From the Summer Archives.


Still looking through boxes and files. Finding little treasures.

Staying out of the heat today.

OT: The comfortable routine of morning swim practice. From a long time member of the USMS. (United States Masters Swimming).



Got up early this morning to do some yard maintenance before it got too hot. I hit the pool at 7:55, ready to swim. The staff at the club is doing a good job keeping the water temperature low during a string of 100°+ days and even though 82° water temperature isn't optimal keeping it in that zone is pretty amazing. 

We have a coach who has decided that our Thursday 8 a.m. workouts will be Individual Medley workout days. Instead of concentrating on long distance freestyle or race-paced freestyle swims we're going to  concentrate on all four strokes. Butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle. This focus on all the strokes always brings out the moans, groans and bitching from the triathletes who only want to work on their freestyle for tri competition. But all of us former high school and college swimmers welcome the once familiar stroke assortment as a prime example of good cross training. 

We had about 30 people at this morning's workout. There is an earlier workout that goes from 7:00 till 8:00 and it attracts a dedicated following of the most driven of the swimmers, and also a lot of people who have to show up somewhere for work by 8:30 or 9:00. The early people sometimes disparagingly refer to the later workout as "The Executive Workout" on the premise that we have more control over our personal schedules. Or no schedules at all. We prefer to call it "The Varsity Practice..." 

We had the usual 1,000 yard warm-up today but then the fun began. We starting doing dolphin kick drills and that was the precursor to a butterfly-heavy slog.

The set was complex. It went like this:

1 x 25 yards butterfly

1x50 yards backstroke/breaststroke

1 x 25 yards freestyle

1 x 100 yards I.M. (all four strokes).

2 x 25 yards butterfly

2 x 50 yards backstroke/breaststroke

2 x 25 yards freestyle

2 x 100 I.M. yards (descending times = ascending effort)

3 x 25 yards butterfly

3 x 50 yards backstroke/breaststroke

3 x 25 yards sprint freestyle

3 x 100 yards I.M. 

4 x 25 yards butterfly (descending times = each one faster than the one before)

4 x 50 yards backstroke/breaststroke (descending)

4 x 25 yards freestyle sprints

4 x100 yards I.M. ( also descending ).

Followed by a warm down. 

The butterfly got harder and harder. I can see I've got a lot of work ahead of me....

It's fun to do this against a pace clock, on set intervals, with lots of like-minded people bent on going fast and touching the wall before everyone else. I never get tired of the competition... or the thrill of just being in the water. My sense of gratitude was just off the charts this morning.

Thinking of heading up to to Richmond, Virginia in the first week of August to swim two or three events at the USMS National Championships. We'll see what the schedule looks like....

A nice Summer to stay wet.

Updating firmware on the GH6. Just in time for protracted dive into the camera's video. Why? A request for an estimate for a very "action oriented corporate" video. Oxymoronic? Quite likely.

 New firmware landed yesterday for the Panasonic GH6 camera. No. It doesn't make the C-AF focusing any different. At least that's not in the upgrade notes. But what it does bring to the party is the ability to record ProRes Raw video to a Ninja V+ device fitted with a fast SSD drive. You can shoot full gate (the width and height of the sensor) at up to 60 fps at 5.8K. 

If you don't need Raw video files you'll want to look at what you can do in Apple ProRes. Because you can shoot that to an internal card in up to the 5728 by 3024 (17:9) format at 29.97p. Make sure you have a fast CFexpress card installed because those ProRes HQ files are 1.9 Gigabits per second. A bit faster than the 400 Mbps in a camera that's....less capable. You can shoot ProRes 422 at lower rates and at a straight ahead 4K setting and you'll actually end up with files that are fast and fun to edit. But.... it takes a bit of mental adjustment to reconfigure your brain for bigger data deposits.

I really like the color and tonality the GH6 video files deliver. I think it's an amazing camera even though it may have a few quirks. I also like the lenses I've put together for the system although most are long while most video projects seem to lean into the wide angles.

And once again the timing is weird.

I got an e-mail from a client last week asking about a video project. I'm on the fence about whether I want to bid the project or not. It would require a bunch of pre-production, script supervision,  the casting of one talent and the negotiating for a wide package of national or international usage for the talent, several full days of shooting, the services of a sound person, enough freelance assisting staff to cover a typical on location corporate shoot, and a ton of editing on the backend. Which I would happiest farming out. 

The problem for me is that the project is in an industry that's not exciting. The client is....careful and aesthetically conservative. The samples they've shared are not challenging or especially exciting and I'm not even sure I want to work in Austin during August. Seems like a better time of year to escape to somewhere cooler and more laid back (which in itself is a wry statement about the directions in which Austin has grown. We used to be the capitol of "Laid Back"). 

One of my peers and I discussed all this over the phone this afternoon and his advice, as usual, was that I should bid the project so high that I'd be delighted to get to do it. And I understand the financial appeal but I'm still not all that interested. It's a lot of work. And responsibility. And missed swims...

My plan for the near future is to work with the GH6 everyday and in every way until I am intimately familiar with every video menu setting, every switch and every capability of the camera. If I decide to do the project (and am actually awarded the bid) I don't want to start the learning curve at that juncture, I want to be ready to go. I want to be completely confident that I can deliver.

It's pretty much the perfect system to use on a gimbal and this project would be shot on a gimbal 100% of the time.

Of course the idea of bidding the price delightfully high --- and then getting the project --- opens up my mind to the idea of also snagging a Leica SL2-S and testing that camera side by side with the GH6. Now that actually sounds like fun.... Low light champ versus in-depth video monster. It never stops.

I have to decide just how much I want to keep my hand in the video game in the next couple of days. Compared to tradtional photography it's quite a bit more work. Maybe I'm just getting lazy.