I has always been a pleasure filming the buses at Preston, it was a bit wet and windy to start so the brolly made an outing. There is always a good mix of buses here, you never know what might appear. Anyway the quickest was to describe the outing is to give you the4 photos, the DVD is already edited. I'll get the 4 outstanding covers ready and the DVDs on the shop over the weekend.
I decided to take advantage of the promised light cloud to film the new electric buses at Coventry, we left about 7.30am and were parked up by around 9am. We had an immediate problem, one of Mandy's wheelchair wheels at the front had lost its retaining bolt. It took a bit but I managed a bit of bush engineering with an allen key and duct tape. The factory is near Chasetown so it wouldn't be hugely out of the way to call there on the way home. The light was spot on most of the time, the usual positions, I don't even bother with the bus station these days. There are only Nat Express and Stagecoach serving this city but plenty of them. RGK sorted out the wheelchair and I've edited the Burton on Trent film and will follow with Coventry and get the covers done at the weekend. I'm still downloading material for a couple of projects I've in my mind. I updated my Topaz software editing suite which promised a lot but delivered nothing new, still takes forever to render and there smoothing of jumpy shots makes it look worse than Edius ever did. I'll ask for a refund again , I'll stick with NEAT, Aimersoft etc tried and tested plus Pixbeam doing the colourisation.
We got a couple of orders from EBay but with the advertising bill at £600 a month the present level of orders means that we are subsidising the order by at least 50%. It seems sensible at some stage perhaps the end of 2023 to go internet only, it would certainly lose some of the non computer people but they can still fill in an order form and get the DVD updates list. The only alternative is to just do things as my own hobby and load clips to Youtube. I've tried filming in a higher frame rate at 1080 at 50fps but it certainly gets through the memory on the chips so much so that although it says I've used an hour on the counter it could only be 50 minutes, hence a few slightly shorter DVDs. Mind you there are now a lot less buses to film in most locations. Photos from Coventry today.
A good day filming at Burton on Trent, most buses still in Classic bus livery with stickers but a few single deckers are full Diamond! Friendly crews as ever, I was a bit worried the promised light cloud wouldn't come over but although an hour late from BBC timings it did the job late morning. Very windy at home less so at Burton and the wretched bridge works which have been ongoing since the 19th century are over and you can drive straight through to the centre and park up easy peasy. Hence Burton is our slide show tonight. Been rooting through my old tapes and transferring some tele cine work I did years ago, the Hi8 tapes have not lasted very well and through up 'dirty' heads all the time. I've also invested in the Topaz software again , last time I got a refund, this was just an update on the version they let me keep gratis, I hope there is something positive to report. So far NEAT has done well but does not increase the frames per second and Aimersoft can increase but only by repeating frames whereas Topaz uses AI to create interim frames. All very technical but it does all give good results.
It really was pot luck today headi9ng out filming with wind and cloud plus sun and more cloud never the right mix though. I did get some good shots though and have already edited the first disc from the outing, at least the temperature was mild. Mandy is still on the evening hospital run for cousin Trish although she is now in a rehab unit nearer home but far from any bus stops so Mandy is doing her bit once more. I'm hoping that the weather will allow me to get some bus shots tomorrow but not too far away although I do have hopes for Oxford later this week.
We had a superb afternoon and evening at the brass band festival at the RNCM yesterday, the Cory were the afternoon feature then the end of the festival were Brighouse, amazingly varied programme and it was a thought provoking fact that half the music there was by living composers. We met Jose who had come in as he had 3 staff off, we got the tickets for the Session band at the end of February. I had a bit of a catch up today and clips for latest releases are in Youtube plus I've updated the EBay shop albeit I implore our friends to use the PMP shop. I'm keeping an eye on the weather for suitable matches for our list of locations to film at this week. I've downloaded some material that was from telecine on to Hi8 tapes. The clean up aspect was as usual with NEAT and did a great job but Edius couldn't cure jumpy picture sections. Anyway here are the new releases.
I'm continuing looking at some of the cine derived material loaned to us over the years and transferring these to HD files, the only big problem is that they download at some horrendous file sizes in the hundreds of Gb's. I'm trying to just get one on to an extension drive as the computer c drive is 100% full. It will take about 24 hours to transfer, once that is done there will be enough spare capacity to process the three tapes I've downloaded. I'm looking in particular at a lot of Southdown bus film in B&W which I'd like to put through the colourising process. This has now given me a lot to play with while still getting through the weeks film at York, Harrogate and Bolton. The former now finished Bolton downloaded but nothing more. I need to wallop a load more on Youtube as advertising rates have suffered the usual January flop.
I had a nice reply from Rapido on their 'threats' to axe any more bus models, I think they have now realised that stating over a thousand pounds worth of new models in one go isn't going to put it within the realm of most collectors. Anyway we may have settled our trips for the year, Mandy will have a girlie week with Sue to make up for the one cancelled when Sean passed away 1st Oct 2022. Then the three of us will visit Czech Rep in July, hopefully will fit in but not too close with Martin and I visiting Slovakia. We will go to either the South Pacific or Panama early 2024. I'll do a somewhere hot trip for transport. Anyway lets have a dip in the archive for a Czech selection.
I'm going to try and record at the areas which will be most changed by franchise in the autumn starting with Bolton. The promised light cloud BBC forecast was a bit way off more sunshine and clouds but it worked out fine and I think I got good plentiful bus shots. It would have been easier without the aluminium door repair van right by the entrance but I'm sure if not that it would have been a bus. Possibly one of the poorest places in the UK but no hassles at all. Who remembers the great Atlantean running day, all First Group survivors were there with about 50 in service which is possibly the biggest running day we have seen in these parts.
I'm off with Mandy tonight as the hospital runs go on , the clean cars of Thursday are now very dirty looking cars on Friday. At least the frost seems to be gone, early indications are for a good filming week next week with light cloud over a lot of the country. Anyway lets relish Bolton today, I've downloaded the files and will get them edited for release and clips on Youtube over the weekend.
We have a good lunch meeting today down in Shrewsbury but not before I'd been out and de-iced and washed both our cars. Mucky weather when you have a white car. It won't be long now before the IQ gets it's makeover. Some more shots of buses in Harrogate yesterday.
The weather was ok for filming, good cloud cover at York and plenty of even lighting, a little more challenging at Harrogate as it rained off and on. I'll combine for one DVD. Slide show today from York. Tomorrow its my meeting with Peter Waller down at Shrewsbury and dropping off the scanned films and perhaps collecting the next batch.
A quick blog tonight we are up early tomorrow over to York, we lost the files for last years coverage. I managed to get the latets round of DVD covers made and on the shop, lots of digital downloads to put on shop the slow upload rate hampers better productivity ojn that side of things.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.