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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #1
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A few tips for better shooting

Hey Everyone,

Well, Spring is here in Iowa and hopefully I'll be in good shape to shoot the next challenge!

Anyway, I've been working on a site to help people shoot better nature and wildlife video. I've been sitting on it for quite some time as Meryem and Mat can tell ya!

I still have a lot of work to do on it but it's getting there little by little.

But I created a free eBook with ten no-cost tips for shooting better nature and wildlife video.
Many of you probably know most of the tips but sometimes it's nice to see something you already know from someone else's point of view.

Anyway you can check it out here: Ten No-Cost Tips to Improve Your Nature & Wildlife Video Today!

But most importantly, I want to pick my fellow UWOL'ers brains.
What kind of stuff so you want to know more about to improve your nature and wildlife video?

Do you want to know more about sliders and how they work?
Do you want to learn how to setup your camera so that the sun rises right in front of you every time?
What is it that you want to know?

I want to put together a series of video tutorials that cover the things you want to know more about.

I hope you enjoy the eBook and please, let me know the kind of stuff you're interested in learning about!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Kevin,

. Your entire site is very nicely done and attractive to look at (lacking in most web sites).

I down loaded the tips book and you did a great job on it!! Many people will find it highly useful!!!

My favorite is, "Good things come to those who wait!" I personally have the hardest time with that, its real work sitting still for hours at a time!!

I also liked your recommends for a butterfly garden!! I have been working on that for several years now without much success. I did not know about the fuit juice and mashed fruit as an attractant. I put Oranges out for orioles, will start with the bannas this spring!!

We still have over a foot of icey snow in the yard lost about a foot this week, it is getting old!!!! It is snowing as I write this!!

Perhaps something that you might consider adding to your tips is about getting out often at any time of day and learning wildlifes native habits, then using them for placing yourself in position for the best shots. A simple example is finding deer trails as they use them like clock work. Environments that are conducive to specific wildlife, eg native grasslands for specific forms of wild life. Field craft only come from field work. Many times In the uwol forum I have seen people wanting to find a book on how to find wildlife.


Great job putting this together!!!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Dale,

Glad you got something out of it.

Like I said, the site is a work in progress.

The patience part I think os the toughest part.
I was out for several hours last night hoping to film the super moon. But, no luck. I was clouded in here.
But the silver lining was I was practicing playing my Native American flute and had two owls "singing" in the tree above me while I played along the bank of the Cedar River. So, even though I didn't come home with any footage, it was being there that made it awesome!

I've got your suggestions jotted down!
I want to make video tutorials. A lot of times I don't "get it" when I read it. So I want to put everything in a visual form.

Might be a good thing to interview like a wildlife biologist to get some good info.

I'll work on more articles for the It's Your Nature section too.

Thanks for downloading! Let's kick ass in the next UWOL challenge!!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Thanks Kevin. The site and e-book look great and I see wonderful potential in where you are headed. My quick suggestion for a topic to cover is manual white balance. Iíll think about it and send you some more, but Iím sure youíll get lots of great suggestions here. Iím glad youíre feeling better!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Thanks Mike!
I'll do something on manual white balance for sure.
I'll cover using Warm Cards etc to get repeatable results etc.
It's on the list!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Thank you, Kevin!
All tips are most welcome. Never to late to learn or improve our skills. :)
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:33 AM   #7
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Kevin nice site.

The use of sliders in nature shoots would be interesting.
How about something on the use of filters?
Thanks.

Gordon
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Hi Kevin
It's great to see things are moving along. I think your ebook is bang on the money as an initial 10 tips. I think its really well presented and the design is easilly digestible with and great mix of images and text and nice wording.

I recently taught a wildlife photography course (stills) at a local reserve. This was my 'worksheet' if you like (attached). I found that most of the folks there found the camera 'control' stuff quite boring, there was certainly a few blank looking faces. (maybe its my teaching style :-/ ) . However they were very interested in a lot of the other aspects, maybe because it was a low level course and they could understand the information more easilly.

Anyway I've attached the sheet for everyone here to take a look at.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes fella!

Mat
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

This time :-)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf wildlife_photography.pdf (4.49 MB, 365 views)
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 03:32 PM   #11
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Awesome Mat! Thanks for putting up your worksheet.

I remember you telling me about this class. I wanted to do something that didn't require any purchases. Course, I guess if you don't have a tripod then that would be a purchase. :)

I'll keep collecting them as well as coming out with some video tutorials for the things people mentioned above as well.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:24 PM   #12
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Good work - look forward to joining in and sharing some experience from Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Dale - your BUTTERFLY problem - best solution [sic] a mix of stale beer and urine works every time also slows the subject up a little making the filming a little easier.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:28 PM   #13
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Here's another tip for better shooting. (Actually I just have to vent). The tip is "don't assume that because everyone loves something that it's really all that good." I just bought a Sony PWM EX3, one of the world's most popular camcorders. I was going to use it with a Nanoflash to acheive new heights in film-making. (Yeah, right.) I take it out of the box and start to play with the dials. Where's the shutter dial? Not on the right. Not on the left. Not on top. Guess what; there is none!!!!! To use the shutter you have to go into the menu, and even there you only have 7 speeds, and two of them are 1/120 and 1/125. Why? How can someone doing wildlife video, where distances and lighting change by the second not have fingertip tight control over exposure. In the menu! Gimme a break. How did Sony get away with such a manufacture? Years ago when I bought a Sony Vaio computer and later found that it would only use Sony-proprietary software I vowed never to buy a Sony product again. Broke the rule. Paid the price. Rant over. Thanks for listening.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:21 PM   #14
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

I hear ya Steve!
I've been debating about a new camera and it's easy to be swayed from feedback. But most of the feedback I've seen about the cameras I'm interested in don't shoot nature and wildlife.

So for Zombies they sound awesome. But until I can figure out how they'll work for nature & wildlife, I'm holding off for now.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 04:27 AM   #15
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Re: A few tips for better shooting

Camera choice is always an issue - there is NO universal solution.
We do mainly Industrial type outdoor corporate work with Nature now
an added bonus. Used to be the other way around once.
Have gone down the Nikon path always and have a D7000 in the bag
but have come to the conclusion STILLS are best handled on a stills
camera VIDEO on a video camera. We are currently using the Canon
XF300 and very happy with that kit / good lens / portable enough to get
into wilderness situations. Would love something bigger and better but
too heavy to carry all day if you are by yourself.

My best nature footage has been captured with a field naturalist friend
who knows the behaviors / the where and when thing might well happen.

We also have a library STOCKLIBRARY and the nature footage is always
a winner. Never dates, gets used all over the place. Much is on super 16mm
or 35mm regraded and digitized still looks great Keep in touch Steve
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