Maybe most of my hours behing a camera have been with a long lens. I didn’t count shootingdays, but they surpass the 1000 at least. To me it feels operating a long lens is just like second nature. Wether this is from a hide or not. Often very underestimated, but working with lenses up to 1500mm is specialist work. I’m very comfortable working with any long lens, but most preferred are the Canon 50-1000mm and Sigma 150-600, both owned by myself.
I’ve been building my own camera traps since 2013. These days my 4K Video camera traps can work with various cameras including the Sony A7sII, A7sIII and Panasonic GH5(s).
By using my own timelapse gear in the field to visualise stories that take to long for a normal camera or working closely with two very skilled timelapse studio experts in the Netherlands I’m comfortable saying that timelapse is no mystery to me. Wether its clouds building to a storm or plants and funghi growing in the studio, we love to think beyond the obvious and the ‘its done before part’. So if you have an idea, please challenge me!
The same counts for high speed as I’ve been working as phantom camera trainer many years ago. Since then I’ve been using highspeed cameras (up to 5000fps) for various projects to visualize stories that happen to fast for normal cameras. Most experience with phantom cameras, mainly Flex 4K (>100 days).
I have quite some Movi/Ronin and small gimbal experience as I own(ed) various of these. Also small but growing experience with Shotover Gimbals.
Multi axis Motion control timelapse. We’ve done things like recreating the same moving shots multiple times to overlay them in post to repeatable 6-8m long movements to record seasonal changes in the field.
Small dollies, large tracks, sliders and cable cam setups. And of course one of my favorites; the P&S Skater Dolly. There is nothing that works better for low angle setups than the Skater.
Wether it’s lighting in the field or recreating the field in the studio with as natural light as possible. Designing and building the set, controlling lights, temperature, humidity, etc. All possible in own studio in the Netherlands or on location. For me just about every building can be an indoor studio with the right approach. Experience include breeding various types of insects for filming purpose, dangerous animals like snakes and (big) aquarium setups with currents or waves if needed.
Thermal cameras, night vision, infrared or my own custom build starlight setup.
I’ve done various projects where IR lighting was necessary for creating a beautiful lit scene in a way animals wouldn’t notice. I’ve developed a system with various lights running from big batteries capable of lighting a big scene to last multiple nights.
Every project has its own challenges, but to me the challenge becomes the most fun when I’m able to look beyond available equipment. Examples from the last couple of years are like 3d printed camera parts or dummy cameras, adapting cameras and/or lenses to even rigging the Sony Venice camera under a F16 jet fighter.
Another good examples might be my custom cameratrap systems and my custom designed borescope lens turned into the Hyperion Microshot. Please read the story if you want to know more.
I’ve had a side track in my career for few years where I worked as colorist on various productions. These days are still valuable today in my work as a cinematographer. Knowing more about the science behind colour and digital cinema and especially knowing the possibilities in the grading help me to make the right choices in the field to create the best looking image on the screen. This experience has also proven to be very valuable on multiple projects where I could assist as a low key post production superviser or with data wrangling challenges next to being the cinematographer.