Cuckoo egg predation

This is my all time favourite shot. It would not have been possible without the help of an expert, here, Oxford cuckoo guru Mike Bayliss. The aim was to film a cuckoo laying in a reed warbler's nest, and several times we had come very close. After many hours in the hide I heard this female land heavily in the reeds to the right of the nest - I can still hardly believe it happened.

Cuckoo egg predation

Komodo dragon

This type of filming has been about 80% of my work these last couple of years...presenter led programmes with a good percentage of wildlife filming. Gavin Thurston was on RInca Island 2 weeks before the rest of the crew getting the 'meatier' sequences.

Komodo dragon

Talk of the Town

There were two of us working on this one, the other cameraman being Keith Brust. Filming often brings with it privileged access, and this was one of those times. I spent many days on my own on the Vermejo Ranch in New Mexico, ticking off shots from the list. Other times I was with a crew and a team of scientists trying to unravel the mysterious language of prairie dogs.

Talk of the Town

Seasons – Alan Titchmarsh

Autumn and the Wye Valley makes for a wondrous combination. The locations here are just a few miles up the road from our house. We can't take the credit for nice light and conditions, but you can make your own luck by being out there early as often as you can in the best locations.

Seasons – Alan Titchmarsh

Camargue flamingoes

Not being very big can be a massive advantage sometimes. Imagine a small rowing boat with a wooden hide on board and a small slit to poke the lens through. Then knock out the bottom of the stern of the boat. Cram yourself inside with a tripod and start walking slowly towards the flamingos whilst occasionally vanishing into holes in the bottom of the lagoon. I love this job.

Camargue flamingoes

Harvest mice

Over the years I have done quite a lot of set filming. In all honesty I find it quite stressful, as the priority has to be the well-being of the animals. In any case, if they're not relaxed they're not going to behave naturally. These little chaps were on loan from a research project. We were always hoping that they would breed while in our care, but they never did.

Harvest mice

Wildlife Cameraman Blog Snippets

Great Welsh Parks Margam Park

Great Welsh Parks Margam Park

Great Welsh Parks Margam Park
Margam Park

Great Welsh Parks Margam Park was broadcast on Monday night,  BBC One Wales.  You can catch up with it here on BBC iPlayer.  Memories of being a wildlife cameraman usually revolve around the difficulties and circumstances of capturing a particular sequence. However, at Margam, I don’t think any of the crew will forget filming the Daubenton’s bats on the pond behind the large house for another reason.

Football

Last year the Euros were pretty exciting for the Welsh.  There we were, soldiering forth into the semi finals, in the same qualifying group as England.  It couldn’t be more exciting.  The bat sequence happened to be filmed on the same night that little old Iceland came up against England.  We were waiting for it to get dark enough for the bats to emerge and start hunting for insects around the surface of the pond.  Pete, our sound man and great anti England football fan (like the rest of us) had a radio.  So while we waited we listened to the radio.

Foxes and football

No, I’m not talking about Leicester City and their great achievements last year.  I went for a wander before filming started, keeping an eye open for foxes emerging, perhaps looking for scraps that visitors had left behind.  Iolo saw one, but I didn’t.  It was while prowling around the rhododendrons that I heard a massive cheer go up from down by the lake.  Iceland had scored the equaliser. Later there was an even louder cry from the rest of the crew as Iceland took the lead, which they held to the end.  I’m a wildlife cameraman but I do have other interests, one of them being football.  To be honest I did feel a bit sorry for England: they should have done better in the whole tournament with the resources and players they had.

Bat sequence

The bats performed with as much spirit as the Iceland team, and as always it was fascinating filming their behaviour in the dark under infra red lights, but the football won the day.

Wildlife cameraman funny business

Wildlife cameraman funny business Wildlife cameraman funny business, what’s that all about? http://us12.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ec148ec1848991f467478f79b&id=7fffd3cba3&e=cbce5c0d12 For the fourth time I won the Natural History Network Caption Competition. I’m not sure why, but I imagine there can’t be too many people who actually enter it. It’s all in the writing I’m not sure why I do the caption… Continue Reading

Graham Horder - wildlife cameraman

I'm a freelance documentary and wildlife cameraman, wildlife photographer with a track record for filming blue-chip natural history and presenter and contributor led documentaries for the BBC, ITV and other major television channels. Most of the time I film TV programmes with natural history as the subject matter, but I happily film sport, music videos, drama and other types of television documentary.

It is slightly inaccurate to say 'wildlife photography' as a description for 'wildlife filming', but all wildlife cinematographers become used to the alternative title. Being a wildlife cameraman is very different to taking still photographs, though the principles of getting close to wild behaviour and respecting the subject are exactly the same.

From the outside a career as a wildlife cameraman looks like a very attractive way to live. It is, but it doesn't suit everyone. For young people, take advice from someone who is doing it, then see if you can assist them in any way. You will have to persevere... and persevere.

Filming wildlife is something that I love. Like many colleagues I'd happily do it for nothing... and sometimes I do. Many of us would continue to film wildlife as a hobby if it were not our profession.

This article by Matt Hamilton is a really great description of a part of a filming trip we went on last year.