It seems the good news just keeps on coming this week — our nature film De Nieuwe Wildernis has hit the incredible mark of half a million visitors! This is really everything we could ever have hoped for. It’s very encouraging to see how much affinity people still have with nature.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can still do so in over 100 theaters in the Netherlands and in the Kinepolis theaters in Belgium.
I’m very happy to announce that I’ve been accepted as an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). It gives me great hope to know that so many talented image makers are united to fight for the future of our planet, and I am proud to be a part of such a committed group of conservationists.
The thing I love most about photography is how it is a passport to new places, interesting people, and unexpected experiences. Last summer I started working on a photo book about the French Thiérache and the relationship between humans and nature. It has been a really interesting experience on many levels. Last month for the first time in my life I went on a hunt. Tomorrow I’m joining a local butcher who lends his services to small-scale farmers in the region. I’ve plucked birds, gutted fish, and dissected quite a few animals, but still… After tomorrow I don’t think I will look at a slice of pork loin quite the same. That, too, is the power of photography.
Did you know that some insects are warm-blooded?
When this hawk moth feeds, it hovers with its body suspended motionless in the air and its wings flapping almost too fast to see. It is a treat to watch and, if you’re lucky, you may even be able to do so in your own garden.
The insect has adapted to drinking nectar in much the same way as a hummingbird has. In fact, the similarity is so striking that people often mistake it for a small hummingbird. And it goes beyond just appearance—they are similar in physiology as well. Flapping ones wings fast enough to hover, it turns out, is a very demanding thing to do. Like hummingbirds, hawk moths cope with this by raising their internal body temperature and their metabolism. In other words, they are warm-blooded, or “endothermic” as biologists prefer to call it.
When two organisms that are not closely related evolve the same traits independently, this is know as “convergent evolution”. If you haven’t heard about it before, you may be surprised to learn that it is actually quite a common phenomenon in nature.
…and I think the post-production people did an absolutely incredible job. I know I’m biased, but wow, really. It’s just amazing to see everything coming together after more than a year of shooting. I went to see a film the other day just to catch our trailer on the big screen. I know, it’s pathetic, but there you have it.
How about you—are you joining us on the “green carpet” premier September 23rd? It sure is going to be a special occasion, with the Metropole Orchestra performing the film’s music, and more things I look forward to but can’t tell you about just jet. Anyway, come say hello if you do!
The Dutch weekly radio show about nature and the environment Vroege Vogels (“Early Birds”) celebrates its 35th birhday this Sunday in a festive two-hour broadcast live from the lake Naardermeer nature reserve. I’ve been asked to go snorkeling in the lake and make a couple of short appearances to talk about the underwater world, underwater photography, and what’s special about lake Naardermeer in particular. And trust me, special it is. If you’re enough of an early bird yourself, tune in from 8.00–10.00h on Radio 1 tomorrow.
In Other Publicity-Related News
Last week’s weekend supplement of Dagblad van het Noorden carried a story by Esther van der Meer, who joined me in the Oostvaardersplassen on my very last day of filming for De Nieuwe Wildernis. If you missed it you can catch the PDF here. I enjoyed the story, hope you do too.