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Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #16
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Do you remember when you see last time a leap frog in real time on TV ?
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #17
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

I fully agree. Too much slomo and too slow slomo is terrible. I do however agree with Dale, the compounded short clips are worse, as is the terrible urge to make natue movies sensation stories with anything bigger, faster, more dangeroues etc. Yaughhhh

By the way, did anyone see the BBC Natural World episode Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders? To me it proves all our complaining about slomo wrong. It is one of the most beautiful nature documentaries I have ever seen. Stunning art. So, so beautiful..... And for a very large part in slomo (I would say lartgely shot in 50 or 60 fps and than slowed down to 25fps).
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Old March 17th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #18
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Very well Pointed out Cees , i have seen the Victoria Falls and yes its a masterpiece the way it takes the audiance along.
Guess the use being appropriate is more dependent on the application , like Victoria Falls has a great applicaion for the slow mo and it was used appropriately. Some film makers use it just because others were successful with their.

This actually ties out with the main stream Cinema here in India, people use things used in successful films rather than thinking of would they make sense in their films.

Time warp series makes it s lot of sense however people have just got too much carried away wih this.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #19
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

I just watched a half hour show yesterday, not one moving shot in real time!!! While it was welll constructed I found it frustrating to watch!!!

Of course the more you are involved in this game/obcsession the more critical you become!!

"Familiarity Fosters Contempt"

plenty of people are obviously not bothered.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 07:29 PM   #20
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Producers cover "bad acting" with special effects.

Younger viewers want instant gratification with constant rapid scene changes.

Everything is being faked. I find myself double guessing whether the person on the TV commercial is a real person, or another computer generated mirage.

Art, Imagination, and contemplating what one has just seen, appears to be gone for ever.

I wear out the batteries of my remote weekly, clicking, clicking, and clicking hoping to find something worth watching among the 150 channels.

Where are the theater actors?

When can I watch a bird, or wild animal actually behave as if they are in the wild?

I find myself stopping and watching the "old" shows more often. Thank God for TCM movies!

Now if I could only find a network for "classic" wildlife and nature shows.

Dave
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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:03 PM   #21
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

I saw the episode where the great white shark was attacking fur seals by jumping out of the water. They showed about 4 attacks in super slow motion, and those scenes alone took about 3 minutes to watch. In my opinion, the sequence was way too long. At the end of the show, they showed a mini documentary of how it was shot, they took over a month of shooting to film those clips! I guess they didn't want to "waste" their efforts by cutting it short on screen.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 06:06 PM   #22
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Spent a lot of time in the bush in Rhodesia many years ago, and stood at the edge of The Devil's Cataract, watching the Zambezi thundering over the edge. The Smoke that Thunders is an appropriate name for sure. Went Tiger fishing with real danger from terrs with guns on the Zambian side. Hippos downstream with a broken outboard, catching monster eels from a small boat at night, sleeping under a huge thorn bush, raw Africa at it best. Way too dangerous now.

I feel the same as many folks here, can't stand all the drama that is fobbed off as nature footage on TV. We spend a lot of time hiking in the woods and really appreciate the natural behaviour of animals and birds, even little crawling beasties. This weekend, filming a young deer laying quietly in the grass and munching away brought such happiness, but I'm sure others would see it as boring. Or the baby Horned Owls cuddled up next to each other trying to catch a kip in full daylight, with Mom standing guard nearby in another tree. If only that pesky camera would move away, then we could go back to sleep... yawn.

I'm now shooting 2 to 4 minute clips instead of 30 seconds. Not looking for drama, just relaxation and have a hunch that many people out there feel the same. Why do people watch wildlife footage? For relaxation, I think. This balances out the negative ugly stuff that "compelling" TV seems to feast on. We prefer to fill our minds and souls with positive information and happy thoughts and footage. There may be a good market for relaxing nature DVDs for this very reason. We'll see.

Regards & happy shooting,
Doug.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 07:14 PM   #23
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Thank's Doug,

I needed to hear that.


Dave
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:07 AM   #24
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Thanks Doug,

That really gives me a lot of confidence in what i am doing at present.

you made my day
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #25
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Bailey View Post
I'm now shooting 2 to 4 minute clips instead of 30 seconds. Not looking for drama, just relaxation and have a hunch that many people out there feel the same. Why do people watch wildlife footage? For relaxation, I think. This balances out the negative ugly stuff that "compelling" TV seems to feast on. We prefer to fill our minds and souls with positive information and happy thoughts and footage. There may be a good market for relaxing nature DVDs for this very reason. We'll see.
Hi Doug!

