Inspired by the experience; my first multi-media piece

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Four plus years ago I walked into my first lecture about shooting video with a DSL camera. I listen to the words that all photographers are going to need to shoot video and the wall of resistance instantly went up. UGH!! I had not even grasped the DSL Camera and shooting stills yet; I did not want to shoot video, I loved photography. Well a few years back, when I upgraded one of my bodies to one that had video capabilities, I started shooting a few clips. Why, because I could and because I was told I should be doing it. I mean, if there were not these constant conversations being had that photographers are going to need to be able to shoot video to survive, I probably would not have jumped in on my own accord. There were already video/film makers that loved doing it.  I think the main reason I resisted was the time I would need to learn the editing process.

At first, I started filming when the conditions were not good for stills; why not try it out.  Not a terrible idea, as you are able to film a lot of situations in which you could not produce great stills. The problem was when I saw some of the footage, I then wanted great footage, but I was not willing to sacrifice my still images to get that footage. I would return from a trip and just drop the footage in a hard drive not sure what to really do with it. Sound familiar?  From time to time I would drop it in iMovie and mess with it, but again, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I put some to music and put in some still images, but nothing that inspired me to really get on board.

Then last year, I need to create a promotional video for one of my projects. I met with the really talented staff at Tandem and stills, which I highly recommended for video projects!! A long story short, they told me to drop of mediocre and they would deliver amazing. They did just that. Sorry, I am not able to show you the video yet, but that greatly inspired me to want to shoot more video. It also helped that I hooked up with an amazing guide and filmmaker in Namibia who took me under his wing and taught me tons in the 10 days we were together.

This past year 2013, when I was in Ethiopia for about 2 months, I spent a lot of time shooting video instead of stills. I even managed a few interviews. I had a small vision of what I wanted to create, but I was still shooting a lot of footage just to shoot it. When I arrived in Lalibela (Northern Ethiopia), we were invited to a special ceremony at the underground churches; the celebration of St Mary. It was like stepping back a thousand years as hundreds of priest were chanting, singing, dancing and performing ancient rituals. The chanting was surreal and I immediately thought video.  The ceremony was from 9 pm until sunrise, so the lighting was a huge challenge for video and stills, but I shot it to the best of my abilities. It was such an incredible experience our guide pulled us away around 2:00 AM, for a few hours of sleep, before returning at daybreak.

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I just now found the time to watch the footage I shot in Lalibela. It inspired me so much I immediately decided I must create/edit my first true multi-media piece. I found a great source on the web, for videos on how to use iMovie, from MacMost. I went to work. Eight hours later I had something I was excited about. There were times that my frame rate was too slow or fast, but I am learning. I would need to work in Final cut pro to be able to lift some of the shadows in good quality and some of the transition could be a little be a little smother, but he exciting part is that I am now embracing this new powerful tool in story telling. Now that I have made this first piece, I cannot wait to return, attend the Christmas Ceremony in Lalibla, January 7th, 2015, and see the difference in how I shoot it and the piece I will create. Just going through this first editing process has taught me a lot!!

I have learned that I will probably always be a little late to the party, but I need to flow into things in their own time. I still love photography, but it is the story telling that I am passionate about. This is just another awesome tool. This May marks a decade of my photography journey and I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings in exploring this new medium.

It is not easy to put yourself out there, but I wanted to share this first project with you to encourage you to take a risk. Try new things. Go to new places. Put yourself out there. Don’t worry what others think. Know this going in; if you put yourself out there, it is 100% guaranteed that you will be rejected. In today’s anonymous Internet world, it is 100% guaranteed, you will draw out the haters and critics, but these are usually the individuals who are too afraid to get into the arena. We get one life, so I say take courage over comfort and jump in!!! It is one exciting ride.

 

8 Responses to “Inspired by the experience; my first multi-media piece”

  1. Lori

    It’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone, occasionally. That’s how we grow.

    Reply
    • Piper

      THanks Louise!! I can’t remember if you all went to Lalibela, I remember that you went to Harar. It was amazing and it inspired me to finally want to create this first piece. I guess in about 10 years and a hundred multi- media pieces later, I will feel confident in my abilities in this new medium…… but I am going to enjoy the ride!!!

      Reply
  2. Susan Quin Byrd

    Piper, I am so impressed with what you are accomplishing, your spirit, and “get up and go!” You definitely are an inspiration to others. I am anxious to see your video.

    I am looking forward to make more time for new projects and learn more this summer, now that the 70 days of the AZ Fine Art Expo ended Sunday. I am off to a Topaz wirkshop with Bobbie, 3 weeks with my daughter in Florida and shooting lots if images, and then I attend a workshop on Marketing Fine Art.

    The rest of the summer, I will organize, exercise more, create new fine art images, and prepare for Fall and Winter art shows and teach more Post Processing classes.

    In 2015, I hope to take another photo journey with you and keep on being inspired by you…keep on keeping on!
    Susan Q Byrd

    Reply
  3. Nancy Williams

    Piper dahlin’…you are NOT behind the curve…we’re racing to catch up! Lovely!!! Nancy

    Reply
    • Piper

      As always, Nancy, you make me laugh and I really needed it this morning. I have recently start teaching workshops here in the US and am loving it. Now, I want to get really improve my skills in this new medium, so I can help other photographers. It was so daunting for me to even get my head around….. and it actually is not all that difficult. Like anything, it will take several years to really learn the craft and produce a high quality piece, but I am now embracing it and am excited about what is a head!!!

      Reply
  4. Susan Quin Byrd

    Piper, I am so impressed with what you are accomplishing, your spirit, and “get up and go!” You definitely are an inspiration to others. I am anxious to see your video.

    I am looking forward to make more time for new projects and learn more this summer, now that the 70 days of the AZ Fine Art Expo ended Sunday. I am off to a Topaz workshop with Bobbie, 3 weeks with my daughter in Florida and shooting lots if images, and then I attend a workshop on Marketing Fine Art.

    The rest of the summer, I will organize, exercise more, create new fine art images, prepare for Fall and Winter art shows and teach more Post Processing classes.

    In 2015, I hope to take another one your photo journeys, and keep on being inspired by you.

    All the best to you and your video and photo adventures. I look forward to seeing what more you have accomplished soon.
    Your friend,
    Susan Q Byrd

    Reply
  5. Nancy Ciocca

    What a beautiful production. I loved it. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply

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