The Scottish Photographic Federation used to host this gathering but for reasons, as yet not fully explained , it abandoned its commitment to audio-visual enthusiasts a couple of years back. Step forward doughty Bill Barr of Carstairs CC who almost single-handedly has managed to stage this annual event in the excellent hall at St Bride ‘s Church, Bothwell. Those of us who have organised similar activities know that it takes a lot of hard work, optimism and continuing trust in the loyalty of local practitioners. The good attendance, not just from Scotland, but firth of its borders, was testimony, not merely to confidence in the organisational skills of the Lanarkshire man, but to the high level of interest in AV.Tony Collinson of Leeds AV Group proved a sound choice as presenter; as well as vast experience of the medium, he is a line dancer, twitcher and spent a worklife in sales. I shall eschew metaphoric reference to keeping us in line and providing a bird’s eye view but his professional skills in demonstration, communication and conviction were much appreciated by all those in attendance.
Good planning is essential in Tony’s view and he carefully laid out the work flow model which he engages. A system of classification, using keywords (TAGS), was demonstrated as a secure way of finding those images you have uploaded and mislaid. This took up most of the morning and underlined the importance that he attached to organisation. He shoots in RAW and emphasised its crucial importance, together with the use of SMART OBJECTS. He dealt with aspect ratio, verticals, perspective, resizing of images and lens correction among a wide spectrum of other post processing issues.
Tony showed his recording sound booth, constructed from a cheap IKEA box and egg cartons. A range of equipment and sound editors were also illustrated. Copyright infingement is something that all AV workers should be aware of when using recorded music or secondary sound. As well as first class images, to have impact, the AV must have high quality sound.
A considerable portion of the afternoon was spent on examining the features on PTE 8 and how best to make use of them when combining images and soundtrack to create an audio visual sequence. I suspect that quite a few of us are tentative in deploying OBJECTS and ANIMATION and using keyframes to best advantage in our work. Tony encouraged us to experiment and 3D images of pages turning on a book were certainly inviting, if puzzling.
Tony Collinson, personable, knowledgeable and a mobile, Yorkshire energy source, radiates infectious enthusiasm. Good teachers appreciate the importance of differentiating knowledge and skills to ability level, a hallmark of his approach. The credibility of the teacher is fundamental and we saw some striking illustrations of Tony’s skills. ‘Whitby Goths’ is a long way from basic photo-harmony, which I recently saw described rather idiosyncratically as ‘traditional av’. Scottish AV Day was a memorable success from which AV workers at all levels could enhance their knowledge and skills.
Bravo Tony and Bill!
Stirling and District CC AV Group
(This article first appeared in Issue 200 of AV NEWS )