picUp POC - Maiden Voyage

Wedding Shower

My purpose for creating picUp was to capture random images from my daughter Christina's wedding shower. It's maiden voyage was this past weekend and it worked as expected. Since you forget it is there, the hardest part was making sure nothing was set in front of it. I wanted to capture pre-event images while the room was being set up, so I set it up as soon as I got there. There were power outlets near every table, however in my haste I forgot to bring the wall adapter. Fortunately, my initial plan was to run 100% on battery power for the entire event, which was successful. The unit ran for close to 4 hours on the battery charger device and was still at 4 of 4 bars of power when the event ended. With the second battery, I have no doubt that I could have stretched to 8 or 10 hours of image captures.

The Event

We started setting up the shower around 9am. It started at approximately 1pm and lasted until close to 4pm. Images Taken: 53 images were taken set at 5 minute intervals. Image Uploads: All 53 images were uploaded. Since I was tethered to my mobile device I thought it may miss some but it also worked as expected. Upload Size: Images are approximately 1.5 MB in size at 1024x768 so around 70 MB of data transfer and disk space. You could go higher res on the pi camera with something like 1080 but I did not want images taking too long to upload and keep the pi disk usage manageable. Event: Including setup up, the event lasted for 6 hours from 9:15 am to 4:00 pm. (approx.) Devices: 1 Issues:None Lessons Learned: There were a few lessons learned...
  • Camera placement- Making sure the unit is placed somewhere that the camera is not blocked.
  • Lighting- Consider lighting when placing unit. Facing an open window can change pictures due to changes in sunlight, especially if you start in the morning before the sun comes up. Checking the images on the website during the event on occasion might be advisable to make sure they have enough lighting.
  • Placement Height: A sufficient height should be considered when placing the unit. A higher window ledge is possibly a good option and may give you a higher perspective of the event. I also considered using a camera stand.
  • Relocation: Having a few predefined placements allow you to move the unit on occasion to get images from a different perspective. Plan them prior so that you can simply pick up and move the unit throughout the event.
  • Snapshots: Remember the unit is there, I kind of forgot. Firing off some extra images (using remote snapshot) as you see someone approach the unit will get some additional "non-random" shots. Because I was taking pictures with a camera and video recording, I never used the instant snapshot from my phone. Maybe even give a few select individuals access to fire off a snapshot.


All in all the unit was a success. It captures images as expected, uploaded them as expected and the website was populated as expected. My initial picup.php was awkward to navigate so I replaced it with an image viewer script I obtained from w3schools. I simply ported the file gather php code into their manual image script, creating the divs as it scanned the image file names into a string.

Silly Pic of the Day

I am not sure if this was on purpose or just good timing, but I found it comical. I am thinking someone set a box or was carrying one past the camera when it grabbed this pic.