Behind The Scenes: Virtual Photo Walks at Roaring Camp Railroad

The other day, I posted the Virtual Photo Walks we did at Roaring Camp in Felton, California. It was awesome. (I use that word alot. But this really was!) What I didn’t mention was that my husband Joe followed me around with my Nex7, video-ing the story behind the story! It’s always exciting and a little stressful preparing to do a VPW; but not because it’s a high pressure hangout. It’s more about the fact that my background in performing, TV and film makes me want to put on an extraordinary show. (“Bring on the dancing girls!” “Cue follow spot… annnnnnd… action!!”). But Google+ hangouts on mobile devices isn’t quite there yet, at least in terms of being all slick and Hollywood. What it IS is the most exciting technology out there today for bringing the world to people can’t be out in it. That’s what I love so much about these hangouts – and about Virtual Photo Walks™ in particular.

For this Virtual Photo Walks™, my husband Joe followed me around and video’d the behind the scenes action. We had challenges getting connected in the beginning. Oh lordy, did we! When tech goes wrong, I’m not a happy camper. No, not at all. Thank GAWD for my friend Vincent Mo, his knowledge of Android phones and his utter equanimity under pressure! See, I usually do VPW’s on my iPhone. Which is fine, but those are private at the time of the hangout. No one can see those live except for the folks in the hangout itself. John Butterill then records, edits and posts those later. But we wanted to do a Google+ OnAir Hangout ; the kind that broadcasts live to the world AND records for later viewing. Those are most fabulous of all! Those also require an Android device. We borrowed two. Turned out neither one had a strong enough cell signal to connect. ARGH!! So my awesome hubs Joe grabbed his iPhone (with plenty of signal), attached it on top of the battery pack on my tripod and used it as a hotspot. Voila! We connected and Karen was happy. (Cue smiley face. heh.)

Once we were in, we had a blast walking around Roaring Camp taking pictures. I included a few in this video. We watched the train take off – and were still connected when it came back to the station an hour and 15 minutes later! Thank you, Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation!  Virtual hangouts are power mongers; I’ve never been able to stay in one this long before! Along the way, we took pictures and talked with folks like Lisa Donchak, Vincent Mo and Laurie Rubin from Google who were there with us… and also Mikey Goody – the World Yo-Yo champion! Plus, we chatted with Frank the Blacksmith who never batted an eye when we walked up with this crazy camera/tripod/mobile phone/headset contraption and asked him to talk (on the headset to the folks in the hangout!) about what he was doing. No, Frank was a pro. And yes, awesome.

I know I mentioned some of these things in my last post… but in this video, you get a taste of what it all looked like… behind the scenes. Grin.