Add life to your holiday photos, thanks to this special promotion : Aquafadas software for video, photography and web animations are 50% off!
Dirk Räppold has a dream: Clean beaches around the world. So he initiated the beachwalker project, which aims to motivate people to voluntarily and proactively clean up beaches and shores.
Dirk’s next initiative in the beachwalker project is a 3,660 kilometer (2,274 miles) bicycle expedition along the German coast from the Netherlands to Poland, to gather data, sand-specimen, pictures and video footage. He plans to analyze water quality and geo-locate wild waste dumps and other places that need cleaning. He already has plans for an even larger expedition from Hamburg, Germany, to Venice in Italy next year.
We are happy to support the beachwalker project, and although being in the midst of preparation for his bike expedition, Dirk found the time for an interview. http://www.beachwalker.org/
Aquafadas: How did you come up with the idea for beachwalker?
Dirk: After a photo safari in Kenya for a book project in 2001, I spent a few days relaxing on my favoured beach. I noticed a lot of shoes that had been left on the beach or washed ashore, and got the idea for an exhibition that would show photographs of the shoes in life-size lying on the ground, symbolizing the violent footprint man has left on the planet‘s face.
Coming back in 2007, I found the shoes still lying there, and even more of them. I wanted to organize the cleaning of that beach. So I talked to some local “beach boys”, traders who sell souvenirs, fruit, sometimes drugs, lend goggles to tourists, but they were more interested in earning a shilling than in helping me. When they realized that the success of their business was directly depending on the beauty of the beach they were standing on they quickly changed their minds. In the end 15 people, locals and tourists, volunteered, and in less than an hour we collected all the plastics from one kilometer of east african beach, including almost 500 shoes. That afternoon beachwalker was born.
Aquafadas: What are your plans to spread the idea and grow the beachwalker project?
Dirk: We want to motivate people to voluntarily collect and recycle waste they find while they are at the beach. We want local businesses – hotels, restaurants, fishing – to support the effort with resources and funds. We also ask local administrations to ensure collection and proper recycling of collected litter.
The beachwalker Website will provide individual initiatives the forum to show their projects, which then likely will trigger more and more cleaning initiatives and create a positive snowball effect.
A key element in spreading the idea is that people should have fun getting together while they clean up a beach. I don’t believe in the feeling of guilt as a motivator. My idea could be described as trash scouting or trash hiking, like a game, in which participants find hidden treasures – or rather “trashures” – using a GPS and putting them on a map on our website. While out hiking or camping, beachwalkers mark large trash items they see as a waypoint, so the trash can be found and disposed later.
So cleaning a beach can become sort of a treasure hunt, a race or a sport, and we like to use that psychological momentum to help people turn beach cleaning into something fun.
The beachwalker Website will reflect that positive attitude, and we will not show the usual pictures of dead fish, littered beaches, and piles of waste. Instead, the Website will be fun, appealing, and pleasant. It will not be static but animated. And that is where Aquafadas’ software helps me a lot.
Aquafadas: We’re certainly happy to hear that – which Aquafadas products are you using today?
Dirk: I’m a long time user of Aquafadas products and have been using VideoPier, SnapFlow, PulpMotion, iDive, and BannerZest for years. And now I’m really looking forward to delve into MotionComposer.
Aquafadas: What do you like about Aquafadas’ products, and how do they help you with your daily work?
Dirk: What I really like about your software is that it is very easy to use with a short learning curve. While many other applications are very complex, which makes them harder to use, Aquafadas’ products focus on efficiency, which saves a lot of time. It simply makes me more productive, and I really like the intuitive user interfaces. Here are two examples:
On a private event I shot pictures and video, including short statements from the event’s guests. Using PulpMotion, it was extremely easy to produce a beautiful animation with about 1000 pictures and 20 video sequences, and burn it on DVD. I would not have been able to do that in such short time with other video editing tools, because they are very complex, and it’s not so easy to combine different media with those tools.
Recently I also created a presentation for a customer in financial services, using a standard presentation tool. That presentation had to be posted to the Web as a video, and it was pretty cumbersome to convert it in a way that it would run on all platforms and browsers. MotionComposer is perfectly suited for this type of job, because I can build the presentation in the first step, including all animations, and afterwards I can export it as Flash and HTML5, and run it everywhere, without any additional, time-consuming conversion.
Aquafadas: How do you envision our software will help you with beachwalker?
Dirk: In particular MotionComposer will help me to put the icing on the cake by making the beachwalker Website visually very attractive and appealing. During my bike expedition I will have so many things to do – besides pedaling for several hours every day – and MotionComposer’s ease of use and efficiency enables me to add cool interactivity. It enables me to design non-linear actions, which I can use for highly sophisticated banners and animated navigation buttons, and add those to the site in very little time.
Aquafadas: In your opinion, what makes Aquafadas’ software, and MotionComposer in particular, stand out of the crowd?
Dirk: I’m a designer and photographer, and my focus is on finding the right form for the content at hand. I’m proficient in HTML and CSS, however, I’m not a programmer, and I don’t want to concern myself with the technicalities of coding any more than absolutely necessary. I am very thankful for software that lets me concentrate on the creative aspects of my job.
Your products let me do what I am best at, and I don’t have to care about technology. MotionComposer in particular helps me to eliminate the gap between tablets and smartphones that run Flash and those that don’t, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad. With MotionComposer I can create design and animations once and instantly publish everywhere. It’s really easy because there is no conversion involved, I just publish a project, and I’m done. Through it’s simultaneous Flash and HTML5 export MotionComposer makes my animations truly platform agnostic.
beachwalker attempts to bring fun into environmental work, and Aquafadas gives me tools that let me approach my design-work in a similar way, making work fun and hands-on.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.