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Photography News

Planet Earth’s Now-Famous ‘Iguana Chase’ & How It Was Shot

By Kishore Sawh on November 13th 2016

Oh about a month ago now I wrote about the return of BBC’s Planet Earth series, back for a second run at making us appreciate and see our little blue and green globe like we never have before. It’s Planet Earth 2, and it’s clear that they’ve taken the last decade to pool together the best documentarians, photographers and videographers (and Sir David Attenborough, of course) to create something magical, at a time when the planet couldn’t need it more. They’ve taken the original and all of its best, and made it…more.

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And ‘more’ really is sort of a theme with Planet Earth 2; more places, more pixels, more equipment, more astonishing, and in the odd chance you were caught up this week with something trivial, you know, like an election, then maybe you might have missed what many are calling one of the greatest action and underdog sequences of all time. Unless you’re a cynic, the footage of a young marine iguana getting chased by vengeful rejects from Medusa’s head may be right up there with the car chase in Ronin. And if you’re a photographer or videographer, I guarantee the thought will cross your mind, and you’ll ask yourself, ‘How the hell do they film this?’

[REWIND: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Review | The Beauty Of This Beast]

Luckily for us, the advances in technology have allowed the crew to grant a level of access you couldn’t get before, and they pander a bit to those in our field by breaking down some of the planning, the gear, and the whys of their actions. You can see some of the BTS footage in the video at the bottom, but better than that is this 360 narrated video where the crew explains why they use the DJI Gimbal, and what place certain lenses play. It’s really really good.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Will Nicholls

    As usual, British natural history filmmaking showing that there is no one else in this level of the competition!

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  2. Paul Empson

    Watched the episode on catch up last night… immersive photography & content.

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  3. Kim Farrelly

    We were all cheering for the Iguana to make it last week, the Beeb telling a story the right way.
    Great to see the amazing work that goes into making it too.

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