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Old December 2nd, 2015, 05:45 PM   #16
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

kevin,

I fundamentally live outdoors and I know how much work it is even to see a lynx, none the less get some fabulous footage of one. To me, of all the animals that is the big score!!!
I am curious if you were walking trails or humping into the back country with all your gear, or were you car hopping from hot spot to hot spot. did you round them up on your own or did you have someone on the inside to help (like a local).

It is a beautiful piece. If anyone thought a spot was to long then they ned meds for their attention deficit.
when you get youtr stuff together Id love a bluray of it!!!

Sence my daughter lives in montana maybe I should take my camera sometime, eh?

thank you for wading through the troubles and taking all the time to submit.

Hugely appreciated!!
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 05:56 PM   #17
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Bryce,

My camera is a Panasonic PX270. I use a custom scene file so I don't have to do any color correction in post. It comes out of the camera just how I like it.

I started out as a still photographer so I was going after that Kodachrome/Velvia slide film look in my video, hence the customs settings.

Tripod is just a set of 75mm Miller carbon fiber three stage legs with a Vinten Vision Blue fluid head.
Aerial footage was from a DJI Phantom 3 Professional shot in 4k and downsized to HD.

I don't get too caught up in being a gear head because so many people think if they only had this then they could shoot amazing footage. The reality is that with the exception of the Phantom 3 (My PX270 doesn't fly very well on its own!) about any camera can get you the footage you want. Heck, my iPhone 6s Plus shoots killer video. Case in point, my favorite band shot on my iPhone 6s Plus like a week after I got it. :)


I used to shoot Sony but fell in love with the organic look of the Panasonic cameras and I've shoot with four generations now. The HVX200, HVX170, HPX250 and now the PX270.

The best advice I can give anyone is to shoot from your heart. I don't shoot with a paycheck in mind, I don't shoot with UWOL in mind. When I go out to film for a UWOL challenge I go out with the theme in mind but I shoot from the heart and what moves me emotionally. I've only really planned shots for one UWOL film. All the others are just me sitting down with everything I've filmed that month and trying to piece something together that makes sense.

I know people that have Red Dragons and Epics, huge field monitors etc and their work is just ok. I think it's because they don't shoot with passion and from the heart.

I get asked a lot what camera I use but you know what? I have yet to set my camera outside and have it come back on it's own with any footage.

It's the person that hits that record button.

My grandfather was a master carpenter and could build a house with a hand saw and a hammer. A circular saw and nail gun just made the job easier is all.

I often imagine Michelangelo being asked what brush he used to paint the Sistine Chapel and dozens of people getting a camel hair #9 and being upset that their painting didn't look as good! :)

Anyway, long ramble there to a simple question but I always try to inject a bit of my philosophy in my answers if I can to help explain where I'm coming from.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Thanks for the info Kevin,
Wow that camera has some reach eh! It certainly does have a lovely colour science to it, & obviously you have tweaked it to bring out the best from the camera in the conditions in which you use it.
I am impressed with the aerial footage, & assumed it was something other than a Phantom 3. It is perhaps the best footage from that setup i have seen so far. I am in the market for something like this myself, so am very interested in what is out there, & what they are capable of. It looks like you have mastered the control of the camera while flying as your compositions & moves looked flawless!! Well done!
You are absolutely right when you talk about the importance of the person behind the camera more so than the camera itself. My gear is more than capable of getting great shots every time, unfortunately i am the one controlling it, & i don't always get it right.

I hope you don't mind if i ask a few more questions.
Are all the animals in your film wild animals that you shot in the wild? I'm not sure i have ever seen such incredible shots of wolves made in the wild.
Was that a fisher at 1:39? I've seen martin before, but never a fisher.
The last shot, the one of the moon, is certainly one of my favourites. Was there still some daylight at that time? You had it so well exposed and yet you still had great colour & detail in the mountains. Is this straight from the camera, or was it CC'd in post? Either way, it is a stunning shot.
Ok, just one more question.
Do you think i will wear it out if i keep playing it? :)

Regards.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 11:20 PM   #19
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Kevin,

I love this, with all the Ariel footage and time lapses its wonderful, with those many animals and birds induced it has to be the best.

The only thing that caught me off guard was a squirrel after the wolf howl, i would have expected the wolf howl at the end before the moon shot making the mood elevated higher , this is just my taste and i watched it 3 times with a gap of a day in between and felt the same way hence needed to say it,

You have so amazing colours captured in the film that i have been mesmerized by them all the way.

Wonderful work.
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 04:34 AM   #20
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Dale,

Sorry I missed your post earlier. Hard to keep track of things when you're trying to keep up to date on a phone. :)

The cat in the creek bottom was a bobcat. Much easier to come by. I've filmed lynx in the past but like you said, they are very rare.

I have a lot of friends that live there that keep me informed as well as open their land to wildlife. It has it's drawbacks though. One of my friends almost lost their dog to a mountain lion but they still believe that this was their land first and do everything they can to protect them on their property.

