Something Went Wrong

Something Went Wrong
Running Eagle Falls, Glacier National Park

Computer error messages can be so cryptic. In my experience, they usually involve numbers like 400, 404, 500, etc. Yesterday, as I was trying to complete the next exercise in my blogging course, a rectangular window popped up in the lower right corner of my screen. The window was solid white with three words in black Times New Roman. “Something Went Wrong.” No kidding! I pay Adobe a monthly subscription fee so that I can be completely up-to-date with Adobe’s photography-oriented programs. Specifically, I use Photoshop CC 2020, Lightroom Classic, Behance and Portfolio.

Recently Adobe’s Creative Cloud let me know that I could install and use Premiere Rush, a video editing program. The tag line on Adobe’s Creative Cloud site says “Create and share on-line videos anywhere.” Sounds like just what I need. The small icons next to the program icon indicate that you can use Rush on both desktop and mobile computers. One of the first assignments in my blogging course is to make a 3-5 minute video. If I need to make a video for my course, then I need an editing program, so I installed Rush on my desktop.

Using the Logitech Webcam

In order to edit a video, you first need to have a video to edit. Sounds simple, right? I have a webcam. I’ve used it in the past with Skype. It’s an older model. Can’t quite remember when I first got it, but that was several desktop computers ago. First thing I did was go into my settings to find out the model webcam. Dell tells me that I have a Logitech Communicate STX webcam, and Logitech tells me the following. According to Logitech’s website, the webcam I have is compatible with many different Windows operating systems. Among those listed are Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Do you remember those versions of Windows? Windows 98 was released on June 25th, 1998. Just how old is my webcam?

It’s been a while since I used the webcam. For one thing, my new Samsung 32 inch curved screen monitor is too thin for the webcam to sit on top the monitor. The thing is barely 1/2 inch wide. Also, I no longer use Skype. Having attracted a web stalker, I decided it was best to avoid the situation entirely. But now I have to make a video, so I need to get ‘er done. Fortunately, there are lots of youtube videos on using Logitech equipment to make videos. Unfortunately, they all assume you have the correct software installed. I didn’t. Again, something went wrong.

Installing Logitech’s Video Software.

Looking on-line, I found a site which allowed me to download a zipped file for Logitech webcam software. Once I downloaded the file, I unzipped the whole thing and found a bunch of files, none of which spoke to me. One carried the label type “Setup Information,” but when I opened it, it was nothing but code. I saw no words or labels that suggested “Start Here.” OK, I’m not a computer nerd. Obviously, something went wrong. Rather than remain frustrated, I decided to wait for Kevin to get home from work. Kevin is my live-in IT guy. Surely he’d be able to figure it out.

My Car of the Day

Kevin got home late, and I grabbed him before he got lost in his Ham Radio world. Telling him that I needed his expertise to figure out the webcam mess, I explained that the unzipped files were on the screen. I assumed he would know what I meant and what he needed to do. But we all know about assumptions. For my part, I decided this was a good time to take a nap. When I awoke, Kevin would have figured everything out and I could start doing my video assignment. Right after I watched Jeopardy.

Missing Alex Trebek

Now I won’t say I’m addicted to Jeopardy, but it is the one television program I truly enjoy watching. I catch it most weekday evenings on our local CBS station, KPAX. (No, I don’t mean the Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges movie. That’s K-PAX, with a hyphen.) Jeopardy airs at 6 pm Mountain Time and usually I am comfortable on the couch in front of the tv. Yes, I shout out the answers at the screen, always amazed when the contestants don’t hear me prompting them. And always frustrated that they can’t get such an obvious answer. Before my $150 egg timer commited suicide last week, I also played the Jeopardy J-6 game on Alexa while I waited for my morning coffee. I LOVE Jeopardy!

Waking from my nap, I came downstairs to watch my show, then work on my video. When I found Kevin at his HAM set up, I asked if he had solved my problem. “No,” he replied. “I was waiting for you.” WHAT??? Furthermore, he insisted that I stand behind him while he worked at my desk. Nothing he did seemed to work. He did download another Logitech program, and eventually I was able to record a video. Dare I say that is more than Kevin had been able to do.

Having missed more than half my show, I did watch the remainder of Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy, and then, just because, I also watched Wheel of Fortune. Rather than go back to my increasingly frustrating task, I skipped over to Youtube (which is a channel on our Roku-enabled television) and watched several videos on Photography and Adobe Lightroom. (More on that later.) At long last, I returned to my desk and tried, once again, to record a video.

Who is that white ghost on the screen? What went wrong?

Yes, I was able to record a video. No, I was not able to control the light settings on the webcam. The webcam controls looked nothing like the ones in the Youtube instruction videos. No matter what I did with my library lights, no matter where I placed the webcam, my head was washed out. On screen I saw a very pale, completely bleached old man. Could that possibly be me? I changed the lights and tried a second time. Now the face on the screen looked remarkably like Caspar the Friendly Ghost, after he had joined AARP. Once again, something went wrong. But, I did have two videos recorded and saved.

