The annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival is held on Mare Island in Vallejo to celebrate the area's importance as a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway for thousands of shorebirds. The event is held at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard and includes exhibits by dozens of non-profit nature and historic societies, as well as a live raptor display. Visitors are able to explore a historic gunship,
a beautiful chapel in the woods with Tiffany stained glass windows, the Naval Museum, and the Naval Cemetery founded in 1858. They can also participate in guided hikes throughout the Preserve.
Shot mostly with my Panasonic GH3 and 12-35mm f2.8 lens. Edited in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS6
This video concentrates on aspects of the Flyway Festival itself.
Part Two will focus on the Nature Preserve.
Solano County Open Space Preserve is right behind my home in Northern California, so I get to see plenty of raptors. This white-tailed kite was hovering over various places for around half an hour and eventually swooped down into the field. Seconds later I spotted it in a tree quite some distance away. I grabbed my GH3 with the 100-300mm lens on TelEx and shot this footage as the kite proceeded to disembowel a large rat, then swallow it whole. The light was terrible, as it was raining, the wind was blowing hard, and I didn't have time to fetch a tripod, so the video is not the best quality. It does show the kite's eating behaviour, even if his back is to the camera!
I have been meaning to visit the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge for several years and finally did so at sunset on January 21-22, 2013. What an incredible experience! Millions of snow geese and sandhill cranes were constantly taking off from the wetlands, forming long lines, V-shapes, sometimes other more fluid formations in the sky. Their cries made quite a din. They seek warmer winter climes here from their habitual Alaskan and Canadian habitats.
Filming is a challenge,as most photography has to be done from the car (walking around is only permitted at a few rare pull-outs). Normally I would include more close-ups, but with the focal limitations of the Panasonic 35-100mm and 14-140mm lenses, this roved nearly impossible. I'm lucky that my husband was driving, while I sat in the back of our minivan with the door open.
To cap it all, we were celebrating our wedding anniversary - a magical way to do it, indeed.
My new GH3 performed very well indeed, especially at some of the higher ISOs after the sun had gone down. As for that 35-100mm 2.8 lens - superb.
As a sequel to ' A Hiddenbrooke Fall', I have been shooting the landscape and wildlife around my home over the past few months. This video tries to distill the essence of this Northern California haven for wildlife. Though this is a residential community with plenty of houses and a golf course, you won't see people in this film, only hills, fog, rain, birds, and a few animals. I wish I had been able to capture a coyote (on film), but not this time. Wildlife photography is very time-consuming, but rewarding when the subject appears at just the right time in the very place where you happen to be - with your camera.
Shot on Panasonic GH2 and GH3, 14-140mm lens, 12-35mm f2.8 lens (for the timelapses), and 35-100mm f2.8.
Edited in Premiere Pro CS6 and After Effects.
This, my final video in the Hiddenbrooke Seasons trilogy, has been created with love and sadness for the place I am about to leave after 10 wonderful years. Spring this year was early. In the end there were masses of flowers all blooming at once. The birds have been particularly active in my garden, which is a certified National Wildlife Habitat. It was hard not to include more wildlife, but at 3m 33s this film is already on the long side for today's attention spans.
Shot with a Panasonic GH3 and G6, edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6