Friday, February 18, 2011

Just A (HD) Walk In The Park

I started blogging almost 5 years ago and today I'm going to send you to sleep by attaching my most boring video ever to this, my 690th post.

I know, I've posted some pretty dull ones before but seriously, this one is Dullsville with a capital D.

So why post it ? Well it's all I've got right now and I need some test footage !

When packing for this trip early last November, weight was as big an issue as contents because Virgin Atlantic had gone the way of most airlines by only allowing me one free case as checked luggage. YOU try getting 6 months of 'stuff' into one 50lb case !

So a few standard items had to be left out and my video camera and all its accessories (power pack, cables, tripod etc) became a casualty. I decided that I take very little video these days and both my little compact still camera and my smartphone take decent enough video for most occasions.

But I forgot about the annual Buttonwood Bay plays and how I video the ones my friends are in and provide dvd copies for those who want them.

Play week is almost here and again I was asked if I would 'do my thing' so what could I do ? The smartphone has no tripod fitting so although it records in both widescreen and HD, I'd have to stand for 20 minutes trying to hold it steady. My compact still camera records video in low definition and not in widescreen and so watching the copied footage on tv would be a huge disappointment.

Then I remembered that Debby had won a Kodak Zi6 at last year's Chilli Fest in the park and despite its audio limitations, I want to use it to record the play on Sunday evening.

So yesterday I went out and about 'playing' with the camera so I'd be familiar with its controls come the big day.

On/off switch. Yep.
Record button. Yep.
Stop button. Yep.

And that was me pretty much familiarised with its controls ! It really is just a point and shoot camera but therein lies its main strength. If someone falls out of a nearby tree, I'll get it. If a gator grabs a passing resident, I'll get it too. No fiddling with knobs and levers and lens caps......I'll be the Spielberg of the point and shoot generation.

My friends here, Clair & MK, had given me a tripod as a pressie when I arrived last year and so with the Zi6 attached, I went out filming. And here is my first attempt. You have been warned !

I know. It looks like a dull advert for a Retirement Community ! Well think of it more as a dull advert for Centre Parcs then. No help ? Well it WAS just a test and the quality seems pretty decent.

Walking around with the lightweight camera on the end of the tripod, I had a sudden moment of inspiration and one I could've made use of many times during my solo travelling days when I would've loved to have got myself in my home movies but it wasn't always possible.

With a slight tilt of the Zi6 on the fully extended tripod, I was able to walk along and film myself as though I had a cameraman in front of me ! Oddly enough the camera doesn't have a particularly wide field of view so this 'trick' is a bit hit and miss and the footage doesn't always reflect the view I thought I was getting ! More experimentation is needed I think and despite looking like an idiot (I'm sure I'll be known around the park as the guy who goes around talking to a walking stick), I'm up for the job.

So there it 690th blog post containing one very dull video and one very disturbing video.

In case you believe things can only get better, remember I am now armed with a lightweight HD camcorder and I know how to use it !


rhymeswithplague said...

Bravo! Oscar contenders both!

I would never have recognized you without the beard, Ian. You look positively American (meant in the best possible way, of course). But when you opened your mouth to speak, was that an Irish accent I heard? Or is that how Yorkshiremen talk?

I'm a bit confused, but I know one thing: Spielberg is quaking in his boots.

rhymeswithplague said...

P.S. - I have just passed you, my current post (Ich bin ein IBMer) being my 693rd. However, my film library is not so impressive as yours.

CLS said...

and I will be thanking you (I hope) for 'videoing' the play - should be fun with Deb, MK et moi - sharing the spotlights with the other 14 !!!!

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Wow, pretty darned good, both of them! A bit of wind noise, but you won't get that indoors. Probably. Tee hee.

By the way, I did a quick search and found some DIY instructions for a tripod mount for a smart phone! Just in case Debby takes her camera back.!5740559/diy-smartphone-tripod-adapter-crafted-from-found-materials

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