Shooting Under the Antarctic Ice – Design You Trust

Shooting Under the Antarctic Ice

For “Frozen Planet” director Chadden Hunter and cameraman Didier Noiret, the challenges of photographing emperor penguins rocketing through ice holes from the water below at high speeds were significant, but shooting them underwater was even more daunting. In order to show the penguins with the jet stream of bubbles behind them, they had to dive unthethered (a rope could get tangled with the camera) and film with a slow motion camera that they had never used underwater before.

The documentary “Frozen Planet” will premiere in the U.S. on Discovery Channel on March 18 at 8 p.m., and the companion book is available January 2012 from Firefly Books. All images courtesy Firefly Books/BBC Earth.

Didier Noiret in action under water, where the massive camera is weightless, allowing him to track the emperors. Those that have swum up from the depths are circling around the exit point, waiting for their heart rates to return to normal. They then jet-propel themselves upwards, leaving a rocket trail of bubbles in their wake as all the air is forced out of their feathers. With no limbs to pull themselves onto the ice, this is the only way to exit. But it means they can’t see what’s on the surface, and beak-breaking collisions with ice blocks can happen.

A Minke whale surfacing in an opening in pack ice on the Ross Sea.

An egg-collector at work in the midst of a guillemot colony in the Russian Arctic. In summer, the Inuit are prepared to risk their lives to harvest seabird eggs, using just a rope and sure-footedness. Few other land predators are able to reach the precarious nesting ledges.

Visiting polar bears were a worry for the crews filming them. As much as they enjoyed seeing the bears at the window, the constant visits from bears led to insomnia.

Under the Ross Sea. Doug Anderson fixes his tripod upside down to the sea ice so he can film the growth of the strange ice-crystal formations.

In the confined space of a volcanic cave the only way cameraman Gavin Thurston could film was to use the video mode of a digital SLR camera. Careful lighting was crucuial to show the diamond-like glitter of the crystals. Day by day the crystals would change, melting if the temperature rose but reforming when it dropped.

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

High Flying Fashions At Boston Hotel
Artist Colorizes 50 Old Photos, And It Might Change The Way You Perceive History
Star Trails Pictured In The Night Sky
Rare and Amazing Photographs of Warsaw, Poland From the 1850s
Frozen Landscapes Tell A Winter’s Tale In New Photographs By Kilian Schönberger
Katy Perry for L’Officiel Paris, September 2012
"Freezing The City That Never Sleeps": A Brooklyn Chemist's 1800s Photos Capture New York In Motion
Japanese Photographer Tantan Turns A Rainy Night In NYC Into A Dreamy Wonderland
Chinese Artist Creates Creepy Celebrity Portraits Made From Other People’s Faces
Historic Photos of USS Recruit, a Dreadnought Battleship Built in Union Square From 1917-1920
Couple Travel To Iceland With A Full Crew For Pre-Wedding Shoot Atop Volcanic Rocks And Glaciers
Breathtaking Winning Photos of The SkyPixel’s 6th Anniversary Aerial Photo & Video Contest
Photographer John Hinde And His Fabulous Colourful Postcards From The Past
First Photo Shoots Of Angelina Jolie When She Was 15 Years Old
Sand Sculptures Exhibited at Tottori Dune
Photographer Capture’s Kawau Birds Perched On Electric Wires In Tokyo
Models Posing Awkwardly For Photos
Hilarious Snaps Of The Unfortunate Brides Upstaged By Animals On Their Wedding
These Amazing Vivid Photochromes Depict the Princely County of Tyrol in 1890, a Mountainous Region of The Austro-Hungarian Empire
Underwater Graveyard Full Of WWII Planes Is Otherworldly
Beautiful Photos Of The Thousands Of Tulips Got Under Snow On The Biggest Tulip Farm In Moldova
Imagine A 'New America': Reclaiming The American Flag
"The Passion Of Trees": 16 Years Trees Photography Project by Ali Shokri
Inspiring And Glamorous Female Portrait Photography By Shibbi