Archives For Explorer

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Two highly immersive photo expedition cruises

Embark on a voyage that takes you well off the beaten path, to destinations that will excite your imagination like no other. Your Silversea Expedition to the Russian Far East or New Zealand will inspire your sense of adventure, introducing you to mesmerizing landscapes and charming coastal villages alike. You’ll encounter wild animals, exotic flora and fauna, and fascinating cultures.

The experiences you’ll have on your voyage aboard Silver Discoverer will create a lifetime of memories—one that you’ll undoubtedly want to immortalize on film. And having an award-winning photographer help you capture these unique moments can make the difference between a good picture and a great one. So join us on one of these two highly immersive Photo Expedition Cruises with professional photographer and expeditions specialist David Wright.

With more than 25 years of professional experience that have won him Emmy, BAFTA and Chris Awards, David has worked with the BBC, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. He’s covered a wide range of stories spanning natural history, adventure, and history, on BBC/Discovery’s Frozen Planet, National Geographic’s Untamed Americas and the BBC’s Natural World.David will provide you with tips that will help you compose the most visually striking photographs, and how to get the most of your camera’s settings to create an extraordinary image.

©Photo Credit: David Wright

During the summer of 2013 we sailed from Trinidad to Buenos Aires on board the National Geographic Explorer. Named the “Epic South America” voyage, we explored seven different countries and traveled more than 6500 miles. Along the way we taught a digital story telling workshop….

Lindblad just posted a short video about the program. Stay tuned for 2014 date and locations

DW in snow with slider

David shooting lynx tracks for the BBC series “Secrets of Our Living Planet” using his homemade camera dolly and ladder for track

There are a lot of camera sliders and dollies on the market but we were happy to try out a new offering from

Before our Trost review, I must say I was a little skeptical when I first saw the units. I have been using a small camera dolly running on a ladder or plastic pipes (2″ white poly pipe) and have enjoyed the flexibility and ease of setting such a system in unusual places. It also lends itself to long runs (6′-16′)

The smaller size of the two Trost units seemed less useful at either one metre or 1/2 metre lenghts. Then I got to try them out in the field and my opinion changed dramatically.

Rather than retasking skate board wheels like many sliders / dollies manufacturers, Trost have decided to go with a soild rail that can either mounted on a hihat, straight onto a tripod head, or even vertically.

The rails are on the heavy side, but this is required in order to make them sturdy enough and also means camera moves are smooth and positive. The cart that travels down the rail wraps around the unit, meaning that you can tilt and pan the fluid head as usual and don’t get any unwanted motion in the slider, other that the required left/right motion used to create great reveal shots. Systems that rely on a cart running on rails, and based on a wheel system, mostly have to be kept level.

David shooting in Wales Alaska

David shooting in Wales Alaska

We have tested the units in far north Alaska in the early spring when temperatures only reach minus 20 degrees C, as well as in the tropics of Brazil while shooting a recent music video with recording artist Luisa Maita, represented by Cumbancha Music.

David and Cotton working with recording artist Luisa Maita

David and Cotton working with recording artist Luisa Maita

We both love the versatility of having a short slider directly mounted on the fluid head. Not only can you do great reveal shots by combining a pan with a slider move to come out from behind an object to reveal a subject, but if an actor / performer does not quite hit their mark, you can subtly slide the camera to make sure framing works well. Then being able to add a tilt without fear of any unwanted movement or the system falling off the rails, is the a great way to keep the camera moving. The rig can then be picked up and thrown over the shoulder, in order to move to the next location.

Cotton and David working at Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Cotton and David working at Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

There are still times when I will definitely use the long rail system I have but the new Trost sliders are a very welcome addition the travel kit. We have already strapped one to my backpack and dragged it on a 6400 mile journey through South America and are departing today with it for the Antarctic. We both agree that we are VERY impressed with the build quality and reliability, ease of transport and we are still discovering exciting new ways to use a slider that can be combined with a fluid head to create three axis of camera movement. We would recommend it to anyone in the business or anyone just shooting for fun.

Can’t wait to see what other new products Trost come up with in the future!

Now off to the airport, first stop the Falklands, then South Georgia and the Antarctic on board the NG / Lindblad Explorer to teach another digital storytelling workshop.

Here is a better view of the 100cm version for our Trost review.

trost-bottom trost-side trost-top

Technical specs for the sliders

1 rail (100cm)
1 carriage with folding 3/8″ stud
Adjustable drag speed control
2 rotating baseplates
3 quick release collars
total dimensions     40.3 x 3 x 1″
024 x 76 x 25 mm
max carriage travel     31″
weight    15 lbs     6.8kg
temperature of operation    -31°F-212°F     -35°C-100C°
head compatibility     carries any tripod head with female 3/8″ hole or another Trost slider with Trost quick release collar
support compatibility     mounts on top of any 3/8″ or 1/4″ male screw or C-Stand end, or on tabletop.

News about the upcoming workshops on the National Geographic Explorer

For the next few weeks Cotton will be on board the National Geographic Explorer heading to the Antarctic Peninsular. When possible he will post updates from the field via the ship’s satellite connection. It looks like they were welcomed in style and it gave Cotton chance to try out a new piece of equipment from Lensbaby

“This morning, on board the National Geographic Explorer, we encountered a pod of finn whales that were feeding in front of the ship. I wanted to try out my new Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35, using my Sony NEX-VG 20 with the Alfa Lens Adapter, offering to film these beautiful mammals in a new a creative way. A fixed 35mm manual focus lens is always a bit risky, normally the whales are feeding off in the distance, but this morning I was lucky. Some of them came right across the bow, giving our guests a rare and exclusive look at the second largest animals on earth. Here is a still frame from the video footage.”