How Hard Can It Be?

I Had What Turned Out To Be A Bad Idea

I got this dumb wild hair idea that I should include shortish vid clips to accompany my blogs. How hard can it be, right?? I watch them all the time on YouTube. I figured that show and tell would make things more interesting than tell alone. People like to watch videos. So I gathered some video stuff and started in. It was from that point that things went from bad to well, badder. Putting it simply, I had what turned out to be a bad idea.

Little Did I Know!

I found sitting in front of my computer camera and bloviating with a coolish background wasn’t all that hard if you discounted my opinion of how I looked and sounded. The video was okay and the audio was loud enough and understandable. I figured taking the show on the road, or at least in the backyard, couldn’t add too much complexity to the gig, BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Little did I know!

I Planned Ahead

I was already planning on putting in a late fall raised bed veggie garden in a corner of the yard by the fence. See why I decided to grow some veggies. Sounded like a great opportunity to pair video, still photos, and the written word into a small extravaganza. I had it all figured out. First, I would keep the vids short, maybe a couple of minutes at most. I would add a link to the vids within the blogs and use the still pix for my linking image button.

It Even Gets Worse!

From this point, it turned into a Chevy Chase holiday movie. The background had ugly stuff in a corner or two. I had to shift the camera angle. The sun or shadows dictated when I could shoot. The worst part was getting good audio. It was not like sitting in my office. No, it wasn’t! The built in mics on the three recording devices I was trying out, picked up every little ambient noise there was, from jet planes overhead, to the loud pipes of some fool speeding his rice burner down the thoroughfare a thousand feet away in the back, I even captured the neighbor playing his radio two doors down. My voice? Not so much. The next thing I did was to buy a lavalier mic and plugged it into each camera and gave that a test try. It turned out the very best device with the mic was my Galaxy phone. Too bad it was too late to send the other cameras back. And so it goes . . .  

More Time And Effort

It was still challenging setting up the tripod, hooking everything up, and seeing what was in the frame. I cut off the top of my head many times. I know there are some out there who don’t see that as such a bad thing. It turns out a two minute vid could easily take an hour to get to be good enough. My good enough standards are not all that high either. Playing it back on the camera didn’t work out either. It will not give you an accurate indication of the audio quality.

That meant I had to take everything apart, go inside and plug the SD card into the computer and review what I had done. Then I had to go back out and do it all over again. More wasted time and effort. Of course, then the problem came up of faithfully repeating the first script. I couldn’t remember it all! My workaround was the blog. I could recapture anything I forgot in the vid with the written word.

You Can’t Make Chicken Soup Out Of Chicken Poop

The best I can tell about this obstacle is you can’t get good audio from cheap equipment. I will likely end up buying a mic with a gain switch on it. None of my equipment has sound adjustments. It’s either on or off. Actually, It’s half on or off. I had no intention of spending a lot of money on equipment to make movies of me planting a garden. I’m getting what I paid for too! Finally, I got the daily takes in the can. It goes to show you, you can’t make chicken soup out of chicken poop!

Then the work began. Creating a good video from a bunch of disjointed but similar clips is dauntingly time consuming, not to mention hard on my back from sitting up tensely in my office chair. For me, it is like trying to make coleslaw with a butter knife. If I only knew how boring this work was, I may have stuck to the written word. I may still end up doing that with the addition of a few still shots for a touch of eye candy. I wish I could talk somebody else to create the edited final version, but my wife is way too hip to fall into that bear trap.

And Now . . . Today

As of today, I am several weeks behind in planting my fall garden. I have gotten no better at creating good videos and I spend my time reciting to myself quotes from champions who proclaim things like John Madden’s “Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it.” Or Vince Lombardi’s “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” So, I’ll keep at it. I keep posting them. I’ll measure each for improvement. I’m too dumb to quit. That is a quote from yours truly, Mandrake7.