Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Son's Train Video For Choo Choo Bob

My six-year-old son, Jon, really likes trains, and so it's no surprise that his favorite television show is The Choo Choo Bob Show on Qubo. Any young train fanatic would love this program.

Jon wanted to make a video for Choo Choo Bob. I thought it was a good idea so I decided to help him out with this project.

On the show sometimes they show submitted videos from kids across the country. I didn't necessarily want to submit a video directly to the show (because I didn't see where to send the video and because I'm not completely sure that they're even filming new episodes). I thought, instead, we'd post it on YouTube, and hopefully Choo Choo Bob will find it (I shared it to their Facebook page, to increase the odds of Choo Choo Bob finding it).

We set out to film trains at the Tehachapi Loop, a well known railroad landmark not far from our house. People travel from across the world to see this engineering marvel. However, we didn't find a train there so we set out to find one.

It was near Caliente that we stumbled across two different freight trains. We watched them both go through a tunnel. One of the two trains was headed towards The Loop, so we decided to get back there to watch it.

We arrived at The Loop just in time to see a different train traverse the circle. We walked down to find a good vantage point. It wasn't long before the train we were waiting for appeared. We watched it go through all of the turns. Then it was time to leave.

I filmed the trains using two different cameras: a Sony RX100 II and a Panasonic Lumix ZS40. The Sony camera has noticeably better video quality (and better audio). The Panasonic camera, however, has a significantly longer zoom and also the ability to apply the Creative Control settings to video (this was my first time using the ZS40 for video). Using both cameras worked out well for this project.

Jon was the film's host. Because of poor audio quality (lots of background noise plus a quite voice), it's not always easy to understand Jon when he speaks in the video. You've got to listen carefully!

Anyway, the video is about six minutes long. If you've got some spare time, take a look!

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