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Old October 28th, 2009, 04:26 AM   #1
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"Hawaii Goes Fishing" with the Sony EX1

Here's the work I've been doing with the Sony EX1.

This particular trip was up in Alaska. We don't normally do many trips outside the state but in this case it was to one of the two fishing lodges that are run by people who were born and raised in Hawaii.

Naoki, Wayne and Jo Ann with Richard at Shelter Lodge

For those who have asked about equipment being used in production, here's a list of what I used to produce this:

Sony EX1 with VCL-EXO877 wide angle adapter. The Cine 4 gamma setting is used throughout. Preset white balance of 5500k. Detail setting is "off". Gain is at zero (I avoid using -3 as I read it reduces dynamic range).

Exposure is set to keep detail in the brightest clouds. The only time IRE goes to 100 is if there's a light source in the picture, such as the sun or reflections off the water. White areas are 80 IRE. Skin tones never go beyond 70.

Audio Technica 4051a on-camera mic with Lightwave mount and wind fur.

Two Audio Technica UVW-1800 Wireless systems with Audio Technica 899C lav mics, fitted with Mary Sensui fleece wind covers (my wife sewed them for me). That gives me four independent audio sources which are recorded onto a . . .

. . . Edirol R44 4-track recorder. This is mounted in a small Pelican case with the AT wireless receivers. It's a compact, weatherproof multitrack recorder system with four wireless diversity antennas mounted on a short mast. It's powered with an A123 Systems battery pack which I built. Runs 4 hours. I might make a dual/parallel battery pack to avoid frequent battery changes.

The recorder is constantly running. The EX1 didn't have a pre-record cache, and getting the sound of the initial strike, and the excited reaction is an important part of this, as you'll see.

This also means there are six channels of audio if you count the built-in mic on the EX1.

The wild sound tracks and camera footage are matched up with SequenceLiner. Both the camera and Edirol recorder have time-of-day timecode, and SequenceLiner does a nice job of matching the takes. I still have to fine-tune the sync but it's not all that hard.

Now that I have some experience with this setup, I'll have a guest give me an occasional "slate" to make the post production sync process a little easier.

Edited with Final Cut Pro. Color correction and grading done with Color. Audio mixdown with Soundtrack Pro. Mixdown with the envelopes in each track can be tedious. But being able to silence unused tracks, while emphasizing the important ones, helps a great deal with the storytelling.

Cindy's standup is shot against green screen with Primatte doing the compositing in After Effects. The lighting isn't a good match. Soft overcast is actually harder to match than hard sunlight.

Enjoy!
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Old October 28th, 2009, 05:55 AM   #2
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I enjoyed this ... nice clean audio ... that was all handheld? jeepers ... It's clear you were busy manuevering in a crowded space. One time I thought for sure you had to be on an outrigger or something but I guess that wide angle made the difference between onboard and overboard ... LOL
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Old October 28th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hi Les... Yes, that's 100% handheld. With single-camera coverage, and on something as unstable as a boat, there's very little chance of using a tripod or even a monopod. Even the basic EX1 with a shoulder mount can be cumbersome on some boats.

The hardest part is that both hands are needed to operate a camera, and that means there's no holding onto something to keep me from falling over. A good sense of balance helps, I guess!
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #4
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Great Job, Dean!
The clean audio really helped tell the story. Impressed there was no wind noise. Very steady hand held camera work considering the tight quarters. Laughed when the woman caught the largest salmon and someone groused "woman's luck".
You really have this One Man Band thing down.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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Hi Dean,
Must say I enjoyed that, really nice atmosphere and fantastic scenery, the joy the lady showed in catching such lovely fish was great... captured the fun, pleasure and essense of fishing...
Nice quality off the EX1.. sure can see the difference to my Z1, (I'm certainly going to be looking at the EX1R as my next camera).
I've been doing a different type of fishing video ... so your tech spec for audio in particular is of real interest as I'm always struggling as a one man band to get good audio off multiple anglers, when I can't have a sound guy with me.
Do you have a website with any more stuff???

Regards
Gareth
here the last clip I shot on fishing in France: vimeo.com/7112871
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Last edited by Gareth Watkins; October 29th, 2009 at 12:53 PM. Reason: double post
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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #7
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Chris...

