This page contains some examples of interesting hobby-related things that I have produced.

Cicada Time Lapse Video

A "Green Grocer" cicada (Cyclochila Australasiae) emerges from its shell after spending 7 years underground. This video was shot in Lawson, NSW Australia during a period of over 4 hours on 30 Sep 2009.

I used a webcam connected to my laptop to automatically take a photo every 5 seconds. You'll notice me taking some close-up shots at around 0:49 into the clip. The best of those photos is included at the end of the video.

For more information on this species, see here.

"Children's Stick Insect" Time Lapse Videos

More insects... In September 2006, I was given some "Children's Stick Insect" (Tropidoderus childrenii) eggs. These time lapse sequences were captured during the first 6 weeks of their lives. I used a webcam attached to my PC to capture a frame every 30 seconds. These insects are native to Australia and eat eucalyptus leaves. They are not related to the praying mantis, and are not harmful to humans.

Edited highlights
This video shows highlights from the 6 weeks of footage, including eggs hatching, the insects eating, and them "molting" (shedding their skin to grow bigger).

The most awesome (and strange) part of this video is between 2:25 and 2:50, where you'll see one of the insects shedding its skin, and then eating it!

Entire 6 week sequence in 1 minute
Here is the entire unedited 6 week time lapse shown in just over 1 minute. It's interesting to see the water level dropping and the leaves wilting.

Lightning Photographs

During a spectacular electrical storm on March 4 2007, I captured some fantastic lightning photos. My technique was to set the camera to automatically take 10 shots in succession, each with a 2 second exposure time. The 3 images below are the best ones from about 150 photographs. At some point in the future, I plan to experiment some more with lightning photography using the motion sensing facility of the Canon Hacker's Development Kit (CHDK).

Lunar Eclipse Montage

I photographed the total lunar eclipse that was visible over Sydney on August 28 2007, and assembled the photographs into a montage. The Sydney University School of Physics published this montage in their Summer 2007 Alumni Newsletter.

Oak Tree Lapse Video

When I lived in Sydney, there was an old oak tree that could be seen from my yard. The elderly couple who lived in the house told me they planted it there when they were newly-weds. I loved watching the tree go through its yearly cycle from Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter. The most special time was when the first green shoots of new leaves emerged, and it amazed me that every year this would happen exactly on the first day of Spring (September 1). Within a matter of only a few days, the tree would be totally covered in thick, fresh green leaves.

This time-lapse video was shot between August 24 and September 29, 2006. I used a webcam (actually, it was a Sony PlayStation "EyeToy" accessory) to capture a photo every 15 minutes during daylight hours. On the final day of the sequence, I heard somebody cutting branches off the tree with a saw. In a panic, I changed to interval to 2 minutes per photo just in case they were cutting the tree down. Thankfully, they weren't!

In early 2011, a U.K. based band called Filthy Temples contacted me requesting permission to use this clip for a music video. The resulting clip is quite amazing!

2014 David Tobin.