I’ve Always Been In To It.

Black Friday.  The winter storm has moved on to the East, but it is still cold and snowy here in Denver. The final total for our place was 13.5 inches, as I measured in multiple locations around the yard. Not the heaviest snow we’ve ever had, but for November it’s a little unusual.

We made it through Turkey Day, not without challenge. I got little sleep the night before and spent the day dealing with some type of stomach virus. Ended up spending most of the day taking care of that and lying in bed. It was bad enough that I didn’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the family. Trudy’s daughter-in-law was kind enough to send a plate of food home for me.

I did manage to get a few more of Trudy’s home video tapes converted to digital. I’m about 1/3 of the way through that process. Images from her life before knowing me. An interesting retrospective. Myself, I have very few photos and virtually no video from my life before Trudy. What little I do have were gifts from family members, photos taken by others in a time long ago and far away.

Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays kinda get in to me that way. I start thinking about the old days, the good times, the not so good times, and if I haven’t reconciled everything that’s passed by now, well, life is about living and having learned something in the process. With my 62nd birthday approaching, I realize that most of my living has been done. It’s fun to delve into Trudy’s past and it helps keep things in perspective to realize that our lives have many things in common.

As for the video editing. I’m finding this to be mildly precarious, all this video capture and different software. I never know when the software is going to crash and it does from time to time. Not enough hassle to keep me from getting it done, but video editing on a PC isn’t always pretty. What really strikes me is the difference in quality between a VHS video tape and a modern HD video camera. Even more striking are the old Super 8 home movies I do have on VHS. I did a lot of Super 8 film back in the 70’s, which has somehow managed to survive the efforts of others to relieve me of them. I’ll get a clip or two up soon to share. Me and my childhood friends doing goofy stuff on film. Takes me back to the beginning of my learning photography.

I’ve always been in to it.

95% Complete

Photograph of a helicopter

The day following our biggest November blizzard in close to 20 years.

I’m still working in the office as it’s a bit too cold and snowy to venture outside for very long. Lets see, the temperature has come up to 19 degrees since sunrise when the thermometer was reading 7 degrees. It’s enough to frost your frog.

Today’s task is to recompile all the old family movies and I’m presently working on the videos from our 2008 trip to Kauai, Hawaii.  One of the highlights of that trip was our helicopter tour over the island. Today’s photo is the helicopter we used, shortly before we took off.

While the videos are rendering in the background, I’ve taken the opportunity to study up on the different video formats in use these days.

I’ve settled on converting to the standard HD MPEG-4 H.264 High Profile at 15,000 Kbps, 16:9 aspect ratio format, 29.97 frames per second with stereo audio sampled at 48,000 Hz, 16 bits at 192 Kbps.

A lot of technical gobbledygook for the layman, but since I do have a technical background, it all makes sense to me. The end result is that I can play the movies on just about anything and get a very nice, high quality HD video playback. I don’t have any 4k video cameras, so that’s something I’ll look at down the road. In the meantime, the rendering continues.

I continue to play with video editing software too. My skill level is a bit higher than I had assumed at first and I quickly found I needed something with more oomph.  Wanting to keep it as inexpensive as possible, I downloaded the full tilt version of Corel Video Studio 2019, which was on sale for $60.  They just released the 2020 version, but I opted for the sale version. It also contains a few extras such as a fairly nice screen capture utility and some other fluffy stuff. So far, so good. This isn’t the best of the best, but it will do everything my brain can handle at the moment, and then some.

Trudy is on her video kick too. She’s going through all the old DVD and Blue-Ray movies we had purchased over the years. We never watch them, so she’s going to take them over to the swap shop and see how much they’ll give her for the lot. Maybe use the money to buy a few Christmas gifts or something. I’ve already submitted my wish list, which is fairly unexciting.

So that be today’s blog entry. My Kauai video is about done rendering. 95% complete.

New Tricks For An Old Dog

Shiras bull moose in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I’ve been semi-sequestered in my office lately, learning and relearning how to write with a consistent style. This new job at Fstoppers has tweaked my thinking. With my first article submitted and approved for publication, the editor’s notes have reminded me that I’m going to have to polish my style a bit. Nothing egregious mind you, but I’m reminded that my college English courses were taken some 30+ years ago and the things I learned and have embedded in my writing are not really current by today’s standards. The linguistics of a Kentucky boy aren’t quite up to par. I keep reminding myself though, it’s the flow of the story that matters most to me. The technicalities can be learned, but learning to write with interest and flow, perhaps that’s something a little more difficult to learn. Learn I will. We never stop learning.

Ah, the laments of an amateur. It’s a question of new tricks for an old dog.

Happy Moose Monday by the way.