Ed Driscoll


DRISCOLL AFTER DARK: I have two articles in the November Home Automation, including a piece on using the X10 home automation standard and motion detectors to help make a home safe at night. The article includes a few photos of Chez Ed after dark. The text of the article is online, but you’ll have to actually buy the magazine to see the photos (besides this one, of course!)

Hopefully my neighbor will buy a copy–God only knows what he thought when he saw me taking photos of my garage and front door at 9:00 on a Saturday night with my digital camera, running into the house (to check them on the PC) and then coming back out to shoot some more. Thank God for digital cameras: there are only a few photos in the piece, but I ended up shooting 20 or 30 shots and experimenting with exposures, fill lighting from the house lights combined with flash, trying the shots with no flash, trying to use the lights from the car as additional lighting, and just generally experimenting.

There’s no way I could have done night photography like this with a conventional flash, and have to wait until the next day to see the results–I would have wasted far more film and time. And the digital image appears to me to have far more usable exposure range within a single image. (Compare the first three photos in my recent Napa Valley Wine Train article to the three after that: the first three are digital images, the next three are scanned prints. I had to really manipulate the scanned prints to balance the indoor lighting with the bright sunlight. The digital prints required much less manipulation before they were ready to be uploaded.)

Incidentally, my other article in Home Automation, which is not available online, is all about choosing the right PVR, which actually makes a nice companion to my interactive TV article in today’s Tech Central Station.

Buy a couple of boxcars worth of Home Automation magazine today!