Home | Journal | Services | Store | Exhibits & Tours | Clients | Producer | Contact

- Torrey Pines State Natural Resrve / 6 part series
- Chaparral Lands Conservancy / 6 part series


Periodically I'll post excerpts from my field journal, news regarding films on-line and production services. Log-in from time to time for the latest posting or better yet Subscribe to Fieldnotes.

Subscribe to receive periodic email newsletters covering production updates, new web-films and articles on natural history filmmaking.
Subscribe Here

To read past posts please visit Fieldnotes Archives
To read past Fieldnotes News please visit Newsletter Archives

July 2017

Preserving Wild Dudleya brevifolia
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Hosted by David Hogan of The Chaparral Land Conservancy, this short film portrays the fragile state of the Dudleya brevifolia's survival and the continuing efforts to preserve its future.

This film was produced by RyonLeeMedia in honor and memory of Jim Karnik. His unwavering dedication to San Diegos natural wild life, and his pursuit to educate all who visit these wonderful and fragile sites was unparalleled...Jim's keen insight, love of nature, and artistry will be missed by all.

April 2017

The Big Bloom 2017 - A Wildflower Walk At Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Join Torrey Pines docent, Margaret Fillius, as we explore the Guy Flemming trail and experience the spectacular wildflower bloom of 2017. After 6 years of drought, which have stressed many plants and trees in the reserve, it is wonderful to see the landscape once again covered in a carpet of color.

March 27, 2017

Birding at Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
A wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature is bird watching or birding. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego, California provides numerous opportunities for birders because it includes a variety of habitats that support a multitude of different bird species. This includes ocean, beach, lagoon, riparian, coastal sage and woodland. In this short film local birder, Jack Friery, talks about some of the tools and techniques used for birding as we explore the Torrey Pines Extension and point out several common birds found there.

March 8, 2017
Back in the late sixties, when I was still in high school, the environment was a mess, rivers were so polluted they were catching fire, eagle and pelican populations were plummeting due to the effects of DDT, many species of plants and animals were threatened from loss of habitat. In most cases it was strong environmental regulations like the ESA that helped to correct these issues. Now, with the current administration, just about everything that truly makes America great is at risk once again. I am offering my media services at no cost to tell stories about the positive benefits of environmental regulation and conservation efforts in Keeping America Great for All Creatures.
February 1, 2017

New Film - Beetle Attack!
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Learn how a tiny bark beetle has killed hundreds of rare Torrey Pines and what is being done to control the loss.The Torrey Pine has very few natural predators, other than two species of beetle, one being the California Five Spine Engraver Beetle and another being a Red Turpentine Beetle. Both of those beetles are native beetles and they don't normally kill trees. Most recently however we've had a series of years with below-average rainfall that have led to a large loss of trees.

January 24, 2017

Clearing Storm From Double Peak Park
We have had some great rains over the last few day, ending January with a total way over the average for this time of year.

There is a peak you can drive to that is located between San Marcos and San Elijo Hills. From this peak you have a 360 view from the islands off the coast of San Diego, to the mountains that range from Mexico north to San Bernardino mountains. It was a wonderful spot to view the clouds of the latest storm passing through.

January 1, 2017 - Happy New Year!

30 Year Anniversary!
In 1987 I registered DBAs for Jim Karnik Productions and Field Notes Nature Documentaries. I soon started producing cable documentaries on our north San Diego coastal lagoons and habitats, including a film on the California Gnatcatcher. Since then I have produced hundreds of short films on nature conservation topics throughout the Pacific Southwest. It has been a wonderful experience working with conservation organizations, dedicated naturalists and individuals passionate about preserving and protecting wild places. I could not do these films without them providing their expertise. I am looking forward to creating more films that explore, inform and inspire in 2017!

December 2016

Season's Greetings!
Enjoy the serenity of a winter scene
along the Kaweah river in Sequoia National Park in California.
Sequoia is a magical wild place in winter, the campgrounds are closed, there are few people, just the sounds of the river as it runs through Lodgepole village along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. The best way to get around in the winter is by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. 

This was filmed in 2010 with a standard definition camera.

November 2016


Mindfulness in Nature - Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Gloria Garrett as she leads a Mindfulness In Nature hike that provides an opportunity to clear your mind, refresh your body and dissolve into the heart of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve as Nature begins a new day.

Eco-Survival over the Next 4 Years
The environmental community will face some real challenges over the next four years. This will put more pressure on local conservancies to get their members to become active in supporting local conservation efforts and fighting global climate change. I would like to help by creating a special series of video posts of on-camera Eco-Views from Southern California conservancies. The goal of this series is to inspire people  to support efforts to preserve and protect wild habitats and species.

The brief 15-30 second Eco-Views will be distributed through social media, YouTube, Vimeo, conservancy websites and JimKarnikfilms.com.

Travels to Beautiful and Wild Places

I am creating a new cinematic series on Travels to Beautiful & Wild Places for online distribution. This web series features stories about spectacular destinations, adventures, lodges, tours, wineries and interesting people we meet along the way.

