Thursday, February 26, 2009

Evidently, I have a thing for F words



When a friend of mine told me about flickr four years ago, I knew I was going to be hooked the first time I visited the Web site. I can say - without hesitation - that since my first upload, flickr has altered my perspective just as surely as marriage and motherhood has changed my life.

Having a place to file images for easier recall, for me, is one of the best things about the photographers' network. Finding it a real source in meeting like-minded photographers and parents has been, perhaps, one of the most unexpected but extremely rewarding benefits.

As in most fairytales, there comes a point in the story where some troll or another enters the serenity to cause havok and upset ... and for me the troll that reared its ugly head in my fanasty land was video.

You see, where "still" pictures create some kind of enchanted kingdom for me, I've never really gotten the hang of moving pictures. I can't control the images ... I can't follow the movement ... I don't really know how to edit and the downloading just seems like drudgery.

When videos of my flickr friends' kids started seeping into to my "contacts" steams I started tuning out.

Part of it, I thought, was my desire to just see still images. On flickr, I reasoned, children should be seen and not heard. But then I realized it was because each and every little arrow denoting a collection of moving pictures, just reminded me that I only had a handful of videos to remind me of Annabel's baby self or her tiny voice and none ... of Silas' early laugh.

It pains me that I don't have more moving pictures of my children, especially since my father has my first steps on 8 mm film. FILM.

I am the product of a gadget generation and yet I couldn't get the hang of a camcorder with tape. Go figure.

So in the New Year when another friend pressed a Flip into my hand at a party and insisted I check it out, I knew I was going to be hooked the instant I held the sleek, phone-sized gadget and saw only one button ... .

What is this ... a Flip?

It took a nearly two months, but that F word kept haunting me.

Her voice was changing.

He was getting more words.

She was singing her own songs.

He was getting faster and faster on the PlasmaCar.

I broke down and bought one. In the three days since I've had it, I've been holding it as Annabel ate cereal with chopsticks, sang songs and told stories ... while silas raced down the hall, fiddled with lollipops and reprogramed my computer.

They're not the best images ever; but they're perfect for me. They are easy to take, easy to download, easy to upload ... and even the kids - BOTH of them - have learned how to view and record.

I know I'll probably regret letting them run around with my new toy, and I'll probably have a few standard expletives if it returns with chips or dents. The phrases will be worse, I expect, if I find it floating in the commode. But my kids don't seem phased ... they know I have a thing for F words.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Video Ah yes…It is an art form as well, but what it captures besides the image is a window into the personality. A lie can be caught by nervous movement, sadness by a flowing teardrop, and happiness with animated facial expressions and the sound of a roaring laugh.

You will do well with video as you already have the photographer eye, if you have the patience to hold that eye on your subject for an extended period of time, or to follow it as it moves, with out taking a break to re-frame is what is to be tested.
I think you will do fine and even explore the use of video in other ways, like sneaking your images to capture your subject in their natural state, not performing.

Later, Kcoz

BTW what happened to Annabel with the chopsticks and Silas and his sucker?

jenB said...

I am enjoying watching your videos! We have a flip that has been collecting dust. Literally. I am inspired. What beautiful little snippets of these wee parts of their growing up.

Anonymous said...

Silas appears to be very proud of his new found talent of manipulating that sucker with his new tooth's...LOL

Later, Kcoz

Anonymous said...

DAMM!! Little Anabel can certainly carry a tune, did she make that song up??
All you have to do is figure out how to get her to face the camera mic so her audio is consistent...I imagine she is really into her song and finds it hard to be still...like Mick Jagar! LOL

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is Flickr not opening? I've tried 3 different web browsers over 2 days and the Flickr site doesn't come up.

FS5

toyfoto said...

Flickr's working for me. Are you trying from one of my links?

kimmyk said...

your children are precious toyfoto. it's great to see them in action and lil miss annabel's voice is so sweet. does she do requests cause i'd love to hear her sing one of the songs from the little mermaid. i use to make my abbie and my niece sing to me when that was on. such angelic little voices and animation.

if she should, flip that wouldja?!

Binky said...

Apparently Annabel is with you on the F words...the story about the food and the forgiveness and the E-Frosians...

Too freaking funny...

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

So apparently I'm the only person in the world who JUST heard of this Flip thing. What is it?

apathy lounge said...

My Flickr account is associated with the first incarnation of my blog. And I can't move it. Ah well...

The Scholastic Decoder said...

I keep wondering if one of those would be any better than the little videos I manage to capture now and again with my camera? I got a great one of Misterpie and the Bun laughing, but Misterpie's face is in it, so it's home use only, sadly.

toyfoto said...

It's probably not "better" although the HD version may be (I'm not sure) but if you are not interested in downloading and editing and dealing with batteries and tapes at whatnot of camcorders, it's hands-down better. (In my unscientific opinion, of course).

Anonymous said...

TOYFOTO SAID:
"but if you are not interested in downloading and editing and dealing with batteries and tapes at whatnot of camcorders, it's hands-down better."

That stuff can be a hassle and I'm impressed with the quality of the video that this "Flip" device obtains. It may not be good when projected on to a larger screen, (If it can?). But for the Internet it looks great, even the audio sounds good if the subject is speaking into the mic.

Later, Kcoz

toyfoto said...

It came with a cable for imput into the TV. ... if that's what you mean.

Anonymous said...

Blogger toyfoto said...

"It came with a cable for imput into the TV. ... if that's what you mean."

That is what I mean...how is the video quality when you watch your video's on your TV?

Later, Kcoz

toyfoto said...

We'll see ... I haven't tried to hook it up to the tv yet.

Anonymous said...

Blogger toyfoto said...

"We'll see ... I haven't tried to hook it up to the tv yet"

Ya really should, the kids will love it...that TV is a benchmark for them, they watch all their favorite shows on it, and once they see themselves on their own TV instead of that little screen, they will appreciate that little gadget even more.

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