We have 6 mini-DV tapes that capture Reid’s life from about 4 months on. At first I resisted purchasing a video camera because we rarely watched the home movies of my childhood. I blame new motherhood for the fact I didn’t consider that the hassles inherent in recording to, developing and showing Hi-8 movies aren’t a factor with modern video. I say “I” because I don’t think Ken really considered video beyond thinking it unnecessary. After Reid and I spent a couple weeks in Wheatley, seeing Uncle Chris and Uncle Roger’s video cameras and videos, I came back to Ottawa with video camera-envy in my heart and we bought a camera soon after. We’ve never had the right equipment and software to get the video off of the tapes and onto DVDs. Playing the tapes on the tv was a bit of a hassle but do-able until I lost the cable that connected the camera to the tv. Consequently, Reid hasn’t watched many videos of herself as a baby but has seen the VCR tape of me as a baby. Ironic, don’t you think?
In any case, Ken recently purchased Adobe Premiere Elements and has been transferring the video from tape to the computer. He fixes up the worst of the lighting/brightness troubles as the video is converted. I don’t think he is able to fix the jiggly images that sometimes result when I’m in control of the camera. Reid was engrossed in viewing the first DVD when I got home last night. She had to ask about some of the people she saw – some people have changed quite a bit in the last 3 years – and what she and they were doing. It was all very fascinating to her. Before I got home Reid asked Ken if she could walk in the early part of the video. He told her “no” and she was perplexed and wondered how she got around. Ken told her that we moved her from place to place and that, in some ways, we miss her staying where we put her.
Reid was talking to me this morning about my black-haired baby. I agreed that my black-haired baby had been beautiful but that my girl with brown hair was also perfect. It will be interesting for her – and me – to see her hair get lighter as her life unfolds on video. The colour change was subtle while it was happening but might be more noticeable in the time-lapse presentation of videos.
When I was a baby, Grandma Joyce and Poppa Howard took video every Sunday for a few weeks and then randomly after that. We’ve always been random in our filming with longish gaps when I’ve misplaced the video camera or when I forget to get it out. I’m glad that Ken is tansferring the videos onto a format that is easier for us to access (and so that we have a backup). It’s taking a fair bit of time for each tape and I’m grateful that he is doing it. Thanks, Ken.