Raytec VARIO2 illuminators have been installed in the greater Kruger National Park in South Africa to capture amazing footage of some rather large and wild animals. Raytec illuminators have been used in some of the most challenging and exciting environments globally, everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of Borneo, and when specialist wildlife film makers WildEarth were looking for a solution for their live night time filming needs they turned to Raytec for support.
In the film and TV industry where picture quality is everything, outstanding illumination was essential for producing the best images. WildEarth deployed state of the art 4K cameras to capture high definition images of elephants, lions and leopards. But when it comes to filming at night, ethics plays the most important role in how the images are captured. Using visible white-light would disturb or temporarily blind the animals, or even affect the outcome of their hunts. Therefore, powerful infra-red lighting was chosen which would have no negative effect on the wildlife, but would help the cameras perform over long distances in the dead of night.
Choosing VARIO2 i8-3
Highly recommended by other wildlife journalists, WildEarth looked to Raytec infra-red lighting as a powerful yet invisible solution which would allow the cameras to generate outstanding black and white images at night. They chose the ‘VARIO2 i8-3’ which delivers distances up to 600m+ with 5 different angle options that can be changed on site – giving them the flexibility to adapt the illumination at each location. With VARIO holographic lensing, the illuminators produce a highly even spread of light, which allowed WildEarth to capture consistent images of the animals anywhere in the scene with no bright or dark spots.
“We’ve been so impressed by the Raytec IR lighting” comments Jeandre Gerding, Head of Camera Operations for WildEarth. “Not only have the illuminators allowed us to film incredible footage in zero light conditions, but the fact that they are low voltage means that we can conveniently power them via battery from our mobile camera vehicles”.
Guaranteed lighting power
The IR needed to guarantee exactly how much light it would deliver on scene because higher megapixel cameras generally require more light to generate the resolutions they are capable of, and the film crew wanted to guarantee perfect pictures of the animals. Raytec scientifically measure the performance of all their illuminators, and guarantee a recommended 0.35 μW/cm2 of lighting power at the maximum distance of all of their infra-red illuminators – reassuring WildEarth that they would achieve suitably high-quality images every time.
All Raytec illuminators are highly robust and can withstand the most extreme temperatures and humidity. IP66 rated, they require zero maintenance and deliver a reliable 10-year life out in the field – perfect for any demanding environment.