In the past few years, I’ve really taken a liking to putting together lyric videos using music by popular artists. One of the first was for NeedtoBreathe’s “Multiplied” which I’ll post at the bottom. But I’m so happy with how my latest project went. Equipment used: GoPro Hero3, Roxant handheld stabilizer, DJI Mavic Air, edited on Final Cut Pro X.
It was one of those unexpected moments that turned out to be the highlight of my day. I was skipping rocks at Percy Priest Lake here in Nashville, waiting for my GoPro to record enough pictures to make a time-lapse of the sunset. Across the lake the marina slips were full of houseboats docked for the night.
I could hear distant voices of boat owners chatting back and forth. Music played as the soundtrack of their late afternoon. I assume they were cleaning their boats, as many boat owners like to do. Maybe they were scrubbing and washing the week away, or prepping for an upcoming voyage.
The lake was quiet enough that the sound from a boat stereo carried over the calm water to where I was sitting on lake pebbles, admiring the clouds and the active ducks. Another song began to play, one I’d never heard before. Somehow it captured, and represented, summer. I sat back and just let myself enjoy it, as I knew the moment wouldn’t last forever.
Lately I’ve been on a time-lapse kick with my GoPro. Not sure why I’m obsessed with them right now but I am. I’ve recorded a lot of clouds, shadows, and a few other things. The settings I observed that work best are as follows:
Device: GoPro Hero3
Clouds: 1 pic every 5 seconds
Shadows: 1 pic every 10 seconds
Rivers/water: 1 pic every 5 seconds
People: 1 pic every 2 seconds
You will need at least a total of 210 frames to make a 7 second video (30 frames = 1 second), so make sure to do the math on how long you’ll need to record to get 210 frames, more or less depending on what you want. If you’re shooting 1 pic every 5 seconds, that’s 12 frames per minute which means for a 7-second time-lapse video, you’ll need to record for 17.5 minutes (210 frames divided by 12 frames a minute = 17.5 minutes).
If you’re recording a frame every 10 seconds, it’ll take longer to get a 7-second video. The math works out to be 35 minutes of record time.
Here’s a few of the time-lapse shots I’ve recorded recently.
For anyone who knows me, it’ll probably be a surprise that on my recent trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, I made a specific decision not use my GoPro. It’s part of an overarching theme I’ve been clinging to lately, to be in the moment without trying to preserve it in any other way than old-fashioned memories.
You know, the brain. The original data bank.
I could have put together a quick highlight video similar to a few I’ve done in the past, like a trip to Orlando to see my brother’s family, Disney vacations, or a recent beach workout video.
But I’m currently of the mindset that if you’re not here with us, then you wouldn’t get it anyway. So the camera stayed in my bag untouched for entirety of the trip. And honestly, it’s been so nice not to be carrying it around looking for the best angle, trying to record the unforgettable moments, repeating actions that were missed, hoping certain fish do things that are more entertaining than just snorkeling and watching them swim around their little homes. It’s being in the moment. It’s knowing that anything I see can be special because it happened once, I got to see it, and no one else ever will. It’s a part of history that will be talked about, exaggerated on, acted out, or thought of fondly, but like the barracuda I swam near today or the sand castles my nieces and I built today, there aren’t any pictures. No video.
Just great memories.
Do you want to see sharks? Do you want to see the colorful fish at Cove Beach? How about someone you know kissing a dolphin? Then go do it! Make some memories that you’ll be sad to forget when you’re old!
December in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was excited because not only was it Christmastime, my birthday was coming up, too. Some people say it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, but tell that to any 4th grader who has 2 rounds of presents coming in the same month and you’ll be laughed out of the building. Impossible. To understand the significance of what I’m about to tell you, you may have to use your imagination. It was the mid-80s so there were no smartphones. There were no GoPros. No Internet, no HD televisions. No tablets, no digital photo cameras. No Dash Cams. We didn’t have Wikipedia, we had actual encyclopedias. There were huge boxy televisions… with maybe 50 channels, maybe. Phones were plugged into the wall and were attached by a cord. Computers were not very common and definitely not essential to everyday living. It was a world very unlike the one we live in now. Most families had one video camera, if any. And it was a giant VHS camcorder that was so big the back half rested on your shoulder while your hand propped up the front. Parents used it to record Christmases, birthday parties, maybe a child’s sporting event, or having fun in the back yard. Or hilarious sledding accidents. Yes, what you’re about to see is my brother crashing, then sounding like a girl.
Footage on those VHS tapes was precious, special, and regarded as delicate because it only existed in one spot, on that tape.
So on this memorable birthday, I received a gift that would change my world forever. In fact, I can probably dedicate my entire professional existence to the present my grandparents Mom-Mom and Pop gave me that day. My very own PXL2000.
I know what you’re thinking: he was the baddest 4th grader in all of the states. I felt it.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that since then, I’ve been making videos. Some of which are on the Internet… like this, this, or this. Also not surprising that I would seek work in a related field. That’s how I ended up at Country Music Television and volunteering as a camera operator at my church.
Because of the persistent notion that there’s more out there for me (what this reawakening is all about), I found it curious that I recently got an email about a job opening at church. It was exactly lined up with my skill set and seemed to be dropped in my lap. Could this be the next step I’m supposed to take? The next chapter of my life? I couldn’t dismiss the timing of this job possibility. So I was open to exploring it as an option, even responding with the intentions of later sending in my reel and resume for consideration. Full disclosure, though, I had one hesitation: I’ve never wanted to work for a church, and more clearly, I’ve wanted to never work for a church. The reason for such a decision is simple, and I suppose it’s become a sort of mantra for me: I will go to church because I want to, not because I have to. For me, my own life and my own journey, I don’t like the idea of getting paid to be at church. I envision it stealing the joy from my life. Turning it into a sense of duty instead of an act of worship and a recharging of my soul. I wholeheartedly support those that do work in churches, and I love that they can work in a place where they can also worship and serve.
So the more I think about this particular offer, I’m realizing that it’s pretty much the same thing I do now at CMT, just a different location. It might ultimately lead to some sort of dissatisfaction, although I would feel a stronger sense of fulfillment there. Evenso, I won’t pursue the job any further. I love volunteering at my church, and perhaps that’s exactly how I’m supposed to be connected there. Either way, there’s a take-away from this whole post… if you only remember one thing:
I was the baddest 4th grader in all the states. -Out of the Wilderness
Too bad they didn’t have cameras thousands of years ago. I would love to see footage from a GoPro mounted to one of the wisemen’s camels! Or Joseph wearing a chesty as he marvels at the newborn baby. Instagram would’ve completely shut down, along with Twitter, for that matter. #innkeeperfail
Hope you have a super Christmas day filled with laughs, family, and full hearts! To that end, here’s a video I came across that’s full of Christmas magic!