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Brutal camera work tonight

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Anonymous's picture
Brutal camera work tonight

I do not want to be ungracious or unkind, but I have to wonder if one of the local chimpanzees are running the camera tonight. The NK has been fairly quiet animal-wise, but there are plenty of birds around. I enjoy both the animals and the birds and keep a little list. However, the camera is really not zooming in on any of it. I see lots of birds, like some kind of sandpiper in the water, but no zooming in to get a good look. But, just when you think no one is operating it, the camera does a slow nosedive to get a close look at some empty grass at the base of the camera. The best closeups Ive seen of anything has been of grass. I sort of figure what happens to be there should be looked at even if it looks like just a bird. There's been just a lot of fast, erratic camera movement with a lot of time spent with closeups of things other than wildlife!

Anyway, no ill-intent indended, just hoping it can be passed along. Im sure everyone is doing the best they can!


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Anonymous's picture

You don't seem to understand the complexity of manning the cameras. The camera-operators don't sit behind the camera - they are  locked in a dark room and have to operate the camera movement remotely using only a computer keyboard.  For all practical purposes, this one included, the camera might as well be on the moon. Furthermore, the area outside the view of the lens remains unseen to the operator, just as it is unseen by the viewers, and if, for instance, a jackal were to be heard somewhere in the surroundings yelping as though it had bitten its tongue again, the operator would have to pan the camera around by punching the keys of his keyboard while trying to locate that noisy beast for our viewing pleasure. This is not much different from playing a video game - and you know how easy it is to crash and burn and get your nose wiped playing one of those - except this is much more difficult.

Firstly, the jackal knows he is being sought (they don't call him Jakalas for naught!) and goes suddenly silent.  Second, the camera-operator must now use all his skills to try and locate that wily, silent beast. To pan the lens of his remote camera to the left he must press the left arrow on his keyboard with the pinky-toe of his right foot, and likewise, to pan right, with the pinky-toe of his left foot he must press the right arrow. Similarly the camera must be panned up and down by pressing the up and down arrows. This sounds easy, I know, but when one takes into account that all this must be accomplished while changing the lens focus by pressing the page-up and page-down keys with the teeth AND holding a stick of boerewors in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other AND watching the screen - man, its a helluva job! All I can say is if you think you can do better, then just try it!

Now excuse me while I go look at the grass where a giraffe walked by just seconds ago.

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