View Collection
October 2016


Let the River Flow
This short film takes a look at the issue of lagoon inlet closure and the periodic dredging required to keep the lagoon tidal flushing and healthy. Not only have we lost 90% of our wetlands along the Coast of California, the inlets to lagoons such as Los Peñasquitos Lagoon tend to get blocked by sand and cobble. This creates a stressful situation for plants and animals living in the lagoon and It also creates a health hazard to humans.
Fall in the Eastern Sierras
The Eastern Sierra of California turns brilliant shades of orange and yellow during the fall months. This is a wonderful time to take a road trip up 395. Fall is a quiet time between the busy summer and winter seasons.
Coolist Production Vehicle Ever!
I have had this tangerine Subaru Crosstrek XV for a couple years now and it fits my needs perfectly. There is plenty of room for my camping gear, camera gear and light kit. I have enjoyed my Jeep Cherokees in the past but this XV tops them in gas mileage, comfort and coolness.

My daughter, Jamie, drew this XV art on her ipad. She is quite the artist!
New 30% Discount on Web Film Production
Web Distributed Films provide a creative low-cost tool that will help you achieve your promotion, education, outreach and fundraising goals through on-line video and social media. A Web Film Series has added benefits. Plus, I am now offering a 30% discount on a series of six or more web films!

View and download flyer for complete details

San Diego Mountain Biking Association Fundraiser
I just completed a short film that promotes mountain biking and trails in San Diego County. The goal of this video is to encourage support for SDMBA's efforts to create new trails, educate riders, mountain bike advocacy and just have fun.

Inlet Dredging Los Peñasquitos Lagoon
Not only have we lost 90% of our wetlands along the Coast of California, the inlets to lagoons such as Los Peñasquitos Lagoon tend to get blocked by sand and cobble. This creates a stressful situation for plants and animals living in the lagoon and It also creates a health hazard to humans.

I am producing a short film for the Torrey Pines Association that takes a look at this issue and the periodic inlet dredging required to keep the lagoon tidal flushing and healthy. The films included interviews with Mike Hastings from
Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Foundation and Darren Smith, California State Parks, Natural Resources Program Manager.

Video Inspires People to Care
The audio and visual qualities of video has had a tremendous impact on how people view the world and continues to inspire people to get involved in both local and international conservation efforts.

Read More at http://eepurl.com/chUFXr

September 2016

Mountain Biking near Park City, Utah

We rented a couple bikes and followed some rocky trails in a valley near Park City. The sage and scrub landscape looked a lot like San Diego's backcountry.

Timpanogos Cave

The trail up to the Timpanogos Cave entrance is steep, climbing over 1000 feet in 1.5 miles, but well worth it. The ranger guided cave tour explored three caves that have been connected together to provide about an hour long adventure. We viewed wonderful stalactites, stalagmites and Helictites as we meandered through ancient underground fractures in the Wasatch Range.

(Explore More)

Exploring Utah's Wild Country

We just returned from a trip to Park City, Utah for a week of hiking, caving and mountain biking. Rob's Trail is a pleasant 2 mile hike through beautiful aspens and pines.

We also explored the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter. The Preserve protects over 800 acres of wetlands where you can find over 100 species of birds including Sandhill Cranes. Elk and moose can also be seen here as you hike nearly 10 miles of  trails through the preserve.
August 2016

Explore the wetlands of South San Diego County through this 6 part web film series

In Production - 6 more segments on Torrey Pines State Natural reserve

With funding from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, I am working with the Torrey Pines Association to produce 6 more short webfilms to add to their series.
(View Suite Here)

Telling Your Story with Web Films
One of the most powerful benefits of video is its ability to tell stories that reach the heart and inspire people to appreciate nature. Some of the most viewed films are those that explore trails as a background story and in the process inform people about habitats, species and conservation topics. There are many wonderful stories that can be told using web video.

July 2016

Revised Website

Just a reminder that I have moved all the content of fieldnotes.com to JimKarnikFilms.com. Please change any links you might have to fieldnotes.com. The new site has a little different look and color scheme. My email has changed as well. It is now jim@JimKarnikFilms.com.
New Film
We just completed a short piece for Friends of Rose Canyon on their "Sense of Wonder" project.

The Sense of Wonder Project
Friends of Rose Canyon

Closing fieldnotes.com!
July 22nd

I am currently redesigning this website which was moved from www.fieldnotes.com so please forgive any bad links during this transition. If you have any links to fieldnotes.com please change the website to JimKarnikFilms.com. 


New Photography Website
In addition to the digital serigraph series (silk screen prints) this site will also focus on other photo and video services including Environmental Portraiture.

Southern California is a great place to work, live and play. Small coastal towns, sandy beaches, sage covered hills and spectacular sunsets provide the perfect backdrop for photography of people enjoying an active lifestyle.

I use a photojournalist style to tell the stories of your family, friends and colleges doing what they do best, whether sports, art, music, hobbies, leisure, career.

New Digital Serigraph Series
Inspired by serigraphs (silk screen prints) of the early 1900's Arts & Crafts movement and the posters printed to promote our National Parks, I am creating a series of prints of beautiful wild landscapes of California in this artistic graphic style. The rugged sandstone bluffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve provide a wonderful digital serigraph subject.

Matted and signed prints are available through my Etsy site. Explore http://fieldnotes.com/store.html to view more images.

