Sunday, January 17, 2016

Acquainted with the Night

I've been having a lot of fun playing with the time-lapse feature on my gopro. It can make some really fun road trip videos, even condensing a whole vacation into a few minutes.

The week started with me trying out a new time-lapse experiment. I set up my gopro in a window and let it go for three-ish days.

Then the camera moved slightly so I decided to stop it and see how it looked.

I have to get better at framing these shots, I always underestimate just how wide the shot will be. But on top of the poor framing, the video was just... so boring. I condensed it into less than 30 seconds, but the result was still incredibly boring.

I wanted to see if it was the framing that made it so uninteresting so I set the camera outside and let it go for the remainder of the day.

The footage was mildly interesting. Clouds came and went, it rained a bit, the camera fell. But it still felt rather dull.

My thought was that it had to do with the lack of a reference. When there's nothing that we're used to seeing happen at normal speed, it's hard to understand how fast things are. Even in the first video with the sun coming and leaving, it's just hard to appreciate that those are entire days passing when nothing else is in the shot.

So I set the camera to take pictures of my desk. I wanted to see if me working on random things or watching videos and just living added anything to the idea of a multi-day time-lapse. I also made sure that there was always light on so the video never went completely black.

I think it came out better than the previous videos, but I don't know by how much.

The video is interesting, but I think it might still be a little too mundane. I think unless I add some more things, maybe a few days layered on top of each other or something to make it seem more interesting than just a dull day, the idea of a mundane time-lapse might be a bust.

I'll probably try it one more time before giving up the idea, but it's interesting how wrong I was about hidden things being found when the mundane is sped up.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Too Slow and Too Mundane

I started wondering the limits of the mundane recently.

Gavin Free of The Slow-Mo Guys (and also Rooster Teeth!) talked about how he's always amazed how different things look in slow-mo. There's a surprising amount of things that are invisible because they happen too quickly.

I don't have access to incredibly expensive high speed cameras, but I do have a GoPro with time-lapse.

I thought about pushing the limit of time-lapsing mundane things and seeing what kind of things happen too slowly to be seen normally.

The first thing I had to do was figure out how to make the camera continuously run. Although before that I had to see just how long the camera would run on its own battery.

After that I came up with a needlessly complicated system involving plugging the camera into a USB battery pack. I then realized I could just leave it plugged into my computer to get the same results without having to worry about the battery pack running out of power as well.

I figured that out a little late, but the result of my 1 Day + time-lapse of just looking at our bed was still somewhat interesting.

Then I ran into technical problems.

I still haven't gotten everything working properly again, but I want to try pushing the idea further slowly. I want to get a week-long time-lapse going. I'm going to try taking people out of the frame partly to see if that makes it much more difficult to tell how fast time is passing, and partly to see if seeing people be people is what makes these interesting.

I'm excited to see how it plays out, and I'm hoping the view outside has something hiding, moving too slow for me to notice.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Flip Side

I've been a bit obsessed with Twitch lately, especially with AGDQ going on.

However it's also made me start thinking a lot more about content creation. Does content mean something only if people are looking at it, consuming it, witnessing it? Beyond the numbers adding up for advertising revenue or market potential, does a tweet about your day means less if virtually no one is reading it?

But there are a large number of people tweeting, blogging, and periscoping with virtually no one seeing or paying any attention to what they're doing (not at all like this blog, right?).

There is a breakdown of content between creators and consumers, and to make things more difficult the consumers are largely made up of silent lurkers, who show their appreciation solely by the act of consuming media.

And I think that's the core of what makes me ask myself these questions.


Is there value in content seen by no-one? Appreciation?

Is that even what people are craving when they create something? Is that what I want when I create something?

Does the act of creation itself provide a catharsis for thoughts that otherwise wouldn't be expressed?