Talking technology with my 7 year old daughter

The hairbrush singing video my daughter (Karla) and her cousins filmed on an iPad Mini has prompted another video.

With a couple of cameras set up on tri-pods to record us, Karla and I sat down for a chinwag (that’s Aussie for “chat” or “talk”) about the progress of technology.  We spoke about how home video has progressed from the low definition Handycams we filmed her older brothers with, to 4K High Definition on our point and shoot camera.  There were also similar discussions about phones and technology.

I always find it interesting to listen to kids talk about how they see the world, especially when they reveal what they think the future will bring.

Check out the video on Karla’s very own YouTube channel.

Hairbrush singing

Selfie music videos

My seven year old daughter, Karla, had two of her older cousins (Tanisha and Kailee) stay over night recently.  They’re all good kids and can keep themselves entertained.

I didn’t think much of it when Karla woke me up early to ask if they could use the good camera to make a video, but I told her just to use her iPad instead.  Working afternoon shift meant I didn’t see the kids that night, but the next day Karla told me that they had made some music videos.

As I’d suggested, Karla had set up her iPad Mini on her bed and filmed the three girls dancing and singing into their hairbrushes with the front facing “selfie” camera.  She wanted me to put the videos onto her YouTube channel, but I had to explain that having full length songs running as the backing soundtrack in a video might have some Copyright issues.  Asking relatives to watch multiple 4 or 5 minute videos might be a bit much too, so I offered to edit the clips into one video.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done any video editing, so I had to work out how I was going to put Karla’s hairbrush singing videos together.  Windows 10 doesn’t have a built in video editor, so I first tried looking for free software that could do the job.  I soon discovered that you get exactly what you pay for when it comes to video editing programmes.  The free software was crap!

I wasn’t going to fork out cash for a professional Adobe editor when this might be a once off project.  Having used Windows Movie Maker in previous editions of Windows, I found an old version but couldn’t get it to install onto my Windows 10 machine.  Then I remembered buying a Nero suite of programmes a few years back.  I even managed to find an old email with my Nero registration key.

Re-downloading, installing and activating the 2015 suite was trouble free.  I now had access to Nero Video Editor!

The video

Re-learning how to edit video wasn’t too hard, but somehow I had imported the clips in preview size, meaning the finished video was less than a quarter of the screen size.  Yep, I’d stuffed up and had to start again!  Never mind, I wasn’t making a feature film, so I imported the full size clips and put them together into the video below.

It’s a bit girly, singing into hairbrushes, but the kids are still young enough to be cute and funny!

2016 Christmas Family Photos

Well that’s another Christmas done.  Thanks everyone for a great day!

Every year for a long time I’ve done a family photo in-front of the tree on Christmas morning.  This year I decided to take the family photos to the next level, and take group shots of everyone at the homes we visit during the day.  For 2016 we went to my wife’s sister for breakfast, and my sister for lunch.

Check out the gallery below for the three group family photos we did this Christmas.

2016 Santa Photo

For sixteen years we’ve been taking the kids to see Santa before Christmas.  When the kids were young, the annual Santa Photo would often include tears, but now it’s a bit of fun.

The oldest, Josh (16 years), did try to convince me that he was too old for a photo with Santa.  I told him when he was 18 he could do his own thing, but for now he is still one of the kids.  Our youngest, Karla (7 years), asked if she could also have a Santa Photo on her own.  Middle child Brad (13 years) just smiled when he was told to.

Ten plus years ago you would have to choose one photo, when nobody blinked and everyone was smiling, to be printed.  These days you can also choose to have every high-resolution photo emailed within minutes of sitting down with Santa.  This means you still have access to each picture when the kids change position, and we have that shot of Karla on her own with Santa.  If you’re the type who shares everything on social media, then those pictures can be shared with the family on Facebook straight away.

This year we happened to have two of the kid’s cousins with us, so it was great we could include them in a group Santa Photo, as well as just the two of them to pass onto their parents.

I still had to agonise over which picture Santa’s helpers would print for us, but having all fifteen photos available in high resolution is great.

Our 2016 Santa Photo also appears on our family website –