Aerial Views of San Diego's Beautiful Backcountry
   I recently had an opportunity to film the backcountry of San Diego County from the air for a San Diego River Park Foundation project. John Grasberger piloted his Robinson R44, "Yellowcopter" along the river valley from Mission Valley to its source near Julian.
   The views of this rugged landscape were spectacular, including sage covered mountains, deep gorges and narrow canyons with cascading waterfalls. Even with the limited rain we have had, both Cedar Falls and Devils Punchbowl were flowing.
   This footage will be used in a short film for SDRPF on the South Rim Conservation Area and Temescal Creek.


Rarest Plants Project
The Chaparral Lands Conservancy

Bird Watching at San Diego County Parks
San Diego County Parks
Community Garden
San Diego County Parks

That's What "Friends" are for ... Park Staff
Friends of Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches
Saving Temescal Creek (VIEW FILM)
I have found that the most viewed, shared and liked films are those that provide an inspirational interpretation of wild places. These short 2-3 minute pieces reach a broader audience and can deliver a powerful conservation message by letting nature speak for itself.

We recently completed a piece for the San Diego River Park Foundation that follows this format.

Enjoy a brief visit to Temescal Creek, one of the few remaining free flowing creeks of the San Diego River Gorge. SDRPF is extremely close to raising the funds to purchase this beautiful 299 Acre Open Space!. Help preserve this spectacular valley, explore sandiegoriver.org

The Wilds of California
Project Synopsis

The Wilds of California is a celebration of the beauty and natural diversity of California's wild places. Many of these natural areas would not exist if not for the concerned and dedicated individuals and groups that have worked to preserve and protect them. This collection of short wild place vignettes is a powerful effort to increase public awareness of California's spectacular landscapes, the rare and endangered species that live there and the conservation organiztions that preserve and protect them.

My wife and I have always enjoyed visiting the wine regions of California and Italy. Recent travels to Mendocino, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Santa Ynez have inspired me to focus on capturing the essence of these wine regions both here in the USA and in EuropeThus, I am developing a new project called Backroad Wineries. This will include a collection of short films produced for wineries and related products and services. Many of these vineyards not only offer fine wines but also a unique opportunity to explore and experience the beautiful back county of  wine regions throughout the world. I will also be creating short pieces that give an impression of the region and wine country life.

Click here to view a sample and learn more about Backroad Wineries
It is hard to believe the year is almost half over. Besides working on several films series, I made a road trip up California's rugged central coast, stopping numerous times along the way to capture the beauty of these spectacular landscapes, including Point Lobos Natural Reserve near Carmel.

I also attended two conferences as an exhibitor. One for CALPA California League of Park Associations which took place at Borrego Springs and the other was The California Trails Conference which took place at the Tenaya Lodge near Yosemite.

I spent a couple days before the Cal Trails conference filming in Yosemite. I will be posting short videos of these wild places soon.
Fieldnotes California -
Point Lobos Natural Reserve
Jim Karnik Films

Chaparral Lands Conservancy Series
Early rains in San Diego filled rare vernal pools and within a short time they were alive with critters. Working with David Hogan, the president / director of the Chaparral Lands Conservancy, we were able to film both fairy shrimp and spade footed toads. Besides using the C100 with a 100mm macro lens I have been using a GoPro with a macro lens to get POV views of life in these seasonal ponds. This is challenging even with the tiny GoPro since the pools are only a few inches deep at most.

Friends of Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches Series

We've completed filming the first segment in this six part series that explores these wonderful state beaches. This first webisode looks at the history of Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches through the stories of the original contractor that built the campgrounds and bluff stairs. We also interviewed two longtime campers and surfers who have been coming to these beaches with their families since they opened in the late sixties.

Season's Greetings
and have an
Adventurous New Year!

It has been another wonderful year working with
people who are dedicated and passionate about preserving, protecting and restoring wild places. Some of the organizations I have produced films for this last year include:
I encourage you to support these conservation groups and their efforts.
'Tis the Season -
to start planning your next
online video series!
Winter and spring in much of California is the time of year many natural habitats look their best and wildlife is most active. So if you are thinking of creating a web film series that can inform and inspire people to appreciate these unique wild places and help your organization achieve its goals, December is the perfect time to start planning.

It takes time to get funding, decide on locations, topics and select who will star in your series (both human and wildlife). Several clients have waited until after the first of the year to initiate their film project and by the time pre-production planning was complete we were well into late spring and summer. Thus, missing the opportunity to film the most interesting and beautiful seasons.

So, I highly recommend starting the process now. Even if you are not sure there is funding available, I am always here to discuss the possibilities and help you plan your series.

Click here to view production packages and rates.

on Rose Creek Watershed

Exploring the Rose Creek Watershed

Rose Canyon Open Space Park, San Diego
Rose Creek Watershed Alliance (VIEW)

g the Rose Creek Watershed
Marian Bear Natural Park, San Diego
Rose Creek Watershed Alliance (VIEW)

Exploring the Rose Creek Watershed

Lower Rose Creek, San Diego
Rose Creek Watershed Alliance (VIEW)


Early morning Tuscan view from our room at Hotel Leon Bianco in San Gimignano, Italy


10 Questions about Slithering Snakes
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Rose Creek Watershed
San Diego EarthWorks Series

Exploring Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches
(6 Film Series)

Friends of Cardiff & Carlsbad State Beaches

Vernal Pool Restoration (6 Film Series)
Chaparral Lands Conservancy


I have found that films on eco-travel and outdoor recreation reach a broad audience and are an excellent way to convey a conservation message. Whether to increase awareness and appreciation for wild places, habitats and species or to discuss important issues such as climate change, loss of habitat or restoration efforts, these short mini-documentaries are a valuable tool for conservation organizations, eco-travel companies, parks and reserves. There is an entertainment value to this format that attracts more viewers and encourages people to get out and reconnect with nature.

