Up and Down

revision 13 August 2008

Photo montage of going up and down the hill, juggler at top. Black screen voiceover “How’s your life these days?” “Oh, up and down.” Probably 60-90 seconds.

rough study for up and down

Process notes:

13 August – Yesterday tried out taking photos once every four steps up the hill, as the sun finally came out. However, about 3/4 of the way up it started to rain so I had to stop. I did a test run to see the effect. Ended up doing the stills at 1/8 second using Windows Movie Maker just as a test, probably too slow at least on the flat bits, but going up actual stairs requires more intermediate shots to get the right effect. I’ve put the test run onto Picasa web albums so you can see.

5 August counted the steps it would take to go up and down the hill – 1960 steps in total one way. I counted from one ‘landmark’ to another on the way in stretches of around 200 steps. I may decide not to use the lower stretches. If normal animation frame rate is 15 frames per second, then one minute would require 900 frames. Dividing this into the total number of steps, that would mean taking one photograph for each four steps, plus the top sequence. If I take about 1000 stills then I can cut it back to 3 FPS (200 stills) if desired to get more of a photo montage effect.  Should do a sample first to see how it comes out before doing the real shoot.

Here are the unedited photos I took as an initial study. Some bits are missing, and I am not happy with white balance and exposure on a lot of the shots, I was still learning the camera, but they will give you an idea of what I had in mind.  The new version, if created, will be a montage or animation created from many stills similar to this, with some jumpy shots of a juggler at the top, juggling balls going up and down.

Process note on the rationale for my approach in this version – A question was raised as to why an animation is needed, and why take so many straightforward photographs of steps. Good question! I thought about this, and expect this piece will be reworked as the others are being reworked. In its current form, it is intended to compress the experience of a half-hour walk up and down the hill in order to bring out the ‘upness’ and ‘downness’ of it in just one minute. Steps after steps after steps, hopefully composing themselves in interesting ways periodically but mainly to convey the motion. This is what I was trying to get at. It’s a very simple idea with the two-line dialogue adding a layer at the end. It may change in later versions.

The juggler at the top is an artifact of the real experience (there was one the day I took the photos) that resonated with what I was trying to express. The archetype of the juggler comes out in several other places in the journal. The man who happens to juggle is a separate matter entirely.

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