For the past two months, I have been periodically using my camera to take ten photographs of the places I am walking. It started as an idea for a simple summer video project, and soon became something more interesting (to me): an exploration of terrain, from paths to sidewalks to flower gardens to beach areas.
I take ten pictures and then weave them together with a slow fade and some light music (via SoundSlides platform). For each video, every photograph lasts just 6 seconds, and then fades into the next. Each video is exactly one minute in length. This is important for what I am sharing today.
Initially, I thought I’d do ten videos (ten steps – ten videos) but a vacation visit to the beach provided me with a few more interesting opportunities, so I ended up with 12 videos.
I knew I wanted to gather all of the videos together in some creative format, beyond a video playlist, and came upon the idea of a video collage, in which the videos all start and end together. The visuals of 12 videos, running simultaneously, as each image in each video fades to the next at the exact same moment, seemed like an intriguing concept.
First, I tried it with Google Slides, making a single slide with 12 videos. But that didn’t work the way I wanted when I published the Slide. A viewer would have to manually allow the music soundtrack, and I really felt it needed the music to make the experience work.
Then, I tried a collage site I’ve used before called Kapwing. It has a lot of cool features and, although fitting the videos into a single collage page was tricky, I spent time with the formatting, only to realize that unless I wanted to pay a significant user fee, the video would be branded with a Kapwing icon. Um, no.
Finally, I landed on Canva, which I can’t believe I didn’t try at the start. It did exactly what I wanted, and with no fuss. And no fee. And no branding. My first iteration was a collage in two parts — two screens, with six videos each. I composed the music for this video collage.
It’s fine and does what I intended, but I still wanted all 12 videos on one screen, playing forward at the same time. The next video is the final result, and although it is a little crowded with videos and best seen in full screen, I think it works best if you stare at the center of the video and lose yourself in the slow fading of images. The animation of the videos at the start makes it seem like the videos are themselves on a walking path, too, which I hadn’t even considered until I was playing around in Canva. The music comes from Creative Commons via Soundslides.
I like the simplicity and the rhythms of this Ten Steps project — all you really need is a phone that can take photographs, and maybe a way to pull the images together, and a place to be walking — and gather the images together in either a collage or slides or something else.
Peace (in 120 steps),