"Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 2nd, 2015, 05:59 PM   #1
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"Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

I was expecting some big storms in spring, but only some short lived ones, and not very visual. Maybe good for long exposure stills but not filming. I did some filming before the mid-month mark getting clouds, looking to include those in a broader topic. But I wasn't going to have time to make that happen - too may locations. I did have one venture out (limited time on another errand) which was an experimentation with hyperlapse. So I scaled back, and ended up having everything else (filming wise) fall on the second last day, with just enough time to do a basic edit, but not really finesse things. Finally figured out my narrative after piecing the clips together, turned that into a 'script' and couldn't be bothered doing more than one take. A few shots I excluded as I found the dust spec on the sensor (darkened blob) to be too distracting - but I had to keep some, hopefully it's not too often a problem - wish I'd realised at the time - but it was covered by text on the monitor.

It was actually an awesome day to be out in South Gippsland, but unfortunate I didn't have more time to spend at each location. Bird Rock I had never been to before but located it via Google Maps, having spotted interesting geotagged pictures there. Eagle's Nest I've been to twice before this year, and twice as part of this round. I had wanted to get to Kilcunda where there are other interesting rock structures but had to be back by a set time. Cape Liptrap was very close to the first location, but the beach with contrasting rock features is not generally accessible. I later went to a local (40 min drive) waterfall to get some shots for diversity - smoothed granite. Having got there (parked at least) arising circumstances dictated I couldn't stay and had to return home, so a wasted trip there - apart from the very scenic drive.

I tried a couple of different things this time. Maybe they worked, or didn't. Always a good excuse to get out to new or old places in any case. Feedback level 1, I might as well learn from this to improve, so tell me what you really think, and suggestions for making it better.

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Old December 2nd, 2015, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

You remind me that I have gotten around a bit over the years. I did a second year Structural Geology field camp down that way at Cape Liptrap. All the talk of rocks and weathering brought it back to me.

The video didn't playback well the first time I watched it, coming out all jerky (Vimeo). I am glad I gave it another watch before commenting.

I really liked your video it was at a nice gentle pace and the VO was terrific. It was a well chosen subject for the theme, even if it wasn't your first choice.

The only thing I could spot as a criticism was a couple of the shots were a bit soft on the focus. All in all a very nice piece of film making.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew,
Wow what a lovely film you have made! Between you and Bob Safay, we have two of the best voices i have heard. Not only that, but you both seem to have a very special way with words!
Your script is something else! Absolutely mesmerising in its brilliance! The way you can describe something so seemingly ordinary, & make it so interesting is wonderful. You have a real gift! Your pace & timing too is impeccable in its delivery. How it is that you are able to put something like this together in one take is beyond me! Well done!!!
Yes the spot on the sensor is disappointing, but if you couldn't see it for what was on your screen, what can you do. The first shot however, forgetting about the spot, is a really beautiful opening shot! Your composition is really great & most of your camera moves are really nice. There were two though, that i thought were a bit jarring. The pan at 0:34 & the move over the rocks at 1:44, both were a lot faster than any others in your film, & i felt they were too fast for the lovely pace of your VO.
I loved the hyperlapse you did on the Eagles nest formation, it really captured the essence of what you were saying in your script at that point. Extremely well done i thought!
Another really great film from you, & just another of what i hope is many more!
Regards,
Bryce
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 10:47 PM   #4
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Nice film Andrew

I like the voice over and its very informative which is the basic objective of these films.

I noticed the pan too.

Interesting choice of locations you have done to advance the story , thats nicely done.
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Andrew, A fascinating film, and an extremely well crafted piece. Excellent photography and a strong story, well told in your relaxed voice.
Thank you!
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 03:14 PM   #6
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew:

What an amazing place you live in! I don't know where in Australia SW Gippsland is and am going to have to look it up. These visuals, sown and stitched together by your million-dollar voice is really a marvel. Reading your intro, I didn't notice a distracting dust blob on the lens at all, I was to enthralled by the amazing beach shots and rugged rocks. Also reading your intro, it sounds like you put in a lot of work going to different locations and not getting quite what you wanted? What you did get was beautiful, and your statement that was a "nice" day to be in SW Gippsland was an understatement. It is paradise! I've been in Australia once and would love to return someday. I do recall that Australia is so vast, that getting from point A to point B is usually not a quick endeavor and I could relate to you reaching a destination only not being able to stay as long as you would have wanted. I know this sounds like chat, but it's a testimony to your visuals and narrative. It takes you there in the moment and for me it took me back to when I was there. That's powerful. If spring storms and "weather" don't arrive, then weathered rock was a good choice to relate to the theme.

Nice Andrew!
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew:

I forgot to mention the hyper time laps at 3:15 is really different and amazing. It almost looks like a computer graphic. How is it done?
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Old December 4th, 2015, 02:24 AM   #8
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Andrew
Great VO! Interesting landscape you have there. It's always amazing the effects weather has over time. Nicely done. Thanks.

