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WINGED TRAVELLERS: MIGRATING GREY GEESE CAUGHT ON CAMERA

The migration of grey geese that travel in huge flocks from the Arctic is a breathtaking and magnificent spectacle of nature. Their journey of thousands of miles starts in northern Eurasia and takes them many weeks, after which they eventually reach their destination: Western Poland.

I am sure that with this equipment we can capture the incredible journey of these winged wayfarers and show the problems they are facing from humans

Tomasz Gładys

Location – The mouth of the Warta river
Products Supplied – AU-EVA1
Challenge

Finding the right equipment that captures the splendour of nature in the quality it deserves without restricting the crew because of its size, shape or weight.

Solution

Using the AU-EVA1 Cinema Compact Camera. It offers the right ergonomics for the difficult conditions of wildlife film-making, and high frame rates, incredible colour reproduction and high resolution for top image quality.


To capture the beauty of this incredible natural phenomenon and show us some of the threats geese face, the Green Odra and Warta Valley Foundation has begun working with students from the Lodz Film School to make a piece about bird migration.

Watching migrating grey geese presents many challenges. The greatest is to get near these extraordinary creatures. How can we overcome the challenges and catch the geese on camera?

Nothing can be left to chance. The assistance of a local birdwatcher who monitors the activity of birds in the area day in and day out is of the utmost importance. They need to know the natural habitat and different camouflage methods.

Picking the right film-making equipment is also crucial. Here, nature is the director and all scenes are one-take shots. Telephoto lenses of 300 mm or greater focal length are extremely useful.

Selecting the right camera for the job is essential because filming ‘in the wild’ is a huge limiting factor. The Panasonic AU-EVA1 was the clear choice in this case. The AU-EVA1 is a lightweight and compact camera featuring high-frame-rate recording of 2K in 240 fps, which really helps when filming nature.

The main unit weighs only 1.2 kg. The camera has a detachable handle which gives access to multiple controls (such as Menu or Start/Stop Recording), aperture settings and two user-defined buttons. The AU-EVA1 is tailor-made for handheld shooting, but also for use on the shoulder, drones or most gimbals available on the market. It can easily be used for aerial filming.

Camouflage camera on a floating platform


Image quality is of paramount importance. All defects are immediately visible when filming nature. The AU-EVA1 with its Super 35 mm image sensor can capture images to a quality of up to 5.7K. The EVA1 also supports 4K, UHD, 2K, Full HD, and HD.

The EVA1 includes an exceptionally helpful dual native ISO of 800 & 2500, which means that the camera can be used in virtually any lighting conditions.

The EVA1 also features fourteen stops of dynamic range for precise light/dark exposure control. The EVA1 contains V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver accurate colours with HDR shooting capability.

These and many more features made the EVA1 the obvious choice for this noble cause. Apart from capturing the beauty of nature, the intention is also to highlight the threats to the grey geese, which are a result of environmental changes, dwindling habitats and unrestricted hunting. The film-makers strive to show that we should be admiring the birds instead of killing them.

 ‘Seeing a flock of thousands of geese taking off is a magical, breathtaking moment. Watching them is an immensely uplifting experience’, Tomasz Gładys said. ‘I am sure that this equipment will allow us to capture the incredible journey of these winged wayfarers and show the problems they are facing from humans’, he added.

The project is a joint effort of the Green Odra and Warta Foundation and second-year students from the ‘Film and Television Direction’ and ‘Director of Photography & Television Production’ departments of the Lodz Film School. Akurat Lighting is also involved as a partner and lighting provider.

When approaching birds on the water, the camo should resemble a floating clump of algae

Good camouflage is the key to success