Polka Dot Cottage: Shared Family Summertime Delusion

Shared Family Summertime Delusion

Posted February 25th, 2014 by

Shared Family Summer Delusion, at Polka Dot Cottage

Back in the Good Ol’ Days of my blogging career, my kids and I did a lot of stuff that I photographed and shared several times a week. You may have noticed those days are pretty much over.

Kids get bigger and expect more privacy. And, let’s be completely honest here, teens and preteens are not nearly as photogenic as preschoolers. Heck, even if they were, they’re still a lot less likely to jump in front of the camera for something that they know is going to be plastered all over the internet on Mom’s blog.

Shared Family Summer Delusion, at Polka Dot Cottage

Add to a general lack of offspring cooperation, a general lack of time for posting Everyday Life Stuff every day, and you find me where I am now: on a blog that is mostly filled with my own solo creative exploits, which (again, being completely honest) are not overly revolutionary lately or even as frequent as they used to be. *sigh*

Still, once in a while, my family gives me something really fun to write about, and they give me permission to plaster it all over the internet.

I love it when that happens.

Let me tell you about this past weekend.

Shared Family Summer Delusion, at Polka Dot Cottage

You probably know this has been a terrible winter, in terms of really cold temperatures, and really frequent snow storms, right? (If you don’t, you haven’t been paying attention to my numerous complaints on the subject…)

Well, Saturday was sunny and 52 degrees. Oh, yeah! While 52F is not exactly summer, in comparison to what we have been dealing with it was truly amazeballs. Seriously. I stood on the front steps without a jacket on, and felt the warm sun on my skin… That’s when an idea began to take shape.

Shared Family Summer Delusion, at Polka Dot Cottage

I have these silly photo-shoot ideas all of the time, but I mostly do them alone. Sometimes I ask my family to get involved, and sometimes they even say Yes, but usually it’s just me, my camera and a handful of props.

“Hey, Neil,” I said, “want to put on a pair of shorts, sit in the front yard on our beach chairs, and take silly pictures?”

After a few strange looks and a couple of mild protests, he eventually replied, “I’m lucky to be alive. I should probably learn to enjoy the stupid stuff.”

And with that, we both put on our Summer finery and set up our tableau in the front yard.

Before long, the boys joined in.

`Shared Family Summer Delusion, at Polka Dot Cottage

I sipped ice water, while Neil built sand snow castles. Eamonn brought out a book and a deck of UNO cards, while Aidan fetched a rain umbrella (which is the closest thing we have to a beach umbrella). It was surprisingly warm out there! The sun was shining right on us, and as long as the wind didn’t blow, it felt really nice.

Eventually, though, the wind did blow one too many times for us, and one-by-one we packed it in.

Later, safely inside and toasty warm once again, I put all of our pictures together into this little video. I hope you enjoy it, and it makes you feel warm and happy wherever you are!

Technical details:

I set up the camera on a tripod, and used my tablet connected to a Triggertrap to take a picture every 5 seconds.

I used Picasa to create a movie from all of the images and set them to music.

I pulled the resulting movie into Corel Video Studio Pro, separated the soundtrack from the video, added some title and credit screens, and shrunk the movie ever so slightly so that the music started and ended exactly where I wanted it to.

By the way, if you’re thinking of trying something similar (time-lapse set to music), Picasa is capable of handling the whole video-making process, and it’s free. The reason I used the other software was so that I could add title screens. Picasa can do that as well, but I have been having bad luck getting the captions to save properly with it and I didn’t want the headache of trying to get it to work.

Some cameras have a built-in time-lapse function, too.


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