Thursday, December 17, 2015

Filming Hunting and Fishing Videos

You know what's really difficult? Filming successful hunts and filming them successfully. Fishing? Fishing is tough to get certain pictures like a fish taking a dry fly or good pics of bugs on the water but it's nothing like filming hunts.

I bought this Hero4 a few days ago and I've been having a blast with it; mostly because it's such a challenge. Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily need to make hunting ducks more of a challenge but getting that perfect shot is kind of an obsession I've developed in the last week. It's something I've wanted to start doing for a while now but was a little reluctant because it's hard to justify dropping the cash to buy the gear, not really having the confidence it would amount to anything.

I don't always recognize or promote other folks in the field either writing or filming because honestly, I don't read other blogs or watch a lot of YouTube videos. (Part of it is I just don't want to be tempted to copy someone and I also don't really want to know when someone has taken some of my content.)  However, I have to mention a couple dudes out there I had a ton of respect for before buying the camera but now, I definitely have a better appreciation for what they do. The guys I'm talking about are Remi Warren and Tim Burnett of Solo HNTR. When you look at the difficulty of 1.) trying to be successful in the wild chasing game and 2.) having to deal with all the technical aspects of filming and then to realize they're doing it 100% by themselves; that's crazy.

Just think about it. I could go on  for days about the difficulties of the hunting part. (In fact, I have...) But now add to it setting up a camera, trying to get you and the game in the shot without being able to look through the view finder or the screen and then trying not to spook the animal or have them bust you while setting up a tripod or just turning the camera on. It's like the act itself of hunting isn't hard enough so now you have to handicap yourself--not to mention having to carry all the gear around while hiking up and down some burly, burly mountains. It would be like golfing in ski boots. And here's the deal; it's not like you can always predict where the animal is going to come out or how it's going to react and if it decides to move a couple feet, you miss the shot not only with the gun or bow but with the camera, which in the end is the whole purpose.

One thing I don't think people realize too, is that when filming, you don't get the entire time to hunt that other people do because the camera won't film in low-light so while others get the luxury of hunting a half-hour before and after the sun comes out, the guys filming have to wait. Those of you that hunt realize a lot of animals wait until those low-light situations to show themselves. It's just another variable you have to consider when filming.

So one of the things I learned pretty quick with the GoPro is that having it attached to you will give the viewer a perspective of actually being on the hunt but there are definitely limitations. It's pretty cool to sneak up on birds that way as you might have seen in the last video I posted and it does allow for some anticipation and excitement but when the shot goes off, the jarring from the gun throws the camera off and you really can't see what's going on. Again, it's kind of cool pre-shot but not very practical.

Yesterday, I set the camera up "knowing" where the ducks were going to be coming from and where they would land given the wind direction and how I set my decoys up. Setting it up above and behind me, I had the angle to get myself in the shot but also having the ducks I was shooting at. I also had a good idea of when they would come because I was there the day before doing some recon so I saved my battery for that time when the best chance to film was going to be. The unfortunate thing is that only a couple ducks read the same manual on duck hunting that I did so I only got one shot at it. I will say though that the one shot I did film was worth the effort.

The fun thing about all this is the artistic part of it. Figuring out shots with the end result in mind, trying to tell a story that's interesting and then the post-production part of it is all fun and a developing skill that's pretty rewarding when it all comes together. The last few days, I've taken a lot of shots and will try to put something together. I'll keep you posted.

Keep 'em where they live...

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