5.24.2016

Great to be back in the pool this morning. Swimming works as a reset for other tasks.

I missed all my swim workouts last week. Every day was booked with early start times for video productions far from home. I did get back in the water on Sat. and Sunday but I was really looking forward to getting back to my routine today. I woke up five minutes before my alarm this morning; it was 5:55. I made some Irish breakfast tea with a little milk in it, read the news feed on my laptop and then grabbed a clean towel and headed to the pool.

The pool is a five minute drive from the house. On the way over I was being self-analytic and trying to come to grips with some anxiety. I have two big video projects in house and they both have the same, fast approaching deadline. I was having trouble getting started on the editing for the biggest one. It's hardest, I think, to decide on how a video will open; that sets the stage for everything else.

Somewhere in the middle of a hard set in the pool my brain unclenched from its bulldog tenacious grip on the editing and I started just mulling over the possibilities. Over the course of the next mile's worth of interval training I came up with a plan to construct the video story in small, manageable chunks. By the time I got out of the pool I'd ditched my anxious feelings and my need for rigid control of the project and I felt much calmer. I also felt good at getting in a couple miles of hard work before breakfast.

Now I'm back in the studio, the subtle perfume of chlorine wafting over from my bag of swim gear, and I'm carefully reviewing and cataloging snippets of the 2.5 hours of "footage" we've got in the can. If I find a few holes I still have time to shoot a bit more but I think we're pretty well covered.

For those who are interested in video.... I've been using Final Cut  Pro X as my non-linear editor. It's not that I'm somehow against using Adobe's Premiere but this is what I learned on and have used for the last two years. In the back of my mind I think about the possibility that Apple might pull the plug on further FCPX development as they did with Aperture and I think about switching to the Adobe product. I'd be interested to here what other people's experiences have been like using Premiere.

All of the footage we're editing for this video was shot in 4K with three different cameras. The primary camera was the RX10mk3 and most of the "B" roll content came from the RX10mk2. I've pulled out the a6300 to use on some action shots that required stable and accurate focus tracking.
All the material matches up well and since I worked hard at keeping the ISOs under 640 we're not having issues with noise.

On a cheery note the only day I will miss swimming with my master's team this week will be on Thursday. Maybe I'll do a double on Friday. It's sure better than missing an entire week!

Now, into the rabbit hole they call editing.....

For the curious fellow swimmers:

Today's workout was tough. 

We started with a 400 yard freestyle warm-up and then went right into a set of 16 X 50 yards on a :50 second interval, mixing strokes with freestyle (800 yards). The main set was: 

8 X (100 Individual medley + 125 freestyle, both on the same intervals) = 1,800 yards

The final set was 3 X (2 x 50 yards kick + 2 x 75 yards sprint, both on an interval of 1:05) = 750 yards.

It's a pretty optimistic workout for an hour and fifteen minutes, but it sure clears out the cobwebs...




11 comments:

Fred said...

Wow! I might have been able to do that workout 40 years ago. Right now I'm just trying to ingrain current distance freestyle technique and learn how to breath comfortably on my right side, all without screwing up my shoulders with too much enthusiasm.

Malcolm said...

That's quite a swim workout! Partly inspired by you and by the need to do some exercise, I started to learn to swim properly late last year (I could swim 25 metres before that). The best I have managed so far was 520 metres in a 13 metre pool at the local gym and 250 metres in the local 25 metre pool, all front crawl. So I'm not quite at the 'swim for as long as I want to' stage but I am at least a good way there. I'll certainly never be competitive but the way I see it I will always be faster than those people who stay on the couch!

Glad you're back by the way!

Malcolm

Unknown said...

When writing some new software and struggling, a swim does release creative juices and solve problems! I can code solution when dry! Sometimes the tub works too!

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Fred and Malcolm. At 60 I'm not as guns-ho as I was. If a set is gruesome I'll do what I can but if I hit the wall I'll pull over to the side of the lane and sit out a 50. If we're swimming a long I.M. set I'm not above using fins (viewed as cheating by 25 year old athletes...). I've come to understand that while a tough workout is great there is a line I don't want to cross over. Once that heart rate starts to stay above 140 I'll move down into a slower lane.

Both of you probably already know that just being in the water is great and good for you. The heck with distance and time. Sometimes I just go to the pool between workouts and float around. It's a nice way to meditate and let some stress drain off....

thequietphotographer said...

Great! I'm always impressed by your photo and video skills and even more by your swimming abilities...bravo!
robert

John F. Opie said...

Fins and paddles are only cheating when someone is keeping track of times (for whatever reason). If anything, they improve your swim by forcing those muscles to work that you need to swim: that's the whole point.

I use paddles more often then not, but at the end of the day you have to add muscle at the gym/working out, as you simply can't get the muscles to max out whilst swimming, even when using paddles/fins.

That said, I have been terribly lax in swimming due to both "vacation" (visiting my father (Parkinsons stage 4/5 is merely time off from work, not vacation) and a stubborn sinus infection that doesn't want to go away...meh.

Goff said...

Kirk
I too am hanging in with Fine Cut Pro X in the hope that Apple doesn't drop it. It is by far the easiest NLE to use and faster than the others because it is integrated with Mac OS and hardware. The colour grading tools are inadequate, but that is easily fixed by buying the Color Finale plug in, which is brilliant and very easy to use.
Goff

Kepano said...

As an independent producer, there are really only two reasons I can think of to switch to Permier if you are already proficient with FCPX. 1) you want to switch to a Windows PC; 2) you need to interoperate with a post house that has a Premier workflow. If Apple pulls the plug on FCPX you can transition then. But, I am bullish on FCP's future.

James said...

That first photo has scrambled my brain: you guys seem to be swimming counter-clockwise! Are my eyes deceiving me? I've swum for years in Australia and the UK, and I've never been in lap pool where people swim counter-clockwise.

Kirk Tuck said...

It is absolutely the standard in the USA and most other parts of the world of swimming the U.K, Aussie group is the exception.

James said...

How strange that this never occurred to me! I'm now equipped to avoid a major faux pas, if I ever get to swim in the US...