The gallery interface is still slightly clumsy, but hopefully you'll figure it out -- click on thumbnails to "zoom" into a particular time range (using the maps as reference), and eventually view full size images.
(Don't worry, a proper writeup of Days 3, 4, and 5 is still coming.)
More about the camera itself:
It's mounted on a Tom Bihn Co-Pilot, my current favorite puzzle hunt bag. (The search for the perfect puzzle hunt bag is a subject in its own right.) The camera is a Contour+2 action camera. It's tethered to a 7000mAH USB battery pack (which tucks into a pocket of the bag, and also helps me charge my phone as needed).
The idea is that I usually wish I had pictures of a puzzle hunt, but during the game itself taking photos isn't on my mind. This way, the camera can be continuously photographing everything, and I can sort out the images at my leisure.
The Contour is a GoPro competitor, and like the GoPro is mainly used for helmet-cam video of action sports. Video would fill the 32GB SD card in a couple hours, so instead I run it in 1FPS still photo time lapse mode. At medium JPEG quality, each 5MP photo is around 1MB, so that lasts around 9 hours. For longer games I'll have to cut down the photo frequency (or change cards, but the whole point is to avoid requiring any attention during the hunt). Unfortunately the Contour doesn't support >32GB cards. I chose the Contour over the GoPro because it has GPS built-in, which is critical for cross-referencing clue sites and images. The Contour form factor is nicer for this purpose, and I like the user interface better. On the other hand, GoPro cameras can use SDXC cards (64GB+) which would be nice. Both Contour and GoPro are wide angle (170 degree) which is great for capturing a whole scene.
In the end, it worked out okay.
Both Wei-Hwa and I used bag-cam pics (along with conventional phone snapshots) for blogging. There are interesting pictures of things we never thought to explicitly photograph, so that's good. Finding the right picture is definitely the hard part -- I hadn't written the gallery generator I linked above, so we just had a giant directories of JPG files to wade through. Standard photo management systems don't do so well with 20,000 files in a day; tools like Lightroom and Aperture can handle the volume, but don't do anything very smart with GPS data, and aren't especially suited for the kind of timeline browsing that's needed. (On the other hand, I'm no expert; maybe I'm missing something.)
Of course, the pictures often have funny framing, and because of where it lives a lot of the pictures end up being "look at my giant hairy arm" or "check out my teammate's giant fisheye-distorted butt". Still, there are so many pictures that usually some of them are decent.
There was one day (day 2) when having a good way to access photos from the previous day would have been nice! Sadly, it wasn't very realistic to do so in real time, and due to some snafus I ended up wiping the card, so we didn't have the data. Perhaps some day this kind of thing will be useful for in-game reference, but for now I'm focusing on post-game documentation.
Here are a few of my favorite bag-cam shots from Day 4:
|Outside Washington Park, Cincinnati|
|"How could that sundial not be the clue?"|
|Indianapolis War Memorial|
|More Indianapolis memorials.|
|Part of the "Historic National Road", Indianapolis.|
|Puzzled over an inscription near George Washington's statue.|
|While the others went to solve a clue, I made a quick detour to learn about the weird donut embedded in the wall.|
It's called "littlebird"; apparently there's a little bronze bird on top?
|They look positively heroic, don't you think?|
|Atop Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.|
|Sadly, despite the label, this vending machine just sells soda.|
I hope to use the system for upcoming Famine Game and Midnight Madness games, we'll see how it works out there. There are also more interesting products entering this space, like the Memoto.