I have created a selection of web films that use this format.  Feel free to explore and share these films.

A web film series is a creative, low-cost tool for communicating your message using on-line video and social media sites. Please contact me for additional information.


One of the drawbacks of the Canon C100 video camera it that the in camera viewfinder is difficult to use and for outdoor work the LCD is hard to see in bright sun. ZACUTO came out with a slip on viewfinder that works great on the C100 LCD. However, the added weight of the Zacuto loop requires addtional support to keep it in a good viewing position. Zacuto provides rubber bands that attach to the camera and the viewfinder to help correct this. It sort of works but tends to flop around and I am concerned that the added stress may damage the LCD mount. Specially since I am often hiking around in the field with the camera slung on my shoulder.

I worked on several solutions to this problem. I ended up using a bracket that mounts on the top ot the camera handle and a short articulating arm that attaches to the 1/4" holes in the Zacuto viewfinder. This works very well and provides strong support for the LCD & Loop.

The short 4" articulating arm limits the range of the viewfinder. A 6" arm would be ideal but I have yet to find one at a reasonable price. I tried an 8" arm and it was too long and got in the way. A 2.5" x 2.5" bracket may solve the problem as well.

This solution is working very well.
The Zacuto Viewfinder is a must for the C100 and 7D but the dangling VF cap can be irritating. I have attached Velcro patches so it can be secured under the viewfinder and out of the way.

10 Questions about Slithering Snakes
I am currently producing a short film about snakes for Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The goal of this film is to increase appreciation for these wonderful creatures by looking at how they have managed to adapt and thrive just fine without arms and legs. But they are often misunderstood and thus have suffered greatly from human activity. The truth is they are a critical component of natural habitats. They keep rodents in check and also feed on lizards and even other snakes. In turn, snakes are prey for wildlife such as hawks and coyotes.
Besides conducting interviews with herpetologists we are also interviewing children and adults to hear their personal feelings and experiences with snakes. Many have a great fear of snakes while others love them and even keep them as pets.
Through this film we hope to clear up some common misconceptions and fears people have about snakes. Even rattlesnakes, although dangerous, are just trying to get along. They will only strike if they are provoked or feel threatened.
The Video Kiosk
This special production and presentation package increases the effectiveness of your digital media by including an attractive portable video kiosk that can be setup at events, businesses, visitor centers or any secure public space. Thus, reaching a much broader audience, including those that may not otherwise see your video online.
(Click here for details)

High Tech Elementary Family Days
San Dieguito River Park


Orange County Watershed Projects
10 part series

Science & Environmental Education Programs
Earth Discovery Institute

M A R C H    2 0 1 4


The Backcountry of San Dieguito River Park
San Dieguito River Park

Exploring Our Urban Forests - Juniper Elementary School
San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative


Fieldnotes - California Presentations
I gave two presentations in February on Filming the Wilds of California.They were about producing natural history film projects throughout California over the last 27 years and working with individuals who are passionate about protecting and preserving California’s native habitats & species.

Special thanks to
Adventure 16
and The North Coast Photographic Society
for hosting these presentation.

Production continues on the Orange County Watersheds Projects series. This is an eleven part series on projects that were funded by prop 50 grants and include water treatment facilities, recycled water distribution and habitat resotration.


Citizen Science
San Dieguito River Park

Exploring Our Urban Forests
- Whitman Elementary School
San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative (VIEW)

Trails of San Diego's South Bay
Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association


Committed to Preservation
Laguna Canyon Foundation

The San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Park
Learn about restoring and protecting the special lagoon.

IB Birding

Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
Bird watching can be as easy as standing on the pier, sunning on the beach or walking with binoculars and scopes. Watch this film to get an idea of who our winged neighbors are.

Sam's Big Day
San Diego Botanic Garden

O C T O B E R     2 0 1 3
We spent a good part of October hiking the ancient hill towns of Tuscany. It was a great tour group and we enjoyed lots of fine wine and wonderful food. Here are a few images from this trek - (View Gallery)
A U G U S T     2 0 1 3

Exploring Our Urban Forests

Chet F Harritt Elementary School
San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative


Hike from Pier to River along Imperial Beach
Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
A walking tour pointing out beach activities along the beautiful shores of Imperial Beach.   Includes information on the fish and birds and the importance of an esturine environment to their welfare and ours.

Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
Find remote nature in the midst of urban development just 20 minutes from San Diego. Pristine wetlands and beaches accessible by numerous walking trails to enjoy nature and birdwatching. This video talks about the importance of coastal wetlands for both wildlife and humans.

Exploring Our Urban Forests at Chet F Harritt Elementary School
San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative and Chet F Harritt Elementary School

This film showcases nature/school yard based curriculum at Chet Harritt Elementary School in Santee. Teachers are working with nature coordinators to implement hands-on, nature-based curriculum using the nature in their very own school yard. (VIEW)

J U L Y     2 0 1 3


Two new films are available to view on-line. One on hiking and geology of Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness park.

