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


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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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"Should I stay, or should I go?"

For all you seasoned wildlife shooters:

When you've set up the shot and just have to wait, and wait, and wait some more, what 'tricks' you use to make yourself stay put and stay sharp?

JW
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Old November 10th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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I think of all the other times that I missed a great shot. That usually keeps me rooted to the spot for a little while longer.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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Usually when you start feeling like you've been there too long is right about when things start to happen. I also think about the time it's going to take to set up in a new spot and how much light I will have wasted by moving.

I also think about what else can I get shots of from a new and different viewpoint if I do in fact get skunked.

But most of all, I think about how great it is to simply "be" in nature. You'd be amazed how much you discover if you just take the time to look.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 02:48 AM   #4
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I recall the story from Spatia Wildlife in Bulgaria whose German client had been waiting for a Golden Eagle to land on bait in front of a hide from 5 am and got fed up around midday when nothing had happened. He climbed out, stretched himself and phoned the "remote controller" to tell him he was " pissed off doing nothing when there are so many things I could be doing". Dobromir answered him "You're going to crap yourself up when you look up in the sky to see the golden eagle now circling over your head, but it's too late, he has seen you."

I also nibble a small supply of blueberries, walnut halves, dried apricots and sip water, of course.

But Kevin's line about enjoying being in the wild is my constant companion too.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
But most of all, I think about how great it is to simply "be" in nature. You'd be amazed how much you discover if you just take the time to look.
Unfortunately, it's when you start looking around, and then get engrossed in other things, and heaven forbid, move the camera to film that other thing, that you find you've just missed the shot you were waiting for!
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #6
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It’s funny how many people want to film wildlife, yet when it comes to spending hours out in the wilderness they all want to be home watching a Natural History Documentary dreaming that they are there.

In my opinion I think being a naturalist who films stays in the field longer than a filmmaker who wants to shoot Natural History. That aside I think everyone gets bored. For me I think what makes me stay in the field until I’ve bagged the shot I wanted is;

1. Staying warm and dry. I know a lot of people who go out without adequate layers and all weather gear who return home miserable, early and completely dejected.
2. Also I believe in being fed in the field is very important as that helps to keep the concentration levels up. Also ensuring you are quenching your thirst to with water (in the summer) and a nice hot drink in the winter (such as tea). Don’t forget the pee bottle, if you are working out of a portable hide.
3. For very long stints in the hide I take some reading material for those times where I know it’s going to be quiet yet I can’t leave the hide as I’d spook the subject. Such a lunchtime siesta (the wildlife not me).
4. Also the sheer desire for a given shot is a huge driving force.

Wildlife filmmaking I believe is something that you do for the love of and that’s what keeps you there during hours, days or even week of inactivity, just to film or even witness that elusive animal or that trademark behaviour. Wildlife filmmaking becomes an obsession (you’ve been warned!).
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:07 AM   #7
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Its actually quite simple for me. I only try to get the shot when the light is best between sunrise up to 3 hours after sunrise and 2 hours or so before sunset till sunset. This makes the maximum stay in the hide not longer than 3 hours. I don't recall wanting to leave the hide as long as the light was good. I often have to force myself to leave when the light becomes too harsh.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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I try to think these in various combinations:

A) Being uncomfortable makes for bad decisions, so just leave it alone.

B) You can't get lucky without being there.

C) Sods law says it'll happen just as soon as you've gone.

I also make up very rude ditties about my subject.

Maybe I'll whisper a few into the onboard mic and post them somewhere...

- x
j
w
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Old November 11th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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I also make up very rude ditties about my subject... said John.

Good for you John. Please be restrained by no false modesty and do accept my miserable offering for starters ...

A video grapher from Clyde
said "I'm f-cked if I'm leaving this hide,
I'll shoot here forever.
Sneak out, I shall never!"
And sure enough that's where he died
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Old November 12th, 2009, 01:22 AM   #10
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All I can say is that I've never regretted that have stayed, but the other way around have regretted that didn't stay.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #11
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I think of how lucky I am to be in this very spot. Quiet, no people or cars, no concerns except getting the shot and thanking God for every day that I can get out and do this. Just stay and enjoy the moment, the shot will come.
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