I was looking around on the computer not too long ago when I discovered an anniversary that I had nearly overlooked. Ten years ago yesterday I uploaded my first Internet video on to YouTube shortly after I finished shooting and editing it. It’s called “Bees and Lavender” and the plot of this one is pretty self-explanatory.

I only made that video in order to teach myself how to use my then-new video camera along with how to edit that video in iMovie 3. I used to have a lavender bush in the front yard that would be literally crawling with bumblebees when it was in bloom. The bumblebees would be constantly pollinating that lavender bush from dawn until well past dusk. In a way this video is poignant because that lavender bush would die just a few months after I shot that video. (I had it for a few years so I don’t know why it died.) I know it’s not much of a video but one has to start somewhere and, for me, it was just shooting bees pollinating the flowers of a lavender bush.

If someone had told me when I was growing up that someday I would be making movies or videos of any kind, I would’ve scoffed. That’s because, as a child, watching home movies that members of my extended family shot on Super 8 film bored me to tears. I also had zero interest in making movies mainly because I had read about how hard it was to break into the film industry (especially in Hollywood) at the time. There was no YouTube or Vimeo or Daily Motion. In fact, access to the Internet was limited to higher-ups in the Department of Defense and certain contractors.

Basically I wanted a lot of people to see my movies, which was difficult without being lucky enough to get the attention of someone very important in the film industry.

But then the Internet was opened to more people, the World Wide Web came into being, along with high data speeds that made watching movies over the Internet a reality and I discovered that I can make videos and put them online.

My first video camera was a Samsung DV, which used a DV tape that was a quarter of the size of VHS tapes. My then-husband bought it for me in a rare display of generosity and indulgence (he was a bit on the tightwad side so to have him make a large purchase like that made me really savor that expensive item since I didn’t get such items on a regular basis). I had to buy a separate piece of hardware if I wanted to upload what I shot on the computer because that hardware served as an interface between the computer and video camera. (Nowadays I can just connect my Droid smartphone with my MacBook via a USB cable, which brings up the Android File Transfer software for the Mac and I can just drag and drop pictures, videos, and other files from the Droid to the Mac and vice versa.) I remember editing the above video in iMovie 3.

That camera was considered to be top-of-the-line at the time, although it’s a far cry from what I can shoot with my smartphone. I kept that Samsung for a few years until the camera started to literally chew up the DV tapes every time I tried to shoot anything with it. I attempted to get it repaired only to be turned down when I tried calling various local photo and computer repair shops on the grounds that Samsung had discontinued that video camera. I called Samsung’s customer service line only to be told that I would not only have to mail in the video camera but I would have to pay $30 just so they would look at it. This isn’t a $30 repair fee. This is a $30 “have a repair person look at it to see if it could be repaired” fee. If a repair was required then I would have to pay more.

I ended up paying $250 for an Insignia HD camera (at the time the prices of HD cameras were starting to get cheaper so I decided that, instead of paying $199 for a regular Insignia camera, I would pay an extra $50 to be at the technology curve) that was lighter and more portable than the Samsung. I had that for a few years until it broke beyond all repair. I had a Flip camera for a while, which I purchased on sale just prior to Cisco discontinuing that line. I used it until I got my first smartphone and I started using that for all my video recording needs. Last month I gave my old Flip camera to a friend who has been buying old Flips on eBay for cheap prices so he could give them to underserved youths in the Washington, DC area. He really appreciated my old Flip, which is pretty good.

Watching that “Bees and Lavender” video again really brings back memories of the various digital video cameras I’ve used over the years. 🙂

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