Bryce,

I go where wildlife is acclimated to people. I'm fortunate to have made friends with people that have the proper permits etc and allow me to do things that the general public is never allowed to do.

Yellowstone is my favorite spot to go. I almost kneeled on a baby black bear cub once. Found out it was the cub of a bear named Rosie that hangs out close to people to protect her cubs from large males.

The sad thing about working with people that work so closely with animals is that when one gets killed, I think you feel it more than you normally would.

I was working with a guy in Minnesota filming a wolf pack out there and one of the yearling females was shot and killed while I was there. I have footage of her and it still breaks my heart knowing that she was shot the day after I filmed her. (All the wolves I filmed that year are now dead)

There's some people here in Iowa that are doing some wildlife studies that I'm trying to get to know through some friends to see if I can work with them but so far no go. It's hard to earn people's trust that you will do what they ask you to do and don't betray their trust of the wildlife.

Seems that so many animals end up dead because someone tells someone else about a den so the less people that know, the safer it is for the wildlife.

I know where endangered plants are her in Iowa, some federally endangered because the people that I work with trust me. One orchid that grows here is federally endangered but I have yet to film it because it is visible from a trail and I'm worried that someone will see me filming it and the people that told me where it is like to say when the public finds out,we usually end up seeing a hole where it used to be.

But I've earned enough trust that people will call me saying hey if you want to film this we know where you can find this if you want.

There's a guy in Canada that shoots way better wolf stuff than I do. I'll see if I can get the name of the park that he shoots in.

Yep, that's a fisher. We even have them in Iowa according to the biologist I talked to.
There's a guy here that has what must be a fisher motel because you can see them run across his driveway.
A student from Montana State I think it was did a survey on them and went to my friends place because he has them running around all over.

The full moon will set as the sun rises. So it's one of those rare times that you can get the moon with some decent light as it sets.

Still the difference in brightness is too great so I actually on Trond's suggestion when I sent him a frame grab, put a mask on the moon then lowered the exposure to get some of the detail back.

So no CGI or anything, just isolated the moon with a mask and lowered the exposure to bring it into balance more.


On a side note, I couldn't get my girlfriend to go in even the same field that the wolves were in. I told her we have a guy with a gun to protect you but she wasn't having any part of it. She was fine being ion the vicinity of a bear but no dice on the wolves. I'd take the wolves any day over a bear when it comes to safety I think! :)
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 09:01 AM   #21
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Judging by the still-image of the amazing bear you filmed, I would be terrified of that guy up close. I had one close bear encounter, cresting a hill with 7 goats in tow I found myself looking into the eyes of one not 40 ft away. He was a young black bear who tend to just want to be left alone. We just stood there staring at each other while I was frantically trying to remember my bear safety rules, but with 7 goats? In the end, I ended up grabbing the collar of the nearest goat and yanking him into an about face. I was hoping we could just sort of slink quietly back down the hill but I think the goats keyed off of my fear (not to mention they saw the bear too) and bolted in a frenzy. Nothing else to do but run with them and new for sure that if anything would prompt a bear to chase, this would be it. By God's grace he let us go up to a high road while he stayed low. What was amazing is he tracked us for awhile as we headed back down the high road, while he stayed low. I just remember how much ground he could cover in such a short amount of time. I think for the bear, it was more curiosity than anything else. Fortunate for us!
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 09:11 AM   #22
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

A grizzly can run faster than a horse for short bursts. No way you're going to get away from them.

But if you know the right people you can be right next to a wild bear and have no fear. Dr. Lynn Rogers at The Wildlife Research Institute use to put GPS collars on bears just by earning their trust. He could take their heart rates as well while he gave them a handful of nuts to keep the busy.

Sadly the Minnesota DNR has an ax to grind with him and he can no longer collar bears and of course hunters immediately shot June one of the bears he had been studying for years and years.

The Minnesota DNR also took away some rescue animals from a rehabber and is trying to shut her down so I have no love for those people!

I always wear bear bells, I always carry pepper spray and most of all I always try to stay calm.

I tend to go where bears are used to seeing people and don't get so alarmed which I guess is kind of my secret weapon. Go where the animals are used to seeing people.

Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is another great place to film bears although you don't have as much freedom as if you are working with someone one on one.
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 01:11 PM   #23
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Kevin, I spent 12 weeks in Rocky Mountain N.P. and didn't see half the wildlife I just saw in your video. You really have some magnificent shots. The shot of the wolf howling was awesome. How long did you wait for that one? I cant believe you shot 927 GB of footage. How many hours does that equate to? Your aerial shots of the trees was really smooth. You nailed the color. I loved that statement you made "I have yet to set my camera outside and have it come back on it's own with any footage.
It's the person that hits that record button"
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Again, that video was breathtaking. There is no comment that I could ever make that could possibly improve this video. Bob

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Old December 3rd, 2015, 01:27 PM   #24
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Kevin, following an idea from Mick a few months back, I decided to write out all my notes on the films longhand, before reading all the other posters opinions.
Yesterday, I wrote:

Kevin:

WOW!
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 03:15 PM   #25
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Kevin,
Thank you for being so open in answering my questions. Wow i have to say that all those shots of the animals are all the more impressive being that they are not done in a controlled environment! Ok, so the shots i get aren't either, but yours are truly spectacular!!
Thanks,
Bryce
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Old December 5th, 2015, 05:12 AM   #26
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

The virus has lost its grip and I'm up and running again.

