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Old March 1st, 2016, 12:39 PM   #1
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UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Why? When the theme was announced I went though all the why scenarios, why this, why that etc etc. Struggling for ideas, like me, I expect most of you started asking yourselves why am I entering this, or in the case of some of us, entering again! This led me to thinking WHY do I enter. There are of course many reasons, improving filming techniques, camera handling, editing skills, feedback so on and so on.

This months challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to try and film a bird I have never seen before. The Bearded Tit or Bearded Reedling as they are known in mainland Europe, although rare, are not difficult to see if you know where they are. On occasions when I have accidentally found myself in known areas, have looked for them, but they have been conspicuous by their absence. Not being a twitcher or bird list-er I have not deliberately gone out to find them, hence my failure to see them before now.

At the time the theme was announced I heard there was a flock showing regularly not too far away. One of my WHY'S for entering UWOL challenges is to film subjects I have not seen before, so, off I went ( well four visits to be precise) Eventually I filmed enough material, and that is WHY I have completed an entry this round. The first and last SE owl clip although filmed during the challenge period was filmed at a different location but in identical habitat a short distance further along the coast. The bank vole disappearing into the hedge was from old footage.

Looking forward to reading your comments, please enjoy. Mick


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Last edited by Mick Jenner; March 2nd, 2016 at 04:19 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2016, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Great work Mick! A very complete and thorough answer to the question. You must have a nice long lens on the front of your camera.
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 04:38 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Thank you for your comments Tim.

To answer your lens question this was all filmed with a Sony PMW 300 with the stock 14x and a Nikon 80-400mm zoom. Luckily the Reed Buntings came to feed on the phragmite right in front of me, the Bearded's remained further away hence the multiple visits and very cold feet! The day they did come closer it was a very windy, filming in slo-mo did help to produce some usable footage in-spite of the reeds being blown all over the place .

As an aside It was interesting to watch as they landed on top of the reed and it slowly bent backwards like a pole vaulter in reverse. You can see this happen at the end of the very first clip of them.
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Hi Mick:

Stunning. I really enjoyed this for many and different reasons. First I think your choice of the why question is most excellent. Why am I here? And your answer is wonderful. I won't give it away to others who are reading through these comments before engaging in your film. I actually think that was a very clever take on the theme.

Your cinematography is captivating and your subject matter is beautiful. You keep everything moving and flowing with the many different shots you pile up in the film. Even if this wasn't the case, you gave me the sense that the preserve was alive and teaming with birds everywhere. It was beautiful!

I also like how your many distractions showed up in the film. Isn't that always the case? We set out for something and get drawn in many different directions along the way.

And finally the use of slow mo was captivating. I read in your answer to Tim that you had to do this to recover footage wracked by wind. It worked to your advantage and perhaps enhanced it even more than a normal speed in good weather. Wonderful!

Finally, when you land your prize, and the answer to your why question, the thick reeds and tall grasses blowing in the wind, the lighting and the close up on your subject made for a kind of surreal and kaleidoscopic experience. Very cool.

Well done, Mick. And of course I love owls and glad you included one in your clip.

Cheers,

Cat
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Pleased you enjoyed it and thank you for your comments Cat. Knew including the owls would do it for you. he he.
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Hi Mick;

I enjoyed your film a lot, as I tried to identify the birds as you showed them. The Bearded Tit was a special surprise as I have never seen one, even on a screen. I use the same equipment as you, and know what you mean about the wind. However, I know that the quality of your footage is much better than what you show in the video. Your frame grab proves it. Did you down-res for Vimeo to make watching easier? You might want to try to upload at a higher bit rate, and let Vimeo deal with the watching issues. They are very good at it, and the films look a lot better.
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 05:33 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Hi Mick,

Very relaxing, but interesting - I'm always amazed at your footage and knowledge in your entries - the whole piece was very well put together (as always), and flowed very well, as well as fitting exactly into the theme.

Congratulations!
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Old March 4th, 2016, 04:54 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

That is a wonderful place to film birds Mick - only half an hour from home too!

The shots of the scenery and birds and your sketch of the cold conditions you experienced there add up to a well-rounded documentary on a day in the life of Farlington Marshes.

I have, however, just read the pre-amble to your film only to discover that you set out to tell us why you enter the UWOL challenge. Nothing wrong with that but I am quite surprised by this because while watching, I thought your film was about Farlington Marshes; why you were there and your quest to find the Bearded Tit. Your comment at the end was I thought, random. It does explain a few things that concerned me like your title and conclusion which for me are not ideal for a general, non-UWOL audience.

There are many good shots in this film. I particularly like your footage of the geese and Short-eared Owl. I think one of those birds would have made an ideal opening shot/title background to grab the viewers’ attention.

A minor change I would suggest is to change the shot of the Raven for scenery with reeds to match your commentary.

Well done Mick.
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Old March 5th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Hi Mick,

Took a while before I had time to watch the uwol films, but finally I'm at yours.
It was worth the waiting! I very much enjoyed watching your answer to the why.

As usual, you have a nice and interesting story.
Must have been a real challenge filming the birds sitting on the reeds in the strong wind.
Well done!

I see Steve mentions the image quality. Uploading the best possible quality vimeo allows, is the ideal way to do it. (If you don't do it already)

...........
By the way, the video you have here in your feedback thread appears to have "embedding" disabled.
But I checked the settings on the uwol vimeo page, and yours has embedding enabled, exactly as all the other entries.
Not sure why it doesn't work here. (Just wanted to let you know I have looked into it)
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Old March 5th, 2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL-37 Why? The answer!

Hi Steve, Paul, Marj and Trond. Thank you all for your comments and observations which have been duly noted!
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