UWOL 18: Painted Stones, Boiling Brooks. Steve Siegel at DVinfo.net

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Old November 22nd, 2010, 08:46 PM   #1
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UWOL 18: Painted Stones, Boiling Brooks. Steve Siegel

UWOL 18 turned out to coincide with a trip we were taking to Wyoming, and Yellowstone Park seemed a perfect place to shoot. It is so big, we hoped to find areas that were not often photographed, and so late in the year that we expected the animals to be less shy, with fewer tourists, cars, and horns everywhere. We were right on both counts. I hope the little quiet places we found, and the animals actually living their lives, not just standing around staring at tourists, fit Catís intimate details theme.

I needed a story line, and learned that in 1871 an expedition under Dr. Ferdinand Hayden had gone to Yellowstone to survey the area. Photographer William Henry Jackson and artist Thomas Moran were in attendance, and it was their landscape images that convinced the government to save Yellowstone as a park. A member of the expedition, George Allen, was the trip botanist, and kept a journal of his experiences. He was there to record the details of the flora and fauna in this remote wilderness that would be of use to science. It seemed natural to use the idea of such a journal to narrate this story.

Our trip was an experiment of sorts. No birds, no long lenses. I shot the whole thing with a little 5 inch Canon HV 20 camcorder on a $25 tripod. Very easy for traveling.

Here is the Vimeo version.

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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"I shot the whole thing with a little 5 inch Canon HV 20 camcorder on a $25 tripod. Very easy for traveling."

Isn't it amazing the imagery that can be achieved with such kit. Well done for working within this handicap and it kind of makes my main critique less valuable. I thought your journey through Yellowstone was great with some nice imagery (Loving the Coyote!). However overall the production quality seemed slightly lacking with some soft/out of focus material and uneasy camera movement ($25 tripod!). More variation in types of shots would have been better as a lot of it was built from wides and mids. You also had only the left audio channel on the mix I think!

I'm very jealous of your trip, hopefully it's a place I'll get to go to one day. Great work with that HV20!

Cheers
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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Mat,

Thanks for the heads up on the audio. I got
sound out of both sides of my headphones and thought
it was OK. I have seen this before. Will try to correct.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:46 AM   #4
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Steve.... with that gear you should be happy with this film... I would...
It's something with the audio... I have a hard time to hear the VO. The film felt much longer than 3 minutes... I don't konw if that is good or bad, but you covered alot!. Some more shots on the animals would have been good and as Mat say, some looks out of focus.

Over all a well done film

Markus
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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Hi Steve,

Whoa!! What an amazing waterfall in the beginning. I absolutely love the scenery.
Now I know where we're going if we ever get a chance to do the "world uwol tour" we talked about a while ago.

I'll let Mat handle the tech details. To me, your video is a clear sign that a skilled camera operator can make quality work with cheap equipment.

Thank you very much for sharing!
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Hi Steve,

Enjoyed watching and amazed I'm at what you produced with the limited eqipment you had with you.

Well done

Mick
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:00 AM   #7
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Steve,

You did a pretty awesome job here, I loved the coyote scene the best and then the rugged water fall!! though I must say I liked pretty much all the shots. Yes a few shots seemed soft but I still found it pleasurable to be certain. I think it fits the theme fine as your shots are small and detailed compared to the yellowstone region!!!

Thank you for taking the time and sharing you film, much enjoyed and will watch again!
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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Hi Steve. What fun! When I watched it on the UWOL server I had to go back and check- did he make his frame size larger than the others? No! It just seemed that way because you did such a great job of portraying the wide openess. Thanks for taking us along on what was obviously a wonderful vacation. Iíll bet the HV 20 attracted a lot less attention from the permit police than the XL would have. Pretty darn steady for a $25 tripod!
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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Steve:

The lowly HV20 is still out there showing its stuff. Great video production. I went to Yellowstone the week after 9/11/2001. Shoot it with my Digital 8 recorder, if I remember right. Your film makes me want to get that footage out and compare.

Nice entry.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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Steve,

What wonderful footage. I really liked the concept and the execution. The wildlife and landscape shots are great. The voice over was a bit low and did seem to be localized to my left channel (I had to turn up my volume a bit to hear it and then could hear some hiss from the right side).

In spite of the equipment you had some pretty good camera movement.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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Steve, youīre the man. Lurking around in Yellowstone with a small HV20 and a $25 tripod, and get footage like this! Very impressing I must say!
The silhouette shots was impressing to watch.

I have a dream of on time get myself into Yellowstone. How is it to be there, are you allowed to walk free, or do you have to follow public paths?
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #12
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You can walk as free as you wish. You need to register for a back-country permit if you plan to be out over night. Just keep your eyes out for bears. Speaking of bears, I saw this great T-shirt:

Human-Bear Interactions

It is recommended that hikers wear bear-bells, and carry pepper spray.
Be aware of bear signs.
Black bear feces can be recognised because they contain little blueberries.
Grizzly Bear poop contains bells and smell like pepper.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #13
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Ha Ha, Black Bears and Grizzlies are a little different eh?
Those meadow shots are awesome. That coyote ate that critter in 2 bites. Great framing on the rams going at it.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post

Human-Bear Interactions

It is recommended that hikers wear bear-bells, and carry pepper spray.
Be aware of bear signs.
Black bear feces can be recognised because they contain little blueberries.
Grizzly Bear poop contains bells and smell like pepper.
Classic!

Hi Steve:

You were jealous of my Goshawk footage that was dropped in my lap a few weeks ago? Now it is my turn to be jealous. I have spent two years now without success to find Rams sparring during the rut season in Rocky Mtn National Park. And you captured it in soft silhouette on top of it all! How thrilling is that?

I personally thought this was marvelous. What a tribute to the writing of George Allen, that 140 years later we are able to feast with our eyes and ears what he so poetically detailed in pen. When preserved, our wild earth doesn't change too drastically does it?

I appreciate your take on the theme choice this round. It was what I attempted to suggest when I announced it that intimate detail did not have to mean that everyone run for their macro lenses. What a detailed narrative of such vast open places!

What a joy this was, Steve. Thank you, thank you!

Cat
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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Hi Steve
You certainly have an amazing talent for finding and filming subjects that fit exactly what you are reading from someone’s journal. Your “Bartram’s Gators” is another exceptional example of this. Every time I watch it I marvel at how the words written so far back in time are matched exactly to what I am seeing on the screen now - even down to the detail of how the water was behaving. How do you do that?! - The coyote here is doing exactly what the writer way back then was describing them doing!!! Really enjoyed this fascinating film Steve. You have shown us some wonderful details of Yellowstone and that headbutt was an amazing shot. Ouch, quick – Asprin!
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