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Old January 5th, 2015, 08:53 AM   #1
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UWOL #32 Using the Elements

I have uploaded for your enjoyment and for comments maybe somewhere between level 1&2 lol. In order to complete an entry I have included in this round some of my footage from another project (but not exclusive to) that I am working on. The link to the theme is tenuous to say the least but these birds being so small and the way they battle through and use the power of the the elements to their advantage fascinates me. Unfortunately approximately 20% of the footage was filmed before the 1st December (19th November to be precise) so therefore probably making this film not eligible for voting on. I will leave Trond to make that decision. Nevertheless please enjoy. Mick

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Last edited by Mick Jenner; January 5th, 2015 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Added Vimeo link
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Old January 5th, 2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
approximately 20% of the footage was filmed before the 1st December (19th November to be precise) so therefore probably making this film not eligible for voting on. I will leave Trond to make that decision...
This ha been reviewed and the older footage is a minor part/feature of the video.

This video is therefore included in the voting.
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Old January 6th, 2015, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Mick,

I always wondered how to get a little color in to film of winter Sanderlings. You managed to do it on a beach with colored stones. (Not to mention the leg bands). We only have sand here. I enjoyed your ground level shooting. It's always best, and your following was tight and accurate. My only desire would have been for a few more wide shots to give the eye a rest and to further establish the location.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 04:57 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Mick.
The first thing I would comment on is the superb sound mix you have in your video.
In my opinion constitutes sound mix 50% of a video, especially important when portrays wildlife.
This allows your video to shine and I'm very pleased that your video was not rejected.
It is an impressive journey "your" birds leave behind, who could believe it?
They are so small?
Nice flow in your VO and editing is also superb.
I guess you know a lot about ringed birds?

Well done my friend and thanks for sharing.

PS
If you ever come to Norway, it will be an honor to guide you around the bird island Runde.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 06:05 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Mick,

I see you are better at filming birds than I am. So difficult to know what they do next, but your framing were mostly spot on.
What I am missing, is some establishing wide shots of the area to give a feeling of where you are.
Some even wider shots in addition to those you used in the beginning, would maybe be better and give the audience a better impression of the elements these birds are battling.

The sound mix is, as Geir Inge says, important, and I think you did it well. May I suggest you try increase the volume of the birds/ ambient sound a little bit during the close up shots? I think this might bring the viewer even closer to the action.

Again, a great film from you!
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Old January 7th, 2015, 07:17 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Mick,

There are many things i like in this video, the birds are nicely filmed turnstones behaviour as well as the Sanderling, having shot wildlife really know how much of a effort it is to keep things in focus. Would have liked some more establishing shots than are there as others have said,
The voice over goes very nicely with the video.

i am glad your entry is in .

cheers
vishal
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Old January 7th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #7
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Mick,

I am, as ever, impressed by the quality of your footage - and of course the overall technical quality of your entries - Thanks for a very polished film!

Noted your comments about the somewhat tenuous link to the subject - but well done anyway!
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Old January 8th, 2015, 02:34 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Mick. Yes another interesting and well done piece. As others have said a few wider shots would have been nice. Amazing how far some of these birds travel.

Gordon
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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:16 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi all, thanks for all the kind and constructive comments they are very much appreciated. You are always learning. Marj last round identified that I was sitting down whilst recording my voice over, she was quite right. Did it standing up this time found it much better easier and hopefully you found it sounded better!.

I take on board the comments re establishing clips, this was a last minute change of plan as I have explained in a reply in Kevin's thread, but am kicking myself as I have just found some from a few years back, at the time was worried about using too much previously recorded footage as I alluded to in my opening thread. Mental note to self to re read the rules and inwardly digest lol!

Geir, If we make to Norway Runde is on list of places to visit, will defiantly take you up on your offer.

Many thanks

Mick
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Old January 9th, 2015, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

HI MIck

Wow what stunning close-up footage and interesting facts about the Sanderlings. I have always loved the way the Sanderlings follow the receding waves, anticipate their return and scurry en mass to escape - keeping just out of reach of the water! I have watched them with fascination doing that on the beaches here in SA. I am equally intrigued watching your footage of their feeding habits which you have captured wonderfully.

I am aware that you cobbled this together but you did ask for constructive critique’ somewhere between level 1 & 2’ so I am basing this critique on what you have presented even if it is not your best.
Your story is engaging and interesting with a simple structure but is limited basically to facts about the shore birds with particular focus on Sanderlings.
I believe that a bit of excitement could be added to this film and at the same time bring attention back to the elements. You say in your post “these birds being so small and the way they battle through and use the power of the elements to their advantage fascinates me” Perhaps you could consider introducing footage that would give us an appreciation of the power of the elements - possibly a stormy sea with a battering wind – or other things with which they have to contend a lot of the time (the antagonists). Focusing on these elements with purposeful use of interesting points of views – especially low (worm’s eye views) would give a bigger-than-life menacing feel to the crashing waves. Add appropriate sound bites to give a more thrilling context. In this film it looks like the birds are coping pretty well with the elements – even benefitting from them quite comfortably. I am wondering where these birds are when there is a storm or when they are faced with other elemental challenges? Would be interesting to find out and film how they cope under those circumstances!)

