Ever hunted tigers from the back of an elephant? Experience the thrill… and the reality.
Category Archives: Video
All aboard Dibya Kali, elephant no.2. At last, I too am atop elephant no.3, the lovely Saraswati Kali. And we’re off… the guides have heard a tiger! That’s Mandy West waving at me from Raj Kali up ahead.
Meet domestic elephant; Raj Kali, her phanit (driver); Som Bahadur and learn about elephant dentistry and how to measure elephant height from head naturalist Ram Din Mahato.
Please excuse the rushed production and dodgy voiceover!
So, here’s what my teenage son imagines my upcoming expedition will be like:
Good grief… I just collected together all the electrical equipment I plan to take with me on my elephant expedition to Nepal next week. Forgive the bad focusing – I think I was suffering from shock when I took the photo!
- a laptop and electrical cable
- a camcorder with spare batteries, cables and a charger with interchangeable plugs
- a directional mike with dead cat and extension cable
- a lapel mike
- a hybrid camera with long lens (being used to take the shot)
- mid lens plus pancake lens in lens bag
- camera cables, spare battery, charger and spare memory card
- spare digital camera with spare battery, cable and case
- bendy tripod
- voice recorder with spare batteries
- mobile phone with USB charger cable
- instruction leaflets
- Kata shoulder bag for camera/camcorder
Luckily for me, this all packs away rather easily and isn’t as horrific as it looks. Additionally, as luck has it, the nifty Kata shoulder bag – purchased to keep my kit safe in the field, fits neatly into my carry-on bag.
Suddenly it all doesn’t seem quite so daft after all! I even have room left over for my passport, money, documents and a few snacks for the plane!
Dontcha love it when a plan comes together.
Having the roles of both videographer and photographer in my upcoming elephant expedition to Nepal, I have spent some serious brain time researching and considering the need to comfortably juggle two bits of precious tech while trekking.
I know that I can video with my camera and take stills with my camcorder but neither produces satisfactory results. So, before anyone suggests it, I’m sticking with both bits of kit.
Bouncing kit becomes irritating very quickly
Until recently, I was considering some type of shoulder strapping. However, following a recent trip to the Brecon Beacons I quickly discovered the impracticalities of having both camera and camcorder swinging freely. To be frank, it’s irritating enough to have even just a camera freely swinging from around your neck when you’re trekking. So, you can elect to have it immediately accessible, yet bumping around up front, or confine the strap under an arm and have to pull it around every time you wish to take a snap. Neither option is perfect and neither of these options leaves much room for a second camera of any sort.
I did eventually end up having my video camera up front and using the around-the-waist strap of my backpack, with its quick release buckle, to tie it down when not in use. At least then all I had to do was unclip, point and record. This setup was till a whole pickle when having to negotiate walking sticks too!
The paparazzi solution doesn’t cut it in Nepal
Online research (outlined in a previous blog) revealed multiple strapping solutions of various types used by the paparazzi. However, none of these offer much protection for the precious tech when it’s not in use. This may be OK when running around after celebs through the streets of London, but in dusty Nepal I do not want my cameras to be open to damage. I need them to be safe – but immediately to hand.
I was at a loss!
My solution: the Kata shoulder bag
Until I spotted the nifty double case pictured above on Amazon.
The Kata DL-H-531 Hybrid D-Light Shoulder Bag has two perfectly sized sections for my hybrid camera with its long lens attached and my video camera. Each section can be connected or disconnected from one another and carried using a single shoulder strap and/or connected to my survival belt (which is the crux of preventing that annoying bouncing and I have to wear the belt at all times anyway). It seems like the perfect solution so I have purchased one.
I envisage having the tech straps round my neck but keeping them snuggled in each pouch, nose down and ready to be grabbed at will. I have yet to test it out and don’t really have time to do so properly before I leave, but I have high hopes for this solution and shall let you know how I get on with it upon my return.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion and/or any advice. Have you ever managed to successfully solve this problem?
Freediver calls for better protection of NZ dolphins
Friday, 09 March 2012, 11:02 am
Press Release: NABU International - Foundation for Nature
March 8, 2012
Fifteen times freediving world record holder William Trubridge calls for better protection of the world’s rarest marine dolphin
New Zealand – William Trubridge is a New Zealander and feels a special connection with Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins, which live nowhere else.
I've always loved animals and this is one book I must get my hands on. Feel free to gift it to me ;-)
Daphne Sheldrick is the first person to ever have successfuly hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya's rick variety of wildlife and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos and other baby animals from certain death.
Meet another member of our upcoming Nepal-Bardia 2012 Giant Elephant Expedition.
David Dancey-Wood is one of the UK’s leading pencil artists.