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Preparing for the season as a cameraman

WeHuntSC.com - Evan Peterson videoing a huntThings are getting ready to kick off for Huntin the World Southern Style.  Opening day is just around the corner and we are busy planning hunts.  As a cameraman on these hunts I have a unique perspective and in this blog entry I?m going to elaborate a little bit about being a camera man

As a cameraman for Huntin the World Southern Style the beginning of the season signals getting familiar with the camera again and with any new gear that?s been acquired in the off-season.  Like an experienced hunter practices with his gun or bow, I practice with my camera.  I practice so that when the time comes to make the crucial shot, I am ready and prepared as can be to get it on film.

This year is unique in that we have all new cameras.  In previous years we used Canon cameras that worked great, but they became slightly outdated when everything turned to digital format.  This season we are using new Sony cameras that record everything on two 32 gigabyte memory cards.  This makes the process a lot easier when it comes time to transfer the raw footage from the camera to the computer for editing.  Just as one does with his gun or bow, I have to familiarize myself with the new weapon of my filming arsenal.

I admit that I was a little nervous at first about using a new camera just as I would be about hunting with a new gun, but learning the new camera has not been that difficult as I thought it would be.  A lot of the buttons are in relatively the same place and the new cameras have all of the same functions as the old one.   John Kennedy, (another cameraman on Huntin the World Southern Style) and I went over the camera earlier this week making sure that everything was set to our specifications.  Like any new piece of electronic equipment we had to check over all of the settings and make sure that they are functioning properly.  

I?ve learned that there are two critical aspects of filming that a cameraman must ensure are in check. Audio is one of the two most important things to have set correctly when videoing.  When the buck of a lifetime comes in grunting the audience will feel like they are right there in the tree with us.  Focus is the other important thing.  This way when we are filming we can capture the beauty of the hunt with such clarity that the viewer will feel like they are looking through a window into our world.  We also have to make sure that every camera has all of the accessories needed to keep it running smoothly in the field.  These accessories include a cleaning kit so there are no marks on the lens, extra batteries to keep the camera running during those long sits in the stand, extra memory cards, extra microphones and headphones.  All of this is included in each camera bag when we leave for a hunt and there are definitely times when these extras come in handy.  Taking the gear plus extras makes sure that we have everything we need to operate the camera while we are away from home.

A few days ago Ken Cobb and I went down to film a hog hunt at Williams Wildlife in the small town of Lodge, South Carolina.  Small hunts like this are great practice to get warmed up for the season.  This weekend I have another hunt at Cypress Creek Outfitters in Estill, South Carolina with a gentleman from Crosman Air Rifles.  It will be important to get all the footage necessary to make a successful show while on the hunt.  For this reason I am set with a script that has key points that are needed for this specific hunt.

From then on things will get crazy traveling across North America capturing hunts of a lifetime on film.  Preparation is crucial so that I am ready to capture everything from humorous moments in camp to the most intense moments in the field.

This is a little insight as to what goes on behind the scenes as a cameraman for a hunting show.  I will have stories from the road to write about soon, but until then, you can follow me and my adventures on my facebook page.  


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