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Old December 4th, 2015, 03:12 AM   #9
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew,

I enjoyed watching your film. Always great when I learn something new.

The panning at 0:34 is mentioned already. Maybe it was meant as a transition? Didn't quite work out, and I would have either cut it out or slowed it down a bit.
The vertical tilt from 0:39 was a bit rough, and this clip was a bit hot as well. I see you had the same issue as I had in mine: Loose the details in the shadows, or blow out the highlights. Kevin's feedback to me was to turn down the exposure, and that worked better.
1:02: A little over exposure. (The sand?) But here it was just a minor detail, as the focus was on the rock formation.

In the shot at 1:50, is it prehistoric footsteps we see? (The round "holes" in the ground)
The other day I read something about similar 70 million year old dinosaur footsteps being found in Scotland. Looks very much the same as what you have here.

Thanks for sharing and well done!
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Old December 7th, 2015, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Andrew, beautiful video. Incredible rock formations, I would love to spend some time walking around on them and exploring all the little nook and cranny's. I love your voice over. You have a great accent, want to trade? I noticed at the very beginning there was a flash just before the time came up, was that intentional? I also noticed the spec. I know how frustrating that can be, I had the same thing happened to me on a film I was shooting in Florida. Nothing you can do but use it. I actually have a piece of white tape on my lens hood and in red letters it says clean the lens. It is a constant reminder to me every time I pick it up. I was wondering if it would've been possible to include some erosion such as grains of sand blowing in the wind or maybe a couple of pebbles been dislodged by the water. I think that would emphasize the Rosian aspect. The music and the pace of the voiceover was perfect. I am going to go look this place up on Google. Some of your shots reminded me of the Galapagos Islands. I hope to see some more of your films in the upcoming challenges. Bob
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Old December 7th, 2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew.
I like your approach to the theme and I love your commentary, your voice and your ability to tell a story.
Your camera work is good and I specially like the way you tilt your camera in the beginning. If I'm not wrong, I somewhat remember I have mentioned this to another of your videos - or am I wrong?
Your story is interesting and I learned from it.
The knowledge you share along with the most amazing landscape sculptures, is sublime.
I'm glad you participate and hope to see you next round.
Thank you for sharing.
Best wishes.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 08:18 AM   #12
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Hi Andrew:

I think it's cool you continue to watch and comment on people's films even after the forum has finished this round and the voting is finished.

Cheers :)
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Old December 10th, 2015, 09:29 AM   #13
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Andrew,

Not much to improve this!! the script was awesome and i loved the shot at 2:50 and you can see a face silloutte on the rock.

the naration was perfect in my book!!!

Well done to be certain!!!
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Old December 10th, 2015, 11:48 PM   #14
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Finally got around to the other feedback threads and thought I'd better check this one. I keep wondering what I could manage if I got each step happening sooner, but I think like Kevin I work better under pressure - I probably don't overthink it as much.

Once I uploaded and watched this back I instantly hated the quick pan - seemed like a good idea while editing for some reason.

Trond when I filmed the fast pan I think I intended it to be a transition, and I'm wondering why I left it in there. I didn't even look at exposures that much, was using auto a lot - should have checked zebras. Given the picture profile I may be able to pull the exposure down a little without it looking horrible. The shaky pan up may have been the lens stabilizer compensating - I never think to turn it off, but should try it both ways to see. The holes at 1:50 I just assumed were hollowed out by water erosion, but I never sought to find out.

Bob, the flash was a trade off to use the smoother pan up but realign the composition to the locked off tripod shot, and fading didn't really work - maybe I should have just left it as shot. I had planned on rounding it out with some other shots/elements to include but leaving things late didn't help. I did film some sand blowing in the wind off the rocks for round 32, but didn't know which would be eligible to use as some shots were used in that entry - and I didn't bother to read the fine print in the rules again. The falls I went to should have had smoothed pebbles in the creek - that's what I was hoping to find along with smoothed granite.

Catherine the late commenting is just me being disorganised. The better late than never approach, as I did watch all the films and vote in time. The hyperlapse was done by walking along the beach and taking 187 photos centered in the same spot. Just took 2 strides each time in a moving arc - except the last 15 steps I tapered. Then I had to manually motion track and stabilize the footage in After Effects before Warp Stabilizer would do a good job of removing the rotation.

For the locations you should be able to google Cape Liptrap / Walkerville South in Victoria. Cape Patterson and Eagle's Nest should also come up. About 2 weeks ago I managed to injure my foot, so it was difficult to walk very far for filming - getting over some of the rocks wasn't fun with the tripod and camera. It's still swollen so I need to get it checked again - I've been wanting to visit more places at Wilsons Prom now that uni is finished but this might not happen any time soon.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 06:12 AM   #15
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Re: "Sculpted By Nature" by Andrew Hood - UWOL 36

Thanks for the info, Andrew.

That's a great idea for a great effect I'd like to try sometime. After Effects is my home stomping ground, but I've never used a warp stabilizer before. There are infinite things to try with this craft. --Cheers!
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