Friday, September 25, 2009

Blue Heron Catching a Minnow

I shot this video yesterday at the foot of the Mill Pond Dam in Jacob's Landing Park in Cambridge, Ontario. Got a hot lead from a buddy of mine (Thanks, Murr!) of egrets and Great Blue Herons that frequent this area.

This was a learning experience in a number of ways. Choosing the right background was key; the waterfalls from the dam was ideal in projecting "natural surroundings" as opposed to the manmade structures of cement walls, iron railings, floating plastic containers, etc. that you find in any inner-city location. I've not been too thrilled with the Canon 5Dmk2's sound recording capability, so I recorded separately with a Samson Zoom H4N stereo audio recorder. The heron was undisturbed by my shooting distance of approx 60 meters (it's no doubt acclimated to the many residents who pass by daily), so I was able to zoom in close with a Canon 100-400L telephoto with two Canon teleconverters (1.4 & 2.0) stacked on it.

I processed this clip in Adobe Premiere CS4, and adjusted contrast and sharpening in After Effects. True confession: the waterfalls drowned out the splash of the heron grabbing the fish, so........I have to admit I dubbed in the sound of me whacking a tub of water in my laundry room after the fact. Sue me. ;)

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