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Did I tell ya or did I tell ya? The swans are coming! We have one mute swan now guys, but that is how it all started last year. We had one mute swan for a week or two and then it left for a couple of days. I think it went to tell it's friends because next thing we knew, it was back with 5 or 6 of it's friends! Within a week or two the trumpeters were here and we had swans for several months. They are sooo beautiful and graceful. Amazing to watch. The next few weeks will be great so keep on watching.
What I promised for this week was a view into the life of a camera operator. Since Thanksgiving is just next week here in the U.S., I thought it would be a good time to tell you all about the camera operators job and offer a great big THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO to them. After all, they deserve it!
There is alot of attention to detail that must be paid when you are a camera operator for USeeWildlife. The first thing to know is a camera operator is not watching the same screen you are. At the beginning and end of an operators day, they have to make sure they set the camera for daylight and dark. Without our operators, our infrared lights would not get turned on in the evenings so we could take advantage of watching at night. They actually login to a different area of the site and have a different view than you do. When you are watching the camera feed, and you ask the camera operator to move the camera, they can't see your request. They do not have the comments section on their screen. They have a "control pad" that allows them to move the camera. They are watching through the camera and looking for wildlife at the same time. There are no retakes, there are no second chances, they are watching, operating the camera, and producing the show all at the same time. And let's not forget that we are talking about wildlife in the wild. There is no way to predict what will happen, where the animal(s) will go next or where they will come from to begin with, the operators must be able to make decisions immediately and change their minds at the drop of a hat! Wow, that makes me tired just thinking about it.
The second thing you need to know about being a camera operator is, you must love wildlife! Let's face it, if you watch wildlife everyday as your job, you have to love it or you would get bored. Our camera operators are on the hunt for wildlife. They not only watch the feeder, but when there is no action on the feeders they move the cameras all around looking for wildlife that might not be seen otherwise. So, think about it. It's Arkansas wilderness in the middle of summer. All the leaves are in full bloom as well as the underbrush. Can you imagine seeing a timber rattlesnake if you were walking through that? I certainly can't, but our wonderful camera operators not only found 1 timber rattlesnake, they found 3 or 4 and watched them for days this summer! That was a tremendous find. We were able to watch and get a better understanding of the snake. I had no idea that a snake would strike and miss more often than hit! Who knew? I actually started feeling bad for the snake, and I have to tell you, I'm not a huge fan. But, I had to keep watching. When I couldn't watch, I had to come back and read the comments so I would know what happened. It was amazing to watch the snakes just live for days at a time. I have a greater appreciation for what a snake has to go through to eat. All because our camera operators are committed to finding the wildlife, following the wildlife and showing the viewers what they came to see, ACTION!
And last but not least, a camera operator has to be able to sit still and pay attention for long periods of time. Many times a camera operator will be responsible for multiple cameras. They will be sitting in their chair for hours on end running these cameras. When the activity level is low, they need to focus on finding the wildlife for you to view. When the activity is high, they need to focus on staying on the wildlife that you are viewing. I know last winter/spring, we would have 10-12 eagles, ducks and swans on bird point cam while there were coyotes on lost field cam, lots of deer on deer run cam and turkey gallor at turkey hollow cam. How do you manage all of that? Well, you have to focus and watch many things at one time and give the best show possible. It is both exhilarating and exhausting! These camera operators love what they do, they love the wildlife and most of all they love showing you the wildlife! So, let's say a great big thanks to the camera operators of USeeWildlife! We appreciate all you do for us!
It is the goal of USeeWildlife to add camera operators as the business grows. If you are interested in the camera operator role, send a note to us at email@example.com.
That sounds like a job I could do, I have up to 6_8 cams up from different sites, plus 2-4 forums coming in & out, Photo bucket, my screen scape program & an editing program. All I need is a humongous screen
Eigouc -I bet you would do a great job! I think you meet all the criteria. Especially the love of wildlife.
Kassandra I love all of your blogs you are doing an awesome job.