Moving Pictures

Night Barn: A Certain Stillness

I had to search Fragments to see if I’d really done more than mentioned this before, and nope, I’d only mentioned it back in May. I did send a link to it in an email yesterday to those I thought might help with the note card selections. So I might as well pass it along to you, too, even though the link has been lurking on the sidebar now for a couple of weeks.

This rather involved project came about, I suppose you could say, as a happy combination of obligation and desire: back in the spring, for a civic organization in Roanoke in October I offered to present a program that I had not yet created. This self-inflicted obligation gave me the motivation I needed to make it happen. (Sometimes I offer myself a carrot–like the new MAC for saving money–and sometimes, the stick!)

What has come from this auto-assignment is a fifteen minute digital images (I hope they are moving pictures!) plus narration of three essays: Where I am Married, Calling Them by Name (both in Slow Road Home) and Child’s Play (about “nature deficit disorder”.) They are held together by the common thread of relationship to nature and place.

The live presentations will be projected in Powerpoint, so while not terribly elegant, the images come across nicely and the transitions are fair. The web version you’ll see suffers in image quality and transition style, and there are only about half the images. But you’ll get the flavor of it, I trust.

But for the future as I think about doing other combined media like this, I need a way to more easily sync images, music and text. So about two weeks ago, I tinkered with Adobe Premiere Elements which I’d never really used (read: steep learning curve) and created a junior version of the program converted to an embeddable slide show. That is now up for you to view or bookmark for later.

The program is called “Our Place in the World: a Visual Essay”.

I’m hoping to find other destinations for this package, both in text, presented live, and as a portable and possibly marketable package–possibly on some future multimedia disk with book #2, a slide show, and such. So if you have any ideas along these lines, give me a holler.

NOTE: The image of the barn and pasture and moon I can safely say WILL be in the note card set, as the vast majority so far have chosen it. I hope it will print up nicely. I had a request for a print of this image some while back, and the recipient was quite pleased, so a much smaller print should hold together nicely!

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. After watching the photo essay for the third time, I was wandering if you could produce a book on CD of all your informative blog postings with photos and voice over narration. It was nice to hear you put emphasis on certain segments that I would have missed just reading it. I would be first in line to buy it.

    Secondly, can you include a wave file of each segment on your blog. This way I can listen to it while I work at my other task, and again, hear the emphasis where it needs to be?

    I learn a lot from your website. Thanks

  2. I really love the picture with the barn and the moon. It’s very captiviating. I did not get to see the essays because the computer would not allow it. However, i’m sure they were maginificent. I would love to look more into these “moving pictures”