First attempts with trailcam

I do a lot of tinkering with webcams and raspberry pi’s. This works after a fashion but I decided to finally invest in a proper trail camera. The difference in quality is significant.

The camera I’ve bought is a Browning Recon Force Advantage from Nature Spy, and so far it’s looking promising. I’ve still got a bit to learn though. My main surprise is how much ambient light is needed before the camera stops using Infrared. The following video was, according to the timestamp, taken at 11:21AM today, and all the preceding videos are in infra red.

Admittedly it’s a wet, dreich day, and natural daylight hasn’t been in abundance anyway. Plus, the camera is strapped to the trunk of a Leylandii tree and I’m wondering whether the branches are casting shade over the camera’s sensor, despite the main capture area being relatively open.

After 11:21 the camera flips to daylight and suddenly there is colour.

No real surprises in the captures. Grey squirrels, magpies and crows. And it’s given me some ideas about the capture area. I think I’ll put it on that Katsura tree tonight (the one with the dangling yellow cable) and point it to the big tree stump.

Embedding Video in WordPress

I can’t keep up with video embedding in WordPress. It changes, it breaks, I try and keep things simple.

A few tests to embed video from flickr and zenfolio. These are mp4 files created by motion for a Vivotek IP webcam.

Zenfolio: Using the Share Embed Code

This is using the embed code from the Share option in Zenfolio. Need to be logged into zenfolio. The code is added to the page (Gutenberg editor) using the Custom HTML option in the Formatting section. The embed code that Zenfolio supplies is:

<p><iframe src="//" width="800" height="500" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>

This seems to work ok on desktop, Firefox. But no ability to play full-screen or link through to original on zenfolio. Also not so sure about the responsiveness on a smartphone. In fact looks a bit broken overall on iPhone.

Zenfolio: Direct link to video

This is using the Share option available to the owner when logged into Zenfolio. There’s a range of sizes/qualities linking to the original mp4. Quality differences not that relevant for a webcam but I’ve used the best one anyway. In the following example I’ve used the Video option under Common Blocks and selected Insert from URL.

This seems to work as good as the embedded code but with perhaps a bit more buffering. You can click through to full-size, but not to the original zenfolio page. And still pretty broken on an iPhone.

Flickr: Using the Share Embed Code

Like the zenfolio example above, this uses the Share option available only when logged in. The Embed code, added using the Custom HTML option is:

<a data-flickr-embed="true" data-header="true" data-footer="true"  href="" title="phoenix - gardenpath - event5177 - Tue 23 Apr 2019 - 0748 - 32s930ms(no sound)"><img src="" width="1280" height="800" alt="phoenix - gardenpath - event5177 - Tue 23 Apr 2019 - 0748 - 32s930ms(no sound)"></a><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>
phoenix - gardenpath - event5177 - Tue 23 Apr 2019 - 0748 - 32s930ms(no sound)

On Firefox (66.0.3 (64-bit)) running on Debian (Private Window and Cookies Cleared) this gives:

No video with supported format and MIME type found.

This also happens under Firefox (Windows 10), whereas Edge has a bold overlay that states: This type of video file isn’t supported. This is the same video file that I uploaded to both Flickr and Zenfolio, so presumably they are handled, stored or delivered in some subtly different way.

Flickr: Using the built-in Gutendberg Embeds

Using the Flickr option under Embeds

Well this is interesting. Is there a difference between pre and post Smugmug Flickr? A lot of migration has been going on after SmugMug bought Flickr, and I wonder if it’s videos either side of that migration that are causing the fun.

Here’s some iPhone footage taken on the River Wear in Feb 2018. It seems fine using the Flickr Embed option.

Flickr: iPhone video uploaded in Feb 2018

Now here’s some iPhone footage, (same iPhone), taken recently and uploaded to Flickr. Using the same Flickr Embed option.

Same Camera, same embedding technique. One works, the other doesn’t. The only difference is the time they were uploaded. Let’s try that test again.

Here’s another clip from the garden path webcam from Jan 2019. And it works fine.

Finally a couple of examples using the photonic plugin. Same story. It works for video uploaded before the migration, but not after.

Before …

and after …

Time and Patience are not waiting for me and my experience of Flickr has always been exasperating. I had a legacy Pro account but with the acquisition by SmugMug the cost of that has jumped and I don’t think it’s worth the money. I’ll probably not renew my Flickr Pro subscription in May and stick with Zenfolio. My Vimeo Plus was great for its video sharing but a bit of an overkill for people like me who just want to potter about with smartphones and webcams. But then, the money saved by not paying for Flickr. Hmmm ….