MyNaturewatch Camera - Now with Video

We’re BETA testing a significant new feature for the MyNaturewatch Camera - the ability to create short Video’s of your garden wildlife. Up until now our custom software captures still images which have the possibility to be stitched together into GIF Animations.

Now we have the scope to create fully immersive videos that cleverly use Cyclic Recording to capture the before, during and after of an Animal appearing in front of the Camera. Here’s our first test of the Video making capabilities using our Mobile Photography Studio Set-up. We’re working hard to bring this fantastic new feature to our community soon in the form of a software update, stay tuned.

Hello bees!

As spring has arrived, our gardens are now full of life with birds visiting and insects emerging to make the most of early blooms.

We want to use the Naturewatch camera to capture this variety of wildlife so we are experimenting with different setups to photograph the smallest inhabitants. The pictures above are a great example!  Matthew Beach captured bees collecting nectar during his residency at Phytology Urban Garden Project in East London. He used an infrared camera and adjusted the settings and the manual focus adjust on the IR lens and managed to get these really crisp close up pictures of bees.

We would love to hear from you if you have any tips for photographing bees, ladybirds, beetles, moths or any minibeasts in your garden.

My Naturewatch trailer at the Depot Cinema in Lewes

 

Last summer, My Naturewatch ran a workshop with people from the Lewes area in East Sussex, to build My Naturewatch Cameras and then use them to document the wildlife of their back gardens. The images they captured and documentation of the workshop has been made into a trailer that will be shown before films at the Depot Cinema, Lewes from 5th April 2019.

Watch the film below or check it out on the big screen for the next two weeks live before screenings of Dumbo.

 

Mice, slugs and spiders.

 
 

Here is a time-lapse film that we made about a year ago just before the My Naturewatch camera was first released. The team had all been testing the cameras at home and we were conducting several overnight tests with the infrared camera.

I discovered that I had foxes, badgers and mice mooching around my garden at night. So I decided to do some tests with different lighting stages to better frame wildlife and capture more cinematic images (see the earlier how-to post on this here). With this experiment I built a container about the size of a shoebox, fitted overhead infrared lamps and cut out a couple of mouse-sized holes. The My Naturewatch camera was inserted into the end of the box and a tube was added in the middle which was filled with grain.

One of the great advantages of building a set that has a plain background is that the camera can be set to maximum sensitivity, guaranteeing capture of every moment with zero false positives. The above movie was created with iMovie from the series of still images captured over one night. As well as the mice, check out the high-speed slug and spider action!

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Mobile Photography Studio

Continuing our interest in creating Animal Situations that work in conjunction with our MyNaturewatch Camera, we assembled a structure that incorporates a camera, a bird feeder and a white studio background, all suspended from a hanging mobile. The fixed relationship between the camera and the Feeder creates really detailed shots of birds landing and eating seed. What we’ve found so far is that white background also helps to eliminate false positives as there’s less likelihood of movement other than the birds themselves.

The Mobile Studio is built from lengths of pine wood, rope and cable-ties, plus a standard MyNaturewatch Camera. Creating a suspended mobile enables it to be tree mounted and (so far) completely squirrel proof. The following footage shows afternoon feedings by Robins and Blue Tits on the Goldsmiths Campus.

Wildlife Theatre

Experience your local wildlife afresh with scene setting ideas such as this Wildlife Theatre. There is a certain integrity to witnessing and photographing animals in their ‘natural’ habitat, however it doesn’t do any harm to create destinations and scenarios that cast new light on your local critters.

Here we’ve created a simple Theatre construction from 4 sheets of modelling ply-wood glued together with a few off-cuts of pine wood. Now that we have a basic Theatre Sets we’re thinking about furniture and props that will lend a certain sense of drama to the proceedings. So far we have a mini cloud and an Enzo Mari Autoprogettazione chair. Stay tuned for more theatrics…