Axel, a long-time friend, changed his professional orientation a few years ago to launch “La Scène” in Aix-en-Provence. It is a family friendly place where you can spend a moment after work during the week, over a drink and some tapas. There are concerts, theatrical improvisations and much more, as La Scène is intended to be a place for artistic events and much more.
With one of his acquaintances who happened to be a photographer, Axel has integrated a photographic mirror, low-tech descendant of the “photo booths” that you have certainly used during a wedding or another festive event.
The main idea is to allow people to take pictures of themselves in the evening, but in the eclectic, retro-grandmother and resolutely low-tech style from La Scène. Thus a solution without a electronic display, without diodes, without lights and without coloured plastics has been designed. The integration carried out at La Scène is particularly successful. The camera is setup behind a large mirror in a frame with golden mouldings, the tain of which has been removed in the middle in order to allow the camera to see through it.
The camera is a Nikon 3100, equipped with an 18-55mm lens and an external flash.
A button at the end of a cable allows customers to trigger the camera. the whole things produces this kind of professional quality photo:
However, a number of additionnal features were expected for such an environment:
- allow to retrieve the photos in order to project them on a giant screen in the main room (web slideshow provided),
- allow customers to view the photos on their smartphone,
- upload the photos to flickr or to an FTP site to make them available to the public the day after,
- add a text and/or graphic watermark to each photo.
Upon Axel’s request, I developed a small box based on a Raspberry Pi that connects to the camera via an USB cable and to the local wifi in order to provide these features. If you want to get a more precise idea, the user documentation is visible here.
The chosen Raspberry Pi is a 3B+ model which has the particularity of having an integrated wifi. The wifi is configured to access the LAN and to provide a a captive portal allowing customers to access photos from their own smartphone. The OS is Arch linux, configured to use the repository http://tardis.tiny-vps.com/aarm/ in order to be able to obtain a known and tested configuration.
The software (photo manager and web interface) is written in python 3.7.
The other software used are:
- gphoto2 (and its python binding) to retrieve the photos,
- dnsmasq + hostapd + iptables + ngninx for the captive portal,
- sphinx for documentation. Robotframework coupled with selenium are used to automatically extract screenshots from the configuration web application,
- sigal to generate the photo gallery,
- py.test for testing,
- bottle for the web server of the configuration and administration applicatio,
- grafana, prometheus and prometheus push gateway for monitoring,
- tor to provide ssh access for maintenance and troubleshooting (at least on the test version of La Scène),
Here after is a random sample of the photos taken at La Scène:
They are all visible on the Flickr space of La Scène.