Autumnwatch: Changing of the Guard - November 2013 | BBC 2
This is a short film made for Autumnwatch about migration. In Britain we are lucky to live where swallows spend the summer and geese spend the winter. Between them these birds travel a large part of the globe.
When the wind swings into the north and the swallows leave I love to think of them spending the winter in the company of elephants while the geese have just parted from polar bears in Greenland.
These are barnacle geese by the way, rather than white-fronted geese.
Hebrides - Islands on the Edge - July 2013 | BBC2
The series went down very well when it was first shown just in Scotland and has also had a network transmission on BBC2.
DVDs and Blu-ray discs of the series are now available here on Amazon for instance.
Hebrides series - Spring 2012 filming | BBC Scotland
The spring was very busy. A huge pod of common dolphins which came close to Skye in May were a great bonus.
A summer filming update and more pictures to follow soon. Meanwhile check out #BBCHebrides or @johnaitchison1 on Twitter.
The series will be transmitted in 2013
Continue reading: Hebrides series - Spring 2012 filming | BBC Scotland
Wild Arabia - BBC | November 2011/March 2012
Wild Arabia is a new three-part series being produced by the BBC Natural History Unit.
John filmed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (here with Fredi Devas) and in Jordan.
There were three parts to the UAE shoot: to film camel racing, falconry in the desert and the flocks of flamingos which winter close to the spectacular skyline of Dubai city.
You can see a sequence John filmed of harriers hunting migrant songbirds here.
Racing camels here.
Flamingos in Dubai here.
Continue reading: Wild Arabia - BBC | November 2011/March 2012
Frozen Planet | BBC 1 and Discovery Channel
John was a wildlife cameraman on Frozen Planet, the BBC's polar sequel to Planet Earth, which started transmission towards the end of October 2011. There are seven episodes in total.
He filmed shearwaters and humpbacked whales gathering to feed in the Aleutians, gentoo penguins exploding from waves and being hunted by southern sealions in the Falkland Islands, emperor penguins leaping from the Ross sea in super slow motion then struggling back to their colony, young adelie penguins leaving their colonies on the Antarctic peninsula and learning to swim while leopard seals hunted them through the ice floes, fur seals fighting and giving birth in South Georgia where young wandering albatross were also taking their first flights, polar bears eating berries and wrestling on the coast of Hudson Bay as well as searching for nesting eider ducks and Arctic terns in Svalbard where other Arctic birds, including Brunnich's guillemots, nest on immense seacliffs.
You can see one of the series trailers here.
Continue reading: Frozen Planet | BBC 1 and Discovery Channel
Hebrides series - 2011 filming | BBC Scotland
In recent years more basking sharks have been returning to the sea around Coll and Tiree. These are the second largest fish in the world, some of them up to nine metres long. Filming the sharks takes a great deal of planning and luck and was a highlight of the summer.
This series will be transmitted early in 2013
Continue reading: Hebrides series - 2011 filming | BBC Scotland
A View through a Lens - series 3 | BBC Radio 4
Wildlife cameraman John Aitchison often finds himself in isolated and even dangerous locations across the globe filming wildlife. In this series he reflects on the uniqueness of human experience, the beauty of nature, the fragility of life and the connections which unite society and nature across the globe.
1.Taking the Plunge
On a remote island close to the Antarctic Circle, hungry leopard seals patrol the waters where young Adelie penguins are learning to swim.
2. Funky Chickens
In Kansas, land of the prairies and the ‘wild west’, John discovers some very funky chickens.
John travels to Svalbard to film polar bears hunting for food and reflects on what it means to be patient.
4. Fur Seals
On a very small island in the South Atlantic, amidst the noise and aggression of battling male fur seals, something very beautiful and tender happens.
5. Shearwater Hurricane
John travels to the Aleutian islands to film one of Nature’s greatest feeding spectacles.
Written and presented by wildlife cameraman John Aitchison
Additional sound recordings by Chris Watson and Miles Barton
Produced by Sarah Blunt
Stamps feature Frozen Planet wildlife and cameramen
South Georgia and the British Antarctic Territories regularly issue their own stamps which are collected all over the world.
In September 2011, to commemorate the new BBC series Frozen Planet, South Georgia will issue stamps with photos of wildlife and of the four wildlife cameramen Ian McCarthy, John Aitchison, Ted Giffords and Martyn Colbeck filming for the series.
Time to get used to having our backs licked! Will it tickle?
Read more about the stamps here.
Continue reading: Stamps feature Frozen Planet wildlife and cameramen
Slow motion filming for National Geographic in Brazil | April 2011
This is the island of Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil where John spent two weeks this April.
Continue reading: Slow motion filming for National Geographic in Brazil | April 2011
Living in a blizzard in the Cairngorms | February 2011
Ptarmigan are some of the hardiest birds in the world. These two, on Cairngorm mountain, were busily feeding in high winds and drifting snow when I filmed them for a BBC series, Cairngorms - A Year in the WIld.
Continue reading: Living in a blizzard in the Cairngorms | February 2011
Polar bears wrestling | November 2010
Young polar bears waiting for Hudson Bay to freeze pass the time by wrestling. This looks like play and perhaps it is but it also allows the bears to test each other's strength, saving them from dangerous fights if they should encounter each other later out on the ice.
Polar bears | Seal River Lodge, Canada
A polar bear at sunrise with ice fog rising behind it. Hudson Bay is starting to freeze.
Photo courtesy Sean Crane.
You can see more of Sean's excellent wildlife photographs here.
Continue reading: Polar bears | Seal River Lodge, Canada
A View Through A Lens - series 2 | BBC Radio 4 Autumn 2010
John often finds himself in isolated and even dangerous locations across the globe filming wildlife, and in this series he reflects on the uniqueness of human experience, the beauty of nature, the fragility of life and the connections which unite society and nature across the globe.
Photo courtesy Chadden Hunter.
Continue reading: A View Through A Lens - series 2 | BBC Radio 4 Autumn 2010
BAFTA for Yellowstone "Winter" Cinematography | May 2010
The Yellowstone camera team (John, Paul Stewart, Shane Moore, John Shier and Aerial Camera Systems) were given the BAFTA Factual Cinematography award in May.
John was delighted to be there with Producer Andrew Murray and AP Nathan Budd to accept the award on everyone's behalf.
The series was also nominated for a Cinematography Emmy.
A View Through A Lens - series 1 | BBC Radio 4 2009
One episode ("Wolves") was about John's experiences trying to film Yellowstone's Druid Peak wolf pack hunting elk in the depths of winter.
All five episodes were broadcast in December 2009 and repeated in 2010.
Produced by Sarah Blunt of the BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol.
BBC series link.