Having taken so many great images of birds and wildlife in the past two years, I felt that a sense of stagnation was setting in for my work. How many images of a heron or egret can one take until the subject matter is lacking interest? In an attempt to revitalize enthusiasm for imaging the natural world, I have thrown my efforts toward DSLR video. I will continue to take stills when the subject matter calls to me just as before but now, I will be going out on my excursions with equipment and intention to capture video.
I would have thought that this process would be simple and relatively easy to get back up to the level of performance that I had achieved in still photography but oh was I wrong! Video is a totally new challenge with a dimension of creativity unparalleled to still imagery. Specifically, one has to have some point to the video other than clips of birds foraging or preening etc. We have a standard of for video quality that comes from countless hours watching TV and YouTube and those standards set a high bar.
I learned pretty quickly that my five year old big box store PC would not handle video editing and that my lovely Nikon D750 and D500 cameras don’t capture video as adeptly as the Panasonic GH4 or even the lowly Canon T5i with the Magic Lantern firmware hack. After many many hours of research, I settled on an Alienware Aurora R5 computer which was heavily discounted on a Green Monday Sale. Finally, I can edit videos and really begin the process of acquiring the skillset for this new venture. I also discovered the fantastic Blackmagic Davinci Resolve video editing program along with the associated Fusion 8 compositing software. Both are fully featured and free! However, the camera and lens situation will have to stay with the Nikon as my budget for new gear is tapped out. Also, at my stage of development, the Nikons will suffice to give me content for some months.
So, now I have what I need to get video and process it. But what happens? We get a freakishly cold and snowy winter storm series essentially making me housebound and when I did get out to my favorite bird watching pond, it was frozen solid with no birds… Life can be so weird. Instead, I am making practice videos using stock clips from free public domain video and sound sources.