"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." —John Wooden

Photography DiscussionYear of Endless Adventure

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St3v3M
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Year of Endless Adventure

Post by St3v3M » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:13 pm

Hey everyone,
This really doesn't have a home so I thought I'd put it here. And don't feel obliged to Reply if you don't want to.

I've been thinking a lot about changing my life and have decided to travel more, for me. I need my job so I'll keep that as much as it will let me, but I have an odd schedule and thought I'd try to expand my photo career in the process by taking trips in between and seeing what I can make of it. Don't worry, I'll have my cell phone and have figured out how to tether it to my computer so I'm still only an Internet away. The point is I recently came across a contest I thought I'd enter. I mean how hard can it be?

Year of Endless Adventure
- It looks like all the usual stuff right, name, email, etc. And then theirs Describe your Endless Adventure, including destinations, activities, sports, etc. Okay, I can do that. So I write up a nice little what I'd like to do and try to make it fun as if I was doing it rather than wanting to. (see below)
- I'm excited now and ask a friend to proof it, I make changes and mention I'm going to submit it. Did You Read The Rules?
- I need a video? There's a reason I'm behind the camera, but I'm half-way there so why not...

The story that follows is why I don't like video. LAF

I don't have time for anything epic, but I charge my video camera, grab my gear and head to my local hike. I figure I can get some first-person video of me on an adventure, splice it together and be done in an hour or so. Out the door and I check the weather, I have a few hours until it rains so I grab a jacket. I'll be home before then...

I park and it's already sprinkling so I grab my umbrella too. I'm usually okay with a hat and a coat, but think the umbrella will be good to keep the rain off the camera. I want to start filming right away, a total point of view, so I turn the video camera on. Low Battery. I dropped the camera in a lake in South Africa once and ever since then it's been a little iffy. Oh well, I'm already here so I change focus and decide I'll take photos, stitch them together in a movie in PowerPoint and add sound to it later. The weather is iffy but that just adds to the adventure.

The hike was good and I got some shots, some silly ones of me too so its back to the house. I work the photos in Lightroom and cull the 500 into 200 and eventually less. Editing each one was time-consuming so I cheated on some of them copying settings from one to another and adjusted if I need to. With that done I opened PowerPoint and found a Photo Album tool that imported them all at once. That was easy.

I knew I needed audio so I sort of talked my way through it and tried to adjust the transitions as best I could. Eventually, I got to the point where I needed to do it for real so I started taping. My laptop microphone made me sound like I was in a tin can so I pulled out my cell phone. It was better but far away. I could have held it close but thought to plug in my headphones with a microphone. Nice.

I feel like I sound like I'm reading when I have a script so I sort of winged it and each mess up meant I had to start over. Once I got the rhythm though I was able to get one, then another. I would go back and change a word or two, just to make it better.

Okay, I have the video, I have the audio, now it's time to sync them together. I don't do a lot of video editing so I open Windows Movie Maker and import the video. Then I import the audio and for the life of me, I can't remember how to edit it so it starts when I need it to. Frustrated I go back to the cell phone and figure out how to do it from there, but it's cut a little, okay cut a little more, oops too much, and it's frustrating. I finally figure out how to do it in Movie Maker and am having a little more luck.

I finally get the two spliced together and import it into YouTube. I send it to be proofed, then play it out of curiosity. It's like I never synced the audio. Errrr (that's my errr noise). I start over, pay it several times and push it to YouTube again. I think I'm okay this time.

Hours upon hours into days. Maybe a real video would have been easier, but I'm sparing you the words you don't want to hear.

I hope you like what I've been up to! S-


Essay -
I close the tailgate and think that’s the last of it, there’s not much really, cooking gear, sleeping gear, a few knickknacks, and of course my camera. It wouldn’t be a real adventure without it! It’s off to the gas station for the ritual last-minute fill-up and window wash then the Old Girl and I hit the road. Traffic is light and the air cool, just the way we like it as we set out toward Mojave. It doesn’t take long to see it’s going to be an amazing sunset so I’m psyched as we roll into Red Rock Canyon State Park and find a place to set camp. Have you ever been to this place? It’s just off the highway and something most people pass by on their way somewhere else but it’s absolutely beautiful in the right light.

