Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lost In Translation

I've never been much of a picture guy. That is to say, while I obviously like sharing pictures and video, I have always preferred to fully immerse myself in the nice things I see and do rather than distract myself with taking photos of them. For this reason, leaving a video camera running on my helmet is perfect, since it is passive and requires nothing from me while it is running. I get to capture stuff and immerse myself in the good moments. This approach, however, is not without its shortcomings.

Today was the first day in London Ontario when some snow accumulated and stayed. The bike path along the river was beautiful on my way in to work, with snow seeming to top even the most delicate of branches. It was like riding through a poem.

Eager to share how great it all was, I brought up the video a few moments ago, hoping to grab a snippet or a still image that might show why I was so blissed out.

What I saw however, was a grey wet snowy morning from a bicyclist's point of view. The trees looked nice, sure, but the grey sky and slushy sounds made it all seem kind of cold and miserable. My reality in the ride was anything but; I was warm and comfortable and having a wonderful time, on my way to work of all things!

I probably won't change my approach, but I'm gaining an even greater respect for all the careful photographers out there. You are trying to capture things such that you convey as much of their wonder and beauty as possible... thanks for that. This morning I wish I had stopped to try and do the same, since so much was lost in translation.

The Snow Has Arrived! Yay!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Express Post - Fast Delivery Guaranteed

Sorry, less than no time to write anything today, but here's a video I did over the weekend...

Yer Pal,

Friday, June 22, 2012

POV Cycling Video Bits n' Pieces

I've had a few snippets of video that I didn't know what to do with for a while, so I strung 'em together:

About the video:

- The under-bridge guys were just doing an inspection. I don't know what the deal was with the masked dude though.

- I was in a hurry and actually used that unsecured rack, fretting a little for the 20 minutes or so I was in the office building.

- Pedal boat guy was a really nice dude, but I have forgotten his name. He said the boat was fun but at over 100 lbs and with his little passenger to boot, a killer on hills. I'll bet.

- My friend Rolly witnesses majestic birds plucking snakes right out of the grass when he's on the bike path:

Rolly's Hawk

I get bounding groundhogs.

-  On the fugitives: I actually called the cops and asked them if they had any cases / incidents reported at that place and time because I had video if they wanted it. Although some woman up the street was yelling at those guys, it wasn't anything that got reported.

Still very little time for writing and few ideas for anything substantial lately. That video camera on my head is really saving my ass in terms of giving me stuff to post!

Have great weekends, all.

Yer Pal,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Downtown Fixed Gear, RANTWICK Style

As some of you may know, my summer commuter (named Summer) is a fixed gear. Way back when I did a post about the unhip nature of its setup.

I had a nice ride in downtown traffic on that bike a few days ago. Upon reviewing the video, I realized I had now also made the antithesis of one of those exciting fixed gear films from places like New York.

Taking all the cool and/or hip out of a downtown fixed gear video is much easier than you might think: It is a simple matter of substitution!

Evil Peace
When I went ahead and made the requisite substitutions, I got this:

I hope I am now firmly established as the most publicly lame fixed gear weirdo in North America. When I showed that video to the rest of the Rantwick clan, they just shook their heads. I don't blame them. I don't know why I do such things.

Yer Pal,

Logo from my friends in the cool new indie band called "Evil Peace" You should follow the link and check them out.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spandex, Singing Fruit, Loaded, Leather, Moonroof

I discovered (or remembered) some stuff on youtube that I wanted to share. It all started with my last post. The youtube video for that one was entitled Spandex Commuter VS Electric Bike. Well, you know how youtube links to "related" videos you can look at after the one you chose to see? Well thanks to "Spandex" being in my title, I looked at "Mr Scruff - Spandex Man" after playing my video:

OK, not a lot to that one, I know. But after playing it, there was a link to this other "Mr Scruff" related item that I liked very much:

There were tons of "Mr Scruff" videos, from all kinds of different "authors". Turns out Mr Scruff is a prolific British DJ and artist. The singing fruit Mr Scruff video made me think about youtube and how much I like music at the same time, which resulted in my looking for some video of Don Ross, a mind-blowing guitarist that I had the great pleasure of seeing live about 5 months ago. The following will hold almost no interest for some of my readers. For those who play the guitar, however, it has the same kind of effect on them as that Danny MacAskill video has on cyclists.

