As a Nikon Ambassador, I have worked closely with my friends at Nikon Asia since 2004. From shooting new product advertising campaigns to hosting photography workshops and seminars to judging sponsored reality television shows, Nikon and I have partnered on a wide variety of creative collaborations over the past decade.
This past January, I was asked to a meeting at the Nikon offices in Singapore. Although I was not informed of the specific agenda, I was more than happy to see my friends from the Regional Marketing team for a discussion about upcoming projects and partnership opportunities in the year ahead. I had no idea Nikon would request I work with them on the launch of the brand new Nikon D4S.
Creatively, I and my team -- consisting of my long-time partners Mike Rogers, Meghan Shea and Annette Fausboll -- was given a very long leash. The only thing Nikon insisted was that we take the D4S on an extreme adventure.
We knew immediately where we wanted to go: the enigmatic Kingdom of Bhutan.
We decided to bring the D4S on a trek in Bhutan's Himalayan Mountains. We had only one small problem: none of us had any experience with this type of adventure. So we reached out to Ian Mangiardi, the high altitude trekking specialist from The King's Challenge. With Ian's help, we planned a route that would take our team beyond 4,000m (nearly 14,000 feet), pushing the limits of both the camera and ourselves.
Working within the broad creative framework of "I Am Perfected By Pros", Nikon gave our team three specific content deliverables: a Camera Test demonstrating the camera's new features and innovative technology; a Behind the Scenes video giving viewers a glimpse into the shoot production and logistics; and a short, scripted Narrative film shot entirely on the D4S.
In a word, our Camera Test and Behind the Scenes shoots were epic. A team of 10 Bhutanese guides led our crew of eight people, while their 21 pack horses carried all of our supplies and gear (and there was A LOT of gear) on an unforgettable adventure. With the local insight and assistance, we were privileged to witness and document the rugged beauty and friendly people of Bhutan: filming an early morning archery competition at sunrise, visiting a monastery on a mountain with a single monk living inside, experiencing an unexpected overnight storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on our campsite, singing traditional Bhutanese songs by campfire with an elderly yak herder and sharing breathtaking views of Jomolhari, Bhutan’s highest mountain.
Immediately following the trek, our team jumped straight into shooting our Narrative movie about a young Bhutanese girl's journeys across the countryside. Led by Director-and-Writer team Mike and Meghan, making this film was a unique opportunity for me to wear a different creative hat and gain experience assisting them in producing and shooting a short scripted movie.
As I say in "A Journey To Perfection", never in my career have I taken a camera straight out of the box and onto assignment. But having taken the D4S above 4,000m and through more than 5,000 frames, I can confidently say... I Am Impressed.
See previous multimedia content created by our team for Nikon Asia for the launch of the Nikon 1 V1 camera.
Client: Nikon Asia
Executive Producer: Annette Fausboll
Director / DoP: Mike Rogers
Writers & Producers: Meghan Shea & Elizabeth Jensen
Editors: David Flood & Mark Chua
Assistant Cameras: Sangay, Rinchen & David Flood
Trekking Specialist: Ian Mangiardi
Production Assistant / Fixer: Sonam Tshering
Scott calibrating two D4S, one D4 and three D800E camera bodies before starting the shoot in Bhutan.
Mike getting our homemade D4S and D800E “Elephant” rig set-up so we could film the D4S’ new Group-Area AF through the viewfinder.
Scott and the D4S at Jimi Langsto Lake after an overnight snowfall.
Mike capturing the majestic Himalayan Mountains with the D800E at Jimi Langsto Lake.
Scott pushing the limits of the new Nikon D4S’ high ISO in the candlelight on location in Bhutan.
Mike shooting an archery competition in Thimphu with the brand new D4S.
Mike filming our child actors playing marbles on location for our narrative film, “Taking Aim”, shot entirely on the new D4S.
Mike setting-up the D4S on a jib on location for Nikon in Paro.
Scott setting-up a timelapse on the new D4S early one morning at Jele Dzong.
Scott at Tashidingkha at the conclusion of the D4S “Journey To Perfection” camera test shoot.
About SCOTT A. WOODWARD
Singapore-based, Canadian photographer Scott A. Woodward calls his photography style “Choose Your Own Adventure Photography”, after the books he used to read as a young boy. Literally and creatively, Scott can go one direction and discover a remarkable photographic opportunity, or he can go another direction and find something entirely different; it is this adventure that is the beauty of photography for him.
Scott’s unique narrative photographic style has resulted in him being honoured by Luerzer’s Archive as one of the “200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” and chosen by Nikon as “One of Asia’s Finest Photographers”. Scott’s reportage and lifestyle photography features regularly in international publications such as National Geographic Magazine, GEO, Condé Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Monocle, VOGUE, GQ, Esquire and The New York Times. He has photographed international advertising campaigns for many celebrated global brands including Google, Adidas, MasterCard, Nokia, Bacardi, Diageo, Nestle, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson.
Scott is a Getty Images Global Assignments photographer. He is also a Nikon Professional Photographer, an ambassador for Nikon Singapore and a SanDisk Extreme Team member.
Visit http://www.scottawoodward.com/ for more information and to browse Scott’s portfolio of work.
About MICHAEL K. ROGERS
Michael K. Rogers is a founder and director at Persistent Productions. Mike has broad international experience working as a director and cinematographer with numerous production companies including National Geographic Television, Discovery Networks, Dog Eat Dog Films and The Smithsonian Network.
Mike began his career at National Geographic Television headquarters in Washington DC and has contributed to series such as ‘Hunter and Hunted’, ‘Is it Real’ and specials such as ‘The Secrets of Machu Picchu’ and ‘The Forbidden Tomb of Genghis Khan’. Most recently Mike filmed and directed the hit series ‘Life’s a Beach’ with Angela Khan for TLC.
As an American raised in Asia, Mike has deep production and lived experience in the region. In addition to working with major broadcasters, Mike has been the cinematographer on a number of independent films like Up the Mountain Down to River, a character led retrospective of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, HBO’s Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Moxie Firecracker’s Thank You Mr. President and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. Mike is able to seamlessly pair his on-set and directorial experience with his ability to create beautiful images.
Visit http://persistentproductions.com/ for more information and to browse Mike’s portfolio of work.
© Scott A Woodward