The woods green up

This is a project I’ve been working on since the middle of March. I wanted to capture the way the woods green up. I never noticed before that the green starts at the ground and gradually moves up the trees. The limbs at the very top are the last to unfurl the leaves. This is all makes good sense if we consider that it must take more time for the water and nutrients to travel to the very topmost branches of the trees. I really don’t know the science behind the way the leaves come out in spring, but this was fun to watch. I explain how I did this, what I learned, and what I might do differently at the end of this post.

The woods green up from the ground to the sky as the earth reaches for the heavens.

This morning, I sorted through the photos I had taken, titled with the date, and saved in a file. I discarded many that I didn’t think would work, like the one below that didn’t fit into the transitions of the slide show. I actually like the photo because of the shadows.

Taken March 19, 2012

After I had the group of photos I hoped to use, I did an auto-correct on photoshop for contrast and color, hoping that would even out the varied light conditions under which all these photos were taken.

Although I tried to stand in the same exact place on our deck each day, and target the stone patio for the lower and left third of the photo (rule of three), I did not have a very scientific or well-regulated methodology and some of the photos had the patio up high:

And some had the patio closer to the bottom.

Taken April 1, 2012

So I had the problem of lining them up so the transitions wouldn’t be unacceptably jerky. I used the circular stone patio as a guide, created a template on PhotoShop with a rectangle containing the circle. I placed each photo under the template, moved it so that the stone patio was directly under the circle on the template, then cropped the picture along the template rectangle. This method wasn’t perfect, but it was an improvement.

After that it was a fairly simple matter of loading the pictures into an iMovie project, adding transitions between the slides, exporting the movie to a file on my hard drive, and uploading it to YouTube. I added the music as an enhancement to the video on YouTube.

I spent all morning on this project. But I think it was worth the time, not because it turned out all that well, but because I learned a lot, which is always good, but especially important as I age to keep my brain healthy.

So here’s to a morning spent on Alzheimer’s prevention, with a video to boot.

As a side note, I was surprised to see that I have 19 videos up on my YouTube channel (57cmsmith) of varying quality, but you have to start somewhere. My most popular video was Animal Control Removal of a Rattlesnake from Hilton Head with 467 hits, followed by the two videos of Mark’s knee replacement surgery recovery at 3 days (115 hits)  and 2 weeks (124 hits). My Self-Pub Proof Copy Arrives video got 97 hits.