Detail from a Lowry painting at Kelvingrove

Our day at Kelvingrove Art Gallery

We visited Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where I shot some video on my iPhone, and when I got home, I edited it into a short film using iMovie.

As well as using iMovie on your iPhone, you can also use it to make films on an iPad or a Mac. It's a free app download for Apple devices. It took me a while to get familiar with using it, but truthfully, the mechanics of making a film with it, are pretty easy, after you've practised for a while.

Once you've opened iMovie, your videos are already there. Now just drag and drop the frames into a suitable flow. Drop in some photos as required, if they'll add something to your video. iMovie can do a weird thing, known as the Ken Burns effect, where it makes your still photo look a bit like video. But needless to say, you can turn it off if you like.

Edit your video as much as you like. Shorten a bit here, shorten a bit there. If you like, copy a frame, and split it, then you can use the first half in one part of your film, and the second half in another part of your film. Or the other way round. You can speed up the time of some video, so you can get all the action in, but not slow the pace down too much. Speed it up, for comic effect, if you want. Or make some of it slo-mo (slow motion to the uniniated).

Add some sound effects or a piece of music to the whole. Fade the music out in places where some of your recorded audio would sound good in the foreground. You can change some segments around if you like by dragging and dropping. Create some credits using iMovie too. Nothing much to that, just choose a style of credits and type in credits text you want to see.

When you've got used to the interface, all of the above is possible by clicking or tapping simple button controls on the app, all for free.

When you've finished making your video, post it to Vimeo or YouTube, and don't forget to change your Settings to allow the Public to see it (I'm one of them), and send me a Comment so I can watch it too.

Here's my latest. It's no "War & Peace", at just 78 seconds long, but I hope you like it. If you do like it, why not take a look at this video For Your Pleasure

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and ClydeI wrote this when I got a homework request for something biographical in a college class. It was inspired by a BBC 2 Timewatch programme I watched about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Admittedly both were killers, but anyone's death, especially in violent circumstances, is poignant, so I tried to make this an emotive piece. Read more

Paseo de Pedregalejo, Malaga Este

Ash crisis? What ash crisis?

Ash crisis over? Sadly it looks likely, as confirmation of our homeward flight comes through from the airline. This eruption story update is now available!Read more


On Holiday in the Shadow of the Volcano

I'm on holiday, and you can read all about it...

I’ve struggled out of the creaking bed, bladder full to bursting point at some god-forsaken hour. I checked the time prior to baling out - 07:33. Not that bad really. Perhaps my wife won’t mind too much after all. Read more

hadrians murdo

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall

We spent some time on Hadrian's Wall taking part in its' illumination, commemorating the 1600th anniversary since the Romans left Britain. I wrote about it. (Well, I would, wouldn't I?)Read more

An Introduction to Gibraltar

I wrote a light-hearted look at somewhere I have a lot of affection for ... Gibraltar!  Already this is nostalgia, as a lot of things have changed there since 2007 when I worked there for 6 months.Read more

Those Were the Days

A few years ago some friends and I made a nostalgic return to some old haunts. We visited places that have changed names since our heyday.  But to us they will always be the Ramsden Arms, the Criterion, the Victorian student pub where I served behind the bar, the Washington, the palatial residence of a cooler, smarter set than us, and the Blue Room, where I enjoyed more of my school day afternoons than I care to remember. We also mourned the demise (and demolition) of the King's Arms and we finished the night, as so often, at the Grapes Hotel.

"Those were the days my friend. We thought they'd never end."  Hopefully it'll soon be time to do it all over again...

Read more

Francisco y Cayetano

I recently read and enjoyed for a second time, Death and the Sun, A Matador's Season in the Heart of Spain.

As the book's description says:-
"Is it an immoral spectacle or a metaphor of life? Bullfighting never fails to provoke a reaction. In this unusual travel memoir, Edward Lewine embarks on an eye-opening journey around Spain, to track a typical season for the country's biggest bullfighter, Francisco Rivera Ordonez.

Fighting bulls while fleeing celebrity, Spain's most infamous matador lives both his public and his private life on the edge. The last in a distinguished bloodline, he is plagued by the legacies of his great-grandfather, the greatest matador of his day and revered by Hemingway, and by his late father, who was gored to death in the arena. With sixty-two fights and a hundred and twenty bulls to confront in the coming season, Francisco must also endure the aggressive attention of the paparazzi, who pursue him for news of his colourful private life and breakdown of his marriage to a Spanish duchess.

Lewine witnesses at first hand, the thrilling routine of a top bullfighter - the rituals, the risks, and the stage fright - and assesses the significance of bullfighting in the context of Spanish identity. This national obsession encapsulates the uniqueness of Spanish culture." Also see this press release about the book and read my poem En Ronda inspired by the dynasty and their spiritual home, Ronda.

This CBS video spends a little time with Francisco and his kid brother Cayetano.