SHEFFIELD and LONDON, U.K.—As a director of photography and documentary cameraman, I have been privileged to work on projects in more than 110 countries over the length of my career—and many of those locations could be considered challenging or hostile. At times it feels like I have lived 10,000 lifetimes with what I have witnessed from travelling with my cameras over the years. Already in 2018, I’ve made three trips to Gaza, Palestine; Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh at the Rohingya refugee camps; and war-ravaged Mediterranean cities in Libya.
One of my most valued collaborators is the British author, adventurer and TV presenter Simon Reeve. Simon and I have traveled the world on scores of projects, including most series of the BBC’s prominent travel documentary program bearing his name. Most recently, we completed shows for the “This World” series on the Caribbean, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Colombia, and Russia and just this year wrapped “Burma With Simon Reeve,” which aired on BBC Two in May.
Wherever I roam on the job, my travels tend to take me to far-flung and challenging locations where reliable mobile power is absolutely essential. Going into a remote field shoot requires careful planning. You never want to be in a situation where you’re without adequate power for cameras, radio mics, wireless transmitters for monitors, and any other kit you’ll use, but you don’t also don’t want to be weighed down by excessive and unneeded batteries. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s easily accomplished with the latest mobile power technology from Anton/Bauer.
I’m a longtime user of Anton/Bauer batteries for all of my work. Over the years I’ve learned I can completely rely on them in any type of shooting situation, even in the most rugged and remote locations. I’m also a big fan of Anton/ Bauer’s Gold Mount positive locking system, which in my experience is the most secure mount for camera batteries in the world.
For my most recent project, as part of a shoot in Libya for a new travelogue series on countries of the Mediterranean, I tried out Anton/Bauer’s all-new Dionic XTs. Not only do these new batteries raise the bar on performance and reliability, but they also have a more compact form factor that makes them ideal for constant travel. We were constantly on the go in Libya, covering a multitude of stories in numerous locations for two weeks. We used every mode of transport you can imagine, from planes and cars to trains and boats.
RELIABLE AND RUGGED
One of the things that impressed me the most about the Dionic XTs is their ruggedness. Like all Anton/Bauer batteries, the XTs have been tested to within an inch of their lives for safety. I’ve seen the results of lithium fires from substandard batteries, but I know I can trust Anton/Bauer batteries to stand up to just about any kind of treatment without compromising the integrity of the interior cells. On the Libya trip, the XTs survived drops, being bounced around in the backs of 4WD vehicles, and plenty of other rough treatment, and they still performed flawlessly.
Anton/Bauer has really thought through the way its batteries manage power consumption, which makes my power planning a lot easier and reassures me that the batteries won’t discharge too quickly. With the XTs, for instance, I’m able to plan my critical power requirements for any location shoot almost to the minute using the built-in power gauges on the batteries. If I have to trek into a location for many hours, I know precisely how much battery power I’ll have to pack in.
Like many freelance DPs, I own a large percentage of my gear. My investment spend is critical to my business overheads. I have always tried to invest in the best kit to help my business grow and Anton/Bauer batteries have been my first choice. In my view there is simply nothing else to compare with their reliability, ruggedness, and performance. With the cinematic images I create, I strive to be part of a message of hope even in situations of the most extreme adversity. Equipment such as reliable remote power is critical to that mission.
Jonathan Young is a highly esteemed documentary DP with more than 25 years of experience shooting for all the major U.K. and U.S. broadcasters, as well as independent production companies across the globe. He has been nominated several times for RTS and BAFTA awards. Jonathan can be contacted at Jonathanyoung101@gmail.com.
For more information, please visit www.antonbauer.com or call 203-929-1100.