Thanks Ben… So truth be told I have a bit of a shiny object syndrome. I love new toys and tech, but I get distracted easily. What ends up happening is I have heaps of drawers full of half-done projects. My goal this year is to start to clean out these drawers and build projects out of the kit laying around. This is where half of this project came about.
The other half of the inspiration of this project is that I absolutely love the view of sunset from my office. I simply can’t get enough of it. In the past, i’ve tried to create time-lapses using my iPhone, but the problem is that I have to have a properly charge phone and also stay hands off of mine for 2 hours. It worked OK for the first couple nights, but a small vibration would set the phone off balance and fail. I went to the all mighty google and did some searching. This is where I came across @GoldenHourSEA; a project by Alan Hussey.  Alan has used Python, the Twitter API, the Darksky API, and a Raspberry Pi to build a daily time-lapse of the location. This was exactly what I was looking for.  After building mine, I’ve had a few friends inquire on how to do this, so i’m sharing what I’ve learned along the way to help you out as well.
At a high-level, here’s what you need for a the project to work. I’ve also just made a shopping list here for you.
  • Raspberry PI 3b+ or 4. – I say 3b+ because it fits in the building block case. However if you have a case / setup you like better, go for it.
  • microSD card – odds are you have one laying around. Don’t go any smaller than 32 GB though.
  • Pi camera – Watch out here, the v1 of these aren’t so great. The v2 have more pixels which means a much nicer photo, which means a much nicer video.
  • gopro mount – I like the jobypod one because then i can suction cup it to a window and move it around. Again, if you have a setup you like better, go for it. Just be mindful of setting it on a table / desk. Mine was really shakey until i got the suction cup mount.
Rather than reinvent the wheel…here are two wonderfully written guides on how to get this going:
I hope those helped. If you hit a snag, comment on here or DM me on twitter. I’d love to see more of these projects across the globe!
As a side note, here are a couple of features that I’m working on now:
  • Sunrise option – let’s see what it looks like on sunrise and sunset.
  • Post to instagram option – that is the defacto image sharing network. let’s see it there.
Here’s a link to the new twitter account for my setup. Enjoy the views; I posted my favorite so far…