I recently completed a short digital video project on beekeeping to be used as a learning tool for the Denville Community Gardens. I filmed local resident, naturalist and beekeeper Mike Leone, of Rockaway Township New Jersey, to provide both the action and dialogue.
Conceptually, Mike and I wanted to keep the video informative but also upbeat. This was easy to achieve as Mike knows many pearls of wisdom about the importance of honeybees and the work which goes into beekeeping.
I found a terrific poppy royalty-free soundtrack online by Kevin MacLeod to set the tone. I created the intro animation myself by drawing a cartoon bee from reference images. I then drew basic animation paths to bring our pollinator to life.
I have received great positive feedback from this Beekeeping production and I look forward to taking on more educational projects in the future. Let me know if you have feedback or comments on this video. I have included a few affiliate links above if you wish to purchase the same equipment I use.
I recently filmed and edited 3 new short wildlife DSLR videos… in high definition of course. The opportunities for getting high quality and up close footage of wild animals are few and far between. More often then not, the view of a wild bird or mammal is obscured by a foreground element like a branch or shrub. Also, even with a long lens like a 600mm zoom getting good proximity on the subject can be a challenge. Anyways, on to my newest videos… all of the video editing was performed in Adobe Premiere Pro and I laid down the audio tracks in Audacity. Filming performed via Canon 60D DSLR and Tamron lenses.
Harbor Seal filmed with Tamron 16-300mm VC PZD lens + Canon 60D
I did film a good amount of HD DSLR video this summer, especially closeup views of herpetiles (reptiles and amphibians) and dragonflies. I just edited a little bit of footage of two different species of snakes found in New Jersey, and threw in a bit of my guitar playing for good (or bad) measure.
Northern Watersnakes are very common and sometimes large serpents that are most often seen in or near fresh water rivers, ponds, and lakes. Northern Ringneck Snakes are not commonly seen above ground, so that was a quite a lucky find by me.
Filmed with the Tamron SP 180mm macro lens and Canon DSLRs. I use my phone for the audio recording of my Yamaha nylon-string guitar.
Here is some recent footage of one of the more common native flycatchers of New Jersey, the Eastern Phoebe. Like most flycatchers of our area, this little drab bird spends its time gleeming the air and ground for live insects and will often perch on branches just above their food sources.
This footage was shot with the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens and the Canon EOS 7D DSLR on a Manfrotto tripod with fluid head. For best audio and video quality, select 1080p on the YouTube settings.
I recently shot a few very short HD DSLR Video clips of one of the more common and easily recognizable wading birds in New Jersey, a Snowy Egret. My personal goal for wildlife still photography had as been 2 archival quality captures of any subject that I found interesting. Archival quality captures to me means focus is spot-on, exposure will not require significant post-processing, and the composition is pleasing to my eyes. I also try to avoid repetition in my photos. I’ve “upped the ante” on my nature shooting goals, and will now also try to film 1 or 2 quick sequences when I am in the outdoors.
Back to the point, I had been shooting all of my recent photos with a ballhead on my tripod. Having no experience with fluid tripod heads, but realizing their importance in the video industry I started doing some research. I already have Manfrotto RC2 quick release plates attached to most of my cameras and lenses so I wanted a fluid head that was designed for the RC2 plate. I wound up purchasing a Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Head and it has remained atop my 055x ProB tripod ever since. This allows me to perform the steady panning motions needed for dynamic video work.
The above video was filmed using the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC Lens and the Canon EOS 7D. Manual video mode settings include: ISO 100 F/14 and the Shutter Speed set to 1/80th. I muted original audio from the clips in post-processing because of the loud hissing of the wind. Guitar playing is me strumming my Washburn D10 Guitar, and I ended up recording this with my Samsung cellular phone. Audio post-processing involved noise reduction, addition of a Phaser Effect, and overall Volume Reduction. Video post-processing included trimming video segments, cross-fade transitions between shots, contrast enhancements, and split-tone color processing.
It was a real treat to get some close footage of our vibrant state bird recently. I knew that I would want footage from several different angles to create diversity… even in a short wildlife video. Varying the focal lengths and my angle of view on the birds was how I tackled that challenge.
Footage shot in 1080p at 30fps on the Canon EOS 7D with the tripod mounted Tamron SP 150-600mm VC zoom lens. DSLR was set to the desired shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and I adjusted the aperture and ISO value to get as good of an exposure as possible for each clip. Unfortunately it was a windy day so I had to strip the audio of the birds interacting and feeding. I don’t think anyone would have enjoyed listening to the hissing and popping caused by the wind hitting the microphone outdoors.