Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Jay and the Tree Rat

Here is a selection of images put to ambient sound I recorded on the same day...
This is the first remote shutter work I have attempted that you can see in the squirrel clip. Due to the conditions shutter speeds were low at about 1/30th of a second. I didn't intend putting them together like this but due to the motion blur in the shots none were stand alone usable images. Put together they are at least entertaining. I could really have done with a flash which would have done the trick I think to freeze the squirrel.
So the squirrel clip is just for fun. I like my woodland shots as the sound fits better with the images I feel. A jay is the unusual sound you can hear repeating itself in the clip.

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Apologies for the top clip being a little small. If you noticed the two people in the last image well done, no need to book an opticians appointment just yet. I'm still working on formatting issues. Hope you enjoy them anyway.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Into the woods

Perhaps I like the concept more than the final image but here is my favourite image from a recent photographic wander. I like how the child seems dwarfed by the location in the image. I will post soon with a 'meatier' post than one image, of other images from the same day. I feel the need for my blog to be shape shifted a little and pushed in one direction. I've posted on many and varied topics, its starting to feel like a Jack of all trades scenario. What the hell is he posting on next!! Some might say. I have a few ideas of a direction, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Why aren't there more sound recordists?

Wildlife photography has taken off in popularity like a rocket in recent years. Film making, not so much. Perhaps in the not to distant future it might go the same way photography has done. There is however one past time I have barely heard mentioned. Sound recording is a bit like a drummer in a band, typically underrated, playing second fiddle, the guy at the back. Chris Watson, for those who haven't heard of him, has in my mind begun to change these tides slightly. Still, I am aware of no one myself, who I know, that practices the art of wildlife sound recording.
Many beginning film makers acknowledge that good quality sound is important but somehow sound remains an after thought because after all, that's what the music track is for right?? problem solved.
I have to say, the last time I saw a blog with an audio post only was never. This is not to say that nobody does. Spring/Autumnwatch have been sent a few I believe, how many were mobile phone recordings I wonder. I will admit good information material on sound recording is small compared with the reams of online tuition available for photographers but it is there for everyone to find. I find sound vivid and intriguing. I wish more people would go out and explore the sound of nature. Take your children, give them a set of headphones, tell them to listen quietly and with a bit of luck they'll go quiet as a mouse, intently listening (ok allot of luck). Seriously, so many people are missing a trick or two. Sound can be a window into imagination. Don't all rush out at once and come back with sounds of running water or the quacking of ducks, call those your dry runs or background ambience and file them away somewhere. Offer something different or a classic. Well these are things that I am working on anyway.

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I've been unable to find how to post audio clips onto blogger, they only have the option of images or video upload. So for now good old windows movie maker will have to do for this post until I get something sorted. The images are a bit random, and old work of mine but its just a way around posting audio.
Starlings were roosting in a really nice dense sheet of ivy trailing up a wall on the front of a house. We need more ivy too in our urban areas by the way. Some generations have been taught to cut ivy from the base which is a shame as it offers loads of late pollen and supports many insects, plus cutting it won't stop it for long anyway.
The starlings were the main audio the second is less serious. The dog was fine, honest. Its owner kept telling it to be quiet, it would stop, take a few paces and carry on squeaking. I've never heard a dog make that noise before.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fade to fog


I did a little filming in some fog. Honestly not as daft as it seems. The sun coloured the sky through the mist half an hour before dusk. Very atmospheric. By the time I hurried back to get my kit and returned again I'd lost some of that light. I did the best I could anyway. Fog falls in the same category as snow in my opinion when it comes down to great photographic weather.
The first shot in this post is from my walk to a wood close to where I live. Another autumnal feel lady's and gentlemen on a fine evening.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bursts and blasts of autumn colour




The old zoom-slow shutter trick
Isolating a few trees by using a shallow depth of field

During October I found a large fallen beach tree that hosted such a range of different fungi it was ridiculous. I had really intended going back sooner than today with my camera. I went back today anyway to check if any were still present. This autumn has been particularly mild and not all fungus end their cycle by the end of October however I found nothing much bar bracket fungus on my re-visit. Autumn colours are at their peak at the moment however so I didn't want to miss out on trying to capture the autumn spectacle. Can you think of a more vibrant time to try out some slow shutter shots too. This beach wood was looking brilliant and the sight and sound of dippers singing on the river running through the wood, magic.