timber video

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will lattea
Posts: 160
Joined: August 30th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: East Coast

timber video

Post by will lattea » October 15th, 2013, 5:39 am

Hey everyone, hope the Fall is treating you well. Here is a not so short timber rattlesnake video I originally made for my friends to show them what I'm always doing- it's probably not for everyone but I think the folks on this board will appreciate it. I know a lot of people here frequent these spots, so please keep quiet if you know where they are! All animals were filmed in situ and a lot of the better shots were filmed by staging cameras so I wasn't even present- something to think about ;) Since filming this in the 2012 season I've moved to south western Virginia where the horridus are much more dispersed and I still need to learn about the local populations before I'll be able to capture anything like this again. I'd suggest watching it on youtube so you can click the gear and switch to HD and make the screen bigger- youtube destroyed the quality but it's the best I could manage.



:beer:

Will

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roosters977
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Joined: April 5th, 2012, 2:25 pm
Location: Pennsylvannia

Re: timber video

Post by roosters977 » October 15th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Awesome video, thanks for sharing!

cameron.rognan
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Re: timber video

Post by cameron.rognan » October 22nd, 2013, 1:55 pm

Awesome work. I love those shots with the snakes moving in and out of the den. Did you use motion detection or time lapse on a GoPro camera for that? I don't know if you want to share how you captured it, but I think many would love to hear more about your methods here. I know I sure would. Plus it would be good to highlight to others how awesome footage like this can be captured while mostly or entirely leaving the snakes alone. Did you get many false triggers or lots of useless video in the process - if so, how much?

I've contemplated doing something like this, but I am always afraid someone is going to come by and steal my equipment, or be tipped off that something really special lives right there.

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R3dguitarist
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Re: timber video

Post by R3dguitarist » October 22nd, 2013, 5:00 pm

Amazing footage, great work :D Not gonna lie, I'm not a fan at all of the music and sound choices haha but otherwise very enjoyable!

will lattea
Posts: 160
Joined: August 30th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: East Coast

Re: timber video

Post by will lattea » October 29th, 2013, 12:21 pm

thanks guys! I know music is a personal taste and I guess my choices were a result of what I consider 'bad choices' in other videos haha.

I had many, many less usable shots over the course of the year. I started out with a stock gopro hero 2 mounted on a monopod that could extend to about 6'. Most of the snakes didn't react to the camera, although they would often still react to my presence. As the year went on my footage became redundant- I'd walk up on a snake and sometimes it would just stay there, other times it would react. For years now I've been really keen on the no hands approach but watching my 'failed' shots throughout the year I suddenly had that DUH! moment where I realized that I would never truly be able to witness behavior while present- other than snakes reacting to me.

I started mounting the gopro as well as my canon rebel dslr to a tripod and letting the video run, but quickly found out that the canon will only record video for a max of about 10 minutes and would heat up really fast in that amount of time. I wasn't too keen on coming back to red flashing warning lights on my only good camera so I made very few shots that way despite the better quality. So sticking with the gopro I just put my time in. After a few really early mornings in the woods sitting and waiting I figured out when the snakes would start coming out and how long they'd take based on the weather (before that I generally shot for prime basking time because I was always after good in situ photos).

The limiting factor with the gopro is the battery. I don't have a motion censor or anything like that- I just set the camera in front of a rock and hoped for the best and in a few cases got really lucky. I'm unaware of motion censors for gopros but I would absolutely freakin' love to have one. I probably took about 30 or 40 gigabytes of useless footage over the season but with external hard drives and memory cards so cheap these days I figure it's just the way of the future. The last scene with the females and neonates is edited down (i.e. sped up) from a little over an hour of real time footage. Had I set it up 20 minutes sooner or later it wouldn't have turned out, which was more often the case.

As for worrying about your equipment- yes I worried haha. I would post up about 100 yards away in a spot that would give me the best odds for seeing someone else walk up but luckily I never ran in to anyone else while filming this way. The new gopro hero3 has a feature where you can watch it recording live on your cell phone, so with that you might be able to catch a would be thief in action. It was rather boring- I'd usually just sit around and eat snacks and lay on a nice rock for about two hours before returning to my camera. Many times I walked up to realize I wasted all my time sitting around for nothing when I could have been out herping. In the case of that last scene with the females and neonates I think the constant periscoping/ looking out was because they knew something was up even though I wasn't right there. Again... it really got me thinking about things like "in situ". There were times when I thought that I walked up to a snake or two completely undisturbed only to find out that other snakes had fled the scene long before I could see them. I think this type of technique will continue to gain popularity for anyone interested in reptile or amphibian behavior- especially as the technology advances.

Thanks again for taking the time to watch!

:beer:

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