One of the unfortunate changes that seem to go along with a disability is a more sedentary lifestyle. While many of us continually struggle to maintain the physical activities that give us quality of life, being more secondary seems to be forced upon us. One of the things Handihelp has done is to encourage the individual to adjust to the change and manipulate their environment to make it more enjoyable.
One of the ways of doing this is to integrate the use of photographs and videos into your lifestyle. While the initial outlay for some of these products may be more costly than we desire it seems to be offset by the low cost of processing and developing the finished product. The use of memory cards or flash cards in cameras and camcorders not only allow taking a greater number of pictures, but also free programs on the Internet make downloading and saving to your computer free. I have been using a camcorder and Nikon camera for some time now and Handihelp is full of pictures and videos I have taken with them.
Just recently I bought a new camera for about $100. It's called a Trail Cam and is designed to be fixed outside and stay in place for weeks at a time. It's totally weatherproof, extremely easy to operate and will take pictures of anything that strays into its view. The picture taking mechanism is activated by both motion and a heat sensor. You have a fair amount of control how often the camera snaps a picture. The Trail Cam that I have is a Bushnell and can even be set up to take videos. A friend set it out by one of my hunting blinds. After a couple weeks my wife and I went and got it. I was so excited when I got home and put the chip in the computer. It was like being a little kid at Christmas time. The pictures included deer, turkeys, a coyote, birds and rabbits. As you can see, images were taken day and night. Right now it is impossible for me to set up the Trail Cam. Normally, it straps around a tree and tightens down with a web strap which I can't do. Right now Marge or friend will set it out for me and help me retrieve it. I'm trying to come up with a system that will allow me to set it up myself. The picture below was taken by the Trail Cam.
Below is an example of one of the tricks that I use to get some of my photographs. Set the camera or camcorder to take videos. Once the video is loaded in the computer you can stop it at any frame you want and take a picture. Below is a picture of two swallows at one of our birdhouses. It wasn't until I looked at the video on the computer that I realized the second bird was flying by. I stopped the video at that frame and took the picture. It's an easy way to get good pictures when your reflexes aren't quick enough.
Once the media is downloaded into the computer the scan disk can be wiped clean and you are ready to start over again. There are many free editing programs for photos and videos. Several come already on Windows programs. Picasa is free from Google and has many excellent editing features.
Included in Handihelp are many adaptions which will allow an individual with limited grip and range of motion to better control a camera. See: Monopod, Wooden Handles and Grip-Ability to mention a few.
The last picture was taken by the landowner where I hunt. The turkeys were in the field in front of his sequestered home. It was taken out a window with his cell phone lens held up to a telescope. The pictures and idea is pretty clever.
*All wildlife pictures were taken either on my property or the land across the road from my house where I hunt.
Just a few days after I put this page online my wife came in and told me we had a bird's nest with three eggs in it in the clothespin bag on the laundry line. We were able to identify the birds as house wrens. A few days ago I sat with my camcorder in our sunroom and recorded about an hour and a half of video through the window. It was a very windy day. The male can be seen on the top of the post calling to the female to return to the nest. Sometimes she was gone for about 15 minutes other times over 30. An edited version can be seen below and the pictures at the right were taken from the video using the process discussed above.
After reading this page Andy Dahmen wrote "The one new great revelation I have come up with for my cell phone is voice activated shutter control. I always struggles trying to touch the screen to take a picture. I found out there is a setting on my phone to take a picture voice activated. It allows me to use both hands to hold the phone. All I have to do is say 'Shoot' and it takes a picture. Love that option."
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