I have always enjoyed the hobby of photography,
purchasing my first 35mm camera at the age of 14. Beginning in late 1989 I firmly
got hooked on the world of birds and birding, and along with that, I
began photographing them. After years of bird photography I started
thinking about wanting more than just static bird photos, and in April of
2001 I made the plunge and purchased a Canon XL1, along with all the other
expensive related items I needed. Being a Nikon shooter and having a nice
inventory of both Nikon, Tokina, and Sigma lenses, I also purchased a
Canon video to Nikon camera lens adapter for the XL1. My current working
lens for most of my video work is a Nikon 80-400mm lens, which gives a
fantastic reach for those less than cooperative birds, that you can never
get close to.
The learning curve was not as steep as I thought it would be, because I
already had a pretty good working knowledge of bird photography and what
it took to get good results. To date, I have been able to acquire a good
video library of mostly Southern California bird species, shorebirds being
my favorite subject. I was involved in contributing hummingbird footage
for the Advanced Birding Video Series with Jon L. Dunn produced by Peregrine Video
Productions, "Hummingbirds of North America", along with some of my
bird videos featured in PBS programs such as "Nova Science Now". I have
also worked the Internet very hard since the days of snail speed
dial-up connections, not only for exposure, but to share my bird photos and video
with others. Some of the sites where I have uploaded videos to are:
The Internet Bird Collection
Vimeo "HD Wild Birds"
With the passing of every year, from the beginning to the present, it has
been lots of fun and very educational. With capturing video footage of
birds and bird behavior, I have been able to see and learn things that, at
times, are not possible to see in the 35mm camera world of just static
slides and prints. I retired the Canon XL1 camera in 2007 and started working with a Canon XL H1
1080/60i HDV camera. Since my Canon to Nikon lens adapter also works with the
new camera, the Nikon 80-400mm is still my lens of choice for birds.
"EXIT CANON XL H1 HDV - ENTER PANASONIC LUMIX GH3 FULL HD"
The Canon XL H1 has served me well, but it's time to say goodby. It's a hard pill to swallow, and seeing it go is like losing a close and long time friend.
Tape based video cameras are on borrowed time, and will soon go the way as film did with the introduction of digital cameras. Introducing my
new camera that I purchased March of 2013, a Panasonic Lumix GH3. The GH3 was clearly designed as a camera to appeal both to still photographers
wanting a Micro Four Thirds SLR style camera system, and also cinematographers looking for a small form-factor camera for shooting high-quality
videos. One reason I selected the GH3 is that with any lens you mount to the camera you enjoy a 2x magnification factor. If your using a 400mm lens,
it becomes an 800mm lens. My Nikon 80-400mm lens that I used with my original Canon XL1 and XL H1, now can be used with the GH3 with the use of a M4/3
to Nikon lens adapter. In fact, there are third party lens adapters for nearly every lens that has ever been made. Since the GH3 with the Nikon lens
is manual everything, I purchased a Panasonic 100-300mm that is auto focus and has image stabilization. I most always shoot my video as Full HD
1920x1080-30p at 50Mbps (Mbps = Megabits Per Second) wrapped in a .MOV file. Now for the main reason I bought the camera, it has something called
ETC (Extra Tele-Converter) mode. ETC crops the center 1920X1080 segment from the camera's sensor. This increases the apparent focal length of the
lens in use by 2.4X, but also means that the data is straight from each individual pixel, no downressing, binning, resampling or line skipping.
In short, there is absolutely no loss of resolution or quality. This means that if your using a 400mm (800mm) lens with the ETC function (2.4x), you now are
enjoying a 1920mm lens. I know it's not the same as the XL H1's 7.2x magnification factor which gave my NIKON 80-400mm a 576-2880mm reach, but this fact hasn't prevented
me from getting good wildlife video, I just work smarter in getting a little closer to the subject. The videos on the right side of this page are samples
acquired with the GH3. You can also visit my Vimeo Channel "LUMIX GH3 miscellanea" to see more sample
videos using the GH3.
THE ECUADOR ADVENTURE WITH "BIRDMAN"
"Birdman" at Tapichalaca and the Jocotoco Antpitta
In 2006 and then again in 2007, for a total of 6 weeks away from home, I
was privilaged to accompany my long time friend, Tim Barksdale AKA "Birdman",
to Ecuador to help shoot a pilot for a conceptual birding series for TV
broadcast called "Adventures With Birdman". The series, "Adventures With
Birdman" is one wildlife cameraman's personal quest to find, film, and
share some of the world's rarest, elusive, and most critically endangered
birds. A dedicated film maker, conservationist, and birder, Tim Barksdale's
mission is to bring awareness for the need to protect and provide habitat
for, not only these endangered birds, but all the world's wildlife before
we lose them forever. The pilot, "Search for the Jocotoco Antpitta" is
about the search for a small critically endangered and elusive bird that
was discovered and new to science in 1997, and only found in an isolated
small area in the high Andean rain forests of Southern Ecuador, namely the area in and around the Jocotoco Foundation's Tapichalaca Reserve. You can
see a few short clips from the pilot at
"Adventures With Birdman" on Vimeo. This project could never have been
completed without the help and generous support from the
Jocotoco Foundation. Any donations to this recognized world leader in
wildlife protection and conservation, would gladly be accepted and
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL
In 2010 I submitted a short video called Six Minutes
to the 33rd International Wildlife Film Festival held in Missoula, MT.
The theme of my entry was a display of some of nature's winged creatures
put to a music composition called "Jarrenetic" created by a very talented
musician from the Netherlands, Mike Andrews.