Moulton Peak Geology Hike
Laguna Canyon Foundation (VIEW)

And the other on releasing endangered Palos Verdes Blue butterflys .

Restoring the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (VIEW)

M A Y     2 0 1 3

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Returns
Following last year’s success, Julian’s 2nd Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival,  benefitting Volcan Mountain Foundation, returns May 17 – 19, 2013 with an expanded program with 44 new films, almost twelve hours of unrepeated screening time, broken into 9 sessions from Friday to Sunday and a weekend of entertainment to delight audiences of all ages!

Several of the films I have produced are included in the festival and I will be giving a presentation on Filming the Wilds of San Diego

A P R I L      2 0 1 3

Fieldnotes - Palos Verdes Blue
Last weekend I filmed the release of dozens of endangered Palos Verdes Blue butterflies at the Linden H. Chandler Preserve in Rolling Hills for Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.

San Diego Wild Web Tv

Is now featured on Adventure 16 website. Adventure 16 is a great resource for all your outdoor recreation and travel gear.
M A R C H      2 0 1 3

New Film!
Ecology of Little Sycamore Canyon
Laguna Canyon Foundation (VIEW)

San Diego Loves Green
Fieldnotes.com is now featured on San Diego Loves Green – A great on-line resource for everything that’s green.

I was recently linked to a powerful article by ecologist Renee Owens titled Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid! Te article is on how people are becoming alarmingly afraid of wildlife and disconnected with nature. (Read article)

From this link I made the connection with
San Diego Loves Green. It contains a growing number of articles and videos on green business, environment and nature. Now, some of the films I have produced for local organizations will also be presented on this website. fieldnotes.com is currently featured on the San Diego Loves Green home page with a few images from the Wilds of San Diego. Explore this important green resource.

F E B U A R Y     2 0 1 3

San Diego Wild Web TV
Fieldnotes San Diego


Recreational Opportunities at
Mission Trails Regional Park
City of San Diego -
Parks & Recreation

SAN DIEGO WILD WEB TV - Reaching a broader audience with nature programming

You can watch most of the wild web films in the Fieldnotes series on this special on-line channel. You can surf through individual programs or start at any point and the series will atuomatically play just like a TV channel, only without the commercials. New programs are being added all the time.

In an effort to reach a broader audience with this programming I am asking businesses to share these films with clients or visitors by turning their office, lobby or anywhere people have to wait for a period of time into a small theater for the San Diego Wild Web TV series. By doing so you will be helping to increase awareness and appreciation of San Diego’s human history and incredible natural diversity. Much better than watching old sitcoms!

J A N U A R Y     2 0 1 3


Preserving Calsbad's Natural Open Space
Preserve Calavera
(VIEW in HD)

Have a Happy and Wild New Year!
Let's make 2013 an important year for protecting, preserving and enjoying wild places. Please take the time to participate in the efforts of conservation organizations that are trying to accomplish these goals. You can find links to organizations that have funded film projects on any of the Film pages or the Sponsor page on this site.

An on-going  mini-doc series is an excellent way to  increase awareness and support for nature conservation efforts. Using outdoor recreation and eco-travel to convey this message is even better. A broader audience will tune into films that have recreation, travel and entertainment value.

D E C E M B E R    2 0 1 2


The Trails of Black Mountain
Friends of Los Peñasquitos Canyon
(VIEW in HD)
As the year comes to a close I wish to thank both clients and viewers for supporting our efforts to increase awareness of Earth's awesome natural diversity through film and photography. There is still so much to explore on this magical place we call Earth. I hope you will continue to view and share these videos with friends and family.
S E P T E M B E R    2 0 1 2

Indiegogo Fundraiser!

The Wilds of California
A Multi Media Photography & Film Campaign Promoting the California's Natural Diversity

Project Synopsis

New Film On-Line
The Achaeology of Los Peñasquitos Canyon (VIEW)
Decades of archaeological digs in Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve have revealed more than 7,000 years of human occupation and use of the land and its resources. Artifacts from Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, 19th century settler pioneers reveal much about the struggle for survival in prehistoric and historic times. Hosted by Archaeologist Stephen J. Bouscaren, Ph.D., this mini doc follows four college students as they work on a dig near the historic ranch house in Los Peñasquitos Canyon. (VIEW)

A U G U S T     2 0 1 2

Photo Mural

New Film

8'x32' Oak Photo Mural Installed at Nix Nature CenterOak Mural Install
We just installed a large 8'x32' photo mural I shot of a beautiful oak in Upper Laurel Canyon at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. I partnered with Laura Stahlberg at Sola Creative to create, print and install this mural. The image is actually a composite of 50 images shot with a 70mm lens and then stitched together to create one large image. I also provided photography, audio and video for several exhibits in the center.

