This video is about getting up and wandering around the garden on a peaceful Sunday morning

Recently, I upgraded my video editing software. I am really keen to progress into the fusion of stills and video. It’s a new universe of possibilities. However, in the process, once again I got a little hung up on the learning curve.

Undeterred, I decided to wander outside into the garden to do a quick few videos and stills to create a test project. It was a lovely Sunday morning and the birds were belting out some great tunes so why not. After about 15 minutes I was done.

This boomer may be getting old but by no means am I about to stop learning and evolving.

With fresh material I was inspired to give it a go again. I quickly edited the stills and dove into the raw video material. I began grabbing little segments; detaching the audio so I could use as much of the pretty bird songs while pruning the annoying hums from trucks rambling down the road in the distance to the click sounds from my camera focusing.

I am becoming mindful of the significance of ambient sounds and how they add another dimension to the whole vision.

From stills, video to ambient audio, the palette of raw materials is unlimited. With the recent addition of an external microphone, the world of sound adds another colourful dimension. To add a thoughtful narrative and music score to the fusion opens the creative potential even more. I get all excited just thinking about the potential.

However, for this test project I opted to not do a narrative and just focus on the other aspects I am currently struggling with.

I had no storyboard and no clear vision when I began because I had no intention of actually creating anything. However, in the end, I was delighted to discover how easily a simple yet whimsical short resulted. It's not great or even interesting by any means but that was never the intention.

No creative effort ever goes to waste.

Whilst I was down on hands and knees looking for interesting angles to record the horizon I stumbled upon this little moth hiding in the tall grass. That’s when the penny dropped.

It's as if my efforts were rewarded with not only having the experience of finding the moth but the whole journey that began without any conditions and ended with receiving a precious little gift. With minimal effort, I had a canvas and all the colours I needed to create an animated finger painting so to speak. Baby steps…

Incidentally, I had my 105mm macro lens on my camera, which worked out perfectly from beginning to end. It gave me a little bit of a reach into the macro world as well as a good solid reach into the micro world.

It also allowed for some lovely shallow depth of field video. The benefits were all over the place, including learning more about how my macro lens behaves when being used for video, which I had yet to experiment with.

I was still a little stuck in this learning curve, not only technically but also aesthetically. So I gave my Open producer Dan Battley a call to organise a time to do some mentoring in both areas.

Learning one on one from a professional with as much experience, talent and skill as Dan is such a privilege.

I still feel awkward when I go into video mode on my camera. I am still a little trapped within the mindset of a photographer. Dan continues to help me open my mind into new perceptions of movement and the lateral organization of raw materials. Liberation.

Initially, I started off ‘thinking’ in a linear way and I still struggle to break away from a chronological timeline. I am just beginning to understand the advantages of creating from the layered perspective of multi-dimensionality. I can see now how the use of linear time lines in a fusion product instantly makes it subject to the tragedy of predictability.

Dan has a great antidote for this. He describes this shooting and editing process much like orchestrating a symphony, only instead of musicians with different instruments; we are using stills, video and audio.

Expanding creatively is slowed when I get jammed up technically. However, every time I sit down with Dan, I advance my understanding exponentially. The only problem is, the more I learn the more I realise just how big my learning curve really is. Fortunately, Dan is never far away.

Bless you Dan.

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