Remember the "two-headed" butterfly? (See previous post for explanation)
Well, here the video! I filmed this last year, but as with previous post, it's taken me months to process all the clips. I've also got round to identifying it. It's a Togarna Hairstreak (Arawacus togarna)
I'm still extracting little bits of magic from all my rubbish filming last year. I was waving the camera around like a madman for ages, trying to film this little hummingbird (it's around 1.5 inches long) deep in woods in the foothills of the Andes, and thought I'd failed, but a careful look through all the footage revealed just a second or 2 of useable footage. Slowed to 25%, stabilsed, cropped and enhanced, and hey presto! Not sure of the species yet.
I heard the call of this bird many times in Venezuela but never saw it until last summer. I was disappointed to find that it was quite an ordinary looking thing and I was at quite a distance so the video was shaky and pretty low quality so I left it on the cutting room floor until now. It turns out to be more interesting than at first glance because of its crazy crest, bobbing up and down as it sings. I couldn't find it in the field guide but searching Google for Crest + Bird + Venezuela quickly showed it to be... a striped cuckoo 'a bird more often heard than seen.'
Here it is after a lot of playing around in Powerdirector 10. The original is on the right, and the enhanced on the left. The post-processing stabilisation in Powerdirector really is something special:
Ah I do love picking out the most interesting frames from a video clip. This hummingbird stuck its tongue out for a fraction of a second, and chances of me photographing it were very remote, but with the video, it's easy to pick out the key frames later and enhance them. The first part is played at original speed, then slowed to 1/3 speed,then the individual frames at the end:
I've also been playing around with animated gifs. In the past, Typepad displayed animated gifs automatically, now you have to click on them to get them to work, for some reason.
And the close up enhanced version. Click on the image to activate:
You might think that brightly coloured birds like this Crimson Tananger are easy to spot, and sometimes they are. This one sat right in front of me posing proudly:
But most of the time they are almost invisible. Here's one high in the trees. It took me ages to find it; see when you can spot it. It's also a good demo on the excellent zoom and image stabilisation feature on the SD900 Panasonic:
Another clip saved from the cutting floor. This hummingbird only stayed still for a little over a second, but slowed to 20% of original speed gives us enough time to identify it as a female Amethyst Woodstar, I think.
As my summer holiday in Venezuela approaches, I'm clearing out old memory cards ready for filming all the birds. There are all kinds of little gems hidden away among the rubbish; a three minute clip of me chasing a fast-moving hummingbird revealed only a few seconds of useable footage, but slowed down to 25% of original speed, it's come out quite well. And it's easy to pick out the best frame as a record shot too: