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Home movies: Springwatch special

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Gordon Buchanan Gordon Buchanan | 10:48 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009

The main thing that struck me when I made this Springwatch Special was how good the footage was that you sent. What makes it so appealing is that it's the kind of material you'd never seek to capture as a professional wildlife cameraman. Photography is all about being in the right place at the right time, and recording what you see... even if that's in your own garden using the camera on your mobile phone.

You don't need state-of-the-art equipment or an amazing knowledge of wildlife; just scratch the surface and find out what's happening right under your nose whether that be in your garden, in the park down the road, or literally on your doorstep.

Fox Diaries, which I made for Springwatch in 2007, is a perfect example of this. It was a surprise to me to find a wonderful drama playing out right outside my home in Glasgow. If that's happening in a major city then there must be dramas playing out under every hedgerow.

If you see anything interesting, film it on your mobile phone, your camcorder or whatever's to hand - it really doesn't matter. That's what so great about Springwatch - it's all about the animal behaviour. It doesn't matter if the framing's not perfect or if it's slightly out of focus - if it's interesting behaviour then we'd love to see it.

On the Home Movies special, there are a couple of films that really stuck in my head. The first was about Lindsay McCrae (you can see a Springwatch film about him on the Mole's blog), a 19-year-old wildlife filming fanatic. He reminded me of when I was that age although to be honest, he's got more passion for wildlife than I had then. To see him four years later and still mad keen gives you a real idea of his commitment to the subject.

The other film is the brilliant footage of a barn owl taken by an oil rig worker. This guy spends half his year stuck miles out in the North Sea and seeing this barn owl obviously meant a huge amount to him.

A 15-year-old boy, an oil rig worker... anyone can do it. Get your camera, get out there and get filming. (And please send your films to us!)

You can watch some of the best of your home movies here. And remember, it's not just moving footage you've been sending us: the Springwatch Flickr group has some wonderful stills of spring flora and fauna.


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