The Nix Nature Center is a wonderful place to visit to learn about local habitats, flora, fauna and the many hiking opportunities found within the park. (MAP)

New Film!
The History of Los Peñasquitos Ranch (VIEW NOW)FLPC-WF4 Penasquitos Ranch House
This web films gives a brief tour of the old adobe ranch house located in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. The Peñasquitos Ranch House offers a glimpse of the typical activities of the people who lived in the San Diego region over the last 7,000 years, whether they were the native Americans, the Spanish explorers, the Mexican ranchers, or the early American settlers. The economic activities at the ranch house area was typical of the region throughout these millenia. (MAP)

For more information about Los Peñasquitos Canyon explore
Friends of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

In Awe of Nature
In Awe of Nature
A new research paper on Being in Awe Can Expand Time and Enhance Well-Being found that jaw-dropping moments such as experiencing majestic views of the Grand Canyon or the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis made participants feel like they had more time available and made them more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others. (Link to article)
It is often views of spectacular landscapes, beautiful sunsets and dramatic clouds formations that create a sense of wonder and awe. But it does not have to be limited to these larger than life experiences. Observing nature up-close can be just as inspiring. A humming bird gathering nectar or a stream trickling through rocks can also provide a sense of wonder and well-being.
High definition film has the ability to capture both spectacular vistas and the intricate detail of life on earth. Films can show things that may go unnoticed otherwise and tell stories such as the connection between those spectacular cloud formations and the precious rain that brings life to a desert landscape.
J U L Y     2 0 1 2

Photo Murals
8ft x 32ft Oak Photo Mural
Completed the image for
8ft x 32ft wall mural of a beautiful large oak. It is to be installed at the Nix Nature Center in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park in a couple weeks.

Received a Certificate of Recognition
  from City of Carlsbad, California for many years of producing films promoting San Diego County natural treasures, including those of Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve.

M A Y     2 0 1 2

Geology Week
Filmed two seegments on geology last week. One for Laguna Canyon Foundation the other for Friends of Los Penasquitos Canyon

Field Notes 5/3/12
Cool Cave in Aliso Wood Canyon
We filmed the first segment for the Laguna Canyon Foundation about A Hike to Dripping Cave last week. This cave was carved out of ancient sandstone most likely by flash flooding and was lived in by Native Americans and bank robbers. Video to be released soon

A P R I L     2 0 1 2

Field Notes - Filming Osprey with 800mm
We used this Canon 400/2.8 with a 2x extender to get shots of an osprey nest atop a powerline poll in National City. We were trying to simulate the view you can get through John Deans’ SkyHawk 9600 binoculars.

Field Notes - Bobcat in Los Penesquitos Canyon

While filming the first in a series of mini-docs for the Friends of Los Peñasquitos Canyon a radio collared bobcat made a brief appearance a couple hundred feet from where we were filming an interview. I was able to get a few seconds of footage before it disappeared into the bush. (VIEW)
Friends of Los Peñasquitos Canyon

Video Integration Builds Outreach Potential

Is your organization using video effectively?  With over 60 hours of video being uploaded to the internet per minute, there is no question that video has emerged as a valuable way to reach an audience.  A creative, professionally edited film can stir emotions and thought, and can communicate your message to donors and stakeholders more powerfully than any mailing piece or email message.  Integrating video into your communications strategy can help you raise funds, inform people about important issues, or inspire them to get involved.  Distributing your video on your website or through social media channels exposes your mission and message to a broader audience.

Video: Not Just for the Web
Although internet distribution may be your primary goal, a high-definition video can also be used with large video displays, at public kiosks, or recorded on DVD for distribution to schools and libraries. These films can also help you raise awareness and donations at any of the following venues:
  • Small Theater Presentations
  • Public Space Kiosks
  • Local and Regional Public Access
  • PBS & Cable Broadcast
  • DVD Fundraiser / Mailing
  • Public Outreach Presentations

Read more about the ways to use and distribute your video here.  

F E B R U A R Y    2 0 1 2

A Growing Audience for

Nature Films On-Line

A Growing Audience for Nature Films On-Line
I have always felt it important for presentation and distribution to be an essential part of film production, whether broadcast, theater, kiosk, DVD or web. That is why I am very excited about an ever growing audience for nature films on-line. In the past year web films I have produced for conservation organizations that are hosted on Vimeo and embedded into client’s sites as well as fieldnotes.com have been loaded over 78,000 times and played over 9,000 times. With over 10,000 loads and 1,600 plays in the last month. It is all good and getting better.

Web video is fast becoming the most effective way to communicate a message, tell a story or promote a product or service. For nature conservation organizations web films can visually demonstrate the importance of their efforts and how we can all take part in protecting and preserving wild areas. They not only inspire people to get involved but also encourage people to get out and appreciate nature through outdoor recreation.

I now feel having an adventure component is key to the success of these conservation focused web films. I have found that the most viewed webisodes are those that have a recreation or exploration background story.  So I encourage clients to use outdoor recreation such as hiking or adventure travel to present their conservation message. A good example of this is films produced for the Torrey Pines Association on The Trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and the Torrey Pines Extension. In the process of showing the many hiking opportunities in the reserve the films also talk about trail maintenance efforts and park rules. Others talk about habitats and species while exploring areas within a park.

J A N U A R Y    2012

New Series on Nature Filmmaking

#1 - Jim's Canon 7d DSLR Rig

As both a photographer / filmmaker specializing in nature programming, having one system that can do both high quality stills and HD video would be ideal. And we’re getting close.

I’ve been producing web films with the Canon 7D for some time and would like to share with you my experiences dealing with some of the benefits and limitations of shooting with a DSLR.