The overall quality of your footage is excellent as usual. Your framing is good, lighting is clear and even, and I like the shallow DOF which I personally prefer for birds and insects as it eliminates the distracting background. (I know that comes with the territory when using a long lens and zooming in from a distance, but I really like the effect because it focuses attention where it is needed). The need for more contextual shots has already been mentioned.

Nice combination of VO, ambient sound and music which work well together to enhance the scenes. (incidentally the sound of the waves is missing where the Turnstone features.) (Your narration has definitely improved this round.)

Your titles are simple and easy to read. They are well placed compositionally and do not overwhelm the viewer with large size, harsh colours or fancy fonts.

I am glad to see you fixed the miss spelling of ‘Using’ in your title. Definitely not good in a title.

In conclusion I will say that I continually admire your beautiful avian footage - hope this will be helpful to you in some way.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 01:17 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

HI MIck

Wow what stunning close-up footage and interesting facts about the Sanderlings. I have always loved the way the Sanderlings follow the receding waves, anticipate their return and scurry en mass to escape - keeping just out of reach of the water! I have watched them with fascination doing that on the beaches here in SA. I am equally intrigued watching your footage of their feeding habits which you have captured wonderfully.

I am aware that you cobbled this together but you did ask for constructive critique’ somewhere between level 1 & 2’ so I am basing this critique on what you have presented even if it is not your best.
Your story is engaging and interesting with a simple structure but is limited basically to facts about the shore birds with particular focus on Sanderlings.
I believe that a bit of excitement could be added to this film and at the same time bring attention back to the elements. You say in your post “these birds being so small and the way they battle through and use the power of the elements to their advantage fascinates me” Your film does not show this other than their picking up food dumped by the waves. Perhaps you could consider introducing footage that would give us an appreciation of the power of the elements - possibly a stormy sea with a battering wind – or other things with which they have to contend a lot of the time (the antagonists). Focusing on these elements with purposeful use of interesting points of views – especially low (worm’s eye views) would give a bigger-than-life menacing feel to the crashing waves. Add appropriate sound bites to give a more thrilling context. In this film it looks like the birds are coping pretty well with the elements – even benefitting from them quite comfortably. I am wondering where these birds are when there is a storm or when they are faced with other elemental challenges? Would be interesting to find out and film how they cope under those circumstances!)

The overall quality of your footage is excellent as usual. Your framing is good, lighting is clear and even, and I like the shallow DOF which I personally prefer for birds and insects as it eliminates the distracting background. (I know that comes with the territory when using a long lens and zooming in from a distance, but I really like the effect because it focuses attention where it is needed). The need for more contextual shots has already been mentioned.

Nice combination of VO, ambient sound and music which work well together to enhance the scenes. (incidentally the sound of the waves is missing where the Turnstone features.) (Your narration has definitely improved this round.)

Your titles are simple and easy to read. They are well placed compositionally and do not overwhelm the viewer with large size, harsh colours or fancy fonts.

I am glad to see you fixed the miss spelling of ‘Using’ in your title. Definitely not good in a title.

In conclusion I will say that I continually admire your beautiful avian footage - hope this will be helpful to you in some way.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 03:00 PM   #12
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Marj,

Many thanks for taking the time to watch and post your well thought out and constructive comments. In my comments on Kevin's thread I alluded to the fact this entry was fairly rushed as the result of a failed plan. This round I had planned to do a piece on our local river , the river Arun, allegedly the second fastest flowing river at its mouth in England. They are undertaking a lot flooding defence work which I thought would fit in well with my planned story "Power of the elements" unfortunately when I cut it together I could not portray the drama and jeopardy that I wished with the rushes I had filmed, hence a last minute change of plan. I fully agree with with you about the missing drama, unfortunately the whole month was good with little or no high winds or storms.This was partly the drama missing from my first plan. The waves you see in the film looked larger than they were due to the low level of filming and the sound recorded with the microphone placed fairly close to the waters edge.

I am involved in a filming project at the moment featuring the sanderlings and other shorebirds, your comments have given me some very good ideas that I can use that will enhance the project, I gratefully thank you for that. This inter change of ideas is what makes these challenges so good.

With regards to the spelling mistake I would like to be able to claim that spelling it with an "e" was the true old English spelling of of the word "using" and it was the old colonials lazy way without the "e" a bit like colour and color but I don't think I would get away with that lol. In my defence as soon as I realised it I tried to reload it, but Trond had already closed the thread.

Mick
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Old January 10th, 2015, 03:48 AM   #13
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Mick

With most of the 'tribe' having spoken I can't really add much to the suggestions - some good food for thought in there.
Adherence to theme... I think we've all been there (stretching for some connection), but what you submitted is a well put together piece - including all of the elements; visuals, sound, VO. It was enjoyable to watch and informative. Hopefully the current project flourishes from this, and I look forward to the next video.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 05:26 PM   #14
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Mick,

I love the bird shots, nice clearity and composition is quite good! The naration has a nice gentle feel to it and other than on or two pauses that seemed to long it was excellent!! Very pleasurable to watch.

thanks for sharing and going to all the effort to make it!!

dale
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: UWOL #32 Using the Elements

Hi Dale, great to hear from you and thank you for you comments. Hopefully there is now a positive news way forward with all your family problems and there is hope on the horizon. You have been missed on here. You take care. Mick and Pat
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