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Mini Doc Challenge


bmcdonough

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11 hours ago, bmcdonough said:

What would your first story be? 

In the small, West Texas town that I have found myself in, there is a "river" that runs through just north of downtown. However, it is actually merely a tiny trickle of a stream with over a dozen strategically placed dams to make it into a series of very long, wide "ponds." Here is a tiny YouTube video showing said trickle. Then... they literally release their treated sewage water into this "river-pond" via a series of "fountain-ish" waterfalls, along their version of a "River Walk." The flow rate of the treated water is about four times the flow rate of said trickle. This means that the water in these "river ponds" is about 80% treated sewage water. Now, I used to literally work at a water treatment plant, so I recognized the smell of the treated water immediately. Usually, it is perfectly safe, but still smells, let's just say, "Off." And, you never know when something will go wrong and the treatment plant will let more bacteria get through than it should. 

So, that would be my documentary. Probably not quite what you were expecting, i'm guessing. 

I guess, one of the reasons I'm a little cynical about this issue, is that part of what sold me on this town was that they, supposedly, have water, when most of West Texas does not. The pictures look great. But they hide a rather lame secret. 

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@Grant Robertson Wow, I wasn't expecting that but I'm hooked! I could see you doing a little investigative doc... or even a series you release regularly as you look into it. Now I need you to get to the bottom of it! Do you think you'll work on it? I am particularly passionate about environmental issues so this really peaked my interest

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Well, there's not really much to "investigate." It's kind of a well known thing that everyone just doesn't think about or talk about. Everyone kinda "knows" that none of the water around here is safe to actually get in. (One lake is literally nicknamed "Lake Nastywater.") I see posts on Facebook where people ask, "Is there any clean water nearby that my kids can swim in?" And the answer is always 50-100 miles away. I guess it's just the continued facade in the face of global warming that is "interesting" to me. The richest people in town still have their houses all along the far side of that "river."  It makes me wonder if it was always nothing but a trickle. Or, was there really a river there, in the far distant past, and they started damming it up as the flow rate dropped. That's the direction where any research would go. But I'm sure the nice people at the library could answer my questions in an afternoon. Though, I'd rather not trouble them until I know I am actually going to do something with all of that.

Interestingly, all of this is actual good for wildlife. I've seen two Great Blue Herons on one walk. A lot more water plants get a lot more use out of that water than they would if it was just a trickle in a ditch all the way along. And, as I said, that treated sewage water is "safe" for regular wildlife purposes. I just wouldn't want to swim in it.

But... I've never made even the the simplest edited video before. And I've got LOTS of other things on my plate right now. Right now, I'm working on figuring out color management, and RawTherapee, Photools IMatch (DAM software), Davinci Resolve Studio, and the Affinity suite (all because I refuse to rent software), plus some of the more esoteric aspects of setting up and using my A7R2. Not to mention saving up for that a6700 that I am now salivating over. (That would be the first camera that I could truly use for video, because of the new, extended, 13-hour limit.)

I'm retired now, and I have "all the time in the world." But, even though (or perhaps because) I'm a former network manager and former technical writer, I've grown very weary of slogging my way through terrible documentation. And, I kind of feel as if I have landed myself in a photogenic desert. Compared to Kansas City, MO, where I grew up, this town is exceedingly ugly. If I forced myself to do a photo-essay about this place, the title would have to be "Dessication." Plus, it's hot as hell down here in West Texas.

So, I am focusing on learning what I need to learn, maybe writing a book or two, and saving up for that a6700, while I wait for my lease to be up and try to move to some place with real water. While I appreciate your encouragement, the best way people can help me right now will be to help answer all the insanely detailed questions that I will be asking in the coming months.

Thanks for listening...

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