In this segment I will show you some of the modification I’ve made on my rig to make it easier to work with in the field.

D E C E M B E R   2011

NEW Note Card Sets

California Trails Project
Great gift idea just in time for the Holiday Season
The Wilds of San Diego is a campaign to increase public awareness of the beauty and natural diversity of San Diego County. This note card series is a selection of images from this film project.

Images are printed on water color paper and hand mounted on recycled kraft card stock. Sets include 12 - 4.25 x 5.25 note cards and envelops.

The Wilds of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve - Note Cards


Getting people to watch environmental or nature conservation programming has always been challenging. Often we are just preaching to the choir. It seems the majority of viewers are those that already have an interest and appreciation for these topics. This is fine, but if we really want to reach a broader audience to inform them of important conservation issues and increase their appreciation for nature there should be an entertainment value to the programming. It doesn’t have to be fast cut footage of animals chasing and killing each other or people in life threatening situations. If nature films are based around adventure, exploration and outdoor recreation they have a greater chance of being viewed by a broader audience. I have found that the most successful nature films are those that explore trails and public access as a background story and in the process inform people about habitats, species and conservation topics. Another benefit to this format is that it encourages people to get out and reconnect with nature. Web Films have the added value of providing text and links so people can view maps and connect with related organizations for more information.

S E P T E M B E R      2 0 1 1
New Logo for fieldnotes.com and a new effort to expand fieldnotes.com coverage of nature conservation and research activities throughout California with

fieldnotes.com - California

A U G U S T      2 0 1 1

Eco-Film Sponsors
Web films are a powerful way to communicate your message. If you or your business are interested in sponsoring an eco-film or possibly creating you own web tv series, please contact me by email or phone at 760-525-6045.

The Wilds of San Diego 
A high definition film series promoting the natural diversity of San Diego County

Read Project Synopsis

BLOG http://jkfilms-wsd.blogspot.com/


First Friday Artwalk At Bernardo Winery - Friday, August 5
I'll have landscape photography and a new note card series for The Wilds of San Diego on display at the First Friday Artwalk At Bernardo Winery tomorrow. Come enjoy some great acoustic performances by some local talent and walk around the winery with some vino and snacks in-hand and take in all the wonderful art brought to you by local artists. Admission is free, and it runs every first Friday evening of the month til 8pm.


I am working on the final edit of a Web Film about Wildlife Corridors for the City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation, Open Space Division. Barry Martin with Western Tracking Institute talks about the importance of providing safe corridors for wildlife to move from one core area to another. We followed him and a tracking team in training as they explored the Shaw Lopez  tunnel in San Diego.

Just completed a short instructional video on SkyHawk Optics binoculars using the Canon 7D system. These ultra high powered 25x/40x 100mm binoculars are fantastic for viewing wildlife from a stationary position. Here is the video (VIEW)

NEW FILMS ON-LINE (Please share these films with others)

Five Habitats of San Diego
City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation

Vernal Pools of San Diego
City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation

The Hidden Treasures of Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines Association

A P R I L     2 0 1 1

Fieldnotes.com is Expanding It’s Coverage
Fieldnotes.com has focused mainly on web films about conserving and protecting wild places. But a key component of nature conservation is sustainable human ecology.  Thus fieldnotes.com is expanding its coverage to include more eco lifestyle stories, products, services and travel. Film topic suggestions are always welcome.

Fieldnotes News 4/1/2011

Viewership is growing on fieldnotes.com as I continue to develop new distribution avenues. The more these films are shared, embedded and viewed, the more effective they will be in increasing public awareness of wild places and efforts to protect them. I recently made contact with Untamed Science, an educational content provider. They agreed to carry fieldnotes.com web films. In addition, I was requested to submit about 14 films to an international on-line film festival called Green Unplugged.

Recent Wild Web Films Additions

Bird Watching San Diego Style
This series was created from a cable program I produced a few years back for San Diego County Cable and Nature Festivals of San Diego. I just added two more segments that provide tips and techniques for bird watching in habitats of San Diego County. Although filmed in southern California, these tips and techniques apply to similar habitats around the world.

- (VIEW)
Hosted by US Forest Service Biologist, Kristen Winter, you’ll learn about some of the common birds found in the oak and coniferous forests of San Diego County mountains.

- (VIEW)
Join  naturalist, Barbara Moore as we explore San Elijo Lagoon’s abundant bird life and learn how to spot birds in lagoons and marshes.

Over 40 other films are viewable on-line

More Wild Web Videos Coming Soon

GSOB – The Goldspotted Oak Borer is killing oaks in California and has now been found in coastal areas of San Diego. This web film discusses the spread of this tiny insect. Training of volunteers to spot potential infestations will be an important factor in controlling this pest.

Vernal Pools are shallow indentations in the ground found mainly on mesas here in San Diego. Most of the year they are dry and bare, but after brief winter rains they come to life and host a variety of unique creatures including spadefoot toads (Spea hammondii) and the San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis). As they begin to dry out in the spring beautiful wildflowers create a tapestry of color.

Hosted by Peter Jensen, we’ll hike some of the trails of this little known reserve tucked in the hills of Del Mar, California.

