EOC producer Sean Bogle shooting footage of harbor seals along the California coast.

EOC producer Sean Bogle shooting footage of seals along the California coast.

Episode Summary:

Today we have another installment of our series From Field Biologist to Filmmaker, in which I share lessons learned through the process of becoming a wildlife filmmaker. This is our fifth installment of this ongoing series, and I’ve selected a particularly important topic for anyone who is interested in making films about wildlife – how to capture wildlife footage!

These days lots of big-budget wildlife docs produced by the likes of the BBC play up the difficulties associated with capturing powerful footage of animals in the wild. But what is it really like to shoot footage of wildlife for a conservation-oriented documentary? Is it possible to get really beautiful footage of an endangered or elusive species on a tight budget?

Producing wildlife docs on extremely low budgets is one of our specialties here at Wild Lens, and I’ve got a few tips and tricks for anyone out there who is interested in getting their feet wet. There are lots of things to consider, from the camera equipment that you’re using to the behavior of the species that you’re hoping to capture on film. And of course central to it all is the story that you are hoping to tell.

I’ll present all of the advice that I have to share on this topic, and along the way I’ll share stories from my experience capturing footage of California condors, bluebirds, and the most elusive of marine mammals, the vaquita.



From Field Biologist to Filmmaker

Bird Feeder setup guide for photographers

Scavenger Hunt website

Bluebird Man website

Souls of the Vermilion Sea website


Equipment links:

Canon 100-400mm lens on B&H

Libec fluid-head tripod

Nikon 300mm f4.5 lens overview (Ken Rockwell)

Swarovski digiscoping setup compared to Canon 800mm telephoto lens

Sony FS700 camera body on B&H

Example of slow motion digiscoping with the iPhone 5s


Listen to the podcast episode here:

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