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

Working with Inspirational People

Working with Inspirational People

I think it’s true to say that I work with inspirational people almost all of the time. With regard to passion for nature conservation people don’t come more inspirational than Iolo Williams. I’ve worked with Iolo for more than 5 years now. From time to time I work with other well known people too.  Earlier this year that came about in an unforeseen way. Working with inspirational people is one of the perks of my job. By the way – this post has nothing at all to do with wildlife filming!

Mentoring Young People

Back at the start of the year I was asked to take part in a project in the Swansea area of South Wales. The idea was to help a group of teenagers to make a movie about the young life of Richard Burton. In the summer the film was shown as part of a premier evening. To see those youngsters taking applause on stage for their efforts was a delight to behold, it really was. My part in the project was tiny compared to some of the other people. The main objective was a good outcome for the young people, and in most cases the project achieved that. For myself, I learned a lot too, not just about Richard Burton, but about the lives of teenagers in the 2017! And myself.

There is a link to the premiere event here.

In the movies

Working with Inspirational People
Graham Horder and Michael Sheen on location

Richard Burton was born in Pontrhydyfen, a small mining village up the Afan Valley north of Port Talbot. He then grew up in Taibach, nearer Port Talbot. What a life he had, even as a boy. One day I was out filming wildlife somewhere and my phone went. I might have been in Snowdonia, can’t remember. It was Eirwen Hopkins, leader of the project, asking if I was available to film an interview with Michael Sheen sometime soon, with some of the students in attendance.

Suffice to say, that with an incredible amount of work on the part of Eirwen, (working with inspirational people – she is one) we met Michael on the set of a new, hush hush, Netflix movie. The filming was taking place not too far from Port Talbot in a woodland.

Life Advice

Michael was about to go on set when we arrived, and although under pressure from his PA, who was actually lovely, proceeded to talk and talk. Richard Burton was an inspiration to Michael, both of them being local lads, both of them having influential mentors who helped them in their careers. Beyond that though Mr. Sheen gave the most fantastic motivational life advice interview that I’ve had the privilege to witness, and he just carried on – despite being need on set.

As is often the case I can’t help myself saying something daft in these circumstances, and offered, ‘I’m more use to filming woodpeckers than film stars.’ Which his PA thought was hilarious, saying, ‘Michael the woodpecker’. I’ll never learn.

The Spirit of the Kite

The Spirit of the Kite ‘The Spirit of the Kite’ is the first novel in a series called, ‘The Life and Times of Tudor Morgan’. Tudor Morgan is a wildlife cameraman that I created from  my wildlife filming experiences over the years.  The idea started out as a screenplay for a film.  To be honest,… 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.