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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #1
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Grey-headed Flying Fox clip.

Hi all,

Here is a short clip of Grey-Headed Flying Foxes flying in backlight. I have been working on a documentary about these awesome mammals for the last 18 months and I am close to complete the photography.

Any comment/suggestion would be appreciated.

Choose the thumbnail with the title: "GHFF backlit flight"

Video Gallery

Thanks for watching,

Ofer Levy Photography
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Backlighting did reveal the bats in flight.

I was hoping to be brought closer to one landing or taking off. A close-up of a bat perched and preening would be welcome too, but a zoom-in on wingspan would be my favourite. The smile of a bat raises my expectation that blood is going to gently ooze out between his teeth, so you can leave out that shot! The main thing is keep trying; I'm depending on you Ofer to inform me on flying foxes; I can't see myself addressing this chapter of my ignorance directly.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 11:38 PM   #3
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Ah........

that'd be "Pteropus poliocephalus" then.

(Just occured to me that the name has a vaguely medical "you could die from this" ring to it. Strange, as they're entirely harmless)

Usually called "Fruit Bats".

Amazing creatures.

I overnighted in Brisbane a couple of years ago and had to get up at some ungodly time for an early flight out. Was having a pre - packing smoke outside the hotel, overlooking a large sunken square in the middle of town, when this airborne shape appeared in the street lighting and proceeded to practically part my hair (if I had any to part).

Huge, nearly a metre (3 feet plus) wingspan.

Georgous creatures.

Wish I'd had my camera.

Not bad Ofer, but think you're gonna need to get a bit more "up front and personal" to wow the punters.

Anyone wanting more information can try these:

www.abs.ausbats.org.au

www.sydneybats.org.au

Flying Foxes of Bellingen Island

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

I'll be in Coffs Harbour (Australia) in late August/ early September and shall be tapping in to the resident batologists to get a close squizz at more of these beautifull animals.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; July 3rd, 2009 at 02:10 AM. Reason: +
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 02:43 AM   #4
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Thanks Brendan and Chris for your comments but I was hoping for some more professional input thanks.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:04 AM   #5
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Brendan's note about obtaining tighter shots is valid. Either use a longer telephoto lens or get in closer (maybe using a hide).

The short clip showing a group of bats at distance is OK if it is only going to be a few seconds section of the entire movie. To maintain interest for the viewer the bats will need to be filmed in a variety of different viewpoints from close-up and distance, hanging, flying, grooming, feeding young beneath the wing, daylight activity, night activity, social behaviour, habits etc.

Close ups of single bats and dramatic footage of a single subject in flight or feeding etc., needs to be the part of the opening sequence.

Are you also recording quality sounds of the bat's wingbeats and calls etc?
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick View Post
Brendan's note about obtaining tighter shots is valid. Either use a longer telephoto lens or get in closer (maybe using a hide).

The short clip showing a group of bats at distance is OK if it is only going to be a few seconds section of the entire movie. To maintain interest for the viewer the bats will need to be filmed in a variety of different viewpoints from close-up and distance, hanging, flying, grooming, feeding young beneath the wing, daylight activity, night activity, social behaviour, habits etc.

Close ups of single bats and dramatic footage of a single subject in flight or feeding etc., needs to be the part of the opening sequence.

Are you also recording quality sounds of the bat's wingbeats and calls etc?
Thanks for your comment Tony. In the nearly two years that I have been filming these bats I got more than 100 hours of footage showing every aspect of their lives. I got them feeding, mating, giving birth, fighting, flying, females interacting with their babies and a lot more. All in LS, MS, CU and ECU. I am hoping to make a 52 minutes documentary which I hope to start putting together very soon.
The clip you see on my website is just a 30 second clip of the GHFF in flight. This is not a full documentary so I am not sure I understand the input I got so far. Anyway - I probably misunderstood the purpose of this forum - my fault.
Regards,
Ofer Levy Photography
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:21 AM   #7
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Well, well, well.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
I was hoping for some more professional input thanks.
Funnily enough, you just got some, not that you want to hear, obviously.

In which case all I will say is this:

If you're not prepared to listen, at least don't slag off posters with infinately more experience than you.

One day your very career could hinge on those posters you've just called "un - professional".

Your clip, if included in an otherwise stunning production, would have been a decent "fill", but of itself is of minor interest.

If that is the best you've got, take up knitting.

Professional enough?


CS
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
that'd be "Pteropus poliocephalus" then.

(Just occured to me that the name has a vaguely medical "you could die from this" ring to it. Strange, as they're entirely harmless)

Usually called "Fruit Bats".

Amazing creatures.

I overnighted in Brisbane a couple of years ago and had to get up at some ungodly time for an early flight out. Was having a pre - packing smoke outside the hotel, overlooking a large sunken square in the middle of town, when this airborne shape appeared in the street lighting and proceeded to practically part my hair (if I had any to part).

Huge, nearly a metre (3 feet plus) wingspan.

Georgous creatures.

Wish I'd had my camera.

Not bad Ofer, but think you're gonna need to get a bit more "up front and personal" to wow the punters.

