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Journeys in the Wild: The Secret Life of a Cameraman Hardcover – December 24, 2019
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Gavin's book is extraordinary: his easy prose and gasp-making encounters make for a gripping and very funny read. It's a rollercoaster ride with a complete professional. I loved it.―Joanna Lumley
Gavin Thurston's book has all sorts of strengths. His camera has captured some of the most eye-catching images of the natural world ever seen on television. And he can write. He brings the process home to us in a style that is modest, down to earth and full of humour. This is one of the best books about filming I've ever read. ―Michael Palin
This is an absorbing account of a fascinating career.―BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE
His no-holds-barred memoir plunges you into the serendipities and perils of working in the remote wilderness, as he stands stock-still to 'hide' from short-sighted African elephants in Kenya, films demoiselle cranes flying 6 kilometres up above Nepal, or marvels at the hiss of Mauritania's dryland crocodiles.―Barbara Kiser, NATURE
[Gavin is] a great cameraman with infinite patience, but also a writer with great powers of observation and expression. Brilliant!―Alan Titchmarsh
About the Author
Gavin Thurston is an award-winning cameraman specialising in wildlife. He has worked on 17 of Sir David Attenborough's series and has travelled and filmed on all seven continents and at both North and South poles. Recently, whilst filming for Blue Planet 2 he was in the submersible that set the world record for deepest dive in Antarctica. He has survived charging elephants, being hunted by lions, close encounters with a grizzly bear mum, wild wolves, plane crashes, civil wars, and coups. And once, whilst filming for a BBC special on Gorillas, he was slapped by a silverback.
Gavin has won numerous awards including 5 EMMYs, 3 BAFTAs and a Royal Humane Society Award for Bravery.
- Item Weight : 1.23 pounds
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1841883107
- ISBN-13 : 978-1841883106
- Product Dimensions : 5.75 x 1.5 x 8.88 inches
- Publisher : Seven Dials (December 24, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Thurston is a wildlife cameraman whose work regularly appears on many of the nature shows on television and in movies. Although it is sometimes difficult to decipher which cameraman took which shots in these shows, Thurston's descriptions of scenes he shot were recognizable to a regular watcher and he is a first class cinematographer.
The book takes the form of what appear to be journal entries from places he has visited during his career, with dates, names and geographic coordinates and even an occasional drawing. The book is organized into several different sections, although it was sometimes hard for me to figure out what tied the entries in a section together. He tells of being away from his family, the exhilaration of seeing something amazing in the wild, the hazards of travel to remote places, and even the financial problems of not having a gig set up.
I was particularly interested in this book because I am an amateur nature photographer myself. Many of the things that he recounts resonated with me, like the sense of failure of waiting in a hide (or in North America, a blind) waiting for a particular animal for hours or days without success. On the other hand, many of my assumptions were proven wrong. I've often assumed some of the shots I've seen on television involved large crews and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, but the author often discusses relatively small crews and minimal (although still expensive) equipment. I often suspected that the beloved David Attenborough was not there in the hide during most shooting, but it was nice to have it confirmed. Unlike Sean Penn in the remake of Walter Mitty, Thurston did not confess to not taking a shot because he didn't like the distraction of a camera.
Yet there was something lacking for me. For myself, I would have liked a little more technique that I could appropriate, although perhaps he will write a separate technique book. Of course, he feels that we are not preserving the wild; of course, it's inconvenient to be in a hide for long hours; of course, it's chilling to find a poisonous snake next to your foot. But while Thurston is a great artist, his métier is not writing, it is cinema. If you want to really appreciate him, see his work on screen. Then you can read this work as a supplement to a career that deserves high praise.
Top reviews from other countries
Incredible encounters with all kinds of creatures, scary moments in war torn countries, humour, and a wonderful sense of adventure - this book book has all of that, and makes for hugely entertaining reading. The photo pages are nice but there are only a few - maybe another book, with shots from each of the main stories, could follow one day - I would buy that for sure.