Take a break for a minute.
Date: 30 April 2017
Location: LBJ Ranch at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Camera: Canon 70D
Lens: EF 70-300mm IS USM
Raw Video Capture Technique
- Convince my better half to let us stop on the park road “one more time” to get some video of the wildflowers blowing in the warm spring wind.
- Quickly get out of car and place camera on tripod very low to the ground.
- Get down on hands and knees and compose the shot. Step back quickly so as not to get stung by the bees.
- Shoot 39 seconds of raw video with lens zoomed to near 300mm.
- Get back in car and forget about the video for 7 months.
Post Production Technique
- Find some public domain soundtrack music that I can download and use for free. One place I like to go to search for soundtracks (paid and free) is the Free Music Archive. I just happened to find a simple instrumental tune called “Dream.”
- Using iMovie, lay down the music track and lower the volume of the wind to 4% so that the wind noise does not overwhelm the music. (In hindsight I would have used a separate mic to record the wind sound as the camera mic generally sucks.)
- Insert video and reduce speed by 1/3 for a slower cinematic motion look. (At full speed the movement of the flowers was a bit dizzying when zoomed in so close.)
- I then added a light posterized cartoon-like video effect. I felt the edited video should be modified from raw 100% pure reality. The effect added a bit more definition and somewhat of a slightly painted look that worked for me. I could have used the “romantic” or “vignette” filters, but found them to be a bit cliche.
As an aside the LBJ Ranch and state park is an easy day trip from the Austin area. It’s simple to pop in and out on your way to/from Fredericksburg and the vineyards/wineries along highway 290. It’s a beautiful property along the Pedernales river and there is plenty of history to absorb.