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Our youngest cameraman Lindsay McCrae

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 14:28 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

Springwatch has five wildlife cameramen: Pete, Mark, Ian, Richard and Lindsay. You may remember Lindsay as our runner from Springwatch 2009. Well this year he's a fully fledged cameraman on the team and we caught up with him to find out how he got to where he is today.

Lindsay is a fully fledged member of our wildlife camera team.

Lindsay McCrae

No matter how much I'm either freezing my socks off or saturating myself in sweat, I always wonder what the hell I'm doing! Yet when I ask myself why I'm doing it, it's because, for some absurd reason, I love it. Sitting in a hide for hours on end and carrying ridiculously heavy kit literally miles isn't everyone's cup of tea, and to be honest, it's not mine either! But it's the bit in between that gives me such a sense achievement and proves that this whole 'having fun whilst working' thing is worth pursuing.

Ever since I can remember I've been turned on by wildlife and long lenses,but it's only really been in the last five years that it's all become rather serious. Springwatch, Autumnwatch & Snow Watch have been fantastic fun, and last year I was somehow trusted by the BBC producers to run riot around my home patch and film as much wildlife as I could set eyes on. The result: a little insight for this years Springwatch into how my 'skills' seem to do the trick when filming wildlife, skills which I have picked up purely from being out there watching and observing.

I feel the majority of understanding what's going on with wildlife is common sense. Yes, basic knowledge helps, but its no substitute for being out in the field.

Although I'm obsessed, I haven't completely lost it. I like a drink or two and spending time with friends, but given the choice between a rave and sitting alone alongside a Cumbrian river, I'd probably favour the latter.

If you fancy a career like the one I'm building, the best thing I can recommend is that you focus on the wildlife. I had no camera training whatsoever, and I only manage to produce what I do by understanding my subject. My camera skills improve all the time as I get to know more kit and hassle other cameramen about weird switches and menu preferences. When actually filming the only thing I'd go for is constantly change the shot size: so long as you capture the main action it doesn't matter whether it's a wide or tight shot, the fact is you got it! The more variation you get, the easier it is to edit.

One last thing: 60% of where I am today is due to luck and the other 40% is because I've met the most amazing, generous people recently and, thankfully, got on with them! I have always thought, and continue to think, that everything I shoot looks rubbish, but every time I see a shot of mine go out on national telly, I think wow...this is weird!

Watch some of Lindsay's footage from Springwatch 2010.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Top work Lindsay, I'd add a good percentage of talent plus the physical fitness to contend with the manual side of being a great cameraman are also your plus points, not to forget the GSOH. Best wishes on the continuing career doing what you love with a great team of people.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes, I agree, excellent work Lindsay. It must be fantastic to be able to make your passion into your job. I bet most people are not able to do that so more power to your elbow.
    Another point I wanted to make was where is Gordon? He seeme to only have appeared in a couple of episodes this series and they were pre-recorded pieces. Is he away filming for something else?

  • Comment number 3.

    Great stuff Lindsay. It's so good to see someone using the talent they have been given. You have managed, through your own hard work and dedication, to place yourself in the right place and with the right people. Keep asking the questions and seeking their advice, I'm sure they are all willing to help you. I wish you all the best in your career and I'm sure we will be hearing your name and seeing your work for many years. Grab every opportunity that comes your way.

  • Comment number 4.

    If you're reading this comment Lindz; 'good on ya mate'.


    I'd be lying if I said I don't Lindsay. How I'd love to be doing what he is, filming wildlife for a job, for Springwatch etc...

    Adam L Canning

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done to Lindsay, I think I speak for a lot of us when we say we are utterly jealous, and a damn fine job done on living the dream. Good footage too.

    Did we get any results on the deer carcass? Bit of time-lapse on that could be very interesting.


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