In a world that is surrounded by images everywhere what must visual content in the world of travel and reality shows do to stand head and shoulder the rest? Some might say that the shows must have higher production values along with the use of state of the art technology. They would not be wrong if they said that. In the digital and production universe young artists are bringing with them intimate knowledge of the newest camera technology along with more efficient ways to achieve desired image results. They also bring a willingness to achieve great things and the energy to explore new possibilities in cinematography.
One of the shows that is certainly open to all of this is Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope. It has been airing on PBS for ten seasons, has been nominated for twelve Emmys, won 6 Emmys (one for cinematography) and won 40 Telly Awards. It’s very charismatic host and creator Joseph Rosendo has personally won 4 of those Emmys, 2 for directing and the other 2 for being the outstanding host that he is. By the way, the show has also been nominated several times for Best Cinematography.
Season 9 saw Mr. Rosendo win his latest 2 personal Emmys and that is, coincidentally, when the experienced cinematographer Marko Alonso worked on the show. That season was also nominated for best cinematography. He joined the production to fill in for Jon Speyers, who was nominated for four cinematography Emmys for past shows.
A great deal of the attention that a travel show gets is due to the astonishing and unique images that it presents. To make a show like that takes a lot of people, let’s face it, but it is usually the host and the images that are remembered the longest. The sound and the music play important roles, no doubt, but the images remain in your memory long after you stop watching the show.
The cinematography in travel shows, Marko tells us, maintains the attention for the audience for the duration of the show. The camera work can also differentiate between different episodes by giving each of them a different and unique look and feel.
Marko has worked on countless projects as a cinematographer and he understands the challenges of working on a travel show. The first thing a cinematographer must be ready to do is to travel. He or she has to be passport ready to fly halfway across the planet and then be ready to start shooting immediately. The cinematographer has to be ready for the unexpected and he or she must also be prepared to use the available natural light in any given situation and be willing and ready to work in an uncontrolled space. Oh, and he also said that the cinematographer must bring ALL of the camera equipment, which means a set of zoom lenses, tripod, two cameras, and lots of memory cards. And don’t forget the batteries. Plenty of them!
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