07 November 2009

Waiting for the gift of sound and vision

Until late last year I regularly uploaded videos taken with my Sony H-1 to Youtube, to enhance the photographic record of my various travels or of life in London.  However, in December I bought a new D-SLR, and while it’s a super camera, it lacks a video function.  This hasn’t been a problem, but when I started tinkering with Movie Maker on my laptop recently it meant that I had to turn to material shot on my older camera when I was compiling videos. 

The videos I shot on the H-1 tend to be relatively short, because I preferred to retain as much memory card space as possible for still photography, and shooting videos also has a habit of depleting the camera’s batteries much more quickly than conventional photography.  This meant that in compiling my clips, most of the material is still photography, interspersed with a few video clips.  Of course, if you’ve seen my Youtube channel before, you’ve likely watched some or all of the videos before.

The process of using Vista’s Movie Maker was simple – it’s an intuitive timeline-driven interface.  It’s easy to import material to build clips, move the pieces around, and see how the clip will flow.  There are separate timelines for text captions (note to MS: it’d be nice if the formatting options were improved) and the audio soundtrack.

The latter option was particularly entertaining.  It was great fun sorting through my MP3 collection to find tracks that fitted the visual material, both in terms of length and style.  And in case you were wondering, I immediately ruled out ‘New York, New York’ as a cliché too far. 

So, without further ado, here’s my first three attempts at clip editing using Movie Maker, with links to the blog articles I wrote on each trip.  Each clip is about five minutes long.  Sure, they’re not remarkably professional, but I think they’ve turned out fairly well, and if anything makes the process of sitting through my travel photos less tedious then I’m all for it.

Syria – Oct/Nov 2008

A week exploring busy cities, Crusader castles, ancient souks, hill-top citadels, and the fantastic desert ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra

[Syria blog part 1, part 2; music: Gene Krupa & Buddy Rich – Gene’s Blues]

New York – Sept 2007

Everyone’s first visit to New York City is special, and mine was no exception.  There’s so much to cram in and the days go so quickly!  I’d go back in a second.

[New York blog; music: XTC – River of Orchids]


Iceland – July 2007

Call me soft, but I went in the summertime.  Iceland can’t be beat for history and scenery, not to mention a dose of the midnight sun.

[Iceland blog; music: Icelandic artist Magga Stina – In / Naturally, from 1998’s An Album on One Little Indian]

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