East to West

Photographer & Camera

 
Ronin-Himal-Capture-17.jpg
 

Synopsis

Trekking themed documentary pilot, developed in association with the BBC, travelling from east to west of the Himalayas Covering over 4000km and at times at over 18,000ft. 

 
 

Role
Photographer & Camera Operator

Formats
Various

Produced by
WWT / BBC

Tools
Canon XF 305, Canon 5D, Canon 1D &
EF L Series Lenses

 
 
 

Role

While working at Apple, I was offered the opportunity to join a small, low budget documentary pilot shoot for a series of trekking films and potentially a 60-minute special for the BBC. Initially, I joined as a still photographer but was asked to shoot video alongside stills.

Leaving Apple was a difficult decision, but the first time I saw the sun rising over the Himalayas, I knew it was the right one. I was attached to the project for just under 6 months, and covered 4000km on foot, working at altitudes of up to 18,500ft.

I had assistant duties ensuring all the equipment was fully powered, cleaned, protected and operational even in extreme environments and circumstances - without access to regular power.

I fell seriously ill, the group was attacked, involved in a bus crash with several fatalities - yet I found myself learning, adapting and
enjoying myself through the hardest of times. 

This was the first time I had photographed people so closely and directly; subsequently, I developed an approach that was respectful,  soft, friendly and professional. It worked well, allowing me to gain rapport quickly, thus have access to locations and people I would never have thought possible. Some particularly special moments included a family funeral in Langtang, Nepal, camping with the Indian Army in Phalute and being invited into a private Nepali-only Raksi house. 

I learnt a lot about different cultures and religions, especially Buddhism, Island and Hinduism. We worked at many monasteries, shrines and temples including one of the most sacred Hindu temples of Nepal - Pashupatinath Temple.

I learnt even more about my own rudimentary leadership, organisational, communication and production skills from my producer - my biggest take away was to work fast, never give up and make three shot from one.