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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #1
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Maryland Red Fox

From a wintry morning not 2 weeks ago:

Working with the setup described in the notes on vimeo, I can tell you it takes some serious subtlety of hand to move a 1280mm equivalent lens without shaking it or anything. Needless to say, I failed in this, one of my first attempts. So, I let Final Cut's smoothcam filter and some cropping in After Effects bail me out.

Learning each time...
Ryan Farnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2010, 05:44 AM   #2
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Very nice clip, Ryan.

From reading your intro, I was expecting far more shake and roll, but most of it looked nice and smooth (helped by the smoothcam). It was very good work for such extreme telephoto and I've seen a lot worse from even BBC and Geo camera teams.

I'd be tempted not to follow the fox so much though, and edit some of the footage out. There is also some roll back at the end of each left-to right follow-pan where the lens slides back left. But that can easily be rectified by clipping the last few seconds of each pan during post editing.

The strongest footage is where the fox moves across and out of a static frame, and I would be tempted to position the shot so that there is a completely empty frame and then let the fox enter into frame and then out of it. However, some the follow pans looked great and a wonderful job for your first attempt.

There seems to be some loss in sharpness, probably from the extra Kenko glass and Final Cut filter, but the subject interest is so strong that it doesn't matter too much.

The red fox tends to grow a thicker coat with strong colours at this time of year, so I think the footage would be improved with a touch of boosted colour and contrast.
All in all, I think you should be congratulated on a superb effort - it was well worth watching.
Tony Davies-Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for your comments Tony. I'll have to work on improving my editing and shooting style.

The colors of the fox are actually pretty close and I held off bumping the colors because I felt like that would be cheating, trying to pretty it up. At least that is my recollection from when I saw the fox in person.

The sharpness issue is for sure an issue. This clip suffered due to the smoothcam and cropping I did in after effects, and then on top of that, the Kenko softens the image and the 7D simply is not a really sharp camera, the images resolve to something closer to 720p. As my panning skills improve, I'll avoid that altogether and have much sharper video.

It is a fun setup though and I look forward to making good use of it for the next while.
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