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Old December 22nd, 2011, 06:35 PM   #1
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Dawn At The Sea

I made a short trip down to the Salton Sea, which is located in the most Southern portion of California, two weeks ago to get some stock footage and to enjoy the 20,000 geese, Ross' and Snow, and around 400 Sandhill Crane that were on the refuge. The morning fly out of thousands of birds and their return at sundown was spectacular, plus the weather was perfect. I cut a short video of the morning fly out from the complete 13 minute dawn to dusk video, which is on my website at Critters & Nature . The video was shot entirely with the Canon XL H1 and the stock 20X lens.

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Old December 23rd, 2011, 01:41 AM   #2
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

Very nice, birds like cranes and geese need to be seen and heard in large numbers. Good also to see that the "old" XLH1 is still holding up. Did you use autofocus ? Nice sharp shots - the light looked soft but very clear, sort of.

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Old December 23rd, 2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

Thanks Ron. I didn't use auto focus for the morning, but did a manual focus on the subjects and set the f stop to give me a good depth of field, which was near infinity. The low light is because it was dawn's first light, and the sun hadn't even come up over the horizon yet at my elevation. The camera settings for all the shots, except some of the dusk shots was the camera on manual mode and -3db gain. If you look at the full length video,
A Winter's Day at The Sea - YouTube
the morning shots are manual focus, the geese landing in the field is auto focus, the dusk shots are manual focus, and the geese landing and cranes flying against the sunset is manual focus with auto gain.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

I enjoyed this very much, Don. I will look at the full length version when I get time. Excellent work!
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Old December 26th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

HI Don, I really like the imagery you captured in this piece. Especially the Sand hill Cranes :) I've never seen so many of them together like that. Usually only get to see a few at a time here in Florida.

The only thing I think I could offer up as a way to improve is in the audio. I found the sound of the camera firing off in the background to be extremely distracting. I know it's a small thing, but the camera noise kept pulling me out of enjoying the sights and sounds of the moment.

Other than that, I really liked it. Thanks for sharing. :)

Last edited by Ralph Gereg; December 26th, 2011 at 06:36 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

Thanks all for your comments. Your quite correct Ralph about the audio having a large effect on the video content. I spent this morning cleaning up the audio to eliminate the camera clicks and shotgun noise, since it was a hunt day. I have replaced the video on Vimeo with a cleaner version, or at least I hope so.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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Re: Dawn At The Sea

For those of you who haven't met Don, you may be interested in knowing that, in addition to his obvious talent, he is generous to a fault, funnier than Jay Leno, more intelligent and knowledgeable than I usually care to admit, and stubbornly iconoclastic. I'm not his PR guy -- in fact, I take great pleasure in making him uncomfortable -- but anyone looking for footage of birds should make his web site the first stop in his or her search.

Otherwise, I really don't like the guy. But I thought you might like to know a little more about him....

Tom
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