Let’s start with a still photo.
Adding Movement —
Is a photo better if it moves? Let me show you one that does if you click on the PLAY button.
Adding Music —
Is a moving photo better is you add music? Below I’ve added music by Milton Peasley from 2003, a piece he called “The Red Book I”. Credits have also been added, at the end of the video. Is this an improvement?
I had considered other music, music from my clients. Harpist Anne Sullivan’s rendition of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter”, the largo section, on her Breaking Forth album was too stately for such a natural subject. Composer David Bennett Thomas’s “The Dying Day” from his Jazz Portrait album was too wistful. It is amazing how powerfully music changes a video, how easily audio overpowers image. Milton Peasley’s piece, with its irregular cadence and contented mood, is a better fit, though far from perfect, leading me back to the question: Is adding music an improvement to this moving picture?
Adding Words —
Every week, I publish a Photo Prayer, putting words with a photo. This is the first time I’ve used a video with my prayers instead of a still photo. Here are the words I started with:
Take away the special effects,
the shattering explosions
and dizzying camerawork,
the retouched bodies,
and surprising plot twists.
Set aside the distractions
and put us in your sunlight,
onto our feet, out in the wind,
where we might find ourselves,
These words express a common belief, though I cannot say it is mine, the belief that we need to get to a quiet place without distractions to pray effectively. I take this belief to be central to meditation practices, to centering prayer, to the quiet meetings of Quakers who wait for the Spirit to move them. I like Saint Paul better. He says to pray at all times, in all circumstances.
I can imagine a form of spiritual discipline that, instead of teaching its practitioners to quiet their minds, throws them into a hurly-burly cacophony of action movies, carnival rides, skydiving, and race car driving. If such an active spiritual discipline exists, I don’t know what it is called. Do you?
Instead of the above prayer, I settled on much simpler words.
If you love simplicity,
dear Lord, why did you create
the ten thousand ways
to say “I love you”?
We seek you in the quiet
places but find you
I added these words to my Photo Prayer website below the video, as something separate, but I did consider adding the prayer to the video itself, either visually or as spoken words, but I haven’t the time or expertise to do either well, not that I can claim to be doing this very well, but at least I’m doing it!