EarthFlight: Breathtaking Photographs from a Bird's-Eye View of the World
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EarthFlight: Breathtaking Photographs from a Bird's-Eye View of the World

by John Downer
     
 

A guided tour of the world through the eyes of birds.

For his award-winning In-Flight Movie, filmmaker John Downer devised a 61/2-ounce camera that could be carried by a trained buzzard. Eagle followed, for which Downer used a smaller video camera with an onboard transmitter to film a raptor's flight over the Alps. Supernatural

Overview

A guided tour of the world through the eyes of birds.

For his award-winning In-Flight Movie, filmmaker John Downer devised a 61/2-ounce camera that could be carried by a trained buzzard. Eagle followed, for which Downer used a smaller video camera with an onboard transmitter to film a raptor's flight over the Alps. Supernatural continued the pioneering work, using a flock of greylag geese. Flock leader Buff was trained to carry a harness holding an even tinier camera, the "Goosecam," which captured amazing views from inside the flock.

EarthFlight, Downer's latest film project, is a six-part series. It uses spycams, microlights, hang-gliders, miniature helicopters and wirecams to give viewers a privileged perspective of birds in flight. Whether soaring 10,000 feet high over the
Sahara or skimming yards over the Great Wall of China, EarthFlight the film allows viewers to take part in the miracle of flight.

Every page shows us what the birds see—winding shorelines, bustling cities, sunsets and storms, mountains, canyons and roiling seas—and the animals they encounter: pelicans diving for fish, a tiger drinking from a stream, migrating reindeer, dolphins playing, and in the desolation of the desert, a nomadic family. The book closes with a "Making of" chapter.

EarthFlight truly is a bird's eye view, a pioneering work of genius and a memorable journey around the world like no other.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Using a variety of techniques including hang-gliders, "bird-shaped model gliders," and bird-mounted cameras to capture footage of birds in flight, veteran BBC wildlife photographer Downer and his crew spent three-and-a-half years collecting footage for what would become the BBC series EarthFlight. Here, he shares truly stunning images from the program, accompanied by commentary. The photos-of cranes gracefully soaring over the Château de Chenonceau in France's Loire Valley, an African eagle beneath a rainbow, migrating geese, tens of thousands of flamingos nesting in South Africa and Kenya, pelicans gobbling up grunion in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, bats seething from Texan caves, gannets in search of food plunging into the Scottish seas, and the brilliantly colored Australian budgies ("nomadic parakeets")-offer extraordinary glimpses of wildlife on every continent (but Antarctica) from a perspective rarely-if ever-seen before. Though the photos are spectacular, the final chapter might be the most remarkable aspect of the book, as Downer details how he and his team captured these amazing shots, as well as discussing the many obstacles they faced. A genuine treasure, Downer's work must be seen to be truly appreciated. Photos and map.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

American Profile - Neil Pond
This eye-popping collection of photos offers a truly bird's-eye view of what birds in flight actually see. Utilizing a pioneering arsenal of high-tech spy cams, gliders, mini-helicopters and bird-mounted cameras, Downer and his team documented the miracle of flight from the participants' perspective in a trip around the world... A final chapter details how the photographers devised and implemented the equipment to "fly with the birds."
BirdWatching - Chuck Hagner and Matt Mendenhall
The book includes an introductory essay by Downer, maps of the flight paths of a few of the featured birds, and a detailed concluding chapter about the making of the film. We like it for all of that, but mostly we can't take our eyes off the photographs... Spectacular, one and all.
Discover Magazine
The photographers of Earthflight, a companion book of the BBC series of the same name, take the concept of the bird's eye view very very seriously. If you've ever wanted to see how the crow flies, literally, Earthflight producer John Downer can show you.... The book combines lots of eye candy in the form of birds-eye-views of iconic landscapes, but it is also generous with the fascinating details telling how the rare images were made. In many cases the images were results of years of experimentation and work. The patience of the crews paid off, not a single bird was lost in the making of Earthflight.
North Shore News - Terry Peters
Using incredible ingenuity and the latest technology, not to forget the patience that is necessary with wildlife photography, Downer and his team have brought us closer to experiencing the bird's world.... The photography is breathtaking throughout the book and provides a view that is unlike anything ever seen before.
Science Books and Films - Shelley Sporh
The title of this book...is not an exaggeration... The stunning and awe-inspiring photos include some that appear too good to be true.... This book could be used for a variety of purposes—although most obviously it is an eye-catching coffee table book, it also provides a plethora of information on migration and ecology of the species highlighted. It is a great source of rather obscure information that otherwise would be difficult to find in the scientific literature.
Wall Street Journal
Everybody dreams of soaring like an eagle, but few consider that they probably wouldn't be alone in the sky. The 200 photographs in John Downer's 'EarthFlight' offer the exultant wing-to-wing camaraderie enjoyed otherwise only by fighter pilots and birds themselves.
Montreal Gazette - Eric Boodman
Breathtaking photographs.
Green Teacher
These stunning images have great potential to inspire a deep ecological worldview amongst older teenagers and adults.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770850392
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
12/08/2011
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Downer is an independent wildlife film producer who started his career with the BBC Natural History Unit. He won a Grammy for the innovative time-layering techniques in the Peter Gabriel video Digging in the Dirt and has made many groundbreaking commercials.

John Downer is an independent wildlife film producer who started his career with the BBC Natural History Unit. He won a Grammy for the innovative time-layering techniques in the Peter Gabriel video Digging in the Dirt and has made many groundbreaking commercials.

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