My work as a researcher at the very beginning of the project was mostly phone bashing, internet research and e-mail writing. Once we had basic information and had identified key organisations, experts and locations, I spent a lot of time on the road. I visited locations and had meetings with experts about species we wanted to feature. It's a great job for meeting people.
As the project developed and we were in the swing of filming, I went on location with Steve [Phillipps]. I helped him carry kit, set up hides, spot wildlife and I kept him company in some of the more remote or difficult locations.
What is your background?
I got my degree and a Ph.D in Zoology Liverpool University. I've always been interested in wildlife and animals in general. I'm also very interested in music.
How did you get into producing?
At the beginning of the '80s, I was working in the Pathology department at University Hospital Wales in Cardiff, doing research into bowel diseases. During this period, I started to talk about science and wildlife on children's TV programmes on HTV. I was then offered a presenter's job on a nature series for children – but this is going back a long way!
I've been a wildlife cameraman for 14 years. I started filming in my home area of Scotland when I was 21. I've worked with independent production companies and the BBC's Natural History Unit as well as S4C and BBC Wales. 2007 was a busy year – as well as working on Natur Cymru, I was on the team that filmed the BBC series The Nature of Britain with Alan Titchmarsh.
High-Definition (HD) cameras and kit are very similar to the usual equipment, but you have to be very careful while using them because a tiny mistake looks ten times worse in HD. The camera is set up to give the pictures have a lovely, filmic look.
I've been a freelance photographer for 25 years. I studied Scientific Photography at the old Polytechnic of Central London (originally the Regent Street poly, now the University of Westminster!) and then worked at a Marine Research station in Ireland where I got hooked on marine and underwater photography. Whilst I specialise in underwater digital stills, I do shoot video too, and accept commission work.
Video equipment has improved dramatically and the size of cameras allied with HD makes them far more usable underwater - but it remains a difficult place to obtain high quality imagery simply because of the problems with water clarity and movement. Welsh waters are unfortunately not the clearest in the world - although they contain as fascinating marine life as absolutely anywhere - so anything which helps to improve image quality when the images have been shot in a hostile and difficult environment to access and work in helps.
© 2012 S4C
O Gymru / Made in Wales