‘Rob’oCam - The art of spying on birds

March 12th, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours

New Zealand Geographic featured a nice article about Rob’s TankCam, otherwise known as RoboCam (nice touch guys!). If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look of the Fairy terns shoot please check out the article here and Rob’s video here.

Let us know what you think, it’s always great to hear your feedback!

New Zealand Geographic RoboCam article

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Shooting New Zealand’s RAREST bird with a TANK

December 15th, 2009 § 12 comments - add yours

TANKCAM (’Rob-o-cam’). Tough assignment to film NZ’s rarest bird - the Fairy Tern for NZ Geographic Magazine.  Less than 40 birds known, they nest in the open and human disturbance may stop breeding.

Solution was to build a remote control ftcam_tvehicle that I could very slowly inch towards the nest over an hour while we monitored the birds’ reaction and leave it set up to capture intimate scenes (very, as you’ll see below!).  So that’s why I built TankCam. We’ve kept the highly successful assignment under wraps until now.  This video tells the story and gives you an idea of three days worth of filming, behind the scenes.  Please view and post your comments - it’s great to get your feedback:

Why not use a large telephoto lens you might ask? … > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

RadioActive FM interview

November 28th, 2009 § 1 comment - add yours

radioactivefmJust interviewed on my old Varsity Radio Station Radio Active FM.  Great fun interview with Simon Smith and Zelda Edwards about my new book, recent adventures, and life. Really enjoyed the chat.

audioClick here if you missed it live and want to listen.  We chewed the fat on things like; Greenland, the Arctic, Climate change, life in space, teleprompters, Antarctica, TankCam, NZ’s rarest bird (the fairy tern!), NZ Geographic Mag falcons, the spice of life, Icebergs around NZ, Majestic New Zealand book, stalked in cyberspace, and Head like a Hole…

Update 22 Jan 2010: We now have signed copies of Majestic New Zealand available for supporters. If you’d like to consider a copy, have a look here.

Indian travels….Biting the Bullet (350cc variety)

November 18th, 2009 § 6 comments - add yours

It’s taken a while to post, but here it is, an exciting short trip to ride a motorcycle in Southern Indian at short notice. Here’s a copy of a dispatch to friends:
The Enfield Bullet, Rob Suisted and Polelem Beach
Change of life circumstances,
an opportunity,
brother in India,
tickets booked Wednesday,
Mumbai by Saturday,
Classic Royal Enfield Bullet motorbike rented illegally from Policeman by lunchtime,
an adventure unfolds….

A mass email for those interested to know more…

Thought I had better file something from India before departing.  Things have been so full on the classic Royal Enfield Bullet 350cc motorcycle Suisted tour, and not really near touristy type places that getting to an internet connection has been a bit hard.

The beautiful Enfield - unchanged since the 1940's

So, in the nutshell, joined brother Phil and Nicki in Panaji Goa about 8 days ago.  Served a whirlwind apprenticeship under Phil, learning the ropes on communicating (yes you might be speaking with an english speaker, but our logic is worlds apart - once you’ve confused them you’re stuck), wheeling and dealing, route finding (read communication), food, chai, riding a motorbike that is doubly back to front - gear lever on opposite foot, and change direction reversed - if you emergency brake like in NZ you only succeed in changing up a gear!).

Phil and Nicki really impressed me at how quickly they’ve learned, and esp. Phil dubbing Nicki as he hasn’t done many miles on a motorbike - let alone dubbing (not to mention the nerves of steel and trust that Nicki has sitting on the back watching the traffic and potholes unfold) .  With that done, we set off into the maelstrom of traffic on my 350 bullet ( it dones 80KM flat out - basic design unchanged since 1940s). Road rules don’t really exist, the basic factor is might is right, and motorbikes are bottom feeders. You need to treat the centre line as fully moveable and stay 100% awake, and use horn all the time on traffic you come up on (and cows and dogs).  Trucks will pass trucks on blind corners - it’s your job to expect this and be ready to run off the road for them… 

Overtake the bus on the outside, the tuk-tuk on the inside, and catch the bus overtaking the truck on the blind corner - situation Normal

Overtake the bus on the right side, the tuk-tuk on the wrong side, through the roadworks, over the bridge. Catch the bus overtaking the truck on the blind corner - Situation Normal!

Also, if your side of the road has potholes, you may wish to swap sides at any moment (esp. if you’re a bus or truck).  While it sounds hairy, > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Make love, sorry PHOTOS, not WAR

November 5th, 2009 § 2 comments - add yours

Check this out. Latest specialist camera build for an interesting job I have coming up. Want one?
 

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