Monday, April 21, 2008

Get on the Bus Obscura!

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Dublin, California and the Bus Obscura rode through town. Dublin is an East Bay suburb 25 miles east from Oakland at the intersection of interstate highways 580 and 680. The Bus Obsura is a piece of art on wheels and the creation of artist Simon Lee.

The bus is town for week and passengers like myself had the opportunity to take a little magical mystery of our own through familiar streets which looked completely different. There are no windows but as Simon Lee explains, in the short homegrown video I produced with Nikon L18 8MP still camera, there are 1,000+ pin hole cameras that project the images from outside within the bus.

Gina Halfert of the Tri-Valley Herald reported that, "the Bus Obscura is an everyday school bus converted into a multiple aperture camera obscura, wherein the windows are transformed into projection screens showing the world outside as upside-down multiple images. The Bus Obscura will be making several appearances in Dublin through April 26; the visits are sponsored by the Dublin Fine Arts Foundation and the City of Dublin."

Here's a mini-documentary video from Colgate University that describes Bus Obscura in more detail. Video description: " Artist Simon Lee and Colgate University students and professors created an art project called Bus Obscura" (View article...)

This type of post is a first for me on this blog as I haven't really done my own citizen journalism piece here so I offer this post as something new of which you may see more. I had fun creating the short UGC video and it didn't really take long to produce, maybe 30 minutes. as I mentioned, I used my Nikon L18 still camera to shoot the photos and the video. The videos were created as 640x480 AVI files that I easily transferred to my PC through the SD card reader and edited the video in Windows Movie Maker, which was the only application I had available on the PC. I added titles, dissolves, Ken Burns effect of the photos and an audio track from an mp3 file I created in Garageband and which I transferred from my iMac to the PC. For delivery, I exported it as a 768k WMV file and uploaded to both my and YouTube accounts. I like the quality of the version better and embedded that one instead.

In the spirit of independent production, use what you have available to get it done!