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Old October 13th, 2015, 10:28 AM   #1
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An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015


I realised too late this is a bit long, I already had it edited up for my blog

Ok, well I have finally got the preview of the Vimeo player to work, so let's go!

The video above is some I shot on a recent trip to Niagara Falls. We live about three hours away and went to catch up with some friends who were visiting the U.S. I went for a social engagement and only took my iPhone and my Panasonic FT-3. This was all shot on on the FT-3 at 720p as it is the only setting on this Frankenstein of a camera that outputs at PAL 25p. Strangely enough the 1080 is 30p!

The only thing used was the panasonic. I had no support gear with me so it might be considered a very touristy effort. The whole thing is handheld so I already know that a tripod would help. This is a three hundred buck compact camera with a 4.6x zoom and no image control. I was glad though that my three hundred bucks was waterproof!

Something to say about Niagara Falls

As an Australian, I found Niagara Falls to be a very unfamiliar environment. The amount of water was just astounding. Along with the noise of the falls, there was a sensation of unreality. It felt like the amount of water going over the falls was the equivalent of every river in Australia, there was just that much.

I also had difficulty coping with the concept that a land with which I was relatively familiar, Canada, didn't go on as far as the eye could see. I couldn't just nip over to the other side of the river to get a shot looking back because that was ANOTHER WHOLE COUNTRY. Not a concept with which I am familiar, where all the land I come from is one country. Weird!
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Last edited by Tim Lewis; October 13th, 2015 at 01:07 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hi Tim,

Amazing how much water is flowing through the Niagara Falls! And to see those tourist boats going so close, looks kinda crazy to me.

I don't think lack of a tripod here was a bad thing. The gentle motion of the camera added to the "flowing experience" of all that water and the tourist boats being moved around in the stream.

Well done, and thanks for sharing!
Hope to see you again in future UWOL challenges.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #3
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hi Tim

This was masterfully done and captures the experience beautifully! I enjoy reading your perceptions of Niagara Falls in your thread. Your footage captures how grandiose and disorienting it would be out there.

I have to hand it to the Maid of the Mist boat pilots who navigate these waters near the falls with the responsibility of everyone on board. Can you simply fathom anyone deciding to go over the falls in a wooden barrel like Annie Taylor in 1901? I just checked online, and it appears that since 1850, there have been 21 dare devils to go over the falls, 16 of them surviving and 5 dying, and that over 5,000 bodies have been retrieved from the waters. Lots of annual suicides there too. I'm sure you read all about this while you were there!

Back to the video, I think your footage is fantastic and you capture its power and fearsome beauty in all of the myriad of vantages you shoot from. If you needed to trim it down to UWOL duration, I thought an excellent outro would be at the time the music stops and you leave us with the sites and sounds of the falls.

Scary! and well done!

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Old October 13th, 2015, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hey Tim,

Nice to see you on board! Hope to see you in next months challenge too!

The falls have always been on my bucket list but it always seems that I head West when I travel from Iowa instead of East!

Favorite shot of this film is the one take at the edge of the Falls looking towards the bottom with the boat below.

Second favorite shot was of the people at the railing showing the true scale of the Falls. I mean you know its big but this REALLY shows you just how big it truly is!

I wasn't a huge fan of the music but I'm thinking it was a match in grandeur with the Falls. Heck, I could have just as easily been mesmerized by the "white noise" of the falling water and didn't even need any music to accompany the film.

I'm a big fan of filming water. I used to do a lot of it so it's nice to see water on such a grand scale!!!
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Catherine

Thank you for the complimentary comments on my video. I was conscious of the remove from which one sees the Falls and the need to present it from as many angles as possible for both interest's sake and to achieve some sense of audience involvement with the subject. As I was too cheap to pay for a boat ride or walk down to the Falls, I made sure to capture as many shots as possible. I did find that a longer lens would have been nicer, but it is so big it feels as if you are closer.

