Livefeed from Barcelona

Livefeed from Barcelona

This is something I have been working on for a quite a long time and now it’s time to put it into a real field test. Not that the actual technique is so complicated, but it’s been interesting trying to build the workflow so that it is rock solid and easy to use in a hurry and under pressure.

Livefeed ; click on the image to see it.

What I am referring to is what I have started calling “livefeed” from an event, so this time it is Livefeed from Barcelona EC in Athletics. I have set couple of EOS1 mrk4s with a trans­mitter so that I can transmit directly not to my clients server, but into a a slideshow while the action is still going on. From the moment I push the “transmit” ‑button, the delay is 5–10 secs and the image is up and displayed. No editing, no cropping. With a watermark set on the fly. The latest image always lands on the top of the pile (you do have to refresh occasio­nally) and you can scroll the images (if not, they are displayed 5 sec each, looping) . There is a refresh-button on the lower right corner.

I will be testing this tonight for the first time and should this prove succesful, we will adopt this workflow for the rest of the games — as a nice extra touch of multi­media to my basic work over here.

In addition, I made a simple html-page with Twitter-commenting built in. That is: from my iPhone I can (and I will) comment on the action and the images while I am on the field — and so can the readers as well. Sure, you have to set up a Twitter account, but even if you have never used it, it takes less than 10 min to figure out how it works — and it’s free. Twitter is not very widely used in Finland, but we’ll see if I manage to create any commentary/discussion at all. I’m sure there will be couple of these “you and your images suck…” ‑but then again, it comes with the territory…

Livefeed with Twitter commentary built in; click image to see it

Technically there are couple of possible pitfalls — such as an about thousand reporters hooking into the same WiFi network and channels simul­ta­neously, but one does not know will something work unless one tests it in real life. So, here we go. Let me know if something is not working — and if you do use Twitter, I’d love commentary, whatever the language.

Also, if you are used to using Twitter more, please note that my username on this is “kkuukka” and not my standard “karikuukka”; i.e. I have two accounts with the first one speci­fically reserved for this purpose.

5 Replies to “Livefeed from Barcelona”

  1. Hi,

    New games and you have a new trick in your sleeve again :) The photo stream works well for me and I found it enter­taining. I’ll be tuning into your twitter channel..

    Tommi (same guy, but with a new wordpress username)

    1. Hey Tommi -

      good to see y’a. Yup, it worked, but not as smoothly as during my testing. For instance, on the second floor there is too much concrete between the antennas for it to be reliable. Also, in the end of the stadium where they were doing the javelin, the connection dropped.
      But the main problem is not technical: trying to find different (i.e. outstanding from the mass) images, trans­mitting, worrying about the strength of the link, using twitter… that’s a lot attention span required. And easily something suffers. Eg. yesterday I missed one jump of Osku Torre as I was busy trying to find a solid position to maintain a trans­mission link…

      Trans­mission problems could be avoided by using my own router with HSPA-link, but that would mean some additional costs… and as I am NOT doing this for a client but merely as personal R&D, I won’t do it unless they ask me to.

      Just for a fun of it, I do have set up a template which allows also live video-stream ; same principle, i.e one button operation for me and works like we say in Finnish “like a toilet in a train” ;-) , i.e. it is very easy to use and very reliable. But as I am not allowed to do live images in major sports compe­ti­tions, I won’t be using it here.

      Nice to see that you are keeping an eye on what I do.

  2. Cool stuff! Blurring the boundary of photo­graphy and journalism and print and live at the same time. You must be one of the techiest & nerdiest photo­graphers in the games ;)

    1. Hi there -
      well, you know, the way print is dying, one has to come up with something else… Sure, it is not this, but at least I am trying to do something, some personal R&D — which is more than you can say about the majority of the daily publica­tions. They are waiting for the “bad times” or the storm called “recession” to pass — but here’s a newsflash: it won’t.

      Somebody said really nicely in FB the other day: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”. Note: to dance in the rain, not just stand the rain.

      And I try to do just that.

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