Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nice Day for a Walk: A Video Test

This post kind of stretches the boundaries of "a blog about my music projects", but what the heck. Let the blog police come after me.

If you've read my posts with videos, you know that I've been frustrated with the process and the quality. So I've been experimenting and I think I'm getting closer to finding the equipment, software and skills to produce better video.

The clip below is one such experiment. I shot it with a borrowed Canon HV-20 mounted on my own home-brew, totally ghetto steadi-cam. It was a very windy day, so there's plenty of camera movement, but not nearly as much as if I had shot hand-held.

I captured the video to hard-drive on my studio desktop computer because it's the only computer I have with a firewire card and a fast enough disk to handle the realtime HD transfer. Unfortunately, the only software I have on that machine that can capture HD is an old free version of Pinnacle. Strangely, Pinnacle can capture the HD stream and save it to an HD mpeg file, but then doesn't recognize the file format and can't edit it. The only software I have that can edit the HD file is Movie Maker HD on my Vista Ultimate machine (which doesn't have a firewire card). But my expectations of doing video on computer have been so reduced that I'm actually quite happy with this rigamarole of a process!

You'll have to go to vimeo to view the clip in HD because vimeo (understandably) doesn't allow embedding of HD. If you watch the video here in the blog, it will play in standard definition.

Nice Day for a Walk from Ken Barker on Vimeo.


  1. This reminds me of the day Johanne said "Let's borrow a dog and go for a walk." So we did. That was in the days before Maple. I look forward to going for a walk the next time we are in Austin.

  2. It was fun for me to see Maple in action after looking at your still shots on Facebook, Kenneth. Either way, Maple really loves to perform for the camera.

    BTW . . . I enjoyed Thom's music and wasn't disturbed by any camera movement.

  3. I love the way Maple is just trotting along wondering what's up with the dude and apparatus. Then at about 0:40 she recognizes me.

    The music was really a pleasant fluke. I removed the sound from the video because it was windy and noisy. So I needed to put some audio in to replace it. I just grabbed the first non-depressing Thom song that came to mind and trimmed it to finish on time. But the lyrics really fit! "sun", "land", "leaves", "trees", "laughter on the breeze", "earth", "air", "You take my heart and I take your hand". Perfect!

  4. The tail really gives Maple away, doesn't it. I knew she was looking right at you, Kenneth, knowing you and wondering what she should do next with all her energy.

    And, yes, the music is a perfect fit!