UWOL-18 - HIDDEN PERIL by Per Johan Naesje at DVinfo.net

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 08:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Akershus, Norway
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UWOL-18 - HIDDEN PERIL by Per Johan Naesje

Its been a long time since I finished a entry in the uwol-challenge. But this time I was able to succeed uploading a film.
I have moved out of the City of Oslo and to a very quiet and nice place one hour drive from the city. Nearby I have a woodland with lots of wildlife, like birds, squirrels, hares, roedeer, elk and so on.
Last winter I was also on the track of a lynx just 200m from my house as I found a carcass of a deer, but unfortunately I could not be able to catch up with the lynx. Maybe better luck this winter!

When the theme came up I was very happy because this was spot on what I had hoped for, when I established the hide earlier this fall. I build the hide with purpose of getting good shoots with a nice background and from different shooting levels.
Light this time of year can be a problem particularly in the middle of a forest canopy with low light beneath. The good thing is that I started to shoot with a Canon DSLR, the 7D, which allow me to use high ISO without ruin the footage with grain. In this film, I never shoot lower ISO than 2500 and some at ISO 4000!
All footage is shoot in 720p60 (luckily you can switch between PAL and NTSC setting). I mainly did this to get as many fps as possible. Then in post I used Cinema Tools to convert it to 720p25, which gave me almost 40% of real speed. As you can watch in the film, this is very nice, showing small birds in flight which is very fast flying species.
Ive used a variety of lenses, from wide at 17mm, to the huge 500mm. Using wide angle lens on birds, is very time consuming, and I used many, many hours of waiting and waste footage, before I got some usable for the film. But the one I got is what I call - money shoots!
When the Spotted Nutcracker showed up, things became very cool. This was first time Ive ever seen this bird and getting two of them is even better! But to get them pose in front of the lens, just a few inches away was not a easy task. They was very suspicious of the camera, and I used 4 days and numerous shoots, lay out nuts and wait, to get this shoots!
The dramatic end of the film was never in my dreams, and to get this kind of shoots you need a bit of luck!

I appreciate any feedback from you guys!

OK, to the film then.

The uwolchallenge.com version:
The UWOL Challenge - Wildlife & Outdoor based film competition

I also provided a Vimeo version for better resolution:

- Per Johan
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM   #2
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It's great to have a Per Johan film to watch again and this didn't disappoint. Nice and certainly intimate views of your feeder birds. You constructed a good story around the piece of predation you filmed. All the footage you shot was as good as we expect of you. My only critique would have been some of shots felt like static remotes (which i think they were ?), lacking the camera movement that keeps you in the moment ! - That said, everything did what it was meant to and looked great. I also liked the slight tension in the sound you introduced at the start. I think I might not have called to piece Hidden Peril, so that the watcher isn't waiting for 'that moment'. The Nutcrackers behaviour would be amazing to see from another tighter shot. I bet you will be looking for that again!

Nice piece, great unusual behaviour and good use of that 7d ! Oh and some amazing compression there Per.....17mb and it looks fab, awesome !
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:50 AM   #3
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Actually, knowing the length of lens you were likely shooting, I was marveling at the nice smooth tilts and pans you had made in some of the shots. I was thinking you had a deft touch and a nice tripod. And when I first saw the footage, and had not read your post here, I was wondering if you were indeed shooting with a DSLR.

Of course, the end was shocking and unsuspected but very powerful. Put me in mind of the National Geographics Great Migrations film that has been airing here.

Good to see your work again !!
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Totally amazing, Per,

I always love watching your videos because of the way you portray birds. Each one has it's own personality, and it's fun to see in real life what I have only looked at in field guides. The birds seem to loom especially large as they approach, almost like in a fisheye lens. It made the film very dream-like, and then the last scene turned it into a nightmare. Very effective. How do you like shooting with a DSLR?
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:15 AM   #5
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Well done Per,

The ending was so unexpected, but turned the film from a series of close ups of birds (although beautifully filmed) at a winter feeding station into something extra special. Very much enjoyed watching.

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:30 AM   #6
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really nice shot you got there Per... Have you thought of using a remote pan/tilt head? maybe that would give you some more movement...
the ending was scary...
have do you like the 7D... I just love mine...
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 04:48 AM   #7
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Hei Per Johan,
I can only agree with what has been said already.
Again you have made a really good video, which I really enjoyed watching.
Loved the close ups of the birds.

