Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pete's Pond

It was 6 years ago when I was still learning my way around the Internet when I shared with Peggy the ultimate Internet experience. I would sit at my home in California on a morning and chat with someone I had never met who was sitting at her home in Australia in the evening and we would both be watching the activities in various parts of Africa during the afternoon there. We would use Instant Messaging to comment on what we were seeing, or to direct the other person to a different camera if something was happening there.

Africam, unfortunately, suffered from growing pains and financial problems and eventually it shut down, but now there is a great Africam through the National Geographic. Instead of the multi camera set up of the old Africam, now there is one camera which focuses on Pete's Pond, a watering hole frequented by all sorts of wildlife. Instead of broadcasting one photo every 30 seconds, this is now not only a movie, but with sound as well. Peggy, because of where she lives now and the constraints on her ability to download material, is no longer able to watch Africam, so I attempted to take some screen shots for her.

I got the idea the day I turned into Africam and instead of seeing a few birds or a gazelle or something, I saw a herd of elephants. This was the most exciting thing I'd seen in all the years that I'd been watching Africam, except for the one day that Peggy and I happened to find a lion eating a kill. I took some screen shots of the elephant herd to send to Peggy.

Then I decided to try taking some screen shots of the movies that I was seeing, knowing full well how awful the resolution would be. I sat here one afternoon and hit the jackpot--birds, ostrich, crocodile and zebra. It was the most I'd seen on Africam, so I put together a brief video, mostly to send to Peggy, but I decided to post it as well.

The quality is what you'd expect from a digital camera aimed at a computer screen, and yeah, you can find professionally made good quality videos on television every day, but there is something really exciting about feeling like you are there, seeing it live and...heck...I like it!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Cool post.