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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Flaneur: Developing the Star Idea. (Apparatus)

We eventually decided to run with the idea of filming the stars.  We still had a long way to go before we reached the idea we are currently working on.  I will split the development stages into 'Apparatus' and 'Visualization' sections to distinguish the growth we went through with each.

We are to build a piece of stationary equipment harnessing a camera and shooting the night sky.  We originally planned to build a box that was capable of movement from a remote location.  We approached several camera and photography stores with our idea, to see if they had heard of any similar projects, and if they had any advice for us.  We found a staff member at 'Camera & Camera' who had done some nighttime shooting in China.  He recomended using a lens hood, but assured us that the temperature, ventilation and condensation issues would not be a problem.  This would only affect shooting if the camera was in a position where the temperature was different to that outside.  Being in a largely open piece of equipment  the camera will adjust and regulate on its own.  I only hope we don't encounter issues when we find out New Zealand's climate poses problems that China's does not.

The next step we took was to figure out a way to manipulate the height of the camera.  This didn't take long to figure out.  We would have a platform that was raised and lowered by twisting a bolt underneath the whole frame.  the further it was twisted into the box -the higher the front of the platform would raise, with the back of the platform attached and pivoting at a fixed point.

James went over our project so far at this stage.  He thought our apparatus needed more meaningful relevance, our idea was good -but our apparatus was bland.  He alerted us to the fact that our apparatus being a box was what was holding us back -it's boring.  He suggested creating a spherical piece of equipment.  We took this idea and made it more applicable to our project.

To make our box more exciting, we would create a small-scale observatory shell.  We would build this around the functional apparatus, which would project the lens of the camera through a hole in the domed roof.  Like a telescope at the observatory.

*edit:  We later decided to improve on the mechanism raising and lowering the camera platform (I hope this is all making sense).  We would base the system on a car jack.  We liked the idea that the jack could come straight down from the dome section into the barrel and out at a 90o angle.  It could then be controlled from outside of the whole apparatus.  We found out this system is known as a scissor-jack.  We will use interlocking rings to transfer the twisting motion from the horizontal to vertical plane, into the side of the drum and up into the dome. the twisting bolt will then push the platform up or lower it down.

I guess a little bit like this.  I'll try get some sketchbook scans up.

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