Moth projector

moth party - Wendy Johnson
photo by Wendy Johnson

We had a hit at the moth-party this year — live projection of the pictures Marcie was taking.  Our guests really liked being able to see giant pictures of the moths that were being seen and photographed at the sheet.  This is the recipe we used if you’d like to try it yourself.


  • Two people — a photographer and a projector-operator
  • A camera that writes pictures to an SD card
  • An eyefi WiFi SD card ($70 – $100)
  • A laptop with a WiFi interface
  • A projector, attached to the laptop
  • A screen (we asked our friends if they had any hand-me-downs and wound up with three to choose from)
  • Extension cords with enough plugs to power the laptop and the projector
  • Two things to sit on, one for me and one for the projector

Get ready

Setting up the camera-to-laptop connection the first time:

  • Put the card in the camera and turn the camera on
  • Install the EyeFi Mobi Desktop software on the laptop and launch it
  • Go through the “Activate Mobi Card” steps
  • Take some pictures
  • Find the folder on the laptop where the pictures are being written

Do a trial run

I did a couple of trial runs before the main event.  The first one was just Marcie and me, the second was a party of close bug-friends who wouldn’t be cranky if the whole thing fell apart.

  • Collect all the ingredients
  • Set up the screen, chairs, projector, power cords, etc.
  • Figure out your workflow.  Mine is to open/edit the pictures on the laptop screen and then drag the picture over to the monitor screen for people to look at.  So I set up the projector to be a separate monitor, rather than mirroring the laptop screen.
  • Practice your workflow.  Here are some useful things to learn during this practice session:
    • Determine where to position the laptop in relation to the photographer.  How far away can the camera go before it loses connection with the laptop?
    • Note: If the camera gets too far away, it will stop transferring photos.  Once it comes back within range, the photos will resume transferring — and catch up.  Consider it an opportunity to take a break.
    • Decide how to quickly crop/edit the photos and move them over to the projector window.  Practice this a bit, in conjunction with the photographer.

new moth display set up

by Mike O’Connor