Chowing or Barfing
Is that falcon leading off the Vermphoto home page slideshow chowing or barfing? Good question and here's your answer: A month earlier this falcon was an adorable fuzzball being feed chunks of meat by his parents. Following that was weeks of food fights with its siblings, but after they were done devouring a bird, there were usually uneaten feet left on the ledge. A few days prior to fledging and the eyases were swallowing legs whole. This sequence was shot a few days after this individual fledged. It was still too inexperienced to hunt, so it got this meal delivered in midair from one of its parents. Then it flew over to this ledge and started wolfing.
To shoot this I crawled to the edge of the canyon with my D7000, 500mm f/4 and a 1.7x teleconverter attached. I laid on my belly as close to the edge as I dared (a three foot shift to my right would have resulted in a 200-foot death plunge down the vertical wall) and used my backpack as a beanbag to steady the lens. Still, my effective focal length was 1275mm so the slightest bobble shifted the bird all about the viewfinder. No big deal I thought at the time, but when I got back to the van to load down the photos it became apparent this would make a fun psuedo-timelapse sequence. (I call it that as the shots are not at precisely synchronized intervals.) Problem is each frame was horribly misaligned from its neighbors. How to fix this easily? Here's one quick method that you can do with just Lightroom and Photoshop.
In Lightroom select all the sequence shots you want to include in the video. If you want to tweak exposure, white balance and the like, go to the develop module, and with all the files still selected in a bunch, tweak one the way you want them all to look, then hit sync on the lower right of your screen. You'll get a menu of settings you can synchronize, choose the ones you want then hit synchronize. Go back to library module and you'll see the thumbnails gradually all assume the changes. If they all look good to you then it's time to align them in Photoshop.
With your group of images all selected in Lightroom, go to Photo>Edit in>Open as layers in Photoshop.
This will boot up Photoshop and if you have a lot of images to load you might want to grab a beer. Once all you images are loaded just go to Edit>Auto-align layers.
This will take a few minutes while Photoshop does all the hard work for you, so you might as well do what you're good at and grab another cold one.
Once Photoshop has done its magic you'll get an image with a bunch of checkerboard cutouts in the corners. Time to embrace your inner cropaholic and trim away those checkerboards and any other stuff you don't really want in the final video. (Yep, if you were thinking ahead you would have stepped back or zoomed out to leave a buffer to crop out later.)
Next resize to your desired format. Go to Image>Image Size>then fill in the table with your dimensions and chosen resolution. Here I chose 640 pixels wide (my blog column width, though 720 is more standard for the web) and 72 dpi (standard web resolution).
Now you've got a bunch of layers all sweetly aligned and sized, but they're layers, not separate files like you want to assemble into a video. Make sure all the layers are selected, go to File>Scripts>Export Layers to Files. You'll get a dialog box asking where to put the files, what format (these pics will scroll through so fast you might as well go jpeg), and if you pick jpeg what quality (I inputted 8 which is probably overkill). Boom, hit Run and all those layers will go to your destination as separate files and you're done with Photoshop.
Back in Lightroom I added those files to the catalog with the import function. In Library module select all the files then go to Slideshow module. To keep this moving along, I selected 0.5 second slide duration with 0.1 sec dissolves (these settings are on the bottom right of your screen under Playback). You can add intro and ending screens but they'll only be up for 0.5 sec also so keep 'em brief unless you're going for subliminal messaging.
Check out preview to make sure it looks good. If so, then you'll probably want to hit Create Saved Slideshow (upper right of center panel) so you can always find it again in your collections. Last step is to go to the bottom left of the screen, hit Export to Video and fill in the prompt box. Voila!
it's a technique I've gotten good at myself when in Asian countries
and I'm served with food I cannot swallow whole. Keep a napkin hidden but nearby...
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