From: Steve Backshall, BBC Earth
Published August 6, 2011 12:34 PM

Behind the lens of Deadly 60 - Filming a Pit Viper striking a water balloon in slow motion

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. Link to the Deadly site to see this incredible video!

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.

And if you want to see real super slo mo – check these out.

NB: Please, under no circumstances, should you try to replicate our shot. The Deadly 60 team are highly trained snake handlers and pit vipers are highly venomous.

Image credit BBC Earth.

For more great stories from Steve and his Deadly team check out the Deadly site!

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