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  • Garth McElroy

Pet Project - Gray Jays!


Gray Jays have always been one of my favorite birds due to their character, personality and habitat choice. They're fairly common in thick spruce/fir areas near where I live and I have a very reliable family group I can always count on. Over the winter I made several trips to see my buddies. We have a symbiotic relationship in that they get peanuts and I get to film them! These particular birds aren't so tame as to eat out of your hand. Due to the remoteness of the location they have very little interaction with people, but still exhibit the typical curiosity of the species. An older fellow I met years ago that lived off grid in a cabin nearby called them "Gobies" (go-bees). It's a slang name that I'd never heard before but one that has stuck with me and always brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

From a filming standpoint, gray jays offer a lot of opportunity to try different framing, frame rates, lenses etc. My favorite lens to film them with is my vintage Canon FD 135mm f/2.5. The 135mm is fast, super sharp and offers the perfect working distance (close!).

Here's a short compilation I put together. I shot about 1tb of RAW footage over the winter so I have a TON to go through and grade/file. I guess that's one curse of having cooperative subjects. You burn through a TON of data on a 4.6k cinema camera shooting in RAW!!! That'll be my next task. Building up more storage.

#grayjays #filminggrayjays #maine #birds #naturefilms #borealforest #ursamini46k #blackmagic

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