Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thaw





(Music: Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, from the album Mnemosyne. Video made with Picasa)

I thought you might be getting just a little fed up with endless pictures of frosty weather, so I thought I'd try something different, which ended up presenting all kinds of unforeseen challenges and taking up far more time than it should have. I was unable to get it small enough to upload directly to Blogger, and had to sign up to YouTube, and even then it took ages; our broadband must be very slow, I think. Enjoyable though it was to make, I can't imagine video will become a regular feature here. I'm not really very pleased with it, though it's OK in principle; the sound quality is bad and making it as small as possible means it's horribly pixellated. There must be a better way.

The icicles along the old railtrack, where the springs run down over the rocks, were magical yesterday. Tom conceded to come with me today, when they were well on the way to melting, but still fascinating. He has recently become a sympathetic walking, or rather loitering, companion, since getting his neat little Nikon Coolpix for Christmas, he's suddenly seen the point, and even Molly's allowed to stop and sniff.

21 comments:

jzr said...

Lovely, Lucy. I love ice photos and if we were getting any here I'd be out doing the same thing. Though I shouldn't complain. Not that far from us the world is covered in ice and snow and thats a bit much for me.

Jean said...

I appreciate all your frustration with the time taken and the technical dissatisfactions, but it's absolutely beautiful and the music perfectly appropriate (and I adore Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble anyway). I bet you can't stop now you've started, and I hope you can't. Just looked at this at the end of a long hard day before closing my work computer at 8.30 pm and going home, and the plunge into cold, flowing beauty was entirely refreshing. Happy New Year Lucy!

Kurt said...

Lucy, this feels like a wonderful, sacred new year's gift to your readers--a promise of life and spring to come. It's beautiful. And thanks for reminding me to pull out my Jan Garbarek/Hilliard CD!

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou, thankyou.

marja-leena said...

Ah so beautiful, the music is perfect with the images! You are so clever to be able to do this and though it's work, it will probably be quicker the next time. Hope there is a next time!

Nice Christmas gift, Tom! Going for a walk with cameras often means less walking and more stopping, don't you find, especially if you both have a camera?

Isabelle said...

Beautiful pictures and music. Very cold, though! It's not really cold at all here in Edinburgh; the influence of the sea, I suppose.

Sheila said...

This is just wonderful. Thank you for your effort. The others are right about the music being such a good fit.

I love seeing Tom out and about!

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing?

Barrett Bonden said...

Oh gosh, another technical challenge. Where did the music come from (ie, what format)? It sounds as if it were transcribed from an LP with a slight scratch, or possibly two scratches since the frequency of the interruptions is faster than one full rotation of an LP. I'm very impressed by the video fades; is there no end to your Renaissance proclivities? You haven't made some awful life-augmenting New Year's resolution have you? I'm gonna end up pleading age, I can see. Or perhaps I need a loitering companion.

Dave King said...

Lovely, thank you so much for persisting. I am listening again as I type this - I shall find it a wrench to leave, but must get on... I suppose...

Rouchswalwe said...

Just began my workday with your most excellent video concoction ... how relaxed am I? Will I now be able to concentrate on my duties? Aaaah.

Lucy said...

Thanks all for such a positive response, I was uncertain about putting up something of such mediocre production quality. It's really not difficult to do, which is probably part of the problem; free, easy to use software like Picasa just isn't going to give the results a more complicated programme will.

JZR - it's rare enough around here that I can't stop going and looking at it.

Jean - I'm pleased you liked it. It was fun to do, and not really time consuming to make, not much more than a collage, it's the uploading time that's the thing, as the file is enormous. I think it's all the panning and zooming that uses the bytes.

Kurt - lovely to see you out and about! I must look and see what else is available by them. 'Mnemosyne' is an interesting album, much more of a mixed bag and less all of a piece than 'Officium', and we've always had a gripe that the recording levels on it were uncomfortable, with the sax much louder than the voices, less evident on this track than some.

HHB - you're welcome!

ML - really the time element is in the uploading. I'm going to have to keep them a bit simpler I think if I make more... It's a nice little camera; he's more interested in it to give him ideas for painting than photgraphy per se, he seems to be enjoying it.

Isabelle, we're normally mild and maritime too, and further south than you, so it's unusual and worthy of record.

Sheila - he's doing well, and walking a lot on doctor's orders, but he tends to take brisk walks without Mol and me, as he normally finds our loitering rather tiresome!

Leon - fine thanks!

BB - Now what do you know about my Renaissance proclivities?
The music was taken off a CD, saved in the Media Player then added on in Picasa. In the preview before the video was made it ran perfectly smoothly, that snagginess appeared in the making. It's annoying, but as I say, the free and idiot-proof nature of Picasa's software means it won't give a perfect result, especially the more complicated the task you're trying to accomplish, so the panning and zooming and fading (it does all that for you) is probably more problematic, and heavy on space, than a straight slide show effect. I like the idea of it as a way of showing pictures though, and it did compel me to find out a little more about this and that.

Lucy said...

Dave and Rouchswalwe - sorry, missed you there! Thanks for taking the time to watch it.

Plutarch said...

I was going to say that the video is much better than you think it is, but others have got there first. The music fits perfectly, and the scratchy quality, however it occured, adds to the mystery of the melting ice.

Bee said...

Well, I think you are very clever! I like what Plutarch says about the occasional scratch being much like the mysterious cracking sound of the ice.

The world is just a dense frozen gray here today! I like the frost in your pictures much more than the kind in my garden.

Michelle said...

I think the video is stunning, Lucy, and Molly too (from what I can see of her).

Lady Prism said...

It's beautiful!!..and I love that picture below as well. It's absolutely beautiful! One of my biggest dreams is to see the french countryside....siiiigh'...


Happy New year!

Rosie said...

very soothing, like an ice pack on the forehead for my headache

Zhoen said...

Taking time to photograph the roses... as it were.

Robin Starfish said...

Mysterious natural catacombs, perfectly complemented by the music.

Even though YouTube is indeed frustrating, your subject matter lends itself to using making those limitations work in your favor. More!

meggie said...

I love this picture! How wonderful to see Tom out walking, & taking joy in his camera.
Mol is such a treasure.