SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, JUNE 15, 2015—When internationally award-winning Australian cinematographer Abraham Joffe set out to document the lives of five world-class photographers as they captured incredible images for the recently completed National Geographic channel series Tales by Light, he turned to Miller Camera Support Equipment, a leader in the production of innovating camera support solutions, relying on the company’s Compass tripods to help him and his camera crew obtain the perfect shots.
Told from the eye of the storyteller, Tales by Light, co-produced by Canon Australia, follows photographers in their trek through 15 countries, across six continents over the course of a year, as they push the limits of their craft to capture enticing, evocative wildlife footage in extreme environments. The six-episode series explores the artists’ journey as they aim to showcase the world in a new light. The series is currently airing on the National Geographic Channel.
“We filmed in such a diverse array of locations, ranging from the peaks of the Himalayas to the jungles of Uganda,” says Joffe. “On these shoots, we filmed grizzlies in Alaska, elephant seals in Antarctica and migration scenes in Kenya. When we were not working with wildlife, we were capturing actions sports sequences in Vanuatu, Utah and Colorado, as well as meeting local communities in Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia. It was quite an adventure and hopefully people will feel as a part of the journey as I did in capturing it.”
To obtain the variety of creative shots he was after for the series, Joffe exclusively relied on Miller’s Compass tripods, including the Compass 12 Solo 75 2-Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod, Compass 15 Solo 3-Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod and Compass 25 Sprinter II 2-Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod. All Miller tripods utilized primarily mounted a Canon EOS-1D C camera for the shoot, as its compact size and versatility enabled him to use it within some very extreme environments.
Working as a skeleton crew often as small as four people, Joffe and his team had to keep the gear light and compact, as weight was a constant concern. They generally carried the majority of the cameras and lenses on their backs with stabilization equipment, tripods, monopods and sound equipment stored in the haul of the plane during travel.
“The lightweight Miller compass tripods got the job done and were the most practical for travel, as they could easily and quickly transition from setup to breakdown,” he adds. “Also, as we were shooting in 4K, the resolution was never forgiving for missing focus. The solid build and reliable movement of the Compass fluid heads enabled me to keep my shots solid through the whole project.”
Joffe further mentions that the Miller tripods proved an absolute necessity when filming the copious amounts of wildlife footage. “Filming snow leopards in the Indian Himalaya required a Canon 600mm lens with an extender, and Miller’s Compass 25 was perfect for keeping it rock solid,” he adds. “Additionally, most of the wildlife in South Georgia and Antarctica is up-close and low the ground. The low spreading nature of Miller’s solo legs was used on many locations around the world, as the tripods’ impressive range capacities provided an incredibly intimate perspective.”
A longtime supporter of Miller, Joffe says that he always favors working with quality camera support equipment on extended projects, such as Tales by Light. “I strongly advise people not to skimp when it comes to purchasing a tripod,” he concludes. “The first tripod I bought was a Miller, and I have been loyal to them ever since.”
Developing a growing reputation for his documentary and nature developments, Joffe has always been captivated by the power of the moving image. Honored with the title of Canon Master in 2013, he was an early adopter of 4K and founded Sydney-based production company Untitled Film Works in 2000. The company prides itself on creative storytelling and currently produces much of the film content for Canon Australia.
Joffe is proud to be associated with National Geographic Channel on his break-through series, Tales by Light, which premiered in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday, May 24, 2015 and is currently on-air, to run for six weeks.
For more information on Joffe and his work, visit http://www.abrahamjoffe.com.
About Miller Camera Support Equipment
Founded in 1954, Miller Camera Support Equipment designs, manufactures and delivers professional fluid heads and tripods to the film and television industry, providing support for the world’s leading camera operators. Celebrating more than sixty years in the industry, Miller is a longtime, global leader in the field of contemporary camera support and holds the first patent for fluid head design for film cameras, which it obtained in 1946. Today, Miller’s tripod and camera support systems are frequently used during electronic news gatherings (ENG), electronic field production (EFP), and digital video applications by the world’s leading networks, production houses, corporate, educational and government institutions in more than 65 countries. For more information, call +61 2 9439 6377 or visit www.millertripods.com.
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