Filming in the National Park has got to be one of the unsurpassable pleasures in life!
Through the lens, one is able to communicate what we one sees, so effectively. Take this shot that I took, it tells a lot of what I saw that day in this landscape!
It may not mean anything factually, but it made me think of rings and bands, and age of trees. Just right there, and perhaps to some of you viewing this, it reinforces the message as it did to me the value of national parks, of veteran trees, of ancient woodland and the Environment Act, and to me, my role as ranger.
Seeing through the lens or being viewed through a lens elicits various responses
‘Bernard go to bed’ said someone on the street! BG02 BED
You guessed it right, it is a number plate that someone read out to us as we were set-up with a tripod on the lane, adjacent to the Church yard at Bakewell. Bizarre as it may seem, he told us what he saw in the street when he saw us looking through the lens! It may even have been his car, which I believe it was.
The red deer on Big Moor saw us alright, with our compact camera and SLR and tripods. As Divya said, if she were to have been walking around with her tripod placed more strategically, they might be coming towards her instead of going away from her 🙂 I believe red deer have been camera ready long before cameras came along. Even at this time of the year, when the stags are losing their antlers, and their manes are becoming less fluffier, their stylised gait, which buzzes around in my dancers head as kullukku nadai, makes them a magnet for the lens.
It is a shame we didn’t catch the adders, I even tempted them by laying still on the bone dry heather and sun basking, in the hope that they would come join me. But I suppose they prefer the company of a tin sheet to that of an ignorant ranger 🙂
We always seem to land on our feet first when tumbling down the great space of weather uncertainty on our days out for this project. Our project must have started on a shubha muhurth (opportune or auspicious time to start) as some in the community say. It pleases everyone to go out on a bright fine day with blue skies and a light pleasant breeze, especially when such a day comes at the fag end of winter. Our filming days have caused least inconvenience to the filmmakers, with their steel framed cold-attracting tripods and endless minutes spent fingering little buttons out in the open, thanks in good measure to accurate mountain weather forecasts.
Talking of fingers, myself and the rangers did some finger-acting for the first time! Ah, there is no end to the possibilities and opportunities one can create through the lens. Through letters in archives and maps on walls, our fingers raced through routes and words, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes pointed, sometimes lain down.
We captured mood..
and mortality in the countryside.
Being indoors to talk about the National Park is frustrating if not excruciating. It didn’t work at all for at least one of us. It was magic when we returned outdoors!
Yet we endured, we spoke, we discussed, we reflected and talked, sitting at the Hatchery as the last recording session went well into the small hours. Pizza came to the rescue of some hungry hard working Phds and would-be Phds who came to talk about their experience of the project. Past midnight, and we became delusional 🙂 And we turned our lens on it, the result is..
We would really like to thank all those who put themselves through this ordeal – the rangers, the project participants, the red deer and everything else including the little beetle that I captured and released on Big Moor, a disturbing influence of Hidden Kingdoms!