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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #1
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Swans After Dark----Video Clip

I thought it might be interesting to show a short sample of many hours of twilight and after dark video I've made of the Tundra Swans that winter in our area, around Eugene, Oregon. These were made with my trusty Canon A-1, that I used heavily for both shooting and editing playback for 5 years. It was shot in Jan., 1990. The first scenes were taken just before sunset and the last about 1 hour later. I didn't get my first HDV camcorder (Sony HC9) in time this year, but next Winter, I expect to get footage of them with it and also of some Trumpeter Swans, a few of which have just begun wintering here.

I used an early version of my shoulder-mount for this and had two Sony ECM-Z200 shotgun mikes on a stereo crossbar. This link to the clip is on my Flickr album, where there are other videos amongst the still pictures, many showing wildlife. The HC9 does pretty well with J-PEG still pictures and there are some posted there, also. The next video on the album was done in HDV with my HC9, but is converted to SD. Soon, I plan to have some HD wildlife video on Vimeo. This 32 MB clip is 84 sec. long. To see it best, maximize the Flickr page and click on the picture to bring it up a bit in size and then click on the larger arrow in the middle.

An encouraging thing, is that all my metal-evaporated Hi-8 tapes are still playing back, just as good as ever, after as long as 19 years. These are mainly Sony consumer and Sony Pro Editor cassettes and also some by TDK. They're playing better than ever, actually, as my Sony GV-D200, a Digital8 VCR, has a nice TBC and does an excellent job with the analog recordings. I may post some Hi-8 wildlife clips that were shot in good daylight, to demonstrate. My equally old ED-Beta recordings on Betacam SP metal-particle cassettes are also doing well and I even have some S-VHS recordings from back then that play nicely in a dual-deck JVC DV/S-VHS VCR, with a TBC. I can't be convinced that any kind of disk or solid-state recording media will hold up as well, until a lot more time has passed. On my first hour-long cassette in my HC9, which was the cheapest Sony type (Premium), I had good results, but there were 3 dropouts that stalled or broke the video for just half a second or so. The next cassette I use will be a Sony HDV DVM63, which costs about 4 times as much as the Premiums and we'll see how it works.

http://flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/?saved=1

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; May 7th, 2008 at 05:42 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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Try this link for the video mentioned in the first message:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/2473421382/
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Old June 12th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #3
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Stephan,

I watched your swan footage. some of the footage is very nice, steady for hand held shots. I loved the audio.

curiously, do you get better sound using two shot gun mics or one stereo??

what were the two mics??
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Old June 13th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Thank you, Dale. Not hand-held, but with my shoulder-mount as it was 18 years ago. I used the two separate mikes on a wood crossbar, 16 inches long. This gives good separation and the distance and the wood eliminate most camera noise. I cock them outward about 10 degrees for more of a stereo effect. They were Sony ECM-Z200 mikes, very sensitive, but a bit noisy. I didn't have much choice in medium-priced mikes back then. I now use a pair of Audix UEM-81C XLR mikes (no longer made), on the occasions when maximum pickup, high audio quality and stereo separation is needed (not that often). Pictures of this setup are on my Flickr album, back a dozen pages or so from the front.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; June 13th, 2008 at 01:26 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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I am curious to see the equipment and setup, but, I cannot get to the link that is posted.

I have been building my own shoulder mounts, and am curious about what yours looked like, as well as the mic setup.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #6
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Sam, try using the link to my Flickr album below my signature. If it doesn't work for you, go to Flickr.com and type in: Capt. Aero's Photostream in the search box. The videos and photos are mixed together in the album and the shots of my video setup are about a dozen pages from the front.
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