J A N U A R Y    2 0 1 1

Nature Film Production Workshop
There has been some interest in learning more about nature film production and I'm planning to do a workshop in the spring of 2011. It will be open to everyone and include using video cameras, still cameras and even cell phones for making movies. If you're interested in participating please let me know.
H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R

I'm looking forward to a spectacular spring with all the early wet weather we've had here in Southern California. This winter/spring is when I plan to do the bulk of the filming for The Wilds of San Diego.

Created a new blog to follow production of The Wilds of San Dieo. Through this blog I will post production field notes, Information about habitats & species, supporting organizations, and wildlife filming.
Here is the link: http://jkfilms-wsd.blogspot.com/

A new web video about
Connecting Children to Nature was created for the City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation Department  (VIEW). It's seems to be well received and is getting a lot of distribution.

Canon 7D DSLR
Work continues with the Canon 7D DSLR system for shooting HD video. Over the holidays I shot a web film for San Diego Botanic Garden on their Holiday Garden of Lights. Every year they deck the garden in thousands of lights and provide all sorts of festivities such as Santa Claus, Wagon Rides, roasting marshmallows on an open fire, spiced wine and kids activities. All great fun. Using the DSLR allowed me to capture long night exposures that can be incorporated into the video.

N O V E M B E R    2 0 1 0

The basic Wild Web Film production/distribution offer just got better!
  • The length has increased from 1-3 minutes to 3-5 minutes
  • They will be filmed in high definition, providing higher quality on-line viewing and additional distribution options to broadcast cable TV.
  • The best thing is, I’m going to continue to offer this package at the extremely low rate of $750 or $700 each for a series of 6 or more.


Five Facts About Torrey Pine Trees
Torrey Pines Association

Native Americans & Nature, Tecolote Canyon
City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation

Stewardship at Mission Trails Regional Park
City of San Diego - Parks & Recreation

The Lodge that "Miss Scripps" Built
Torrey Pines Association

O C T O B E R    2 0 1 0

New Wild Web Films On-Line
I've uploaded four new Wild Web Films for you to view and share. The two for San Diego Botanic Garden are in HD (High Definition). They look great in full screen. Of course you do need a good computer with high speed access.

The Lodge that "Miss Scripps" Built - Torrey Pines Association (VIEW)
2010 Insect Festival - San Diego Botanic Gardens (VIEW)
Frogs & Lizards -
San Diego Botanic Gardens (VIEW)
Attack of the Invasives! - Torrey Pines Association (VIEW)

Wild Web Film Production Offer
These short mini-docs are an effective way to tell your story. I'm still offering a great deal to non-profit organizations on producing these web films, $750 each or $700 for six or more. However, the $750 / 1-3 minute package will be discontinued in November and replaced with $975 / 3-5 minute package. Still a great deal!

Sustainable Energy Week
A couple of weeks ago I filmed the Sustainable Energy week for the California Center for Sustainable Energy located here in San Diego. The Sunday family event had tons of displays and activities related to new products and services to help make our energy intensive lifestyles more sustainable. There were electric cars and scooters, solar electric and water systems, and even a solar powered stage where live bands played throughout the afternoon. California Center for Sustainable Energy is open to the public and provides workshops on all sorts of energy topics.

J U L Y   2 0 1 0

The Wild of San Diego
I continue to work on the Wilds of San Diego using the Canon 7D to capture spectacular High Definition images of the county's natural diversity. I've edited a preview piece together with the footage I have so far. This preview is being shown at various venus around the county including The Reuben H Fleet Science Center. On July 27th it will be displayed at the “Nature Education Fair” at Mission Trail Regional Park.

A P R I L   2 0 1 0

I added a Vimeo feature that allows you to visually scan throught Wild Web Films. As more of these films are produced and uploaded this feature will help you choose which films to watch. (VISIT)

This month I begin production on two new multi episode web projects. One series is for the Torrey Pines Association. It will be based on the various trails you can hike in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The other series is for the City of San Diego - Open Space Division. It will explore the many parks, reserves and projects the city has to offer.

  M A R C H    2 0 1 0 

GEO-PHOTO TOUR - Sept 30 - Oct 7, 2010
Update Click here for details

Gary Johnson & Bill Olien of Resonant Drift have created new ambient soundtracks for the Yosemite and Sequoia Wilderness Theater pieces. We are looking into collaborating on longer film that may be part of a live performance in the future.

F E B R U A R Y    2 0 1 0 



New Website Design
I redesigned this website with a cleaner design that focuses on Wilderness Theater and on-line nature films. There are a number of films now viewable on-line, from short web-films to 30 min. documentaries. More will be added over time.

Web Films
I recently completed two web films, one for the San Diego River Park Foundation on volunteerism and another for Friends of Rose Canyon about children harvesting and spreading native plant seeds. Three more are in production. Web Films are a great low cost way to reach the masses using social media sites like Vimeo and YouTube.

Wild Habitats of San Diego
With the rains we're having this season we can look forward to a spectacular spring. Many plants are already beginning to bloom. This would be a perfect year for filming the Wild Habitats of San Diego series. This is a multi organization media campaign to increase awareness of San Diego's spectacular natural diversity through a high definition film series presented in public spaces. This project could easily be expanded statewide. Please contact me for more information.

Home | In Production | Field Journal | Exhibits
Production Services | Clients & Links | Producer Profile | Contact

 Copyright 2010-17 Jim Karnik Films