White-crowned Sparrow: a short video

A bit of editing to do yet, before I can post the video of the Long-tailed Weasel, so I thought I would share a short video I was able to shoot while watching the weasels, of a male White-crowned Sparrow.

I couldn’t decide if I should do a short voiceover discussing the bird, so I thought I would let its actions speak for it. Nothing too exciting, but it’s fun. It is also an nice example of the quality of movie that today’s cameras can shoot (of course I reduced the file size considerably to make it easier to play on line).

My videography techniques aren’t perfect yet, but the learning process is a blast.


About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website- www.galenleeds.net
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5 Responses to White-crowned Sparrow: a short video

  1. Mark Goodwin says:

    Hey Galen….brilliant man, I love it. What a great little bird – we don’t have them in the UK of course – and I love the way he/she is just standing there preening is self. Obviously the tripod is the way to go, rock steady and very professional. Can’t wait to see more.What software are you using for processing and are you a NIkon man or a Photocopier man, sorry I shouldn’t do that. A Canon man?
    Loving your work my friend.

    • Thanks Mark. The White-crowns are fairly common around where I live, and can be found throughout much of the U.S.- which made this a great bird for practicing my videography techniques. No tripod on this shot, but I was resting the camera on a fence post just a little farther down the fence from the bird… nearly as good. The LCD loupe made all the difference however for making sure of my focus, and adding an extra steading point for the camera.

      Nothing fancy as far as software- for now I am just using the iMovie program that came on my Mac. As I get more involved in the movie making process, I may eventually go for something a little more flexible like Final Cut, but for now, I figure I will mostly focus on learning how to capture video- there are some counter intuitive tricks for us “stills” shooters. For example, when shooting fast moving action, fast shutter speed generally is not better. It results in a sort of stutter or choppiness to the video. In such cases it can actually better to shoot at 1/60th to 1/125th of a second shutter speed, where we would be using 1/500th for photos.

      As far as cameras… I used to shoot Nikon, back when I shot film. Now that I mostly shoot digital, I am mostly using Canon gear. I think for the most part however that both are equally capable, and that most of the differences aren’t so much in quality as they are in user preferences. It’s pretty amazing what all of these cameras can do these days

      • Mark Goodwin says:

        Galen thanks for the reply. All interesting stuff. I’m currently shooting with a Nikon D3S and at the moment I am having some trouble seeking a Loupe for it on EBay. They all seem to want to use some sort of adhesive. But I shall keep searching. I also have iMovie I did try briefly with it, but I need to learn how to use it properly. I was looking at Adobe Premier Pro, that looks really nice plus one would be very familiar with the controls which all very similar to PS. Thank you for the shutter speed tip, very interesting.
        Here’s looking forward to more of your very nice photography.

  2. I do like the quality of the video and am surprised the camera does such nice a nice job. I never used that feature on my Nikon, but may try it now. I have a Sony but am terrible at shooting video. It really must take practice. A tripod is a good idea, but is use not difficult a bit with wildlife in general?

    • I am constantly being impressed by the quality that digital cameras are capable of recording video at, but that is part of what led me to upgrade in the past year to an SLR that was also capable of shooting HD video. I’d met people that were shooting actual movies for the big screen on them, and was intrigued by what I might be able to do recording wildlife… and there have been many attempts on my part that suggest practice does help, as does a tripod and some other doodads. However, I am definitely trying to figure out ways to shoot wildlife movies without a tripod, so that I can keep shooting from my kayak. It’s a fun learning process so far. I’m working on uploading my later kayak videography experiment right now. Hope you enjoy it.

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