Yes, that would be the spot to trim it indeed! I could even add back the title sequence at the end. I deleted the project from iMovie, so it would need to be simple. I cannot use anything fancier on the laptop I brought to Canada.

Kevin

Thanks for your encouragement. I have done the DVC once or twice, but the UWOL was always a bit difficult. With the amount of wild life here in Canada I should get some more UWOL entries in.

I agree with you on the favourite shot, I knew that would be the "money shot" when I took it. If anything the colour of the water going over the edge was even more intense in real life. I couldn't believe my luck in getting the boat as well, it wasn't planned. My other is at 3:20 where we see a long view with the people just tucked into the shot in the bottom right corner, is that the other one you mean?

I was indeed after some music with a bit of grandeur to match. The camera does not have good audio capabilities so I was also after something to cover the audio. I found a clip with 12 seconds of clean audio of the falls and no wind noise so I basically looped it with variations in volume for the varying distance in the shots and put the music over the top to hide any imperfections.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Tim,

Agreed that 3:20 is another killer shot but I like the one at 3:30. It doesn't give the scale that the shot at 3:20 does but the shot at 3:30 just does something for me. :) Maybe it's the depth of it with the water blurred in the background and the people in the foreground.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

That was one of the best shots to take as well, because it was from my seat in the restaurant overlooking the falls.
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Old October 13th, 2015, 04:51 PM   #8
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

You certainly can't beat getting a good shot and having some grub at the same time!

Winner winner in my book! :)
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Old October 13th, 2015, 07:14 PM   #9
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

I had the chicken wrap!
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Old October 14th, 2015, 02:12 AM   #10
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Welcome aboard Tim :) Yes it is amazing the amount of power there is in all that water. You do get the feeling of how big it really is and as mentioned the shot looking over the fall onto the boat below was the best.
Thanks for sharing.

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Old October 15th, 2015, 09:42 AM   #11
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Tim,

Firstly welcome to the UWOL contest!

A super subject, and a fascinating look at Niagara Falls - You have some great shots there, and the only thing I would have done is to cut the duration a bit and swap around the order of the shots to add a bit of drama.
Iíve never been to Niagara, but I have visited both Victoria and Iguazu several times, and the overall feeling you get is of the sheer power of the falls - I would edit to emphasise this, although I realise you have headed as An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - For example, a more dramatic start could have been the shot at 01.13 dissolving to the shot at 0.51 so the boat appears out of the mist, then more boat footage, with faster cuts to the falls from above and below, showing the scale of the people.

Sorry if I got carried away, but great stuff - keep on entering - we all learn so much from the comments of fellow film makers!
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Old October 15th, 2015, 03:55 PM   #12
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hey Paul, that looks like it would work well. I must admit it was a bit of a lazy edit in that while I did think about the order of the clips, they ended up going onto the timeline pretty much in the order I shot them. So, a bit more attention to detail would improve it.
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Old October 16th, 2015, 05:12 AM   #13
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hi Tim and welcome aboard :)

Niagara is an impressive sight.
The only thing I have to put my finger on, is that the video is perhaps a little long.
This must be one of the world's finest waterfalls.
You take us straight into the adventure.
I am on board the boat and can sense the drizzle from the waterfall.
(Is drizzle, correct English?)
Wish I could have taken the trip someday.
Thanks for sharing and hope we'll see you in the next round.

Cheers!
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Old October 16th, 2015, 06:31 AM   #14
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Hi Geir

Drizzle, spray, mist or even precipitation are all correct. Drizzle covers it well as it is very fine drops of water in the air.

Thanks for the comments. I realise that the video is too long, especially for the UWOL format. The original goal of the length of the edit was to take it on just a it too far to carry the sense of the unrelentingness of the Falls and all that water that goes over them.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 12:13 AM   #15
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Re: An Afternoon at Niagara Falls - UWOL Fun Shoot 2015

Interesting video indeed.

For handheld its pretty steady all the way, feels like i am doing this ride , very neat
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