Anyone wanting more information can try these:

www.abs.ausbats.org.au

www.sydneybats.org.au

Flying Foxes of Bellingen Island

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

I'll be in Coffs Harbour (Australia) in late August/ early September and shall be tapping in to the resident batologists to get a close squizz at more of these beautifull animals.


CS
Hi Chris, I had another look at your comment and tried to see where in this long comment you really referred to the clip itself.
In your second comment I see nothing but a personal attack which is totally not in place. Had a look at your resume and I really can't see how my career will ever be dependant on you - unless you mean my career in knitting.

Last edited by Ofer Levy; July 3rd, 2009 at 07:49 AM.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:47 AM   #9
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Trying to play peacemaker, Chris's post seemed pretty harmless to me, and Ofer it was a bit much to imply that he was un-professional, he was just putting forward "comments/suggestions" as you asked for.

Are you still using the Flash XDR, how are you finding it? Have you tried S&Q motion to the XDR, or will that not go down the HD SDI feed?

Best wishes to all!

Steve
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:51 AM   #10
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Hi Steve,
I believe this is not really relevant to this thread. I am sending you a PM regarding the Flash XDR.
Cheers,
Ofer
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:57 AM   #11
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Thanks mate.
Steve
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:16 AM   #12
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Hi Ofer,

Your usual offering is using long telephoto shots which I think are fantastic. I am interested in capturing wildlife using long lenses and (in my case) the nanoflash unit. This is the first wide shot I have seen of yours and think it is great -- I especially like the slow motion feel to it.

I began with SD, moved recently to HDV (Canon XL H1s) with Nikon lenses to really reach out. My first experiments were with close-ups. But I was lucky enough to get a few shots of wood ducks this spring. Now that there is a solution to using the Nanoflash output files on a PC with PPro CS4, I will order a unit. That should give me a suitable quality level for most applications. With luck I should be able to do something relatively complete on a number of birds and amphibians and maybe even some local mammals.

Now that you have captured so many aspects of the bat's life history, what do you think will be your preferred method of distribution?

As I move closer to being able to do similar documentaries, I often wonder about the storylines that would appeal most. Certainly unfamiliar life history documentaries are always fascinating, but I wonder if there is a more captivating/appealing approach. If you have any thoughts on this, I would be most interested.

Keep up the good work, I think your photographic and videographic skills with natural history are amazing and have been an inspiration to me to continue to pursue this idea of combining normal and very long lenses, off-the-sensor HD SDI material onto the CD nanoflash or XDR as a means to capture excellent quality natural history subjects.

Best regards,
Alan
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Old July 4th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #13
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Hi Alan,
Thank you for the kind words and support. I am sure we are all here to learn from each other rather than telling about our journeys and waste each others time.
I have learnt a lot from both pros and armatures here and on other similar forums and I feel that sharing our work and experience is a fantastic way to learn and improve.
As to the clip - it was shot in slow motion - the EX3 was set to 720 25p in slow motion mode and dialed to 60 fps.
I am so looking forward to the next firmware upgrade of the Flash XDR (or the NanoFlash for that matter) as they are going to include over and undercrunck even if your camera can't do it natively!
The Flash XDR/NanoFlash is a miracle device for independent filmmakers/cameramen. The signal captured to the CF cards in this device is so much better than what the EX3 or the Canon XK H1 can capture - there is really no room for comparison.
As to completing the project – I am negotiating with a few production companies which are interested in my stuff.
I agree that getting a very good story is a huge challenge – I work with a few talented people who are helping me to get there. It is not easy but definitely doable IMO.
We are very lucky to have all this wonderful HD technology in relatively affordable price and by helping each other we can save a lot of time, money and heart ache….(-:
Cheers mate,
Ofer
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Old July 4th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #14
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Don't forget Ofer that you can get slomo from the EX3 onto the XDR. If you shoot in 720/60P mode in 160 mb/s I frame youcan then conform it to 25P and hey presto perfect slomo (Cinema Tools will do it for example).
This is not a software fudge slomo, it's proper 60fps, each frame individual and complete just as it would be froma Varicam, and it only takes seconds to do as there is no re-coding of the pixels of each frame, they are just being clumped into bunches of 25 frames per second.
Steve
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Old July 4th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Don't forget Ofer that you can get slomo from the EX3 onto the XDR. If you shoot in 720/60P mode in 160 mb/s I frame youcan then conform it to 25P and hey presto perfect slomo (Cinema Tools will do it for example).
This is not a software fudge slomo, it's proper 60fps, each frame individual and complete just as it would be froma Varicam, and it only takes seconds to do as there is no re-coding of the pixels of each frame, they are just being clumped into bunches of 25 frames per second.
Steve
WOW Steve, I am more happy and excited than embarrassed for not figuring it out myself...(-:
I actually don't have enough knowledge in post processing so this is a new idea for me. Fantastic news! Will try it tomorrow morning as I was planning to get some more slow motion of them flying and I am not crazy about the relatively poor quality of the native 720 25p of the EX3.
This is the kind of input that really makes a difference - thank you!
Will post a thread as to my experience with this new information once I figure out how to manipulate it in FCP.(-:
Cheers mate,
Ofer
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