Forces of Nature

2 x 60′ for BBC 1

Forces of Nature

2 x 60′ for BBC 1

Forces of Nature

2 x 60′ for BBC 1

Professor Brian Cox explores the forces that shape our planet.

Specialist Photography

2 x 60 min, BBC 1

Timelapse (motion control), seasonal change and compositing live action with timelapse.

I did specialist photography on the series which included timelapse and mixing live action of Brian Cox with timelapse backplates. Additionally I also shot seasonal change shots in live action and timelapse for graphic compositing up to three layers.

Durdle Door

Motion control live action and timelapse shot of Brian Cox walking through the tides.

Wittenham Clumps

Motion controlled seasonal change of a year at Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire

Wittenham Clumps

The challenge here was to create a single shot that showed a year at this hilltop copse in Oxfordshire; the sun was to pass through the sky as the seasons dissolved.

This presented a few challenges, namely; shooting the location seasonally as a wide establishing back plate on a motion control rig exactly aligned each time I returned. I planned the location such that each season I could return with the sun still in front of the camera providing a strong backlight. With a motion control rig I then was able to re-run the shot once per season to capture the backplate.

To sell the notion of seasonal change in a single shot I thought that it could really benefit from some strong foreground to catch the eye. Foreground seasonally is troublesome owing to many factors so this is best done in the studio. I spoke to Tim Shepherd with whom I collaborate with regularly and he begun shooting foreground foliage from summer to winter.

To check we were on the right track I did rough composites from time to time which incorporated mine and Tim’s shots.

BDH were the graphics artists on the series they set about combining the layers, and adding the finishing sparkle to a lovely little shot.

Durdle Door

Motion controlled composite (timelapse and live action) of Brian walking along the beach at Durdle Door.

The motion-control kit was Camblock with a 1DC with a Nikon 28mm f/1.2 lens. The 1DC was chosen for being able to provide good video and stills ability.

During the recce we found a location and planned the shot around the tide times and the track of the sun. The track was placed and the move programmed, and then we ran the shot as timelapse for the duration of the tide. Then at golden hour we ran the camera along the track again but in real time with Brian walking along the beach.

It was fun shot, and one that was tricky to bring off. As the tide came in we were fighting the erosion of the tripods constantly. Kept us on our toes (and in the water).

 

BDH were the graphics artists on the series they set about combining the layers, and adding the finishing sparkle to a lovely little shot.

Watch the series on BBC iPlayer

Watch on iPlayer