All types of filmmaking may be considered to be an art and shooting wildlife is at the pinnacle of this creative medium. A view that is no doubt shared by the millions of viewers who tune into wildlife programmes around the globe, as well as the talented people behind the cameras who have dedicated their careers to creating beautiful wildlife films.
Mike Linley has been at the cutting edge of wildlife programme making for more than three decades and is currently at the helm of his own independent wildlife production company, Hairy Frog productions. Throughout his career Linley has filmed, written and produced hundreds of wildlife programmes and since he formed Hairy Frog he has worked on a multitude of productions for companies such as Granada, National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet.
When filming his own productions, Linley often uses a Panasonic AF101 camera and selects the Vision blue to support it.
Linley says: “I can put great big 400 mil lens on the camera and the Vision blue provides the perfect balance. I’ve used a full range of cameras, such as the Sony EX-3, the Canon XL2 and the XLH1, on this tripod and it copes with them all and performs brilliantly.”
One of Linley’s recent filming projects was for the River Fly Association, a company that studies the ten species living around the UK’s waterways as a means to monitor the water quality of the rivers. The film involved shooting each of the ten different species of British invertebrates.
Linley explains: “They needed the insects to be filmed in big macro close ups, shooting intricate details such as the eyes and antennae. These animals are a quarter of an inch long and to film them you need an extremely sturdy support as even breathing can affect the picture. I used the Vision blue on this project and I’ve also taken it out into the field filming everything from butterflies and caterpillars to British hawk moths, and its ability to hold the camera perfectly in place without drifting was invaluable. I made the shoot much easier.”
The award winning Vision blue was designed by Vinten to provide professional support for the extremely high performance of the latest lightweight camcorders and DSLRs accessorised for video. It has since been used by filmmakers around the world to balance the smaller, lightly accessorised cameras that are so common in today’s industry.
Operators like Mike Linley are able to use the smallest professional cameras and work without creative compromise to produce the highest quality images. Linley will be using the Vision blue on his next project, filming hot air balloons in Norwich to mark the launch of a new charity.