Footage Focus – Fred Olivier

Footage focus – Fred Olivier

This month our footage spotlight falls on the work of Fred Olivier.

Frederique Olivier, known as Fred, has worked in varied environments worldwide and has contributed work to many iconic natural history television series. Her background is in environmental management and marine ecology. Ever versatile, Fred has been a science diver, photographer, expedition guide, commercial skipper, cameraperson and media producer. Combining her science background with media experience, Fred’s goal is to contribute imagery to support nature and wildlife conservation. Here are some of our favourite clips from her recent material.

Penguins show their speed in the water

Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) swimming beneath sea ice, Antarctica. (Click here to see full details of clip).

This shot shows the amazing speed and agility of penguins underwater, where they are truly in their element!

My first encounter with hummingbirds

Black chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) feeding, Castle Valley, Utah, USA. (Click here to see full details of clip)

Fred shared the story behind the clip. “This was my first encounter with hummingbirds. I learned that they are very attracted to sugary water in a red bowl. People in the community tend to put these feeders out to help the birds during the hot months. I took this shot by strapping a GoPro to the bowl. The bird was shy at first but progressively got used to the camera being there. Eventually I was able to witness the courting flights when the male makes a huge U-shaped crazy fast dive-flight around the female. I was lucky to be only a few metres away having my breakfast, observing this bird from the deck every morning!”

Shaky devil of the Australian desert

Thorny devil (Moloch horridus)walking around flowering parakeelya (Calandrinia polyandra), Shark Bay, Western Australia. (Click here to see full details of clip).

“My favourite reptile! The thorny devil adopts this particular way of walking in order to camouflage itself in the desert. The regular walking pace is visible to predators, but this back-and-forth robotic movement acts as a distraction. Maybe it looks like a branch in the wind?” 

Walking on thin ice

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) walking on melting pack ice, Svalbard, Norway. (Click here to see full details of clip).

We encountered this polar bear a few degrees north of Svalbard, on the ice edge. Not long ago, the Arctic pack ice was still surrounding Svalbard leaving the bears free to come and go. But nowadays the ice retreats much further north, leaving part of the polar bear population on the islands of Svalbard. Nowadays a polar bear may have to swim for upto 9 days in open water before reaching ice. Their habitat is shrinking rapidly.”

A different kind of Christmas crab

Tawny hermit crab (Coenobita rugosus) emerging from its shell, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, Australian Territory. (Click here to see full details of clip).

“The red crabs are the stars on Christmas island. However, when I took a closer look on the forest ground behind the beaches, I found many other species of crustacean – such as this hermit crab. Whilst out on a shoot filming red crabs, it was a nice little break to find something else to film!” 

Find out more about Fred’s work

Fred has filmed many land and marine creatures and captured some intriguing behaviour. She has particularly strong coverage on Antarctica and the sub-antarctic region, where she has spent much time over the last 20 years. To play any of the video links in the gallery below, just click on “image info” when you enlarge the image.

Check out Fred’s footage highlights gallery

Finally, do check out Fred’s footage highlights gallery, containing more of her clips and more details of her interesting and varied career.