This is how we got the shot in my previous post. I felt that using a drone was the best way to do justice to this crazy rockhopper penguin adventure. Video shot by @spono as part of a new series for @natgeo. @djiglobal#Inspire2#X7
Rockhopper penguins have got to be one of the toughest animals on the planet. After battling through the open ocean in search of food, this group of adults is returning to their colony on Sea Lion Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. In order to reach their hungry chicks at the top of the cliff they must first time their exit to perfection. Although the rocks and waves are potentially dangerous to the penguins, they are experts in using the power of a wave to eject them out the water and up the cliff. Even though I know they are built like little tanks and they have done this many times before, it’s still nerve-wracking to watch! Shot as part of a new online series for National Geographic.
by @spono. Teamwork and a cool piece of gear were key to achieving the sunball shot in my previous post. Given that our boat was rolling all over the place in the big swell, a gimbal was the only way to get a stable image. This clever gadget measures angular change in each of its 3 axes and then sends power to motors to correct for this change. The result means the camera (a @reddigitalcinema 8K Weapon Helium) remains flat and level whilst I can control pan/tilt with my right hand and focus/zoom with my left hand. Meanwhile, @e.ranney and Kerstin pictured at the top of the frame are making sure the whole thing doesn't go flying into the ocean. Normally we'd just hard mount the gimbal onto the boat but because we were getting the occasional wave over the bow, they had to be ready to whisk it under cover to avoid a salty electronic mess! @djiglobal#Ronin2.
After travelling to the already fairly remote Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, we loaded a 50ft sailboat to the brim with our camera gear. Having never lived on a little sailboat for 5 weeks, we were all apprehensive of how it would work. The most daunting part of the shoot was fortunately right at the beginning. To get to our filming location (the island of South Georgia) we had to sail for 6 days through what could potentially be some of the roughest ocean on the planet. Thankfully we were in great hands and the weather was fairly cooperative. Soon after setting sail, the days seem to blur into one. To achieve such a stable image whilst our boat rolled around in the big swell 400 miles from land, I put the camera (a @reddigitalcinema Weapon Helium) onto the @djiglobal#Ronin2. Stay tuned for more on my new series for National Geographic coming soon!
A flock of Antarctic terns flutter around the base of the Neumayer glacier (pictured on approach in my last post) on the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia. Despite appearing so wild, this island has a shocking history of exploitation. Populations of whales, seals and birds were decimated. Fortunately, thanks to good governing and protection, much of the island’s wildlife has made a dramatic comeback.
It now faces a new set of challenges. The world’s changing climate is moving weather and ocean currents around this island with unknown consequences. The glacier pictured is estimated to be receding at a rate of 1m/3ft per day. Stay tuned for more on my next series National Geographic. Shot using the @djiglobal Inspire 2 drone with the new X7 camera. I don’t endorse products unless they’re game changers- a 6K camera with up to a 50mm lens that you can keep in the air for more than 20 minutes. Game changer.
After 5 weeks away living on a sail boat, @spono, @e.ranney and I are finally back on dry land. The horizon is beginning to stabilise and I don’t plan on revisiting my old friend ‘Barry (the vomit) Bucket’ any time soon. We’ve been filming on the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia for my next online series for @natgeo. It’s been a really special shoot and I have no idea where to start so here’s a shot from our approach to the Neumayer Glacier. @e.ranney is pictured on the bow ice spotting for our fearless captain Kirsten Neuschafer. Fortunately this 50ft expedition sailboat has a reinforced hull making these types of journeys possible. It was shocking to see Kirsten reading from old charts that implied we were sailing kilometers up the glacier. In fact, this glacier is estimated to be receding at a rate of 1m/3ft per day. This certainly hit home that we are living in a fast changing world. Stay tuned for more…
A huge male jaguar pulling a caiman out of the water up a slippery, muddy river bank in the northern Pantanal, Brazil. This jaguar demonstrated the meaning of the term power dragging this 8ft long, armour plated, 74 toothed, chunk of contracting muscle out of the water and into the bushes. Shot for a new jaguar TV show with @stevewinterphoto which premiered on Sunday evening on @natgeowild in the US (other territories coming soon!). Huge thanks to the awesome team @natgeo! Also check out this month’s issue of National Geographic Magazine for @stevewinterphoto ‘s jaguar story. Shot on @reddigitalcinema
A big male jaguar takes a drink at sunset. During the dry season in Brazil's Pantanal, the jaguars stick close to the rivers. Not only do these rivers provide drinking water, they also concentrate the jaguar's primary prey- capybara and caiman. As a result, the best way to observe them is by boat. This gives an added benefit for filming as you can use the boat as a giant camera slider to create movement in the shot. Using a gyrostabilised rig and an electric motor, my boatman and I were able to smoothly (and almost silently) glide past giving the shot this rotation. Shot for a new jaguar show on @natgeowild premiering December 10th in the US (other territories coming soon). Also check out @stevewinterphoto 's jaguar story in this month's issue of National Geographic Magazine. Shot on @reddigitalcinema with @pantanalsafaris.
A female jaguar bolting after a capybara in the northern Pantanal, Brazil. This whole chase lasted less than 5 seconds but by shooting at 100 frames per second, it allowed us to see this jaguar's epic agility and laser focus throughout the hunt. Unfortunately she ended this hunt empty handed! Shot for a new jaguar show on @natgeowild premiering December 10th in the US (other territories coming soon). Also check out @stevewinterphoto 's jaguar story in this month's issue of National Geographic Magazine. Shot on @reddigitalcinema with @pantanalsafaris
An adult giant otter munching on a tasty catfish in the northern Pantanal, Brazil. Adults needs to eat about 2kg/4lbs of fish every single day. This individual was well on the way to its target! This species lives in family groups of up to 20 individuals so needs incredibly healthy ecosystems to support it. As a result, giant otters are a great indicator species. Shot for a new jaguar show on @natgeowild premiering December 10th in the US (other territories coming soon). Also check out @stevewinterphoto 's jaguar story in this month's issue of National Geographic Magazine. Shot on @reddigitalcinema with @pantanalsafaris
This image of a howler monkey walking past newly discovered ancient paintings is part of @stevewinterphoto 's jaguar story in this month's issue of @natgeo magazine. Here's how Steve got the shot! The biggest painting at the top of this panel is a jaguar, identified by its open mouth. Carlos Castaño Uribe, our expedition leader and the man who discovered the first paintings in Chiribiquete National Park, has found that of all the animal depictions, only the jaguars have open mouths. Dating these paintings is difficult as the paint itself doesn't contain any carbon (it's an iron oxide based paint). Instead, the archaeology team collects the remains of the fires (carbon containing) at the base of these painting walls. These fires were used to prepare the walls for painting so give a good indication of the age of the paintings themselves. The carbon dating results from a previous expedition by this group suggested the paintings could be up to 20,000 years old making them some of the earliest evidence of humans in the Amazon.
Shot on an expedition with @fundacion_herencia, an incredible group of people doing real 21st century exploration. It’s very humbling to know that there are still places on this planet we know almost nothing about. But despite it’s remoteness, it is still under threat. It’s so vital that we find a way to protect Chiribiquete National Park, its pristine rainforest, these amazing paintings and the uncontacted people who live here.
We owe a huge thanks to Parks Colombia and the Colombian Ministry of Culture for their support. For more on this place, read @stevewinterphoto 's jaguar story in this month's @natgeo Magazine. Also stayed tuned for our jaguar TV show for @natgeowild premiering in the US on December 10th.