I went to see a presentation by Sir David Attenborough yesterday. He’s in Iceland for a couple of days as a translation of his latest book The Life of Mammals is being published, following the success of the TV documentary series with the same title.
There’s only one word for Sir David – brilliant! His joyful enthusiasm about his work carries on to everybody around him. It was an unusual sight to see an overcrowded lecture hall ahhh-ing, laughing and crying for the events in the lives of creatures ranging from simple plants to the planet’s most dangerous carnivores. Nice to see that the public can still be interested in something else than the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
The presentation was called “Discoveries of the Camera” and discussed how new technologies have opened new possibilities in documentary filming and biology research. He showed examples of time-lapse shots where time is sped up or slowed down to get an understandable picture of what’s happening. How infrared light and thermal imaging can be used to film events invisible to the naked eye, and how tiny cameras allow us to look into things that have never been seen before.
He finished off by telling us that – regardless of technology – in the end this type of film making boils down to luck and above all – patience.