For Community, By Community...

Concept and Purpose

This last month has been a reflective time for me.  Getting out on my bike or going for a walk with a friend, has been great with these long summer evenings.  One of the best places to walk and collect your thoughts (or let them go) is the local Botanic Garden.  Lucky for me, my mother envisioned, designed and built the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden in the town I live...Buellton.  With Mother's Day in the month of May, I wanted to make my Mom a very special video of the garden she has been working hard on for the last seven years.   I wanted to show not only the beauty of the garden, but also showcase the amazing projects the various groups in the community have built and installed.  So many hands have made our garden what it is today, so thanks to everyone involved!  Nothing says community like a public garden.  If you want to see the meditative video now just scroll on down,  for more on the making and on.

Filming (Warning:  It gets a bit techy!)

I went down on two separate days to the garden. The first day was overcast and calm and the second was sunny and windy.  With these different lighting situations I brought out different gear.  The flat overcast day was a great opportunity to use my 50mm 1.4 lens.  I love using this to convey a perspective that is very close to the human eye.  This will allow the viewer of the video to feel more in the garden than a super wide angle lens would.  So with the flat light and the 50mm on the tripod, I shot the paths, entrance and general views of the garden.  On the second day, I came down to the garden with my 180mm macro lens. For those of you who don't know what 180mm or macro mean, don't fret. This is just a lens for taking close up shots.  It can focus really close to the subject.  Any dreamy garden video needs up close shots. Any macro lens loves lots of light though. This lens plus the sunshine worked really well.  The camera body I used for the shoot was my Canon 5dmkiii.  The great full sensor size and functionality of this camera body helped me get very clear HD1080p video.  One of the things I have been longing for is a new slider setup for moving my camera side to side while filming.  Mine just arrived before filming and I'll post more on this in the future.  In the video, the motion was controlled by my Edelkrone Slider Plus and action module.   All of this gear sits on top of my Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod and BH-55 Ballhead which are made close to home in San Luis Obispo. 


With Mother's Day getting closer and the video needing to be edited, I jumped at the opportunity to use a track from my solo record, BLOOD MOON.  I'll have it up on this site very soon, really... The music was intended to give a meditative sense to the video and calm your heart rate down jut like the garden does in real life.   The sounds are all created live, by looping my custom Greg Erickson Bear-O-Tone guitar through various effects on the fly.  

Art for Art

I love creating something from nothing.   The process of the filming, review, editing, and music was a great experience.  Making art, leaving room for flaws and sharing the result of the process is just part of me.  I can trace this back to a couple brilliant people in my life..... My parents.  In this post, I'd love to say THANK YOU MOM. Happy Mother's Day! Your tenacity and vision for this garden may have helped earn you Woman of the Year from the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation last year, but it has been one of countless moments why you are the greatest mother a son could have.  Rheiny would be very proud.