It is insane that the only guitar you are hearing in that piece is his. Just one. Gah. Don Ross doesn't look like that any more, by the way. Most of that hair is gone. On stage he said young youtube commenters were telling him he looked like Hagrid from Harry Potter, so he thought it was time for a new look.

Anyway, I thought I would share, because this blog is at least in part a method of sharing stuff that most of my everyday local friends may not find interesting. There's always a like-minded freak who'll agree with me on the good old Internet. Not that you are a freak. I mean all the other freaks that come here. Not that everybody who comes here is a freak... I love that people come here to read my stuff. Even those freaks, the ones that aren't you.

Keep it Freaky,


PS - In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I did watch that other spandex video of the woman in the green jump suit, and the one with the bobsledder splitting her spandex pants. Sometimes youtube is like a car crash... I know I shouldn't look, but I cannot tear my eyes away. We shall not speak of these things again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why This Picture Sucks And I Hate Work

Firstly, I think this picture is actually kind of nice, and I quite like my work in a general sense. It is how they relate to last Tuesday afternoon that makes me dislike them so as I write this.

As I have mentioned before, I use a fairly cheap and old digital camera mounted on my handlebars to take video from my bike. I usually just decide to press record at some point and let it go until the memory card is full or the batteries run out. Trying to turn it on and off to catch funny or interesting stuff has proven futile; things happen too fast.

Last Tuesday, I got to work and at lunch time deleted the files from the memory card from the morning ride in, since nothing interesting had been captured. After lunch, I used the camera to take video for work reasons, recording the performance (or lack thereof) of some new stuff we're using, and moved those files off the card before heading home. On the way home, in the shade of the bridge on Wellington street, I noticed that the low battery light on the camera was blinking. Unusual, but understandable because of the extra work-related duties the camera had done previously in the day. I also noticed that the scene in front of me was kind of nice, so I stopped, took the camera off the bike, snapped a few shots of the river, and knowing it only had seconds to live anyway, turned it off and put it in my fanny pack.

The next ten minutes of my ride would present me with no less than four things I would have loved to catch on video, as I would have done if my batteries had lasted longer, which they would have if I hadn't used the camera for work stuff. The picture above only reminds me of the strange and interesting things I did not get on video. Therefore the picture sucks, and I hate work. You are not going to believe me, I don't think, about what happened once the camera had been put away. This stuff is true, I swear.

Missed Video Clip #1: Racing Dwarf

As I came down the hill just West of Carfrae on the bike path, behind Labatt's, there was a dwarf, a little person, coming towards me on the other side of the path. Upon seeing me, he turned around and ran as fast as he could beside me for several steps. He didn't say or do anything else. He couldn't keep it up for long because he was wearing flip flops. Why he did this I have no idea.

Missed Video Clip #2: Clean White Sock

Not far past the racing dwarf, there was a kid with two grownups walking on the path. As I approached, the kid, with a magician-like flourish, withdrew from his pocket a bright white sport sock, which he then carefully laid on the path in front of me, as though he wished me to run it over. The timing was close enough that one of the grownups grabbed his shoulders and pulled him up and away from the sock, which he was still carefully positioning. Again, why he did this I have no idea. I did not run over the sock.

Missed Video Clip #3: Makeout Madness

Sometimes you see young couples kissing or snuggling or whatever on park benches or even under bridges along the path. These people are not usually captured in any useful way by my camera, since they are off to the side. That's fine with me; I have no interest in recording riverside romance. But as I came off the Horton Street bridge and got back on the path, I was presented with a makeout scene of epic proportions. They were an attractive pair, and this young couple was standing almost on the centre line of the path. Arms and hands and lips were flying all over the place, and fallen straps and bits of clothing were also in evidence. It was so over the top that perhaps they were just trying to freak me and others out... if so, it worked. Seemed pretty real to me though.