Enter Adobe Rush, what could go wrong?

Great.  I now had two videos and a video editing program.  Time to put them together.  Opening Rush, I clicked on “Create” and tried to load my webcam videos.  Rush couldn’t find them.  I turned to Windows Explorer, and sure enough, the videos existed on my hard drive.  I went back to Rush and, nothing.  I think it was at this point I got the message “Something Went Wrong.”  Once again, I grabbed Kevin and we were up until long past our bedtime trying to get the process to work.  Didn’t happen.  We did find the four sound files Kevin had been able to record in his earlier attempts.  No visuals, just sound.  Using Windows Explorer, I moved my video files into the folder with Kevin’s audio files.  Rush still didn’t see them.  I went to bed.

A dinner plate dahlia, isolated on a pink background
December Dahlia
My Flower of the Day

Kevin also went to bed, but took his phone with him. While I tried to fall asleep, he kept on researching Rush, Webcams, and the making of on-line videos. He insisted that it was very easy. All I had to do was click the blue plus sign at the bottom of the screen. That would tie my webcam into Rush and allow me to create a video right in the program.

Tomorrow is another day, will something go wrong?

This morning I was awake at 3:45. Getting up, I came downstairs, opened Rush, and … what blue plus sign? The only blue plus sign I could find showed itself only after I loaded the sample videos provided with the program. And even then, all the blue plus sign does is that it allows you to add a title, other media, or a voice over. So much for it connecting Rush and my webcam. I gave up and updated all my “of the day” pages for Saturday, March 7th.

In researching Rush, I found suggestions that the blue plus sign would be at the bottom of the screen on my mobile device. “AHA,” I said, probably out loud. And I rushed (no pun intended) to grab my phone and open the Google Play Store. Google Play showed me all kinds of suggestions for Adobe Premiere Rush, and an associated app, but when I actually tried to download one, there was nothing to download. Maybe it’s my phone, I said. I tried the same tactic with my Samsung tablet. Again, nothing. I’m beginning to know that something went wrong.

Relaxing in the hot tub

Enough frustration.  It’s time to relax.  Sitting in the hot tub for half an hour, I remembered that Kevin had made several videos of the Hot Springs High School football team back when he was working at that school.  Out of the hot tub, dressed, and café au lait in hand, I set out to find the file where I stored those videos.  Kevin had used my Nikon D7100 to film the game, and I knew the files were in my Pictures folder.  Windows Explorer showed me all the .mov files on my hard drive, and I copied them to the video folder that Rush recognized.  It worked.  Rush saw the files, allowed me to created a one-hour video out of four videos Kevin had made.  Great, I can’t use my webcam, but I can set up my Nikon on a tripod and make my video that way.  I will figure this out!

 

So what are today’s “Of the Day” posts? Nothing went wrong here.

If you’ve read this far, you have already seen the Photo of the Day, the Classic Car of the Day, and the Flower of the Day. All three photos are available on my Fine Art America gallery, and if you read yesterday’s post, you might recall that a first-time purchase on that site earns you a $100 voucher for wine from Naked Wines. There are restrictions, but you can read all about those on the Naked Wines website. Personally, I think the dahlia makes a beautiful throw pillow.

The Guest Site of the Day is Caroline Vencil’s Live Fully, Budget Fiercely. Caroline is one of the mentors in our blogging class, and she shares a good many tips on budgeting, living well, and making extra $$$. I think you’ll enjoy her insights.

The Recipe of the Day is another Instant Pot™ favorite. Who knew you could make macaroni salad in the Instant Pot™. This spicy version is great for potlucks, picnics, or just to keep in the fridge for lunch. I think I’ll make up a batch when I get this posted.

Photography Tips

The Video of the Day continues the theme of posting videos designed to educate us about all things photography. Today’s video is an hour-long piece by Outdoor Photography Guide’s OPG Live webinar on Techniques for Taking Photographs of Water. It’s what led to my choice of Running Eagle Falls for my photo of the day. In taking that picture, I tried to smooth out the water flow through using a slower shutter speed. You can tell me how I did.

Upcoming Videos

I already mentioned watching photography videos last night. One was on the subject of Adobe Lightroom’s controls for split toning. I haven’t done much split toning, so I felt I needed to learn more about it. Turns out Youtube has many, MANY, videos on Split Toning in Lightroom. For the next week, I am going to be watching them (well some of them), and I will be sharing them here. We can talk more about Lightroom. Just leave me a comment.

Tomorrow’s blog will focus on the town where I lived for the first five years of my life: Laurel, Montana. Don’t forget to tune in. And please, leave me comments about what you liked, disliked, and especially what you want to see down the road. And if you liked this, please subscribe. I’d really appreciate it. And let’s hope nothing goes wrong.

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