6.8 Grandagon-N
Film: Kodak Professional Ektar 100 4×5 sheet film
Exposure: IOS 100; f/22 @ 16s

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