Friday, September 5, 2014

An Eagle, a Red Fish & the Veil

Today was a great day, though I was running on fumes (short on sleep), I really had fun and I am really pleased with what I produced. Not not necessarily everything I created today will be usable, I got what I needed for the scene change. We were working on one of my new stopmotion animations (4th scene but 5th photoshoot). I took 1,751 photos; did several retakes and a few versions of the same thing, so now I have to decide (indecision can be a real beast) which versions I am using.

Today was very lovely & very hot. It was a playful but very chill, relaxed day; very smooth going, despite the slow start (I was late leaving the house). Guessing by eye, I would say it was ideal photography lighting around fourish because when we started shooting, it was definitely bordering on over exposed. I don't have a light metre and I have to make a guesstimation. I don't normally do stopmotion outside because it's hard with the time lapse between shots to have controlled lighting but I felt my ideas for what I wanted to do for today's scene would be quick enough that we could work with natural light, which for stopmotion is a treat to me. Very windy as well, which turned out to be a beautiful benefit to what I was working with.

At one point we decided to move locations on the property (we were on the river, we had gone out of town for this), and I am standing there with the tripod & camera attached (being super tired & only moving forty feet away from our original location, I just walked barefoot carrying the camera still attached to the tripod; being on four hours sleep made me feel like it was epic taking it off the tripod, bit silly really), so I am standing there in shock with equipment in hand (after the moment passing realizing I could have taken some awesome stopmotion animation photos or video footage) as I am watching a beautiful eagle swoop down to the water (which was approx. thirty feet away from where I was standing) & scoop out a giant fish (silver & red, not sure what kind of fish, gonna look around online later and see if I can figure it out). So it's flying up with this fish (it was huge & so was the eagle) doing a diagonal swoop away from the water (directly over where I had just told my model to go stand for the next series of stopmotion animation shots) then back over the water (kind of zig zagging) because two seagulls decided to chase the eagle (wtf? ballsy seagulls) in hopes of stealing it's catch (the eagle was the one that took it out of the water, swear I never saw an eagle being chased by seagulls before, hilarious).

When I finished the shoot, we got buzzed first by a white butterfly (my model was all in white) then dragonflies while I was packing followed by discovering lady bugs on my tripod as I was about to leave. Last week with the shoot with Aurelie I had to chase two raccoons out of my house, I just treat them like they are my cats and it's shocking what they understand because I firmly told them no (was going after the cat dryfood) & pointed in the direction of the door (which was around the corner & through the kitchen), told the raccoons "No, go." Twice while pointing and they listened, and respectfully turned around and went back the way they came. Then when they tried to test me to try to re-enter the house (reminds me of kids trying to test boundaries), I squirted them with water the way I do my cats; took a few squirts before they got got tired of being sprayed with water. Super cute. My model's boyfriend who was there helping us out immediately said, "Wow, I have never seen raccoons respond that way to anyone before, they really listened to you, I thought we were going to have to try to scare them out." I explained I don't like to use fear with animals but rather try to get them to listen and earn their respect, teach them boundaries as I find it's more effective and feels healthier.

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