Having everyone on a discrete audio channel helps in post. In the original rough mix, Wayne's "women's luck" comment is missed in the melee of voices. But I'm able to isolate it much better during the mixdown. I built the setup recently and only started using it in the last few months. Wish I had it long ago.


Gareth...

That's a very high quality production. You took great advantage of the scenery and handled the exposure as I would: maintain highlight detail. The foggy shots are quite artistic, good enough for a calendar. And you're using two cameras? Sure looks like it.

Interesting rigs they're using. The rods are very slender and seem mismatched with such large spinners but they are bringing in some very large fish. And they take great care to minimize stressing the fish. I haven't seen fish handled this gently by fishermen. The fish here tend to thrash a lot, despite anglers trying to be as delicate as possible.

The rigs there are so different from the rigs used for "ulua" or great travelys here. Large cow bells take the place of the electronic alarms. The rods are about 15 feet long and very stiff. Lead weights are often a half-pound with anchor wires extending out one end to lock them into the reef. And everything is staked into the rock with heavy hammers. Baits can be whole fish large enough to pan fry for dinner.

I don't have any other clips on the website yet, except for a 30-second promo for next week's show. Now that I have Flash sorted out I'm considering putting up material there. Until now I only did Quicktime H.264 which limited it to Macs, as well as PCs that had Quicktime installed.

Aloha,
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Old October 29th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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Hi Dean,
Nope all shot on one camera... I was lucky with the weather and the fish caught... I don't think I've ever seen so many big carp landed in such a short time...
The rods are slim but tough.. similar to surf castign rods for sea
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Old October 29th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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Hi Dean,

Thanks for sharing this! Great fishing footage (and really happy folks catching salmon :). Alaska certainly is a contrast to Hawaii. I've been on a short family vacation to Kauai but sadly didn't get the chance to go fishing; maybe next time.

Awesome handheld work; good balance indeed!

Does the Alaskan lodge have a website? Real curious now about their rates...
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Old October 29th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #10
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Hi Dean,
Nope all shot on one camera, the trusty ol' Z1..I used ND grads and polarizer to get good exposure in the scenics... I was lucky with the weather and the fish caught... I don't think I've ever seen so many big carp landed in such a short time...
The rods are slim but tough carbon fibre.. similar to surf casting rods for sea bass...they can cast upto 8oz - 12oz...

They don't use lures but baits... balls of boilied paste known as "boilies"... what looks like a spinner is probably the lead.. We fish with a static bottom bait and add ground bait over the top...(equivilant of chumming in sea fishing).

For food we go and get a steak and a bottle of local wine... carp are not good eating, and in any case, local "no kill" rules apart, they are massive 30lb - 50lb and once you've caught a few.. what would you do with them??? hence the care taken for catch and release....

Cheers
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Old October 29th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #11
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Jeff...

The lodges are Shelter Lodge and Anchor Point Lodge. You can check out both at:

Alaska Reel Adventures

Gareth...

By "spinners" I meant the reels. Spinning reels, as opposed to conventionals. Those graphites are nice. There's a lot more catch-and-release here lately. In fact a state-run tagging program for certain fish have logged thousands of specimens by thousands of fishermen, and their re-capture have opened an intriguing window on their behavior.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #12
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hi Dean,

Ok I didn't realise you were referring to the reels... they are pretty big Shimano's that I imagine were intended for light shore and boat fishing so they can take the punishment. I have some slightly older models and have landed catfish over 100lb on them.

Funny you should mention the change in behaviour through catch and release, carp in particular become very hard to tempt once they have been cuahg a few times...

cheers
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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:24 AM   #13
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Gareth...

Yep, people don't realize that fish are smart and can be trained.

In this case, they're being trained that munching on anything attached to a line means being abducted by aliens and having bright lights flashed in their eyes.

It's also the reason why it's very hard to overfish an area with just rods and reels. Many sport fishermen feel that fisheries everywhere would be a lot better off if nets and traps were outlawed. Of course that will adversely affect the price of fish. But we all need to face the reality that the resource is finite.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 08:26 PM   #14
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Nice clean work Dean. Do you shoot in 30 or 24P?
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 08:30 PM   #15
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Hi Brian...

Thanks! It's all in 1080p30.

TV here is 30 fps so I shoot to match that frame rate. No sense using a lower frame rate and having to worry about temporal problems.
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