UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > DV Info Net Community Contests > The UWOL Challenge

The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 1st, 2012, 07:28 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Zoo in a Dewdrop

I used to take a lot of photographs through microscopes- not so much for my own research, but because I had acquired the knack, frequently out of “professional courtesy” for “departmental colleagues” in aid of various reports and papers. While I was in graduate school I took several classes in oceanic plankton. A while back I decided that I would like to collect video of many of the strange looking creatures which participate in the planet’s greatest migration (greatest in numbers, greatest in biomass, greatest in frequency…)- the daily migration of plankton to and from the depths. I acquired a microscope (AmScope model #T940B). It is not on a par with the research grade instruments I used to use but is mechanically and, somewhat, optically sound and was within my reduced means. Shortly afterwards UWOL 19 “Motion” was held. I had thought to do a video on the Kingdom Protista, the main division of which is based on the means of locomotion. (Protist ~= protozoa. In this video I used an even older name, animalcules, which was coined in 1683 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who discovered protists but did not invent the microscope.) Unfortunately I became ill and wasn’t able to shoot even a single frame for UWOL 19 (and I still haven‘t started on plankton yet either!). When the theme for UWOL 22 was announced I revived and almost completely revised the idea.

The micro clips were shot on a Canon 550D (T2i) coupled to the third axis of the microscope with an EF to M42 adapter and a Meade camera adapter for telescopes. An eyepiece pointer adapter was between the Meade adapter and the microscope. The camera was used at prime focus, with simple projection (akin to using close-up rings), and with eyepiece projection. The projection eyepiece was an 18mm Meade Plössl. Microtechniques used include vital staining, dark field (which trades resolution for contrast) and Rheinberg illumination. Scale was measured with a stage micrometer.

The macro clips were shot on a Canon XLH1a recording to an Atomos Samurai through a Blackmagic Design Analogue to SDI Mini Converter. The lens used was a Canon EF 100-400L with a Canon 500D diopter. Specimens were in a Carolina Micro Aquarium (#131016).

Subjects were easily acquired by “fishing” in my 23 year old 50 gallon Leiden-style aquarium. It is truly a “micro-menagerie”.

The “reverse UWOL” clip was shot with a Canon SD 1400 IS in a WP-DC37 underwater housing on a ProAm DVC200 crane (which was recommended by Per Johan Naesje- Thanks Per Johan!). I was not in the river but the tripod was. (Good thing because wading is illegal!) The sky was completely blown out and was rescued by the non replacement technique discussed at the end of Andrew Kramer’s Video Copilot Tutorial #42- Advanced Sky Replacement. I’m pleased how well the footage from the little camera cut against the other footage. I believe this is the only clip at normal speed.

Slow motion was done by:
1) Smooth Slow Record (120 fps) on a Sony HDR-HC9 conformed to 24P.
2) 60P conformed to 24P.
3) 30i conformed to 24P.
4) any of the above further slowed with Kronos.
Combination of 1 and 4 was least effective due to the reduced resolution. The fast motion was simply done in Premier.

Audio was a major concern for me. No Foley this time. What kind of sound does a paramecium make? I hope the choice of music worked.

Would any of these creatures really exist in a dewdrop? Obviously some are too large and the title is somewhat “creative license”, however, protists dry up and encyste and are quick to inhabit the most ephemeral of bodies of water. Even dewdrops…

As usual, all questions, comments and critique is welcomed. Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims-microscope.jpg  
Attached Images
 
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2012, 10:59 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Larsnes, Norway
Posts: 1,203
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Hello Mike.

Very clever to put the story to a zoo. You would expect to find large animals there.
So I was surprised when it turned up several tiny creatures - in a row :) Clever done!
You have delivered a very exciting and good video this time.
The frame around the story is good, exciting and varied. Good editing and mix of sound.
I have nothing to put my finger on and I think you have submitted a video according to the theme - it's great.
And now? Now I want a microscope I can attach to my camera ;o)

Best wishes.

Geir Inge
__________________
Geir Inge B. Brekke
Visit me at: www.gibbfilm.no
Geir Inge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2012, 07:26 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada
Posts: 489
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Hi Mike
I found this to be an interesting video. Some things I would never get to see. You brought us into the theme well and I enjoyed how you explained things. Making videos allows a person a little "creative license". I liked it and I think it was well done.

Gordon
Gordon Hoffman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2012, 09:04 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Black Mountain, NC
Posts: 488
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Mike, I found your video really fascinating. I still remember the first time I looked under my kid microscope at a drop of pond water when I was around 8. There was so much going on. I have played with getting photos and video with a microscope, but never with a professional setup. This really encourages me to try that. I have used a larger version of the microaquarium to shoot video of fish and other larger creatures. It really helps, and I am impressed by the variety and quality of shots you have in this video. I have always had a soft spot for water bears, so hugely enjoyed that footage.

