Bonbai? What is that you ask? Well it is a bonsai ume(plum) tree and I got one!
I went to Nagahama to blow glass and also happened upon a bonsai exhibit. Now being American it is always interesting to see things that are, well, older than my country. I know that sounds weird but hang on a moment I shall explain. Japan, China and some parts of India have some of the longest, static, by static I mean continuous culture/tradition/history, which I find fascinating. Of course some things have changed but as a whole compared to the rest of the world there hasn’t been and huge revolutions to the heart of the culture and tradition. So when I saw these little trees that were 400 and some years old it made me stop and think. This art, this piece of culture has survived so much and has been passed down successfully that it makes one want to be part of it, to be a small piece in the bigger picture. So, I bought one and will attempt to not kill it!
Its actually quite a bit of work once every 3 years or 5 years. The repotting process is daunting but I will attempt it this December. In the meantime I get to enjoy the lovely blossoms this year and will have to prune and water only until December. It also makes a great subject for photography~ So there shall be many more photo experiments to come that include this new little member of my family.
My first experiment was with time lapse. I know, I don’t start small. So for my first ever time lapse I would have to consider it a success! It was actually much easier to do than I assumed it would be. As you know, I have a Canon 7D and thats pretty much all I really needed. I didnt have to purchase any special software. I used the EOS Utility and iMovie, as I have a Mac but I am pretty sure you could do it in just about any regular movie editor.
Using the timer in EOS utility you just have to make sure your live view is off. Set your camera up on a steady tripod and fix the focus, DON’T use autofocus as it may search each time for a new focus point or be unable to find it. I ran my camera in Manual but you could also do this in AV, TV, P or B. Depending on the length of time you need between your shots or the length of your shots I have read you may have to have it in B, given that I was throwing mine together before work and have yet to attempt another one I am not sure if this is true or not. I set mine to take a photo every 30 seconds and just let it go. I had originally had it set to take 500 photos but it only took 372 as the light and my camera both died. I highly recommend starting with a fully charged battery! Mine was down to the last little bar when I started, fail on my part.
I stuck around for the first ten or so actuations and then left for work. Came home and threw all of the photos into one folder and then imported them into iMovie. Set the display time to 0.1 seconds and fixed the crop so I didn’t have that goofy, ahem, I mean supposed cinematic effect. All in all 372 photos became about 50 seconds of movie. So not overly long but considering I didn’t do a lot of work on my own not bad. Now I did take all of these photos in RAW so I could go in and batch edit or fix a few if it seemed necessary, however, as this was my first attempt I was more worried about it actually working rather than the quality of the images. Bad, bad, bad Anne! I know, but now that I have this part down on my next one I can work more with the quality of the images. My biggest worry was to do a lot of intensive work and then have it fail somewhere along the way. Now that i know the first few steps I feel more comfortable putting more work into the next one. I would like to try a night time lapse but we will see how it goes. I would need to get out of the city and into the countryside to actually be able to see the night sky. But when i get this down I have a new reason to climb Mt. Fuji this year, because there is this great little spot near the top that I think would look great in a time lapse with the stars.
Watch the video here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31tlGQNuQR4