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Bertie Gregory Shoots Black Bears on Vancouver Island


Bertie Gregory
Bertie Gregory

Wildlife videographer Bertie Gregory recently finished a 16-minute documentary about black bears on Vancouver Island, Canada, titled West Coast Adventure. Since he did not want the bears to feel threatened or scared in their habitat, he shot from a boat with his Nikon D7000. For a firm stand, the wildlife filmmaker depended upon the lightweight Ace M tripod system from Sachtler.

Gregory shoots the black bears from a rubber boat in order to keep a safe distance from the animals while still remaining close enough to capture detailed photos. The best time to film the bears was at low tide, when the water in the inlets receded, exposing rocks which the bears roll over to find crabs.

“I filmed everything from the boat except for the aerial footage,” explained Gregory. “This, of course, made the project particularly demanding, as any small wave makes footage useless. That’s why I always tried to film in narrow bays or in the particularly quiet morning hours.”

The Ace M tripod system with ground spreader offers a firm stand and weighs only 10.1 lbs. It can be easily assembled, offering controlled, smooth camera movements on shaky ground.

“The key feature of the Ace M, for me, is the compact construction,” Gregory said. “I was easily able to put the tripod system on my shoulder and sometimes run 100 meters with it. This way, I was always able to get to the right place quickly. This is indispensable for wildlife documentaries.”

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