Seven-Years Ago (30-June-2011) — New Jersey

Summer in New Jersey. Independence Day Fireworks Video.

DSLR video of the 30-June-2011 Montgomery Township Fireworks display. The Nikon D3s camera is limited to 5 minute HD (720P) video segments. I ended up with three 5 minute segments. I left the in-camera sound recording on to get the sound effects of the fireworks. I also got commentary about the fireworks from a family sitting in front of my tripod. At one point you can hear a train whistle. The other clicking sound is the shutter of my other cameras. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to combine the first and third segments, zoomed in a bit so the firework display takes up more of the image, and increased the volume. I also used Premiere Pro to add a title page to the video.

Saturday (10-December-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky Over New Jersey: Bird Captured Flying Past the Full Moon

I missed the Lunar Eclipse because I am on the east coast. The sky was clear and the moon was full, so I did take some images and DSLR videos with a Nikon D3s and 600 mm f/4 VR lens + TC-E III 20 teleconverter. The D3s is limited to a 5 minute 720p HR video, so I would keep going out  and restarting the videos. It was cold, and I wasn’t going to stay out there. The amazing thing when I started viewing the videos, on the very first one saw that I captured a bird flying across the moon. The duration of the transit was about 0.1 second. The frame-grab image from the video shows the bird in front of the moon. I think that it is a sea bird based on the wing shape, but hope that a bird expert can help with the identification. I’ve also included a video of the bird transit. The first pass is real time, the next six repeats are slowed down 10x.

Bird Flying Past Full Moon. Frame Grab from a DSLR Video taken with a Nikon D3s and 600 mm f/4 VR llens and TC-E III 20 teleconverter (David J Mathre)
Bird Flying Past Full Moon. Frame Grab from a DSLR Video taken with a Nikon D3s and 600 mm f/4 VR llens and TC-E III 20 teleconverter (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (24-July-2010) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey. Bald Faced Hornet Hive Video.

A year ago I recorded this DSLR video of the entrance to a Bald Faced Hornet Hive. It was recorded with a Nikon D3s camera and a Questar 3.5″ Birder Telescope. I needed the telescope so I could be at least 30 feet away from the basketball sized nest/hive. I understand that the bald faced hornet is easily upset, and unlike a honey bee is able to inflict multiple stings.

Question regarding the video. Should it be shorter and only show when the hornets swarm out? Should I include background music and/or bee swarming sound effects? Is the title sequence too long? Leave a comment to let me know.

Thursday (14-July-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Night Sky Over New Jersey.

A DSLR video and still image of the July “Thunder Full Moon. These were taken with a Nikon D3s camera and Questar 7” telescope. The moon disk just fits within the D3s sensor, and is clipped in the video. The official full moon is on the 15th, but these images and the video were taken within 4 hours of the full moon on the 14th. I used Adobe CS5 Premiere Pro to edit the video. The digital art version of the full moon was created using Nik Color Efex Pro — Weird Lines Filter.

Thunder Full Moon Digital Art. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and Questar 7 inch telescope (ISO 1600, ~2500 mm, f/16, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Color Efex Pro (Weird Lines) and Photoshop CS5 (David J Mathre)
Thunder Full Moon Digital Art. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and Questar 7 inch telescope (ISO 1600, ~2500 mm, f/16, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Color Efex Pro (Weird Lines) and Photoshop CS5
Thunder Full Moon over New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and Questar 7 inch telescope (ISO 1600, ~2500 mm, f/16, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5 (David J Mathre)
Thunder Full Moon over New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and Questar 7 inch telescope (ISO 1600, ~2500 mm, f/16, 1/400 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Define 2, and Photoshop CS5

Wednesday (13-July-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Waxing Gibbous Moon. DSLR Night Video + Telephoto Lens Testing.

After several days having problem with taking video images of the moon with the Nikon D3s, I finally figured out what the problem was. I was pointed to a reference on the net about an undocumented feature in Live View that impacts video capture (Thanks to Howard Ignatius). The secret sauce is “use the OK button

“- There is some misinformation online stating that the camera does not allow true manual control over ISO, shutter speed, and aperture in video mode. That is absolutely not true. The feature is undocumented for some reason, but if you hit the OK button while in live view, a light meter will appear and it switches to whatever mode that you currently have set on the camera (manual, aperture priority, etc). That means if you’re on manual, then you can adjust all of your settings as you please. Push the INFO button to cycle through different display modes, including a live histogram, horizon level, grid, etc.”  http://www.davidbergman.net/blog/how-to-get-manual-exposure-video-mode-on-the-nikon-d3s/

Bottom line, I now have manual control of the camera when taking videos!!!!!

The following video contains 15 second segments of the moon with different telephoto lenses comparing with and without the lens “vibration reduction” being enabled. When on tripod there is a difference. Let me know if you see the difference. The telephoto lenses and telescope used include the 600 mm f/4 VR, 600 mm f/4 VR + TC-E III 20 (1200 mm), 500 mm f/4 VR, 500 mm f/4 + TC-E III 20 (1000 mm), 400 mm f/2.8, 400 mm f/2.8 + TC-E III 20 (800 mm), 300 mm f/2.8, 300 mm f/2.8 + TC-E III 20 (600 mm), and Questar 3.5″ telescope (~1500 mm). The video was put together using Adobe CS5 Premiere Pro.

I’ve also included a still image of the waxing gibbous moon (97%) taken with the Nikon D3s and Questar 3.5″ telescope (ISO 1600, ~1500 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec).

Nearly Full Moon. Image taken with Nikon D3s and Questar 3.5 inch telescope (ISO 1600, ~1500 mm, f/16, 1/1000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS5 (David J. Mathre)
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