Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Seeals and penguins Oh, and beer

Thursday 13th

The first planned job of the day was on easy one here in Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand.

When a hoard of rugby fans hit town what is generaly pretty hing on the list of things to do?

I would think that most people answering that question would say, find a bar and consume lots of beer.

So with that in mind our job was to tour a brewery and sample some of its products.

However, before that I set up the camera on the balcony of Dan’s room which over looks the sea.

The surfers we saw yesterday when we arrived were practicing for the Otago leg of the National Surfing Championships which was starting this morning.

No wonder they had all looked so good.

I had time to do a few shots of the first few doing their thing in the awesome foaming waters.

Chris one of the managers at Speights showed us around the areas where the beer is brewed and served us up with glasses of the final result of the process.

Speights brewery.

I did some shots on the way round and at a few strategic points Dan did little interviews with him.

Our tasting samples lined up.

In the nearby Speight’s Ale House he treated us to a very good lunch.

We ended with coffee which was done really well.

My expertly done cappuccino.

Dan's art on a Flat White.

One place we hoped to get to see but with pressure of time we didn’t was the world’s steepest street which is in Dunedin.

Car chase anyone? Not the steepest but still impressive.

Our after lunch job was out on the Otago peninsula to see some more of the worlds rarest and cutest animals at Nature’s Wonders at Taiaroa.

On the beautiful drive out on the other side of the water we passed the Dunedin stadium that is being built for the Rugby World Cup.

I will have a permanent clear plastic roof. I hope that it is high enough for the highest of kicks!

The Dunedin Stadium in a great setting.

We stopped our little two car convoy and I got some shots of it.

When we got to our destination we were met by Martin one of the guides on the reserve.

In a small all terrian vehicle he took us up to a high point where we could see a fantastic vista over the peninsula.

No words needed.

The view in the other direction, just totally breathtaking.

The only problem was that it was very windy indeed.

Stuart not looking windswept during a brief lull in the wind.

We tried to do a piece to camera and I tried to do some general shots.

Nigel had a hard job not having the raor of the wind over all the sound and it was difficult for me to hold the camera steady.

We did the piece beside some large rocks in the hope they would afford us some protection from the wind.

Braced for the piece to camera.

For the general views I had to wedge the camera against my body and a boulder to keep it steady.

Putting it on the tripod would not have helped because the wind up there was so strong we would all have needed to be holding on to it to prevent it sailing in to the air.

Setting up for another piece to camera with the ATV.

Dan and Stuart discuss the piece to camera as Nigel puts the mic on Dan.

There was a colony of fur seals with thier cute litte pups down at sea level. It was nice to be down there away from the wind.

The pups playing in the pools between the rocks.

Mum and pup.

I took lots of shots of the seals.

Whilst I was doing that Dan and Stuart were having a discussion about the piece to camera we needed to do.

When they were happy with the script I filmed Dan with the seals in the back of the shot.

Sleepy seal.

I think that we could all have spent all day just watching the lovely furry pups playing in the pools left by the retreating tide and clambering around on the rocks.

However, Martin had another treat for us, the worlds rarest penguins, the yellow eyed.

Up in a purpose built hide overlooking a beach he pointed excitedly to a tiny dot way down below us along the beach.

It was one of the penguins making its way across the sand to climb into the bushes that cover the sany hillsde off the beach.

I zoomed in the dot with the two times lens extender selected.

The dot in the viewfinder got a bit bigger but not much. I could just about make out that it was indeed a penguin.

He had said that there was no guarantee that we would see one at all.

However, the shot was not with recording really, although obviously I did.

We waited for a while with no result. It was decided that Dan needed to do a piece to camera and during the disscussion about what the script should be we saw one of the rare flightless birds in the water heading for the beach and although pretty far away we were as close to it as we could be.

I got some shots of it in the sea and as it waddled up the beach.

Job done.

All that was left to do were some easy set up shots of Dan and Martin the all terrain vehicle than we could get back to the hotel for a dinner that was being laid in for us by Hamish from the local tourist board.

We were a bit late and all rather gritty eyed from the dust kicked up by the ATV.

We showered quickly and enjoyed a fine meal and chat in the restaurant of our hotel the St Clair Beach Resort.

The only downside was the thought of the early start we were going to have in the morning.

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