Yasugawa near Ritto City after Typhoon 18 on September 16, 2013. These clips were shot hand-held from a few hundred meters above Yasugawa Ohashi, where the river flows under Japan Route 8. We can see the bridge and two small mountains: Mikamiyama (straight across the river from the camera) and Bodaijisan. The wind was quite strong, so I reduced the audio volume -12dB.
The river level had been higher. At the the high-water mark hundreds of PET bottles were along the riverbank. The river had not risen so high for a long time, so this time it picked up a lot of trash that people had left during summer. Every year I see thousands of plastic bottles along the riverbank in Ritto and Moriyama.
Egrets and a couple of grey herons hang out in Yasugawa about 600 meters downstream from Yasugawa Ohashi (野洲川大橋) where Japan Route 8 crosses the Yasu River in Shiga Prefecture. The Shinkansen is about 1300 meters from the camera, and the JR Tokaido line, which we can see under the Shinkansen tracks, is about 2100 meters away.
The telephoto scenes were shot from under Yasugawa Ohashi with an old 300mm Olympus Zuiko OM System lens on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera (12x magnification). The opening pan shot and the photo at the end were taken with a 17mm lens. I processed the audio with a high-pass filter to reduce low frequency traffic and wind noises and to emphasize the higher frequency sounds of the river as it ran under the bridge.
Crickets at night in the trees andbushes between Takano Shrine and Takano Playground in Ritto City, Shiga Prefcture, Japan.
I recorded with an Audio-Technica BP4025 stereo microphone and an Olympus LS-100 recorder. For post-processing is used Audacity on CentOS-6 (GNU/Linux). There was a lot of traffic noise, so I applied a high-pass filter aggressively from about 3KHz. These insects sing at about 5KHz.
This is a rice combine harvester in Ritto City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, on September 5, 2013. Mikamiyama (Mount Mikami) is in the background. It had been raining heavily the previous day, and we can see fallen rice plants lying in an adjacent field. Fortunately, other fields seem to be okay.
Rice combines reap and thresh the rice. Larger ones such as this can store several hundred kilograms on board. Periodically the rice is transferred to a truck.
This video is a quick “minute movie” with no additional audio. Video was captured with a hand-held Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and the 12-50mm kit lens that came with the camera. As always, I used manual exposure (f20 at 1/60 sec.). Usually I shoot with manual focus, but this time I tried continuous auto-focus with tracking. It did not work well. Several times the tracking bracket moved around, apparently looking for a subject. I was surprised that the camera did not track the harvester well at all. Next time I’ll go back to manual focus.
Post-processing was done on my old MacBook. I trimmed the clips with QuickTime. I had to trim a lot. I’d shot the video from a sidewalk near a noisy road, and several large trucks passed as I was shooting. Also, auto-focus on the camera created some blurred segments that I removed. I edited with Final Cut Pro X. I simply dropped the clips in place, added an opening photo with fade in, a title, and my standard “shigarivers.com” clip at the end. The software helped with color balance and image stabilization to smooth out the camera shake. Audio was okay, so I didn’t change it.
This video shows wildlife in and near Yasugawa between Mikamiyama and Bodaijisan in late August, 2013. We can see crows, egrets, herons, geese (high overhead), cormorants, and a nutria. It was extremely hot during most of this period. I had never seen so many crows and cormorants together. Also, I had no idea that nutria were living here until I reviewed video clips that I’d taken. They are a very destructive invasive species that eat farmers’ crops.
This location is a 20-minute walk from my house. Usually I go by mountain bike, which takes 4 or 5 minutes. Traffic sounds are pretty loud, but at least we can find interesting wildlife. Egrets and herons are extremely shy out here in the country. In Kyoto people can get within 50 or 60 meters, but here they will fly if anyone gets within several hundred meters. Wildlife scenes in the river were shot in late afternoon with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and an old 300mm Olympus OM System lens. For scenes at the beginning and end I used an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens.
Several Shinkansen trains at Yasugawa seen from the Moriyama side of the river. Trains going from right to left are bound for Tokyo. Trains coming from the left will soon stop at Kyoto. Shinkansen passengers have a beautiful view of Mikamiyama and other scenery as they pass through Shiga Prefecture in comfort.
Audio for the long scene beginning at 0:47 was captured with an Audio Technica BP4025 stereo microphone and an Olympus LS100 recorder. I reduced low frequency sounds to match the sound with earlier clips, which were recorded by the camera. To appreciate the loudness of the Shinkansen, listen with good speakers or headphones. A bird call about 1:15 should be clearly audible. When I was recording, I heard that bird very clearly.
This location is about 120 meters from my house. The canal is covered from the camera position and runs under the sidewalk along the north side of my neighborhood. A larger open canal runs through the neighborhood on the south side. Once or twice a year we clean that canal and trim the hedges along it. In July we took about 1.2 tons of cuttings to the Ritto City incinerator. (I drove one of the trucks.)
The audio is mostly traffic on the bypass between Japan Routes 1 (right) and 8 (left). The engine idling in the second half of the recording was in a ten-ton dump truck about three meters behind and to the left of the camera.
Video scenes were shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and two lenses: a 25mm f1.4 Panasonic/Leica DG SUMMILUX and mostly an old Zuiko OM System 35-105mm manual zoom and manual focus lens. To reduce glare from the water I used circular polarizing filters and shot at midday when the sun was highest in the shy.