motion.conf options

Hmmmm, there are a few options in the motion.conf file I haven’t seen before. Or at least, that I can’t recall having seeing before. These look promising:

# Dynamically create a mask file during operation (default: 0)
# Adjust speed of mask changes from 0 (off) to 10 (fast)
smart_mask_speed 0

# Ignore sudden massive light intensity changes given as a percentage of the picture
# area that changed intensity. Valid range: 0 - 100 , default: 0 = disabled
lightswitch 0

The trouble with creating a mask file is that it assumes the camera stays fixed in the same position, and that’s pretty unlikely. So I’ll try tweaking these settings and see what happens. Far less effort. Currently running at about 1000 images an hour. Let’s see if I can get that down a bit …


controlling the loco-motion

So here’s the problem:

[slickr-flickr tag=”webcam2″ type=”gallery”]

This is a USB webcam pointing at the nestbox. The software is motion, running on a Linux Mint box, and uploading to my flickr photostream using flickr_upload. There are a couple of homebrew shell scripts involved too.

The trouble is, even though the motion config file can be tweaked and various things twiddled to adjust various thresholds, most of which are black magic, all it needs is a windy day and I find I’ve got 40,000 or so JPEGS on my harddrive. All of blades of grass blowing in the wind.

So I think I’m going to have to create a mask file. I can’t remember how to do it, even though I’ve done it many times before. I’ll do that later. And I’ll write it down.

Distracted by a pheasant’s back

I frequently drive through Brancepeth on my way to Low Barns and recently I’ve been watching with fascination the unfolding drama of this bracket fungus. This is Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus), also known as Pheasant’s Back Mushroom, presumably due to the distinctive surface of the top of the fungus that you can’t see in this photo. It’s fruiting from a pruning wound on a sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus) next to the main road in Brancepeth.

Dryad's Saddle or Pheasant Back Mushroom on a sycamore in Brancepeth
Dryad’s Saddle on a Sycamore

I’m passing this tree and fungus almost daily and watching with wonder to see if it’s just going to get bigger and bigger. Who knows, one morning I may drive by and discover it’s gone. Disappearing as suddenly and mysteriously as it arrived.

Time delay of adding caption to photo slideshow

photos make a great screensaver and the xscreensaver with glslideshow option is what I use. I often use it for ident practice, e.g. plants, birds etc. The image appears randomly on the screen and I think, I know what that is…

At the moment I have various scripts that can create ad-hoc collections of images based on the embedded tags. I also overlay a caption over the images using the convert bit of imagemagick and that works well.

What I want to do is have a time delay so that an image appears for say, 10 seconds, and then a caption appears over it. The filename would be ok. I can control how long the image appears in xscreensaver, and it’s surprisingly easy to train yourself to not-look at the filename or caption, but I’m curious as to whether it’s possible (without too much effort) to add the caption after some time-out period.