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Old November 17th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Another garden bird video

I found this video on my hard disk, made sometime last spring. It nothing to shout about, and I'm sure people will say the clips are too long. But what I was trying to do comes out in the last sequence where the blue tit is dithering on the top of the feeder, wondering if it is safe to go in, and then getting shots of it actually going in and down to get a nut. Did I do a good enough job?

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Old November 18th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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Cleaver words and nice behavior at the end. I think the video could use just a little bit of saturation and contrast IMO.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #3
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Thank you Caleb

You may well be right about the saturation and contrast. I haven't yet got the screen calibrated on the new computer (the old software wouldn't run under Vista, and I haven't had time to investigate new software) so it's hard for me to be sure. However, I was using the VIVIDRGB preset in the camera which usually boosts saturation at least.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 03:19 AM   #4
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Lovely lively 2.5mins film Annie, thank you.
Primrose and snowdrops gave timely promise of March 2010.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:32 AM   #5
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Thanks Brendan. With the weather we're getting at the moment, I'm looking forward to the snowdrops and primroses too.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Very nice, Annie. Who moved in to the nestbox after that? Blue Tit or Great Tit? I think there was a bit of competition there!

And I liked the sneaky Blue Tits who climbed in the top of the feeder, much easier for them and much less work, even if it removes some of the challenge. It reminds me of that mouse on Autumnwatch that climbed inside the feeder - and then, like Pooh, ate too much and couldn't get out!
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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Thanks Mike. The great tits had final claim on the nest box. I had hoped to film them right from taking nest material in to the chicks fledging, but in the end didn't do any of it. I just have to hope for some better weather and less work next year!

I didn't see the mouse on Autumnwatch, but I remember when I was a kid, there was a mouse in the airing cupboard. My father put down some poison, warfarin I think, but left the canister in the cupboard as well. He checked the cupboard most days, and after a week or so, he opened the cupboard door only to see the mouse struggling to get out of the canister through the little triangular hole on the top. Father put a jar over the top, caught the mouse and released him somewhere outside.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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Annie,

I always tried to use humane traps for the mousies. It wouldn't be the first time they set a trap off without being inside, and a careful journey up into the countryside to release them resulted in me shaking an emoty box at the side of the road looking like a right wally.

I wouldn't mind trying one of those nestbox cameras, but I'm superstitious, I feel it would bring them bad luck. I suppose I hard back to the 1980s when the BBC showed a programme called The Great Great Tit Watch, with a camera inside a shed behind a nestbox. Thankfully, cameras are smaller and cheaper now, and you don't need a whole shed!
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:56 AM   #9
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We use humane traps here. Our latest "house guest" seems to be gnawing at the skirting boards from the wall side so we can't catch him til he gnaws his way through into the room. I've always had plans for making up a set for any creatures I catch, but haven't had time to put that into practice since about twenty years ago when I was doing stills only. With any luck, when the building work here is finished and we have an empty garden shed (it's still full of building stuff so I can't get in at present) I hope to pick up on that project again.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:40 PM   #10
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Annie...

Very nice. I watched it twice. And thoroughly enjoyed it.

A couple of observations... I liked your titles with the shadow in white but they often covered up images I would rather have watched...maybe the titles in places they did not cover the image point of interest might have been better.

Your framing and edits were very well done. Noting but praise there.

As far as image saaturation etc.. I suspect your images were right out of the camera - they looked very real to me. That said,we are getting used to oversaturated sharpened images and anything less seems lacking. I didn't think yours was lacking at all... but would be curious to know how it might look with the sat pumped and a small amount of sharpening.

I really enjoyed what you captured in their behaviours. You were missed in UWOL 15.

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Old November 24th, 2009, 02:52 AM   #11
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I find the saturation issue quite tricky.

My video (the raw capture from HDV) looks pretty much to my eyes like the real thing. I've had comments in UWOL challenges about saturation, that the grass isn't green enough etc. - but that's the colour it is! Just because we are in Ireland doesn't mean the grass is RGB(0,255,0)!

I've made test shots (out my window) of trees, hedges, grass etc. and looking from monitor to the actual view out the window, the colours look spot on. But the preferred look would be to colour correct towards the green, increase saturation etc. to give a "rich" look that people prefer. I've done this and ended up with good results, but it looks nothing like the view I see with my own eyes!

I'm not getting at you Chris, by the way, this is just a general point for me. It's all about learning, and I find colour grading is just about the hardest thing to get right. And I haven't managed to read the Steve Hulfish "bible" the whole way through without my brains melting - is there something wrong with me?
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Old November 24th, 2009, 04:53 AM   #12
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Chris
thanks for your comments - I guess it can't be too bad if you managed to watch it twice! Yes, the video is straight out of the camera. I don't think you can do much in the way of subtle colour adjustments or sharpening in Premier Elements, or perhaps I just haven't yet found out how.

I've looked at the video again on the desktop, in MediaPlayer Classic where the colours look good to me, in PE where the colours look horrible and garish, and on the laptop where the colours also look a bit off. I think I'm happy with them as they are. Though that doesn't remove the need for me to calibrate the monitor at some time - my husband complains that all my still pictures look dark on everyone else's monitors, though they look fine to me when projected.

For the time being, on my desk copy, I've moved all the subtitles to the lower third, and it looks like I should continue with a few more to complete the story.

I might swap the subtitles for a voice-over. I hadn't done any voice-overs at the time I made this video, but having just about succeeded on a couple of others, I'll give it a go on this when I have time.

As regards time - I have just one more big work project to get finished, so I'd better clear my desk of all the clutter from the past few hectic weeks and get on with it.
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