Spotlights

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion
August 6, 2011 12:34 PM - Steve Backshall, BBC Earth

To get this fantastic action shot, the team took a nifty bit of kit into the jungle with them. Cameraman Johnny Rogers rigged up a miniature camera. We used a Sony HXR MC1P, but there are lots of fairly cheap, lightweight camcorders in the shops now and most have a slo motion feature. For a hot wet jungle in Costa Rica we needed a splash proof camcorder, but also small enough to position it right in front of the action; nice and close to the snake. TV is shot at 24 or 25 frames per second — the viper shot is 60 frames per second. Given that ultra slo motion can be up to 5000fps, this shot is hardly impressive technically but what’s more important is to get the shot. The result was this great footage of a strike, two and a half times slower than the real action. But you don't have to be a pro to get these kinds of shots. You can pick up a camcorder that shoots as fast as 300 frames per second for a few hundred dollars.

Meet the fastest land animal, the magnificent Cheetah
August 4, 2011 10:49 AM - BBC Earth

It is well documented who are the speed demons of the Animal Kingdom. We all know that a cheetah can reach speeds of up to 60 mph in a mere three seconds and that the Atlantic sailfish leaps to the top of the podium as the fastest creature in the ocean. Yet it is rarely asked why. What parts of their body have evolved to make them so fast, and for what purpose? In this series, BBC Earth peels back the fur and the scales of these incredible creatures to reveal what it is that makes them so fast. As the world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah's ability for acceleration starts on the inside. The spotted cat mobilizes glycogen molecules that are stored in its large liver to provide huge bursts of energy. However these surges are short lived because they produce an unwelcome by-product, lactic acid, which builds up and causes painful cramps. Which means that cheetahs can only run at full speed for up to 30 seconds. Cheetah's are not just one-trick cats, they have other adaptations up their sleeves, or rather within its hair. Their distinctive spotted coat makes them almost invisible when creeping slowly through the African grasslands. The longer that they can stay camouflaged and the closer they get to their target, the more likely they are to catch their prey before they run out of steam.

Meet the fastest land animal, the magnificent Cheetah
August 4, 2011 10:49 AM - BBC Earth

It is well documented who are the speed demons of the Animal Kingdom. We all know that a cheetah can reach speeds of up to 60 mph in a mere three seconds and that the Atlantic sailfish leaps to the top of the podium as the fastest creature in the ocean. Yet it is rarely asked why. What parts of their body have evolved to make them so fast, and for what purpose? In this series, BBC Earth peels back the fur and the scales of these incredible creatures to reveal what it is that makes them so fast. As the world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah's ability for acceleration starts on the inside. The spotted cat mobilizes glycogen molecules that are stored in its large liver to provide huge bursts of energy. However these surges are short lived because they produce an unwelcome by-product, lactic acid, which builds up and causes painful cramps. Which means that cheetahs can only run at full speed for up to 30 seconds. Cheetah's are not just one-trick cats, they have other adaptations up their sleeves, or rather within its hair. Their distinctive spotted coat makes them almost invisible when creeping slowly through the African grasslands. The longer that they can stay camouflaged and the closer they get to their target, the more likely they are to catch their prey before they run out of steam.

Meet the fastest land animal, the magnificent Cheetah
August 4, 2011 10:49 AM - BBC Earth

It is well documented who are the speed demons of the Animal Kingdom. We all know that a cheetah can reach speeds of up to 60 mph in a mere three seconds and that the Atlantic sailfish leaps to the top of the podium as the fastest creature in the ocean. Yet it is rarely asked why. What parts of their body have evolved to make them so fast, and for what purpose? In this series, BBC Earth peels back the fur and the scales of these incredible creatures to reveal what it is that makes them so fast. As the world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah's ability for acceleration starts on the inside. The spotted cat mobilizes glycogen molecules that are stored in its large liver to provide huge bursts of energy. However these surges are short lived because they produce an unwelcome by-product, lactic acid, which builds up and causes painful cramps. Which means that cheetahs can only run at full speed for up to 30 seconds. Cheetah's are not just one-trick cats, they have other adaptations up their sleeves, or rather within its hair. Their distinctive spotted coat makes them almost invisible when creeping slowly through the African grasslands. The longer that they can stay camouflaged and the closer they get to their target, the more likely they are to catch their prey before they run out of steam.