I am with you on this one.

I started with 60 min clips (fitting on a mini-DV) and completely static camera.

Now I usually take clips of 20 minutes, if animals move out of view clips obviously get shorter.

I also have bought a great tripod, Sachtler FSB6, and plan to follow animals in view without loosing the calmness of nature viewing.

The clips on my DVDs are usually 5 minutes long.

Last edited by Sverker Hahn; March 29th, 2011 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Fixing a little ...
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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #26
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

I have had some mixed feelings in reading this thread. Not for the least because I'm finishing a three year long TV which document which have some footages shot with 50fps, 1000 fps and 120 fps.

What I've noticed is that, often say flying birds, appear to fly (as if) faster on the monitor than what is the impression to a naked eye. So, in this sense, it seems not so bad idea to slow down a bit to create space to see and observe what actually has happened. While saying this, I've also footages that are shot with ordinary speed and slo-mo, and sometimes the slo-mo kind of washes the impression of action and for this reason find the ordinary speed better.

I've also often felt that the drama in wildlife documents become easily artificial. By this I mean that the spectator's attention gets focused on the drama instead of the document. But I would rather consider this as a failure in good story telling. All wildlife documents need story telling to hold the audience's attention, and that's such a difficult thing!

Guess this over emphasized drama is typically just a result of an effort to create a good story, and in lack of innovative ideas the old tricks become employed too heavily creating the feeling of artifical drama. Needless to say, that's somewhat in contradiction with the very idea of wildlife documents, as there is nothing artificial in the nature.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:48 AM   #27
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri Kettunen View Post
What I've noticed is that, often say flying birds, appear to fly (as if) faster on the monitor than what is the impression to a naked eye. So, in this sense, it seems not so bad idea to slow down a bit to create space to see and observe what actually has happened. While saying this, I've also footages that are shot with ordinary speed and slo-mo, and sometimes the slo-mo kind of washes the impression of action and for this reason find the ordinary speed better.
Interesting thoughts, Lauri. OK, scale down a bit might be good for birds in flight. But first one could record in 50fps and play in 50fps. That creates smoother movements. At the same time each frame becomes sharper if one keeps the shutter angle the same. Maybe 50/25, 40/25 or something like that allows us to see the action more clearly without getting the impression of slo-mo.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 11:12 AM   #28
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Sverker, what comes to these flying birds, I've concluded that for some reason things appear in a different outdoors than in the front of a display. What ever is the case, when look at ordinary footages say of whopper swans, often feel they fly slower in reality. Still, not sure this is at all related to smoothness of the motion on the display.

Personally, I do like good slow motions. For instance, in the Planet Earth series there was a wonderful slow motion shot of a crocodile that hit a gnu on a river bench. Slow motion made it possible to see what really happened during that fraction of a second. But if the slow motion clips take the full attention of the spectator, that already seems to suggests something of the story telling. Obviously, slow motion should not be employed just for the technical sake of slow motion.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 06:33 PM   #29
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

I also like slomos. I have a harder time with lots of cuts and extremely short takes. One of my favorite programs, Sunrise Earth, was the antithesis of all this, with many minutes dedicated to the slowly unfolding sights and sounds of a single scene.

Pat
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #30
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Re: OK, I have to vent.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rice View Post
Producers cover "bad acting" with special effects.

Younger viewers want instant gratification with constant rapid scene changes.

Everything is being faked. I find myself double guessing whether the person on the TV commercial is a real person, or another computer generated mirage.

Art, Imagination, and contemplating what one has just seen, appears to be gone for ever.

I wear out the batteries of my remote weekly, clicking, clicking, and clicking hoping to find something worth watching among the 150 channels.

Where are the theater actors?

When can I watch a bird, or wild animal actually behave as if they are in the wild?

I find myself stopping and watching the "old" shows more often. Thank God for TCM movies!

Now if I could only find a network for "classic" wildlife and nature shows.

Dave
David, do you remember 'Rain Country'? You can still catch some
of those old episodes on 360 North (admitted promotion for the local
Juneau PBS station I freelance for here.....), but they really are
pretty good.
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