Well done!!
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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Per Johan,

It is so fascinating to see your video. The birds are so sharp.
I love your use of the wide lens. It gives me a sweet feeling of fairytale.
The ending is of course the one time in the life shot we all hope to get.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 05:54 AM   #9
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First of all - its so great to be back here with you all peers!

And thanks so much for great comments from you all!

Mat - english is not my tongue language, so I maybe shouldnt used the word PERIL in this context? Anyway as Trond so often replays - first of all have fun!

Markus&Mat - yes some of the low level shots was static remote camera. Its soon Christmas Eve and I know Anne-Kari read this forum from time to time. Anne-Kari - listen to Mat & Markus - I need a remote pan/tilt head, even if it can be rather expensive its Christmas Eve soon, isnt it!

Steve - I have responded in your other thread - Using DSLR for video!
- Per Johan
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Old November 24th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #10
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Per, once again you deliver. Beautiful and quite an unexpected ending. I think I could spent hours in your blind, it just seems so peaceful. You need to submit that clip to Corurnell University. Have you switched over to DSLR or still using your Canon? Bob
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Old November 24th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #11
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It's nice to see this footage shot with a DSLR. I have been a little worried that I would not be able to achieve good video of wildlife with a DSLR - you clearly demonstrated that a great video is possible.

You have a fine talent with your voice over, especially considering that English is not your native tongue. How far was your blind from the feeder? It sounds like it was really close.

The Spotted Nutcracker footage is a once in a lifetime experience.

Another excellent entry!
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Old November 24th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #12
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Per Johan,

You demonstrate how important it is to be out there if you want to see (and shoot) amazing things!!!

I loved the chance to see new birds so nicely captured!!!!

As always your work has been and still is an inspiration to me!!! You always keep the bar high!!!

Perhaps sometime you could share with us how you compress your work so nicely.
Dale W. Guthormsen

Last edited by Dale Guthormsen; November 24th, 2010 at 09:43 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #13
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Per, I've watched it a couple of times and see some very advanced technique in scene selection and editing to bring about a dramatic pacing. The audio is also great with the music gently fading out as you speak and creates a nice tone. I can learn a lot from this one, and I think I will try to film some birds for the first time after watching it again.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #14
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Hi Per Johan. Congratulations on documenting a new behaviour. Are the nutcrackers still visiting you? It looks like you are learning to make good use of that 7D! Do you think the loupe is a valuable aid to focus or not? I am thinking to get one next time some income rolls in. I guess you could have built up some tension in the story, as others have suggested, but I like the way you did it. You really have surprise on your side and I think the feeling must be much like what you experienced at the time. The title almost gives it away, though. Im glad you were able to enter this time because this was really great to watch. I hope your schedule allows you to play with us more next year. Good-luck!

Im really interested to see that you are feeding Hazel nuts. I dont feed them to the birds, but I give them to the flying squirrels I am feeding. They are not native here and the squirrels love them. A couple are now tame enough that when they see me coming to feed they jump off of the trees and on to me to try and be the first to get a Hazel nut. They are still pretty shy about the lights (theyre nocturnal), but we are getting there. I hope to have some footage to share soon.

One last thing. If you get the time I would really appreciate seeing some stills of the blind you built. I am quite interested in its construction. Thanks!
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Old November 25th, 2010, 01:18 AM   #15
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Thanks guys for your comments!

Bob - Im still using the XLH1 in combination with the 7D, they have both pros and cons. Together its a strong unit. Audio recording is done on the XLH1

Rich - thanks alot, its a quite steep learning process, but when you know what to look after DSLR are a very nice tool.

Dale - I will make a thread about this when I got time. But note that Im on a Mac platform. Could be a difference in the PC wordl!

Bill - do it I look forward to view some exotic birds from Hawaii!

Mike - the Nutrcacker pair is still there. And I want them to be there. I feed them every day with hazelnuts. Hopefully I get more worth of footage during this winter. They are waiting for me when I come to the feeding station. Seconds after I put out nuts they are on place!
Ive also got squirrels (5 of them). Even not shown in the film, I got them real close. Sometimes when I feeding, they can sit just a couple of meters from me.
I try to narrow this distance from day to day, so I maybe end up that they will come and feed from my hand!
Maybe I can make something about me and my hide, in upcoming uwols. Stay tuned!
- Per Johan
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