2/2012

Taking the camera where it's not supposed to go

Keith Partridge

Filmmaker, author and popular guest speaker Keith Partridge visited TUT
under the invitation of the Entertainment and Media Management (EMMi)
Lab.

One of the most captivating lectures of the autumn term was delivered when world-famous extreme photographer Keith Partridge visited TUT.

"Welcome to my office", Partridge greeted the hundreds of eager listeners and treated them to a breath-taking visual journey around the world.

Keith Partridge's career has seen him set up shop on the icy slopes of the Andes, the Alps and the Himalayas, in the Amazon wilderness and deep in the tropical rainforests of Africa and Asia - and even amidst a group of humpback whales churning up the sea water as they rise to the surface.  

At TUT, Partridge introduced the audience to the daily life of an extreme cameraman by showing them plenty of footage. His crew pushes into uncharted territories carrying hundreds of kilograms of filming equipment and technical gear, including their own generators.

Shooting conditions vary drastically and the unpredictable weather poses an extra challenge: sometimes the temperature drops down to minus 40 degrees or weeks of heavy rain turn the camp into a mud pit. The crew may end up sleeping in a tent or yurt, prepare for bathroom breaks as if for an adventure, and share the campsite with uninvited guests, such as spiders the size of one's hand.

Awarded filmmaker

In 1990, filmmaker, author and popular guest speaker Keith Partridge left his job as BBC's cameraman to combine his passion for filming with his love of climbing and adventures.

Throughout his long career, Partridge has shot numerous films, documentaries and TV series and brought home an International Emmy, three BAFTAs and dozens of other awards.

"A lot of people think we're crazy to go on these expeditions. I'm sure they're right", Partridge admits laughingly but at the same time emphasizes the importance of professionalism, discipline and common sense.

Despite rigorous safety precautions, working in some of the world's most remote and hostile locations always involves an element of risk. And that makes it all worth it.

 

Text: Päivi Eskelinen
Photo: Petri Laitinen


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