As we sat on the early morning train between Lyon and Vichy last week, I wondered if it was getting light a bit earlier in the journey than the previous weeks.
We took that early train frequently around this time two years ago when we were looking at land in the area, and then when we were choosing the builder and designing the house. The train is at just the right time to observe the lengthening days as the seasons change. In winter, most of the journey is in darkness. By summer, the sun is already up as we wait on the station platform in Lyon.
My other marker for the lengthening days is my morning runs, and on Monday my suspicions were confirmed. I witnessed my first pink sky sunrise of the year. I’m always a little disappointed not to have my camera for those moments, so I don’t have a picture for you. But, I do have these happy daffodils from a recent evening walk to offer instead.
The mounted police seem to have become a regular feature in the park recently. They attract attention from excited children and curious adults alike. This pair drew a small crowd of onlookers as they tried to encourage their horses to walk through some newly-erected banners.
While Graham has been keeping you up-to-date here, I’ve been in something of a hibernation. So, I thought it was time I came out of my cosy little corner, and reconnected with the world, if only to share these photos from our walk in the park this afternoon.
The trees in our nearby park are changing; their vibrant greens slowly being replaced by the reds and yellows of autumn.
I’ve been admiring this progression during my morning runs for the past few weeks, even though it is barely light enough to see. Each week, I expect to find the trees suddenly bare, but they are just getting more and more colourful.
Last weekend, a warm, sunny day provided an irresistible opportunity to go for a walk and take some photos.
My zoo video was an experiment on two fronts. It was the first one using the hybrid video mode on my new camera, and it was the first time I added a music track.
My initial videos used the audio that the camera recorded with the film. But, in places like the park, there is a lot of background noise; you pick up snippets of conversation, and the passing trains and traffic. In the interest of continuing my filming experiment, I decided to try adding a music track to the video. Partly to overcome the distracting background noise, and partly to add a new skill to my repertoire.
Choosing the music was difficult. It was easy to decide what didn’t work, but much harder to decide what did. On top of finding something I liked, there were other things to consider: the length of the music compared to the video, and the important question of licensing.
I was really surprised at the difference the music makes. It gives the video a very different feeling. It seems more cohesive and more interesting. The track I eventually settled on reminds me of a fair ground, and so it seemed appropriate for the zoo.
My new camera, (a Canon IXUS 265 HS) has a hybrid video mode, which I really like. This mode records a few seconds of video every time you take a photo. At the end of each day, you have a movie digest of all the photos you’ve taken and their video clips.
As you might imagine, the video clips on their own are not always great. Some sections are out of focus, some move around a lot as you zoom in or try to frame the photo. And sometimes, the final photo isn’t great, but the video clip captures the moment the photo missed. Somehow, this combination of video and photo works, even if neither are great on their own.
Here is a video of the zoo in the Lyon’s Parc de la Tête d’Or using the hybrid mode on the camera. I added the titles and music in iMovie.
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