Thursday, 27 March 2008

The countdown has begun, and every waking minute is devoted to organising , cleaning and generally preparing for the forthcoming expedition. I had the last of my jabs today including rabies and hepatitis B, interestingly in the surgery waiting room was a 2006 National Geographic magazine with a fascinating article about ANTS, written and photographed by Mark W Moffett. Many of the shots were taken in Ecuador, and the variety of forms and behaviour is unbelievable.

I had a lucky break last tuesday morning, as I had dicovered that my HD video camera lens was damaged and unusable. I drove straight to JVC headquarters in Neasden, and was surprised to find it a secure site, which needed a prior appointment, luckily I remembered the name of the chief engineer, so when I asked on the phone I was met at the gate by Voz, who took me into their repair area and promptly gave me a coffee. Here he confirmed that my lens was kaput, and it needed repair. He gave me the number of a company called Pyser SGI at Edenbridge in Kent, I set off straight away having on the way a delicious Italian coffee and Panini in Oxted. When I arrived Chris Powell told me I needed a part from Germany which he immediately ordered over the phone, it is now two days later and the repair is complete and the lens will hopefully be delivered tomorrow - that what I call service.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Ecuador expedition 2008

Once the decision has been made to launch an expedition a set of underused gears in the mind slowly grind into action. The lead up is a minefield of micro decision making, as one knows from bitter experience that the omission of one thing can lead to problems. So by imagining scenarios and identifying clear objectives a list of actions and useful bits and pieces is put together.

The Victorian science ethic was one of " observe and deduce ", which I admire greatly as it helped to spawn the great ideas of Darwin and Wallace. Since then not much has changed with that fundamental idea, except for the marvellous technology that we now have at our fingertips. So my role as a scientific photographer and cameraman is inspired by the famous quote" Record and Digitise ",

The plan is to visit Ecuador for a month, firstly a short tri[p to Toachi Pilaton hydroelectric project which is cloudforest habitat, followed by the biosphere reserve at Yasuni.I will be travelling with my friend and coworker Dr Morley Read, and if the technology works as it should will deliver a running account via of our progress in the field.