Impressions from London Zoo (Film)
Last week I posted photographs from London Zoo that I took in October, this time I would like to share with you a short film I made in the same zoo last weekend. The trip was organized by the Photography and Modelling Society. I had about four hours during which I could shoot. Some of my favourite enclosures, including the rainforest indoor area, were closed to the public, and somehow I ended up shooting birds more than anything else.
Around 20 minutes before we had to catch the train the delivery guy showed up with my new LCDVF as well! I had been thinking about buying a Zacuto Z-Finder, but since they are sold out pretty much everywhere and cost 2-3 times as much I had ordered the LCDVF from lcdvf.pl. (The buying part was a bit tricky since the payment instructions got lost in translation, but I called them up, got everything sorted out and had the parcel within four days.) I might write a short review of the LCDVF, but in a nutshell, I prefer it’s 2x magnification to the 3x of the Zacuto (which I tried briefly at The Flash Center), and the magnet mount they use seems like a good solution to me. Having the LCDVF with me was really helpful for focusing, especially as most of the animals kept running or flying around. The experience is definitely very different from shooting stills! I had taken my tripod with the Manfrotto 808 head with me. There really would have been no way around a tripod, at least for the telephoto scenes: I used the EF 70-200 2.8L IS lens with both the Kenko 1.5x and Canon 2x Extenders on it, giving me an effective focal length of 210-600mm, and without the IS the footage would have been fairly shaky even on the tripod.
For the wide angle shots I used the Canon EF 24-70 2.8L which was attached to a shoulder mount. This helps to distribute the weight of the camera a bit, but I had to find out that it’s not very practical to use it whilst carrying a backpack.
Unfortunately Canon won’t release the new firmware for the 5DMkII until later this week, so I still had to shoot at 30p rather than 24p. I hope the video doesn’t look too choppy! I also think that I’ll have to invest into some kind of external microphone sometime soon if I ever want to make anything that isn’t overlaid with music. Here I mixed the song with the ambient sounds, but I was fairly limited even with that, since the camera picks up the noise from the IS as well as the wind and the noise when I touch the camera.
If you’re interested in the music, the album by Denis Richard can be downloaded from Jamendo.