Photographic Equipment Projects

I’ve had fun creating one or two electronic projects to solve photography challenges. I am working on other projects and when they are complete I will add details of them here.

Camera Shutter Exposure Timer

This video is an overview of my new Arduino based Camera Shutter timer. Originally inspired by the cameradactyl project on YouTube this is my translation of that very basic concept demonstrator into a workshop tool. The project incorporates the second generation of my timing software.

The timer uses a laser to sense the opening and closing of the Analog camera shutter. The measured exposure is analysed and details of the time appear on the display. The statistics displayed include the average and standard deviation of the exposures. These statistics enable the operator can gain a good understanding of how reliable the shutter under test is. Each set of test results are logged to the SD card. The software automatically guesses the shutter speed being tested and shows the error from the expected time. This is a stand alone device that can be used anywhere. It can be run on a power bank or small PSU or 9v battery as well being attached to a PC.

Safety was an important part of this design and the laser can be switched on an off with an over-ride switch. Laser light is dangerous to eyesight and lasers must be used with care. The inside of laser housing is painted black to reduce reflections.

All of the code is available on github ( . The wiring diagram is shown at the end of the video.

October 2022 NEW SOFTWARE release V4 now on the github site for this project!

UV Printing Box

UV Light Box

Read about the construction of a printing box for alternative process printing (eg. Cyanotypes)

Wet Plate – Silver Nitrate Dip Tank

Limited information on this one I’m afraid as its all just sheets of polystyrene glued together to form a box! The main thing here was to make sure it was water tight. Lots of liquid cement was used.

You can read a little more background in this blog entry.

Large Format Camera Guillotine Shutter

Large Format Drop Shutter in Action
Large Format Drop Shutter in Action

I needed a way to make reliable short exposures when using barrel lens. This led me to build this guillotine shutter.

The simple falling blade drop shutter enables a range of shutter speeds from 1/125 to as long as needed.

You can learn more about it in my blog post here