Wednesday, August 31, 2016

From keyboard to video: An arduous process

Print journalism has always been my bag. I've been pounding a keyboard for about as long as I can remember.

I spent more than 40 years in print journalism from the time I entered the U.S. Air Force in 1971 until I retired from the newspaper business in 2009.

I fooled around with video and electronic media over the years. I host a weekly radio fishing show in Sarasota and a fishing segment on a local TV station.

I didn't get into the technical end of it, though.

About 18 months ago, my wife bought me a GoPro video camera. I have a buddy who has a GoPro and he's done some quality work. Also, there's a plethora of video work around the Internet.

Unfortunately, my GoPro sat in my office. I could shoot video, but editing it was a whole other world.

The more I thought about my dilemma, the more determined I was to solve this problem. At the 2014 ICAST in Orlando, I spent 30 minutes at the GoPro booth, getting some expert instruction on how to produce video. I was excited and couldn't wait to get home to put my new knowledge to use.

A funny thing happened between Orlando and my home in Sarasota: I forgot most everything I had learned.

Chalk that up to old age. Stupidity.

So, my GoPro remained in the office for another year.

One day I was headed to the beach to sight-fishing snook in the surf. I figured that would be the perfect place to begin my GoPro efforts. I had previously purchased an apparatus that allowed my to put the diminutive video cam on my cap.

So, I hit the beach and decided to give it a go
The effort was less than stellar, but it was a start.
While it wasn't the best video on beach snook fishing around, it served to give me perspective. You have to understand what's going on and what the camera is seeing.

Next time out, I shot more video. And I was able to put it together via instruction from YouTube. The more I looked into it, the more I found out. I learned how to make clips. How to put them together.

How to add titles, music and voice-overs. I learned how to fade in and fade out. I could do that with clips, music and titles.

I've taken the camera out in the kayak a few times. The first couple of occasions kind of sucked because the fishing was so slow. Third time was the proverbial charm! We caught loads of fish and I was able to get a lot of footage.

For most of my life, I've been a photo guy. And since the advent of digital cameras, I've been able to download photos into my computer and edit them. It's a pretty painless and quick endeavor.

Video -- at least for me -- in another matter. It takes time, planning and is a production.

Of course, you can keep things simple and just create a simple clip to show to your friends. But there's a whole new world out there and there are no limits.

I'm a whole lot better at this video thing than I was a few months ago, but I'm not as good as I'll be tomorrow. It's a never-ending process.

I'll keep at it and I'm looking forward to future endeavors.

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