OK, then let's go down to business.
So good to have you back in the sadle again, Kevin.
I have missed you and your films in this forum and the way you inspire me with your craft.
Perhaps I'm pretty good in telling stories, still I know my weakness is to put together the right combination of clips.
Here's where you come in my friend and by looking at your films I have learned a lot.
I think you are the best in show, the way you edit your films.
You are a true artist in the way you frame your work.
You can see a details where others haven't bother to lift an eyebrow, If you know what I mean?
Usually I don't pick out one clip to say it's my favorite, as I want to see the hole film as one piece of art.
Still, as you mention it yourself about the tree. I pick mine to be at 2.37.
The squirrel sticking it's nose out to see what's going on, right after the howling wolf.
Why? Because it tells me something and no offend my friend, but I have to be honest with you.
As perfect as it is, I miss one thing. A voice over.
I know you have said that you don't feel comfort doing VO, still that's what I feel you must do.
I want to know how the animals cope with the snow/winter and what happens when the prairie burns.
Nice as it is, just to pull it all together a VO would have done great things with your film.
I just say: Make a call to Bob and ask him to do a film - you two is a perfect match, if you ask me.
Thank you for sharing you work and hope to see you next round.
I hope you get what I mean.

3 questions in the end:
1) at 1.39 - what's that snowy little cute thing?
2) what kind of drone do you have?
3) how did you get so near the animals (in a hide or?)?

Cheers!
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Old December 5th, 2015, 09:53 AM   #27
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Geir,

Thank you for the kind words as well as the constructive feedback! I love hearing what doesn't work for someone and I'm never offended. It helps me see from other eyes and different ways of thinking. It's how we grow!!

That little squirrel at 2:37 would take just one seed and take it to his stash, then run back and do it all over again. I watched him for like an hour. I couldn't find a good composition of him running down his trail so even though I shot it, I didn't use it.

I guess if you want to put a story to that shot, you could say that the wolf if giving the all clear that the storm has passed and you can no go back to what you were doing.:)

Sadly it seems that I do my best editing under pressure. So wish that wasn't the case.

Bob and I did join forces for the film The River. His voice took it to a whole new level for me!
I actually had a voice over for Plan B but no time to finish it and record it as I moved from Plan to Plan

Here's a snippet from the rough draft for Plan B:

"As cold weather begins to creep into much of the United States,

The painters pallet of prairie wildflowers have been replaced by varying shades of brown. The only color on the prairie is from fire that skips across the dry prairie grasses, returning nutrients back into the soil for when the prairie reawakens in the Spring.

The trees now bare, their once vibrant leaves on the forest floor providing shelter and protection from predators.

Field mice, sealed into their nests begin their long hibernation as the cold sets in.

Whitetail deer are more active as their mating season peaks."

So I think Plan B was more in line with what you were thinking.

The little critter is a fisher. It's a member of the weasel family and thus never moves. When they run into frame, if you squeak like a mouse they'll stop for just a second or two then continue doing their thing. They never stop!

The drone footage is from a DJI Phantom 3 Professional.
I've tweaked the settings so that's how it looks right out of the camera.
I locked the white balance at 5700k just to edge the shadows towards blue to give them a colder feel. That's why the footage that has sunlight looks normal but the shadows have a blue cast to them. A little white balance tweak goes a long way.

Same thing with the sunset, tweaked white balance back to 5600k to pick up the color of the sunset. Auto white balance would have tried to make all that color neutral and it would have looked like grey skies.

Here in Iowa you typically need full camo, a hide etc. If you go where animals have never been hunted and felt no pressure from human their entire lives you could hand feed them if you were dumb enough to do so.

I think five people have been gored this year by bison when they walked up to them, turned their back and tried to take a selfie. Some as close as three feet from the bison.

I'll have to look if I included a frame grab of the bull elk feeding on this thread. All kinds of commotion from people stopping to see him and he never even bothered to lift his head to see if there was any danger. Just kept on eating. If I didn't, I'll upload one tonight when I get home from work.
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Old December 5th, 2015, 10:08 AM   #28
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

Kevin,
Sounds great! Will you re-edit this one & lay down a VO then? I would love to see it how you originally envisioned it!!
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Old December 5th, 2015, 10:16 AM   #29
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

If I have the footage I will
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Old December 5th, 2015, 10:34 AM   #30
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Re: Fire & Ice by Kevin J Railsback - UWOL 36

No pressure Kevin,
But if you have the footage & can make it happen, it would be awesome!
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