Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Best-Laid Plans…

~ According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it was Robert Burns who wrote: “The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.” Or as we might say today: The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

I am ruminating on this after having spent nearly seven hours yesterday transferring footage from a series of video tapes onto my computer. The tapes, shot on my Panasonic video camera, are of my trip to Sydney during March and April earlier this year.

In addition to the four tapes I had from that trip, I have spent several more hours transferring footage from a number of other family events that have taken place this year. Add a box full of other cassettes to all this, and you begin to get a picture of a man who needs to find a workable system of archiving his numerous home movies.

As the self-appointed family documentarian, I am never far from my camera, and while I enjoy capturing the family at important family events, and turning the footage into short films, I often leave the work of transferring the original footage until long after the events have taken place.

When I returned from my trip overseas last year, I had dozens of tapes documenting my travels. In addition to the tapes, I had thousands of photographs in folders organised by month, week, and week day. I have yet to go through these folders and cull out the bad photographs: that is, the blurry, the poorly framed, the repetitions, and the just plain boring ones.

I guess all travellers have similar problems. Once the excitement of the trip is over, and we settle back into the daily grind of work and life, it is easy to forget we even spent that wonderful week in Hawaii, or New York City, or wandering the streets of London or Athens. Photos get transferred to hard drives, video tapes get put away in boxes or bottom drawers, and life goes on.

And so to my ‘best-laid plans’ to create exciting holiday films with which to wow my family and friends.

Even as I research my next travel adventure, my family and others are still waiting to see my videos, and the best of my travel photographs. They may be waiting for a long time, yet, unfortunately. However, as my forthcoming trip looms ever closer, I feel a need to get my ‘house’ in order, otherwise I will return from my next trip with even more tapes and photographs, and never find time to show off any of my handiwork.

So what has worked for you? Any suggestions or tips you can offer, dear reader, will be gratefully received.

Meanwhile, I’ve got work to do. There’s a box of tapes waiting to be processed and edited.

Image: Statue of Robert Burns in Central Park, New York

Photo courtesy of Wahaj Zaidi at Panoramio...

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