UWOL 18 - Rock Boring Urchins at DVinfo.net

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 03:36 PM   #1
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UWOL 18 - Rock Boring Urchins

I filmed a single urchin for about 5 hours over the course of a week.
This only looks watchable on a small screen, I can't make an HD version, it looks all blurry. The camera is not designed for underwater super close up, so it is what it is. The GoPro is wedged into a crack about 4 inches wide and the subject urchin is about 3 inches from the lens. It was interesting seeing what these creatures are doing when the footage is speeded up, which is what I was really after, sort of a science project. I actually fed the little thing, never thought you could do that, and without the timelapse you wouldn't be able to see it. Maybe someday I'll get a Canon 7d with a water housing for some pro shots.

Here's a link to a page with a small screen version:

Rock Boring Urchins
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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Bill, sitting here up in the cold winter with temperature below -10 C (14 F) I got a really relaxed and warm summer mood when I watched your film.
This was very interesting and educational to watch. I learned a lot about this small creatures. Even if the quality as you mentioned was poor, your narrating enhanced it very well.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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Bill,

Great little mini-documentary. I always appreciate new things!! It has been -20 here warming up to -15 during the heat of the day!! Water looked inviting. I think you did all right with your go pro. Your naration was good and informative!!! Especially for someone like myself that is fundementally ignorant about sea creatures!!

Good job.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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Hi Bill. You chose a very interesting subject. I have collected rock boring urchins of a different genus in Mexico. They have much shorter spines and only use their mouthparts to bore. Your urchins also use their spines? Wow! It's amazing how these guys can turn solid basalt into Swiss cheese. Iím curious, are you using the GoPro stock housing with the curved lens port or one of the modified flat port ones like from EyeOfMine? I think there are probably lots of other underwater timelapse subjects where you live. Give us more. Please.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 06:09 AM   #5
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Hi Bill,

One thing with these challenges you always learn or see something new. In this case how the urchins bore into the rock. Thought this was a very good film.

Mick
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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very good mr Thesken! one omre UW... nice to se some one more covering the wet part of the globe (it one 70% of the surface...) I enjoyde this film... and to have been filmed with just a GoPro that looks ok. With a 7D (or T2i cheaper with the same video...) and some diffrent lenses this would have looked lovely... In spring I'll try some UW timelaps.

good one!
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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Hi Bill,

Underwater video is always fantastic, and yours was really entertaining. Thank you for teaching me something I did not know.
Amazing how steady your shots are.

I look forward to see your next one!
Thank you for sharing. Now I'm back to watch it again.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #8
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The time lapse of the urchin moving was very fascinating. It was quite an undertaking, I am sure. Very instructive and entertaining despite the equipment limitations.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #9
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Bill a very interesting piece. And educational too! The narration and content were well done and the pacing was good.

I did find the changing aspect ratio a bit unsettling. I would have preferred that you crop every thing to either 4:3 or 16:9 rather than inter-mingling.

The time lapse was nice and added a great dimension to the story. Too often time lapse does not add any merit, but yours was integral to the story -- well done.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Thanks for the comments. I still haven't seen all the films and hope to get to them soon.

Mike- it is the curved lens port, and underwater it's distorted, although on land it's crisp. I'll need to get the flat port. The camera is on the way to the manufacturer for repair so I might not have it for the next round. I'll have to manage with the Canon A1.

Rich- I tried for about an hour to fix that glitch with the aspect ratio difference. The timelapse shots have a huge aspect ratio, compared to the 1280x720 of the video takes. I tried cropping and unchecking the aspect ratio, but it just made things way distorted. It works for panoramic scenes, clouds and sunsets, but not for macro. Something I'll need to find an answer to before trying this again.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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Bill- Iíve seen where people make their own flat ports by gluing a UV haze filter to a tube over the curved port instead of replacing it. I canít find the link to that right now, but Iíll keep looking. They claim that as long as you trap air between the flat and curved it will make an improvement. Iím not sure why that works. Anyway, I was wondering what if you used a close-up diopter lens instead of a filter? If you use silicone caulk you could easily remove it afterwards. I hope GoPro gets your mended camera back to you soon.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #12
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Hi Bill

A really nice subject matter. You bring to life something that in most folks heads is a stationary creature. This was technically a difficult undertaking with that little goPro and while it could have done with variation of focal distance on your subject I think this still worked.

I do feel you could have told a stronger story and it was a little text book in its presentation. How about starting with something on the tunnels through the rock and looking at the sands and asking....but what could have produced this? - Then revealed the story of your urchin as a cause ! I think something of that nature would have lifted the piece overall.

A nice film and very informative with some nice unusual fooatge!

thanks for sharing
Mat

Last edited by Mat Thompson; November 26th, 2010 at 09:08 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:20 AM   #13
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Bill,
from my cold corner of the world it is a pleasure to watch your interesting and informative video.
It is well edited and your VO is very good, Ė not disturbed by music and loud noises.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #14
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I had to laugh: When I first saw your title I thought you were referring to your urchin story as being as boring as a rock (a subject which seems to creep into this site at some most unexpected moments)! How wrong could I have been!

This film was really interesting and your voice is an asset that you should definitely continue to use more often!

The GoPro obviously has its limitations for this sort of work but you did a good job despite that. (What happened to it, by the way, to cause it to stop working?)

Speeding up the footage was very effective in demonstrating the scouring action of those spines. (Now I would like to know from Mike Sims how you could have prized an urchin off after his suggestion to me that I should film the tube feet through the base of a glass bottle. And here I thought it was going to be easy!) :)

I think the underwater bug has bitten you – better start saving! :)

I can’t think of a more beautiful or remote place on planet earth to film under water than Hawaii – just think of all those wonderful things you will have to show us and the world!!
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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #15
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A fascinating little film and you have a really nice voice to go with it. The GoPro is really quite a versatile little camera when the operator has the right imagination, you've tempted me to put one on my wish list.
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