This film was entered in the "Amateur" category, and after preliminary
judging, it was selected, along with over 100 finalist films in all
categories, for final judging. The following is part of the IWFF final
judging results notice I received. "With an overwhelming amount of
entries, both the preliminary and final judges found the selection process
more difficult than in previous years and being selected as a Finalist is
an accomplishment in and of itself. Six Minutes will be listed and
recognized as a Finalist in our festival program as well as on our website".
This was my first ever entry to any film festival, and the results exceded
any expectations I had. Also, I don't think my entry would have advanced
as a finalist if it wasn't for Mike Andrews gracefully allowing me
permission to use his music, thanks Mike.
HDV VIDEO FOOTAGE SALES & LICENSING
Please contact me for price quotes, which will be based on several factors such as
species, action or interaction, quality, and difficulty in obtaining the footage. Special pricing consideration might be given to bonafide non-profit
wildlife conservation organizations. If you are a government agency, university or a PBS production/project and say you don't have a budget, please go and find a budget, and then
then come back and talk to me. Giving photos and video footage away for free or at below market value not only hinders my ability to get out
and obtain footage, but does a disservice to my fellow wildlife photographers and videographers who depend on sales as part or their primary source of income
and livelihood. I have many bird species, mostly Western United States, shown on several different Internet sites listed on this page, but if you need a
species that you don't see, please contact me at my email address below, because I might have it in my video library. XL H1 footage is HDV 1080/60i,
25Mbps, and is delivered as native HDV 1440x1080 MPEG-2 or m2t files. GH3 footage is Full HD 1920x1080-30p 50Mbps Quicktime Motion JPEG B, and can be delivered on disc, via an Internet Drop Box or FTP site.
DON'S BIRDS ON DVD
With the migration from photography to video, I soon found myself giving
video programs to Audubon groups around the Southern California area,
instead of my usual slide programs. Once I became comfortable with video
editing, the next logical step was to put all the footage I had been
shooting on DVD. At the present time I have (5) 60 minute standard definition
DVD's and (3) HD Blu-ray disc to offer. These make great gifts anytime during the year.
They are also great for all age groups as an introduction to the wonderful world
of nature and birdwatching.
ABOUT THE "More Birds & Other Natural Things" SERIES
The video footage was shot using a Canon XL H1 HDV camera. The DVD compliant
MPEG-2 was encoded directly from the HDV MPEG-2 source footage, which yeilds
a very sharp and color rich standard definition DVD. The video clips shown
on my "HOME" and "CRITTERS" pages, along with my IBC videos shown to the right,
are samples of the content and quality that you will enjoy in "More Birds & Other
Natural Things Volume I, II, III, IV & 5". All DVD's are authored with "Play From"
locations base on minutes from the beginning.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume I"--This video was initially created to
show video produced with using different lenses and was only 20 minutes long. The video is divided into specific
sections depending on the lens used. As time passed, more content, namely birds, was added to this
video until it reached 60 minutes in length. All the content is titled along with
annotation for each of the 71 bird species shown. This is mainly a Ventura County
bird video, but other "critters" (~23) found in the world of nature are included.
The format is 16:9 widescreen NTSC and the total run time is 60 minutes.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume II"--This is mostly Ventura County birds,
but I do a little drifting into other areas of California and SE Arizona. Like
Volume I, it's mainly all birds, but there are a handful other "critters" like a
rattlesnake, lizards, butterflies, and dragonflies. All species, both birds (63)
and other (18) are annotated with species common names and locations. The format is 16:9
widescreen NTSC and the total run time is 60 minutes.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume III"--Again, this is mostly Ventura County
birds, but it also includes a few from Santa Barbara County, Kern County, and SE
Arizona. Also included are a few other "critters" found in the wonderful world of
nature. One of the highlights of this DVD is an up close visit with two California
Condor, an immature male #457, and an adult male #282. All species, both birds (64)
and other natural (3) are annotated with species common names and locations. The format is 16:9
widescreen NTSC and is 60 minutes long.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume IV"--Again, this is mostly Ventura County
birds, but it also includes some great birds from Santa Barbara County, Imperial
County (Bean Goose), Kern County (Le Conte's Thrasher), San Luis Obispo County
(Ivory Gull), and Ventura County (Indigo Bunting). All species, both birds (66)
and other natural (8) are annotated with species common names and locations. The format is 16:9
widescreen NTSC and is 60 minutes long.
"More Birds & Other natural Things Volume 5"--Again, this is mostly Ventura County bird,
but also a few from San Luis Oispo and Imperial Counties. All species, both birds (60)
and other natural (3) are annotated with species common names and locations. The first 45 minutes are
all birds, and the last 15 minutes is a short video "Dawn to Dusk at the Salton Sea".
The format is 16:9 widescreen NTSC and is 60 minutes long.
3 NEW BLU-RAY RELEASES
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume III" is now available on HD Blu-ray disc.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume IV" is now available on HD Blu-ray disc.
"More Birds & Other Natural Things Volume 5" is now available on HD Blu-ray disc.
Note: All the above 16:9 widescreen DVD's will play as such on a standard 4:3 TV (black bars like the IBC players shown on the right of this page).
All DVD's, including Blu-Ray discs, are $20 each including shipping, and I accept checks or money orders.
Please contact me at the email address shown below if you would like to order a
DVD, or have any specific questions about the DVD's or ordering. Just include your
mailing address, specifiy title and quanity, and I'll send it right out. You can
mail me payment to the address I will give you in a return email. You can send
payment when ordering, or wait until product is received. If you can't trust people
who like to watch birds, who can you trust. My pledge is, "if your not satisfied,
I'll return your payment". Note: If your not sure if your DVD player will, or will
not play DVD-R discs, look in the manual that came with the unit under "Specifications".
I can provide DVD+R discs, but specify this when you place your order. If for some
reason the DVD doesn't play because of this format compatibility issue, I'll
replace it at no additional charge.
Email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org