Missed Video Clip #4: Cruise Night Immunity

As I approached the barricade for Cruise Night on Wortley Road, I saw something that was interesting. A bad-ass looking man, about 35-40 years old, with a dark tan, a few tattoos and some pretty big arm muscles, was riding his mountain bike straight up the middle of the Northern Occupied Territory. Strangely, nobody said anything to him about the "no bike" rules. Go and figure!

Any one of these four events could have been the basis of an entire blog post if I had gotten video. But I didn't. So they aren't. All I have instead is this:

This picture sucks and I hate work. Now that I have vented my frustrations, I am prepared to become more philosophical about this whole thing. You know the expression "when God closes a door, he opens a window?" Well, when God denies you video of a racing dwarf, he gives you a potential muskrat sighting!

You see, while I was taking those snaps of the river, a nice dude with two off-leash dogs and fairly few teeth walked up to me and said, "the river is pretty this time of year, isn't it?" I agreed that it was. Then he said, "yeah, this is a great spot. There's a giant muskrat that lives right over there. Haven't seen him today, because the water's so low, but he's as big as an otter!" I asked the man if he was easy to spot when he was around, and he said yes, for sure. So now I have two things to look out for and try to catch on video this summer. The dwarf (because I know you don't believe me) and this giant muskrat. Wish me luck!

Here, take another look at the stupid pretty picture.


Monday, June 22, 2009

You Be the Judge: Queens Ave. Bike Lane, London, Ontario

I posted something recently about being undecided regarding bike lanes. Keri, a vehicular cycling aficionado and funky Floridian, requested some measurements, so I went and got 'em, and I have put together a video that contains some of my own observations as well.

I liked having my own space to ride in, but the paint conflicted with my instincts sometimes. I'm still undecided. You be the judge, while my own internal jury takes a nice nap. All comments welcome, as always.

Insane in the membrane; Insane in the Lane!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Deshake It, Baby, Deshake It

As you may be aware, I've got a digital camera attached to the handlebars of my bike that I use to take video. Most of the time nothing interesting happens, but sometimes there's good stuff I can work with. Now, I have seen good video shot from bicycles, usually mountain riders for some reason. Fat Cyclist has started making videos of some rides, and they look great. When I look at my own stuff or on youtube for commuting / street footage, however, it is often very shaky, and sometimes bad enough to give one a headache, especially with "first person" perspectives using cameras mounted on the bike.

Here are a couple of representative examples:

I think better cameras and helmet mount systems can remove a lot of shake... but I don't have any expensive gear. I also think there is a reason that the best cycling videos are not shot from the first person perspective. There are, however, FREE (I am incapable of typing the word 'FREE' without capitalizing it... hmmm...) after-the-fact remedies for all the shake and vibration inherent to inexpensive setups like mine (and theirs). The remedies I speak of are two bits of FREE software; VirtualDub and a plugin for it called Deshaker. I forget where I got them, but just google 'em up, they weren't hard to find. What was hard to find was a mix of deshaker settings that worked well with the moving camera on my bike, which I finally found after much trial and error. This stuff isn't perfect. The edges of the video get weird. The improvement, however, is remarkable. I'm going to show you some before and after video now, of course! Watch the whole thing... there's a 'happening' near the end that's kind of funny.

First, the bad:

Please know that when I was riding by, that kid was laughing her head off over something, so no worries on the shove. Now, the deshaked version:

Crummy wind-noise and camera-rattle audio on both, I know. Normally I would replace that with some music, but didn't bother for this quick demo.

I don't want to bore everybody with the details of setting up deshaker. If you have an interest, email me and I will send you screenshots of the deshaker configuration screens and try to explain the process.

Shake It Only When You Should,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Real, But Fun

I'm not versed in doctoring videos. I saw this on youtube and had to read a bunch of the comments to be sure the video below was a fake. Apparently it originally "aired" as a web commercial for Specialized, or so the all-knowing intelligentsia among youtube commenters say.

Fake or not, please note that no matter how hardcore a bike commuter you are or how late for that meeting you become, freeway riding and fleeing the police is not usually your best solution

Thanks for stopping in. With any luck I'll have a chance to write something again soon.