In northern Germany I finally tested the video function of the Nikon D7100 and the Tamron AF 70-300mm 4-5.6 Di SP VC . Not too long ago I got myself a new Tripod Head from Manfrotto as I want to get more into filming wildlife. The Manfrotto MVH502AH Pro Fluid has been a good investment until now, I have to say it´s very different compared to my normal head from Cullmann. I moves very gently and makes fun using it. Nevertheless it takes quite a lot of practice to get nice and smooth panning shots!
Long time ago I got my self a cheap camouflage net at ebay, that was also gonna be used for the first time. As we´d observed two deers kept coming to the same spot only a couple of minutes away from our bungalow. At around nine pm I took my heavy camera gear (with the tripod, the head and the D7100 with the Tamron 70-300mm on it, it was actually damn heavy!!) installed myself in a corner and just waited. I´d never done this before and I was keen to know what was going to happen. The wind – the most important parameter – was good: it was blowing slightly towards me, so no chance for the deers to trace me. After maybe thirty minutes of just nothing happening, I saw one of the deers coming. It was extremely cautious, but behind my camouflage it didn´t notice me at all. My heart was beating like crazy … I mean after all this was an wild animal just about 30 meters from me!! It felt good to see this deer freely and to observe it doing whatever it is naturally doing. In the end you might notice in the video that the camera isn´t as stable as it could be. One reason is me being super excited seeing the deers the second is that I think I haven´t mounted the camera properly on the Manfrotto head (you can move the center of gravity depending on the lens your are using, so for a heavy lens you will want to tighten the camera very close to you..).
I also pumped up the ISO quite high here as it got late and there wasn´t too much light available anymore. Between 2000 and 3000 in the last deer scenes, in all other scenes I used ISO 100.
I think, that´s basically it and the way I did it. I am still a very beginner, but stay tuned there are many videos to come. If you´ve got any questions or comments, don´t hesitate to use the comment function below. Also check out my youtube channel, where you´ll find some videos I recorded (most of them with a GoPro)! Now take a few minutes to watch this video (in FULL HD for sure) – quite a relaxing one!
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Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.