Sony A7R for Wildlife Video

As Spring warms up our Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, wildlife activity in general does pick up.  I am mostly resuming where I left off last year with local wildlife videography in attempts to challenge myself, and also to entertain viewers.  My “new used” Sony A7R has been my primary camera of late, and for wildlife jaunts, I have my trusty Canon EF mount Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens paired using a Fotodio Pro adapter.

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Below are three recent wildlife shorts that I have filmed and edited in various natural areas in New Jersey.

 

March Waterfowl at the Manasquan Reservoir

 

Wood Duck at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

 

Tree Swallows at the New Jersey Meadowlands

 

More recent wildlife photography and videography is viewable on Dave Blinder Nature Photography on Facebook

New Jersey Wildlife Videography

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:

Harbor Seal filmed with Tamron 16-300mm VC PZD lens + Canon 60D

Northern Cardinal

Cardinal filmed with Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens + Canon 60D

Brant (geese)

Brant filmed with Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens + Canon 60D

For video licensing info, freelance video editing, or for further info on my techniques just ask.

New Jersey Videography: Drum Test 12.10.2014

Last night I decided to point my Tamron macro lens and my RODE microphone at my small electronic drum pad for a few seconds and let the video roll.  The most challenging and rewarding parts of home audio recordings to me are getting the proper levels, avoiding clipping, and making sure the tones don’t sound lifeless.  Sounds easy, but not necessarily so.  Luckily, as I continue to do these projects for fun, the workflow gets more intuitive.

Equipment used for the recording:

Tamron SP AF 90mm Di macro lens
Canon EOS 6D DSLR
RODE Videomic Go
Zoom H1N

Yamaha DD-55C drum pad

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New Jersey Videography: Lint

I was strumming my acoustic guitar over the weekend (as I often do), and when I come up with a little progression that I think sounds good I will flip on my DSLR and try to make a quick video out of it.  This video that I put together over the weekend was the first time I’ve incorporated creative blending modes to make some interesting opacity effects in my video edits.  I first recorded the passage on guitar with my Tamron SP 90mm VC macro lens directed into my dusty lint-filled soundhole.  Next I played the same guitar bit again, but this time I had the macro lens focused closely on my face to see what happens.

Using my own judgement I spliced up bits of the two video streams to add to the visual interest of my end product.  The HD audio was recorded straight to my Canon EOS 60D via my RODE Videomic GO shotgun microphone.  I had to adjust the manual audio recording level to avoid clipping the punchy treble tones from my Washburn acoustic guitar.

Please leave any comments and questions you do have about the video or post-processing.

Do you need filming or video editing done for your small business or family functions?  I’m available!

New Jersey Videography: Macro in C Major

This morning I wanted to record HD video with a very closeup view of my fingers on the fretboard of my acoustic guitar.  I also hoped to get high quality audio from the brief recording.  All of this can be quite a challenge for a hackjob of a guitar player like myself!

Anyways, I aligned my Canon EOS 60D DSLR into position, manually prefocused my Tamron SP 90mm VC macro lens, moved an articulating LED lamp close to my hand for lighting, and dialed in my exposure settings on the camera.  Many many takes later I did an acceptable job of playing a short musical package, and was able to get some portions of my hand and fretboard partially in focus while doing so.  The post-processing was no walk in the park either!

Snakes!

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.

DSLR Nature Video: Eastern Phoebe

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.

DSLR Nature Video in HD: Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly

Here is some DSLR nature footage that I shot in the tail end of this summer in New Jersey.  This was one of my first times using a fluid head on a tripod, and I practiced smooth vertical and horizontal panning motions to avoid jitters in the video.  The YouTube video below is a splice of 3 separate angles of a Great Spangled Fritillary in butterfly, a species I consider one of our most regal flighty residents.

Please watch in 1080P for full resolution

Equipment used in filming and production: Tamron SP 90mm VC F/2.8 1:1 Macro Lens, Canon EOS 60D DSLR, Manfrotto 700RC2 Mini Video Fluid Head, Manfrotto 055x ProB Tripod.

The acoustic guitar is my Washburn D10 CE using mostly Major 7th chords.

American Goldfinch DSLR video; filmed in Cape May, New Jersey

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.