OK, the filter material arrived and I taped it into the openings of the shutter. Above is a shot of the completed masterpiece ready to rock and roll.
I tried several exposures and found that f16 is the best aperture to use in today’s light. With the camera mounted on the tripod and the remote release attached I was ready to shoot for real… just as a thunderstorm rolled in.
I thought that a picture of rain hitting a puddle would be pretty cool with this gadget but the wind was too high, it kept wrapping the shutter around the camera and it wouldn’t drop!
30 minutes later the storm passed and I was able to get some shots off.
Our store is on always scenic Collins Road so traffic is about all I can capture while I’m still working. But the shutter works! Take a look:
The colored filter material is due in today so I thought I’d get a leg up on the project by getting the chipboard stock cut.
From a sheet of chipboard 12X18 I drew out a T that is 18” from top to bottom. The cross at the top of the T is 5 inches across and the body of the T is 3 inches across. I left an even inch of the top cross hanging over each side.
Next I had to cut the openings for the filter material. Each opening in my version will be 2 ½ inches square. There should be 5/8 inch between the openings too. Begin at the bottom of the T and make the first opening no closer than 3 ½ inches to the bottom of the T. The top of the last opening will be about 4 inches below the intersection of the top cross of the T.
The 3 ½ to 4 inches of blank cardstock are the closed shutter position. When the bottom uncut space is in front of the lens there is no exposure. The shutter is dropped, the filters pass in front of the lens as it falls, and the top uncut space of the T blocks the lens effectively closing the shutter.
After making the shutter T I found I had to make a few easy modifications. First, the Cokin filter holder has two ridges at the top and bottom that are used to retain round Cokin filters. These ridges prevented my shutter from dropping through the holder. I have never used Cokin’s round filters (polarizers mostly) so I trimmed the ridges off with the knife.
The second modification was to the T itself. I found that it would occasionally wiggle and bind up as it dropped through the holder. This was simple to solve; I trimmed hair width amounts off of the long axis of the T until it fell through the holder easily.
The third modification I made was to make another guide that keeps the shutter in its track. I cut a narrow strip of chipboard from my scrap, placed the shutter into the holder in the slot closest to the camera lens, and then taped the chipboard strip across the top of the holder in a way that it just misses the shutter T. Now I know the shutter won’t skip out of its track and let light in when it shouldn’t.
Once the filter material arrives all I need to do is trim it to 2 ¾” square and tape it in place. Then I’ll be ready to take the first trial images.