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Old April 4th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #16
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Thanks, Trond. I’m still hearing it here. It is more obvious with headphones. It’s no big deal. I would just like to know what I have done wrong!
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Old April 4th, 2014, 12:03 PM   #17
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

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Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
. . . I’ve just had a thought and I need to do a literature search to see if anyone is working on this. It occurs to me that some organisms may be doing something akin to the multispectral techniques used by archaeologists and art historians .. . Nervous systems are easily able to do signal inversion and subtraction. Perhaps some organisms with heightened acuity in narrow bands are doing the same for “camouflage-busting”?
Amazing how you have connected the dots here Mike!

It would be fantastic if you could find out more regarding this possibility. When you do please keep us posted!
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Old April 4th, 2014, 01:08 PM   #18
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Hi Mike,

Well - I learned and learned!
Really excellent macro photography here, and the use of graphics fitted very well with the flow - I was a bit jerked by the cut to the mountain range at 0.37, but thats nit picking!
Thanks for a nice short - I really wanted for it to go on and explain more - my only experience of scorpions is of remembering to shake out your boots in the morning, to make sure you have no unwanted guests!

I'd love more info on how you get those nighttime macro shots, when you have the time- Thanks!
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Old April 4th, 2014, 05:37 PM   #19
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Marj- I think it is an interesting idea. It’s probably too interesting to be original. I’ll be at a large research library in a few weeks and I’ll see what I can find on the subject.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 05:42 PM   #20
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Thanks, Paul. All of the “night” shots were actually day-for-night. I dropped the gamma a bit and color shifted slightly to the blue to simulate the way our eyes see color in low light. I then added a vignette by first outputting a single frame of the clip and importing it into Photoshop. I then made a new layer and filled it with black and then lowered it’s opacity until I could see the original layer. I drew an oval selection with a large feather around the main subject and then deleted it from the second layer, turned off the first layer and adjusted the opacity of the second layer as needed. I saved the comp as a PNG with no interlace (I also saved as a PSD because frequently another attempt with altered opacity was required.) I composited the semitransparent PNG with the entire clip in PP. There are other ways to add a vignette but I like the amount of control this way offers. I used the same basic technique to add the “shadows” that the scorpions retreated to (see below). There is actually a lot of compositing in this one. For example, the shot with three scorpions is actually a locked down camera and three clips of the same scorpion in three places composited together. If you look closely you can see that the middle scorpion isn’t perfect because I accidentally moved the substrate a bit when I “encouraged” it to move to that position. Similarly, the opening clip is a composite. Lenses don’t achieve critical focus in the same place when a significant amount of UV is added to the scene. (Photographers are probably more familiar with the same effect on the other end of the spectrum in infrared photography.) Some of my lenses are much worse than others. I was using one of the worst offenders in the first clip. In that clip I had focused with the UV in the mix and the first part with no UV ended up very soft. Since the scorpion didn’t move, I exported a still of the out of focus part and in PS selected the scorpion and then deleted the rest. I used High Pass sharpening because you can be extreme with it without adding too many artifacts.- In PS duplicate the layer you want to sharpen (in this case just the scorpion on a transparent field). Add the High Pass filter to the second layer and drag the slider all the way to the left. The image will look gray. Drag the slider to the right until the outline of objects on the original layer begin to appear. Click OK and then change the layer blend mode to Soft Light. (You can add an incredible amount of sharpening to a video clip the same way by writing an action to do it to a series of numbered stills.)- I output the sharpened scorpion as a PNG and composited it over the out of focus part in PP. The second part of the clip (when the UV light was moved until the scorpion glowed) was darkened in the same way as adding the vignette above but with no doughnut hole and the composite of the semitransparent PNG in PP was ramped from zero opacity to full to “turn out” the light. Pretty simple once you see the trick.
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UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims-shadow-before.jpg   UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims-shadow-after.jpg  


Last edited by Mike Sims; April 4th, 2014 at 06:19 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #21
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

I forgot to mention the other technique that I thought some of you might be interested in. The through-the-scorpion’s-eyes clip was shot through a ProVision PV2300 fiber optic borescope. The focus was adjusted so the individual fibers were in sharp focus and the footage was color shifted to simulate the scorpion’s blue-green color vision.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 11:44 PM   #22
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Thanks for all the tips and "how to", Mike.
Always nice to learn something new.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 05:58 AM   #23
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Hi Mike.
What a great film!
Really nice close up shots of some creepy creatures.
We don't have these scary monsters in Norway :)
The storyline is good and I can't find much to put my finger on.
Both educational and informative and editing is all fine.
Great job!
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:40 AM   #24
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

My pleasure, Trond. I have learned so much from you guys. My videos have improved entirely because of my desire to become as good at this as the rest of you. I’m always happy when I am able to share something with this group.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:41 AM   #25
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Thanks, Geir Inge, but watch out! As Mick pointed out above, they can show up in unexpected places. Kanskje de kan komme å invadere i Norge! (Probably, like me, they will never be able to learn to speak the language properly.)
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Old April 5th, 2014, 07:05 PM   #26
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

This was a fascinating piece, Mike. Thanks for educating me!

And besides the glowing scorpion shots being pretty novel, I liked your research-based approach, coverage of the various speculations, and most especially, your mirrored day and moonrise shots of that narrow valley!

Some of these pieces (this one included) seem just a step away from broadcast-quality. I could easily see this being used as a classroom or museum educational tool.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #27
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

Thanks for the kind words, Finn. That “last” step is a big one. I have a lot to learn. One thing I have learned is that when I am “finished” editing it is good to put the project away and think about other things for several days. When I return with a fresh mind-set I can usually see many small problems that I couldn’t recognize before which collectively really add up. The timing of these challenges often doesn’t allow for that.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 11:15 AM   #28
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Re: UC29-"Why do scorpions glow in the dark?"- Mike Sims

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Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
Thanks, Geir Inge, but watch out! As Mick pointed out above, they can show up in unexpected places. Kanskje de kan komme å invadere i Norge! (Probably, like me, they will never be able to learn to speak the language properly.)
That was perfect norwegian Mike :)
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