Sunday, January 9, 2011

Five Weeks in Six Minutes

County Clare, Summer 2010

One of the nice things about taking an insane number of photos while on vacation is that you get to spend a huge amount of time at home deciding what to do with them and then doing it. In a way, it's like taking the trip over for free. That's the way it worked when we were in Ireland in 2006, and that's the way it's working now with the 2010 batch -- only more so.

I've published a few things so far in this space from that trip (here, here, and here, for example, along with the whole "Erin Go Thud" business), but I'm taking my time with the two big pieces. The biggest, an account of the trip in the style of the "HI-POD" series of 2007, is scheduled to be posted on the one-year anniversary of the days, as it was then. The next-biggest, an annotated slide show on, is in process now.

The first step in putting together that slide show was to select the images we wanted to be in it. We picked about 750, or approximately 20% of the available images. The next step was to shrink the selected images to a web-friendly file size, a step I just finished today. That's when I had an "ah-HA!" moment for a little additional project, inspired by Pummelvision (thanks, Mary Ellen Carew!) and by my son Adam's recent work in putting together video clips. Why not slap those 750 images together in very rapid fashion to produce a Pummelvision-style, mad-speed version of the entire trip?

So I did.

(You won't be able to view this video in Germany, due to copyright issues there about the soundtrack -- a jig by James Galway and the Chieftains.)

YouTube's processing clipped the top few percent off each frame, which is kind of irritating but I can't see how to fix that without expending way too much effort. All of these images will be available in still, annotated form over on within a couple of months.

The frames come at you in strict chronological order, so lots of views of our headquarters, Birr Castle Demesne, are interspersed throughout. And, for you Bothy Cat fans, she's liberally sprinkled throughout as well.

Enjoy! You should view this at the highest resolution your download speed (and patience) will allow. Cranking up the volume wouldn't hurt, either.


Mike said...

Fine stuff and a good choice of music -- very Irish, well-performed and neutral enough in tone to match whatever happened to be on the screen, so long as it was very Irish also.

I think they should do trailers for feature films the same way: Compress the whole thing down to six minutes and leave the audience going, "Wait ... no ... what was that about?"

In any case, I can't wait.

Brian Fies said...

Terrific, Sherwood, thanks for making the effort. It's beautiful. Also, no thanks for giving me too many ideas than I have time to implement.

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Tantalizing! And thanks for the earworm - because it's a marvelous earworm!

Xtreme English said...

i can't get this to play!!!! dang!

Margaret Ryall said...

Ah Sherwood, what a lovely treat on this snow drenched night. Ireland is so green and my world today is so white.

I saw so many images I recognized I wanted to put my finger on them to slow the viewing. I can't wait for the contemplation version!
I know I won't be disappointed. After all, it was your photographs that convinced me I wanted to stay at The Bothy.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Thanks, all! The music was Diane's choice, and I too think it was just perfect.

M.E., I hope you ultimately did get it to play for you. Margaret, I've done quite a bit of thinking about all of my friends in the northeastern US and in Canada recently, hoping you get through all of this snow in good shape.

The "contemplation version" -- love that terminology! -- will be a while in arriving, but maybe I'll accelerate it a bit now.

Adam said...

Awesome! I hope you found a more realistic alternative to dragging each photo manually While making my little project I kept muttering to myself that a simpler process must exist.

What's the deal with Germany? They're missing out on all this cool stuff.

Slan go foill?

Sherwood Harrington said...

Adam, the possibilities for getting sucked down into a quagmire with this kind of thing are endless, as you know. When I found myself calculating what effect changing the frame rate from .45 to .48 seconds would have on music synchronization, I declared it finished.

I dunno what the problem is with Germany. Western civilization has been trying to figure that out for at least the last century.

"Slan go foill" is Irish for "no prize for watching this thing all the way to the end." Or "goodbye for now," one or the other. (That font is called "Harrington," by the way.)