This is a short trip and I’m going to make the most of it, Red Rock tonight, and the Trona Pinnacles by morning light. These are seriously from another world and will be fun to capture with the rising sun. I should make it to Fossil Falls in time to scout it and take some evening shots, wake and do it all over again in the morning then make my way to The Alabama Hills. This is where the old western movies were made and the gateway to Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the contagious United States at 14,508 feet. I’ve climbed it twice, but that’s for another story.

There are things along the 395 I want to check out; the 25-foot tall women, the Twilight Zone House, the guy who makes the cool metal sculptures, the Lemon House with its dinosaur, the Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns, and a stop for dinner at the Alabama Hills Cafe of course. I can already taste it! Food, real food! I’ve been this way before but it’s always fun to see what the desert side of the Sierras are up to before I make camp at The Alabama Hills near the Mobius Arch where I will shoot some cool long exposure star trails over the eastern side of the Sierras. It should be wonderful weather to see the milky way!

I’ll spend a day in The Alabama Hills exploring all its wonders, but haven’t decided if I want to drive up to the Whitney Portal yet, it’s early in the year still so I’ll let the weather decide, and besides there still so much more still to see. There’s the Manzanar Internment Camp where the Japanese Americans were unjustly incarcerated during World War II, and a decision to be made from there. Do I go to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest and take a hike to look for the 4844-year-old Methuselah tree or head north for Convict Lake, the Devils Postpile, Rainbow Falls, and Mono Lake? I could even head up to the Bodie State Historic Park if time permits.

Even with this list there’s still so much more to see on the Eastern, but there’s always another day on another adventure. I’ll let the road decide this one and see where it takes us! The ‘rule’ here is to push beyond the boundaries that you know, find that uncomfortable place and explore it until you make it home, then push on to see what more the world has to offer. Push beyond your limiting factors until it’s you and you alone working to find your inner-self, that one that’s been there all along waiting to get out. Do whatever it takes, but explore and go beyond everything you’ve ever dared imagine and just be you!

The road is calling and I must travel! S-

Video -
Year of Endless Adventure – Tepui Tents
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by Psjunkie » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:14 am

Interesting Steve...I struggled reading such long pros but did enjoy the video with commentary.....

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Post by St3v3M » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:00 am

Psjunkie wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:14 am
Interesting Steve...I struggled reading such long pros but did enjoy the video with commentary.....
Most of it probably only makes sense in the context of the contest, but as long as you liked the video I'm happy! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by mikec » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:54 am

Took a while to read but I enjoyed your video. Perhaps some low music in the background?
Mike C
Enjoying the sun and sea in Miami, FL

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Post by minniev » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:25 pm

I hate doing any kind of video. They say my camera has good video capability but I will probably never find out. All that splicing and syncing and fiddling would drive me crazier than I already am.

Good job of cobbling together a pseudo-video from stills, which must have been even worse trouble than real video. I enjoyed reading about the tribulations of creating it. And especially the Steve-modeling-trail-outfits part which made me smile.

Thanks for sharing with us and good luck on the contest!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by St3v3M » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:15 am

mikec wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:54 am
Took a while to read but I enjoyed your video. Perhaps some low music in the background?
Music probably would have been a good idea, and if I do more of these I'll learn how.

I submitted the entry so it's up to them now! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:20 am

minniev wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:25 pm
I hate doing any kind of video. They say my camera has good video capability but I will probably never find out. All that splicing and syncing and fiddling would drive me crazier than I already am.

Good job of cobbling together a pseudo-video from stills, which must have been even worse trouble than real video. I enjoyed reading about the tribulations of creating it. And especially the Steve-modeling-trail-outfits part which made me smile.

Thanks for sharing with us and good luck on the contest!
It was a lesson in frustration, but hopefully worth it and like most things I'm sure it's easier the more you do them. Ironically if I win it's probably the medium they'll want to use so I'll learn to get better at it. Everything has a reason.

And thank you for that. It was just starting to rain again, but I'd been thinking lately about adding people to the scene to give depth and a personal touch, but with no one around it was up to me. I shot quite a few away from the camera, but at the last minute, I thought it might be fun to 'get dressed' while walking down the trail. I'm glad you liked it! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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