An Unusual Way to Spend Halloween

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While many were out trick-or-treating, I stayed home in a dark room intently focused on a glowing rectangular window.

That’s how I usually spend Halloween. Actually, I spend most Friday nights, weekends, holidays and evenings that way too. The Evil Queen stares at mirrors, I stare at glowing windows in dark rooms. Muahaha

Okay, I’ll confess… while that sounded really cool…

Much of my life is devoted to a computer screen; either my iMac or MacBook Pro. Last Halloween was no different from any other night.

So while the outside world was stocking up on cavities and casting imaginary spells—I stayed in and worked on my computer.

While that may sound boring to some, it never gets old for me. Somehow I always find something new to keep me occupied late into the night. My latest project is the Camera Roll Vlog; an effort to raise awareness for my YouTube channel.

Ever since I discovered Michael Steven’s Vsauce series on YouTube, I’ve wanted to try my luck at becoming a YouTuber too. Unfortunately, it’s harder than it looks!

Since I couldn’t come up with any low-cost ideas for viral-worthy YouTube content, I decided to set the bar as low as possible for myself. Typically, I like to set a high bar, but this time I made an exception. I don’t want to give up. So if I set the bar low, it’s like Instagram. It remains fun, I’m more likely to do it and the more I do it the better I get.

To all of you professional photographers who hate Instagram: remember that Instagram is here to remind us why we first fell in love with photography. It’s supposed to be fun, not a chore! Don’t expect it to be your best work. It’s not 500px or even Flickr. It’s the difference between texting and writing the State of the Union. Keep Instagram fun like texting!

With a low bar in mind, the Camera Roll Vlog was born. I decided to transform miscellaneous photos and video clips in my iPhone’s camera roll into YouTube videos set to music or narration. Easy!

I have 100,000 photos/videos in my library that are just taking up space. Every time I go somewhere I’m pulling out my iPhone to capture what I see. Now, these clips have a purpose!

So far, I’ve made 18 episodes of the Camera Roll Vlog. Some good, some are… well for fun. Each time I release one it becomes easier to turn out a new video quickly. I feel happier too! A sense of accomplishment causes my lips to smile. The feeling may be brief, but that’s why it’s so important to keep at it.

The 18th episode of the Camera Roll Vlog is a montage from my trip to Canyon Lake, Texas. My friend Charles and I found mutual time off from work. (I’m unemployed at the moment due to a company downsizing). So we decided to look for a free adventure that could be enjoyed for a day. (Charles was expecting to be off the whole weekend, but found out last minute he’d have to work Saturday). After a good drive, Charles discovered we were near Canyon Lake.

I brought my Canon 70D as usual; I never want to miss a photo-opportunity. We walked to the shoreline and watched the tide break on the rocks. I photographed everything in sight and when I was done with that I began to record video clips of everything.

Clips like these usually just take space in iCloud, but now that I have the Camera Roll Vlog I can put them to good use.

The water was a deep rich blue that I had never seen in person before. Maybe not all travel photos are as fake as I thought they were.

I couldn’t believe how gorgeous Canyon Lake was and that this tranquil moment could be acquired for free. Everyone is always trying to sell you something; this was right here free for the enjoying.

Charles and I talked some, observed the glorious sight before our eyes and threw rocks into the lake. A perfect day that starkly contrasts with the hustle of city life.

I relived these moments while editing my video montage of Canyon Lake. Not a bad way to spend Halloween!