61/365 An Unexpected Delivery

I’ve bought some new equipment for my filming trip in Nepal next week. It arrived this morning. I was expecting it to arrive on Monday.

Up until the moment the man from Royal Mail tapped on the front door with my purchases, I was feeling quite anxious about the trip.

After I’d thanked him profusely, shut the front door and removed the camera stabiliser and tripod-mounted slider from the packaging I began to get a little excited. Never before has the prospect of being able to create smooth-moving hand-held shots filled me with quite so much joy.

Cost-Effective Camera Stabilizer

The stabiliser is at the cheaper end of the market, it has to be said. The counterweights which come with it are just enough for using a point and shoot camera, but using my old DSLR will demand the purchase of 800g of additional weights (around £20).

Judging by some articles like this one on the internet I suspect it will take a little bit of practise to master the technique. But that’s just fine. I like learning when there’s a impending deadline. We all need a little pressure to achieve.

Manual Slider

Since signing-up to an iPhone 7 Plus and fiddling around with my first time-lapse videos, I’ve got obsessed with whizz-bang sequences like time-lapse. They’re mesmerising things, condensing moments we wouldn’t otherwise take any notice of. I see an unorthodox beauty in those frenetic snapshots.

Like the stabiliser, manual time-lapse sequences take some practise. I like that. The automation the devices in our pockets tempt us with denies us creative joy. I don’t especially want to reinvent the wheel, but I would like to take a little time to understand what’s involved in the process, opening up more creative possibilities when I end up in different settings.

The pay-off with a manual slider (as opposed to an automated one) is that I have to gently nudge the camera on each half-centimetre as opposed to a motor doing it for me. No matter. There’s pleasure to be derived from manually investing in the process, I think: the promise of a job well and truly done.

With these two physical devices next week’s trip has been transformed into a tantalising opportunity. I cannot wait.

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