Thursday, March 08, 2012

The ordeal of taking a picture

So I applied to a casting agency, and they required a full-body shot. I shaved, bathed, put on a T-shirt and form-fitting shorts and styled my hair.

My digital camera broke long ago, my laptop's Photo Booth program was not suitable and I didn't have anyone to take a pic of me on my iPhone. That left me with two video cameras to choose from.

One of those camcorders dates to 1999 and has the mileage of one much older. But it had a battery and a charger. The other is my brother's from 2004. It's far more advanced and can take still snaps, but I couldn't find its plug. I decided to go with the newer one and looked for the plug. I found it in the first box I checked. I set the camera on my tripod, plugged it in and turned it on. Success.

But then I needed to hook the camera up to my laptop. I dug through several sets of cables to find a USB connector. It plugged in to my laptop, but wouldn't work that way. So I grabbed my A/V convertor and figured out all the necessary wires, plugs, steps and programs I needed to run it. I connected the camera to the convertor and the convertor to the laptop. Success. 

Instead of recording on the camera, I imported video through the convertor straight to the laptop. This diminishes the quality, but I ran with it. I took a few seconds of video of myself standing next to my bedroom doors. Too dark. I would need to rearrange the lighting. I moved my lamp and turned on every nearby overhead light. Despite this and the fact that it was broad daylight and I had my rather large bedroom window open, finding decent lighting was a struggle. But I worked through it and managed to capture some decently lit footage. Success. 

But my plan to take a screen capture from the footage led to a picture that was too small. And while blowing up the footage to full screen solved that problem, it further diminished the quality of the photo, so I knew that the converter footage wouldn't do. I decided to try the camera directly. But then I realized that I couldn't take the picture without running the tape, which I did not want to tape over. Unless I put in an SD chip. I had an SD chip. Success.

I planned on taking a photo on the SD chip, which I would then plug into my laptop, reducing the likelihood of diminished quality. But to take the snapshot, I had to press the still button on the camera, which meant I couldn't step back far enough to take a full-body shot. So I just hit record and shot some footage on the card. Success.

But the footage (as well as a test snapshot) came out as grainy as the convertor footage, so I had to make do. I slogged through my footage, found a few salvageable poses and narrowed it down to one. I took a capture and cleaned it up as best as I could through iPhoto. Success.

But later on in the night, when I filled out the online application, I worried about how low-quality the photo was. So I went with an older one from last year's football shoot, which I attached to the grainy shot, just to be sure. Success.

But when I submitted the application, after two hours spent filling it out, I got an error 404 message. Three times.

Dammit, I just need to get a digital camera. As soon as I get a job. As soon I get a decent set of shots. As soon as I get a digital camera.

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