I remember back when I was a child gathering in my parents’ house around the color TV, still of the vacuum-tube variety and housed in a big wooden cabinet, to watch PBS’ The Planet Earth. The documentary opened my mind to the natural world and how it works with time-lapse video of flowers blooming in the desert and slow-motion photography of life and death struggles on the savannah. The documentary left a major impression on me, creating a lasting respect for the greater natural world. I’m sure if I rewatched the episodes of The Planet Earth today the video would seem grainy and blurry and the photography techniques would seem extremely simple.
The past several weekends we have been transfixed by the amazing photography and storytelling by the highly talented editing and photography crew of BBC’s Planet Earth II. We’ve tuned in each Saturday evening to be captivated by the audio visual wonder of our world. I am still intrigued by nature, and as someone who’s spent his life as a photographer I am continually impressed and in awe of the camera work. I am impressed by the technology that produces sharp images and interesting angles, and envious of the photographers and their opportunities to witness the glory of this planet.
The project took over three years to make, spanning 40 different countries, 117 filming trips and a total of 2,089 shooting days. Planet Earth II is an immersive exploration of the islands, mountains, jungles, grasslands, deserts and cities of the world. We can’t help but smile and sigh at the memories it triggers of our own adventures. The episode titled “Grasslands” told stories of the African savannah and took us back to our time getting up close and personal with the great migration. You might think with specials like this, why leave home? Well for us it just triggers our wanderlust and leaves us wanting to explore more and witness the majesty of our wild world in person.