Thursday, 19 February 2009

David Attenborough programme delights

Still on the subject of TV, and something a little happier to blog about ... Yesterday evening I watched the latest episode of the new David Attenborough series 'Nature's Great Events'. This time it concerned the huge numbers of Pacific salmon that return to the rivers of British Columbia to spawn - and the hungry grizzly bears that wait for this summer feast. At the start we were treated to the sight of a mother and her two cubs emerging from their winter snow lair up in the mountains and their long downhill trek to the river to wait for nature's bounty in the form of the millions of salmon returning to where they were born to lay their eggs. As usual the photography was absolutely out of this world and BC is definitely somewhere I would visit if I was tempted to see the most wondrous places on the planet.

In addition to the wildlife programme itself it is the practice in Sir David's blockbuster series to reserve some time at the end to show the lengths a particular cameraman would go to get some special shots and this is something that I am very, very pleased to see. It is not just the fascination in seeing the techniques used but these normally unsung heroes behind the lenses get some welcome exposure. The chap that they concentrated on yesterday filmed a bear using his feet in the river to actually kick a hiding salmon into a position where it was more manageable to pick up. This man had an amazing rapport with the grizzlies too but had the frustration of one or two bears disturbing the cable where it went through the river from the underwater camera! But it was surprising to me just how amenable the bears were to the close presence of a human.

Pop stars and footballers always seem to be receiving accolades but what they do pales into insignificance to me compared with what is achieved by these top of their profession cameramen.

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