About Me

Wells, BC, Canada
Richard is a working photographer and writer in B.C. His camera focuses on natural history. archeology, travel, and documentary photography. His photography blog may be found at: http://richardtwright.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum

It’s a favorite drink of mine. So much so that when Amy and I were traveling in Scotland a few years back I asked a bar tender in a small pub for such a libation. She had no idea how to make one, so I taught her.
Dark rum, hot water, a teaspoon of butter, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a cinnamon stick.  A great winter drink. It brings inner warmth.

Equally I could say “Hot Buttered Rum” is one of my favorite songs, a love song, a gentle song about one who keeps you warm like sweet maple sugar, like hot buttered rum. It was written and performed by Tommy Thompson of the Red Clay Ramblers. The North Carolina Group began in 1972. The song was on their “Chuckin’ The Frizz” album on the Flying Fish label. Thompson was the founder. He suffered from Alzheimers, retired in 1993 and died on Jan 24, 2003. The band continues to record and perform. Hearing them live is on my bucket list. (Liam Clancy, Archie Fisher and Eric Bogle having recently been ticked off my list; Liam just before he passed away.)

A few weeks ago I decided to make a slide show for posting to YouTube and being winter I chose “Hot Buttered Rum”. It took some time.
The idea was easy. Bringing it to fruition was harder.  First I had to learn the Aperture 3 version of making a slide show. While intuitive, it is different than iPhoto, iMovie, or Final Cut Express, all of which I am familiar with. However, importing slides and attaching the song track was certainly much easier that using transparencies on a light table, two Kodak projectors, a dissolve unit and a reel-to-reel tape recorder, which is what I had to contend with for my frequent slide show presentation a few decades ago. True, a couple of times I lost all the timing cues and had to start over, but each time it seemed better.

 The real effort was finding the photos I wanted. Searching through thousands of images and trying to match the songs lines and feelings was the problem.  Christmas came and went, New Years passed and Chinese New Years loomed. Then I remembered - the images did not have to match line for line.  I was creating a feeling. So I opened up the images.  But still there were a few I thought were missing, so I kept shooting.  The final image was the “silent snow birds”. 

The other day I was out shooting pixels and I heard a raven pass over.  All I heard was the sound of wind shifting through his primaries. This weekend while shooting a dog sled race at a balmy -6 Celcius two ravens circled me. The sky was washed out – white. The raven was the color of death – black. A 300 mm with auto-focus, on continuous shooting. Six frames and I had him. 

Then I did yet another edit – dropped a few frames and added fewer.  Some frames did not dissolve quite how I wanted so I softened the contrast or lengthened the dissolve. Finally I added titles, having solved that little problem with non-existent instructions in Aperture 3.

Finally here it is. All the photos were taken in the last two winters. Most were taken around Wells and in Barkerville. B.C.; except one in the Clinton cemetery and one at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver. All were shot on a Nikon D7000 with various lenses.
None of these would have been shot without the encouragement of my eldest son Richard, nor without the support of my partner Amy.  And thanks to my friend Griz for being Santa.

The slide show can be seen on the WinterQuartersPress YouTube channel at:

The song dedication is obvious. But I would also like to dedicate it to Tommy Thompson in thanks for a great song.

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