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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Palo Alto, California
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Space. The first frontier.

Funny story... I've been working at adding some telephoto into my videography lately, after reading and dreaming about it for over a year. So a few weeks I ordered a Zork adapter for this HD-200, while simultaneously hunting down some used Nikon telephoto glass. It was dark the first evening that all the new parts were introduced, so I ended up shooting a coffee cup. Typical.. Every time I've picked up a new motorcycle it's rained as well.

So the coffee cup looked great. I mean, really great. The three tomatoes in the wire basket were pretty hot looking as well - but I needed to escape the boundaries of this old house.. The following Saturday I set out to film Elephant Seals. I ended up capturing a majestic looking lighthouse bathing in warm orange sunlight. A great start to a day that never produced another thing. Although I shot no seals that day, and struggled to follow-focus flying seagulls, something definitely came alive inside me once I saw what I now could see.

The next week I decided to sell my glidecam to a buddy who works for me, because I never use it (HD-200 is simply too heavy for it). Then I went back to the classifieds and found an old hippy who was selling a decade-old Nikon 300mm 2.8 ED. Beautiful lens. Huge barrel just begging to capture the rare moments of our world. But by the time I got the lens back home and mounted - you guess it, it was dark again. "What the hell" I thought, "Still two more days till the weekend... I want to fire this thing up NOW!"

So I headed out to the front yard, curious as all get-out about whether or not this camera would see much in the dark like this. After all, if not for the glass being in the way I could stick my arm down the barrel this lens. So I aimed up into the sky and searched. And I searched. And I searched.

I was a little bummed when I could not find a star through the glass, but I did not give up easy - and I refused to turn up the gain. I used my naked eye to sight along the body of the camera until I was sure the star was there. It took me ten minutes to see the light, but once I did the game was on. Then I panned the entire sky in all it's blackened glory until I found this one particularly bright star. It kind of looked orange, and maybe even had a flicker to it? But once I found it in the glass it didn't look any different than the others - maybe just a touch bigger is all I could tell..... And then I re-set the focus all the way to infinity. As I spun the collar I watched an image come to life as it painted itself across the Nikon's frame.

In less than a minute I had my son out on the yard, in his pajamas, gaping at a view that neither of us had ever imagined. He was even scared a touch.

It took minutes for the goose-bumps to calm, but only one moment to realize the value of our priceless passion.
Eric Gulbransen is offline   Reply

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