For the last five weeks every minute of my spare time has been channelled towards producing an audio visual presentation about caring for wildlife. Its aim is to encourage new carers to take up this worthwhile cause and maybe help raise a few funds for our local wildlife care group. I have also produced it in the hope of gaining a distinction for the work.
As to be expected I concentrated most of my efforts on kangaroos, no surprise there, but you will be glad to know that I’ve made a token reference to other species too.
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears I finally got to sit down yesterday to watch my final cut. I have to be candid in saying that I was a bit disappointed with my efforts. Sadly, I didn’t think I would achieve my goal of obtaining a distinction. Mainly because I didn’t feel the quality of the images and video were up to scratch. I could imagine the critique “Well she needed to compose that image better”, “That background is poor”, “Ugh! Lighting dearie LIGHTING “, “All these shots appear to be in ones face, give it some room for goodness sake”
Oh and the video, well don’t let us talk about the video footage.
My 15 minute presentation ended with a flourish of music and the screen went black (no I didn’t put in ‘The End’) and I sat there thinking how I could have made it better. Do you remember that blog I did on how to photograph pets the Aussie Critter way? Yeah, right! What do I know? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
That may give you a tiny insight of the task in hand when photographing or videoing kangaroos. There I am getting down as low as possible trying to capture those wonderfully expressive, bottomless eyes and what’s going on in the background? Well if you don’t know I’ll tell you. When joeys are very young they cannot bear to be away from their Mum and desperately want to get back in their pouch. So, there are usually a couple of babies trying to get into any pockets I may have, then I’ll have one seriously attempting and sometime succeeding in somersaulting into my cleavage and of course there will be one baby stuffing his head up the back of my shirt pretending the world just isn’t there. All this involves a lot of determined scrabbling with long nails against sensitive hairless human skin.
After extracting all the furry little bodies from their various hidey holes, I plonk them on the floor in front of my ideal backdrop and ask them nicely to look interested in the grass and ‘oh, look at the funny little ant’ backing away carefully talking to them all the time.
The only thing that works is plonking them on the ground, sprinting away at top speed so they don’t realise you’ve moved and we are talking the speed of light here, spinning and clicking. Got it?
Dump, run, spin AND CLICK.
Forget the backdrop, there’s always Photoshop.
Later on when they get all their confidence and leap about the place jumping in the air with joyful glee (this is when you don’t have a camera) they get this new affliction called curiosity. “What on earth is that big black shiny thing stuck to Mum’s face?” Lens cap off and they stop everything they are doing to come over, someone licks the lens, another grabs fistfuls of my hair wondering what the new type of grass tastes like, and any not doing those activities decide a little earnest grooming might be necessary on any bits of bare skin Mum has showing
When that panel of judges view my work later this month, I don’t think they should be assessing the piece on its merits. I think they should be judging it on the degree of difficulty involved in its production and politely overlooking the places where I’ve fallen short of the desired artistically perfect imagery. Ah well, I might also win the lottery on Tuesday too!
Upon reflection though, all of those prospective new carers watching the piece aren’t going to be assessing the artistic aspect at all. They are going to sit back, enjoy the music and are just going to LOVE watching those adorable, well behaved and extremely photogenic joey babies.
MY JOB IS DONE!
Samantha "I'm a person who feels I live in paradise and truly love Australia after immigrating here in 2003. I work as a foreign exchange trader, live with my true soul mate, husband Albert. I have a passion for Aussie wildlife and became a registered wildlife carer in 2005 and can say I feel truly privileged to be able to raise and rehabilitate orphan wallaby/kangaroo joeys. I love these creatures with my heart and soul. My dream is to be able to help struggling volunteer wildlife carers, financially, so that they can do what they do best without worrying how to pay the next vet bill"