The whole video really worked for me. Going from the zoo down to the dewdrop was a great transition. And with the scale, plus the facts at the end, put things in perspective.

I found the music whimsical, and it worked for me. In future, you might want to try a hydrophone. Years ago, in Costa Rica and Massachusetts, I used a hydrophone to identify a mystery sound in both places, and it turned out to be a water boatman. I've also used tiny mics to record ants and other little animals. So who knows, maybe they really do make noise?!

Thanks for sharing your amazing tiny creatures. I think you have won for the most extreme "little things" this round!


Ruth
__________________
http://rockfowl.com/
Ruth Happel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 06:42 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,123
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Mike, Fantastic. I learned more about micro organisms in your short video than I did in a full semester of invertebrate zoology. Thanks for teaching us about a world most of us never get to visit. Bob
Bob Safay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:11 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Geir Inge- Thanks. I feel that if you decide to shoot video through a microscope I will have accomplished something good. I know the results will be worthwhile!
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:12 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Gordon- I’m pleased you enjoyed the video. Thank-you for your kind words.
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:15 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Ruth- I used to have a nesting set of photo aquaria. They were smashed in a car wreck in Mexico. (For any reading- photo aquaria are very narrow such as to keep the subject from moving out of the narrow plane of focus.) I recently discovered museum glass and propose to build a new set with it. (Museum glass is flat glass which is anti-reflection multicoated like camera lenses.) The micro aquarium is 2mm deep, by the way.

I’ve used hydrophones before. The first was just a normal microphone in a condom sealed with a twist tie. I got that from Scientific American’s Amateur Scientist-there’s still lots of good stuff for DIY wildlife video makers in that archive! I’m unfamiliar with your tiny microphones for ants. I find that really intriguing. Could you provide more information about them, please?
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 08:17 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Bob- Gosh, I sure hope you weren’t one of my Invertebrate Zoology students! :) I hope we’ll get to see another video from you soon.
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 12:42 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vastervik ,Sweden
Posts: 634
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Hi Mike
You got a similar setup like I do for Microscope filming... it's fun, is in it!
I like the Idea of putting the story in a dewdrop... nice!
Some shots when you turned the story to the water, it went a bit to fast (especially the drop to UW) for me... I got a lot of tiny creatures in there... maybe to many? Or not...
You made a really nice film, Mike, well done!
Markus Nord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 09:47 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Markus- Thanks! I took about a dozen takes on the crane shot and that clip was about the smoothest. I had trouble getting smooth motion with the very light weight camera- not enough momentum. To compensate I think I went too fast and perhaps I should have slowed it down afterwards. I hope I didn’t put too many creatures in. I had to leave several out. The idea was that each one would be smaller than the last and it almost worked out that way. Not quite.
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:17 PM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southwest Idaho, USA
Posts: 3,063
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

You knocked this one out of the park, Mike. I loved it! Having never heard of a water bear before I think that was my favorite part--like Ruth, I think they're pretty neat and appropriately named.

Choices of music worked very well for me, partly because I find water creatures, particularly those in the deepest parts of the ocean, somewhat unsettling. Your magnification of these tiny lifeforms caused them to affect me the same way, so the sometimes "creepy" music fit perfectly.

At first I was wishing the zoo noise would have faded out when you broke the surface of the water, but I know what you were after and it makes sense. You did have the one foley work (breaking the water's surface) and it sounded great. :)

I am so pleased you had the opportunity to dust off and revise an older idea to produce this educational and fascinating piece!
__________________
Lorinda
Lorinda Norton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Hi Lorinda. Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. Water bears (tardigrada) are a lot more interesting than I had time to mention. They have even been considered as candidates for deep space missions because they can survive long periods in vacuum and zero gravity and also survive ionizing radiation at levels 1000 times most animals. (Why we would want to send water bears to other planets is, I confess, somewhat beyond me. I have heard some “Ancient Aliens” folks claim that they are closely related to the “inoculant species” with which the “Master Alien Race” seeded the galaxy. Hmmmmm…) The sound of the water was actually recorded by the camera’s on board microphone through the under water housing! I did add the sound of the drops on the sand and at the end.
Mike Sims is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Mike,

Pretty amazing stuff and you did a great job incorporating it. tieing all into the zoo was brilliant, otheerwise you would have a bunch of flat footage!!!!

It was a pretty amazing watch!!!!! Great job.

Invertabrate zoology, took that in 1970, Ugggggggg!!!!!!!! All I remember is stratified squaimis epithelium (or some such spelling)!!!

Look forward to more trulyu micro videography in the future.

thank you for participating and sharing!!!!
__________________
DATS ALL FOLKS
Dale W. Guthormsen
Dale Guthormsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2012, 09:13 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 880
Re: UWOL 22- Zoo in a Dewdrop- Mike Sims

Thanks Dale. It seems to be a subject that people either love or hate.
Mike Sims is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > DV Info Net Community Contests > The UWOL Challenge

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:00 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network