Nat Geo takes a look at the cameras that changed wildlife photography

Jul 3, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nat Geo takes a look at the cameras that changed wildlife photography

Jul 3, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Wildlife photography and filming has come an extremely long way in the last few decades. This is thanks in large part to organisations like the BBC and National Geographic. The development of cameras and ingenuity of their teams has allowed them to see things that were never before possible, and they continue this trend today.

National Geographic recently posted an article and video on their website covering some of their photographic inventions since founding the Remote Imaging Lab in National Geographic’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

It’s crazy to think that they actually used to strap film cameras to wild animals to get the shot. Thankfully, now, the cameras are much smaller and lighter, thanks to digital technology. And as that technology developed, so did the desires of the film & photography crews. And some of the challenges they’ve faced are pretty unique and perhaps a little bit insane.

Some of these cameras are the very first of their kind, and when you add wild animals into the mix, all kinds of unexpected things can happen.

Our job is occasionally quite dangerous—every once and a while you do something ridiculous like try to put a camera on a shark from a tiny dinghy.

– Mike Shepard, Mechanical Design Engineer

I wouldn’t even know where to begin to try and come up with a camera rig that could be attached to a wild shark. I mean, it’s not like you can go down to the local pet shop and pick up a GoPro harness like you might for your dog. So, that they actually managed to do it, and successfully used it to make some great imagery, speaks volumes about their inventiveness.

With such unique solutions and innovation, it’s no wonder they continually amaze us with their imagery. And I can’t wait to see what imagery comes next.

If you want to check out the complete article and see some of the cameras in more detail, head over to the Nat Geo website.

[Feature image: 12019 / Pixabay]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “Nat Geo takes a look at the cameras that changed wildlife photography”

  1. Aankhen Avatar
    Aankhen

    Such a cool look at the equipment, and such a scary story!

  2. Tom OB Avatar
    Tom OB

    I am Tom O’Brien. The Photo Engineer for NGM, seen in the above video. I read this blog everyday to stay up on the industry. If anyone has any questions please do leave them in the comments and I will try to check them. You can also find me on IG @mechanicalphoto

    Cheers!

    -Tom

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Well, hey Tom! Welcome to DIYP. Great to see some insight into what you do on your Instagram. If there are ever any DIY projects you want to share, we’d be honoured if you shared them on here. :)

      Also, can I come and be your intern and just play with all the cool toys? :D

      1. Tom Avatar
        Tom

        Kaouthia,
        Thank you! I’m sure we could figure out an article sometime down the line but content like that usually has to run through my comms team first. Reach out over IG.