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Introducing Ben Southall - Nikon Contributor

14 June, 2011 | Ben Southall | Comments

Ben enjoying his time at the helm of Sunshine 009

We’d like you to meet Ben Southall, the latest Nikon Contributor on My Nikon Life. You may remember Ben as the winner of the Best Job in the World competition, enjoying six months of blogging and photographing his adventures as the Island caretaker for the Great Barrier Reef.

Ben is now out on a new adventure – and a big one at that! He’s aiming to kayak over 1600kms over four months across the Great Barrier Reef. As a Nikon Contributor he’s going to be bringing some incredible images and videos from his adventure for us to enjoy.

We sat down with Ben to ask him about the expedition and to learn about the Nikon camera gear he is going to be using on his trip …

What would an average day on your expedition hold?

An average day on the expedition doesn’t really exist! So far we’ve woken up in some incredible locations from reef to rivers and every morning when the sun rises there are new images and experiences to take onboard.

You’ve been lucky enough to see and spend time on the Great Barrier Reef while working in the Best Job in the World – what tropical creatures/scenes do you like to take photos of?

I’m really interested in the images that can allow other people to place themselves in my shoes and see what I’m seeing. Sharing these experiences with people is the entire reason I’m here doing the job so adding interactive panoramic photos are one of my favourite mediums.

What do you like to take photos of on and off duty?

I’m really lucky with this one I suppose, my job IS my way of life – travel, beaches, sunshine and good times. Capturing photos during my days can be either for work or pleasure!


Photo from Ben Southall

What is it about the COOLPIX P500 that makes it good for for capturing the behind the scenes story as taken by your crew?

Having a camera that is versatile for all situations is important for the crew and that’s where the P500 comes into its own. They could be spotting whales in the distance when the 36x optical zoom comes into its own or focusing on the smallest shell on the beach in macro mode. Having the ability to grab it and capture the moment is vital.

What is it about the D7000 and the lenses that make them perfect for recording your expedition?

I’ve always tried to use an SLR camera when I can, having a multitude of lens options when underwater capturing the life on the reef is very important. I’ll dive taking all wide shots on the first dive and then swap to a macro lens once I know what I’ll be concentrating on down there for the second.

Specifically what features will be most useful?

Using the D7000 is perfect as the ability to record and edit full HD movies is just what I need to get the images and footage across the world via the website and internet.


Photo from Ben Southall

What are you most looking forward to photographing?

At some stage in the adventure we’re bound to come across some migrating Humpback Whales. My camera will always be at the ready for experiences such as this…hopefully underwater!

You’re taking a D7000 DSLR – which do you think you might use more – video or stills?

Ultimately the D7000 will be used for stills but when the housing goes on and I take it underwater having the ability to switch between the two will be fantastic.

How important has technology been in realising and sharing your journey so far?

I’m afraid I really am a bit of a gadget freak and always like to stay ahead of the latest technology developments! They do honestly help me in my job though; social networking can be done in so many ways now and using technology to report on things literally as they happen is the norm. MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, Nikon cameras with GPS systems all help!

What highlights can the MNL members look forward to as you share your stories?

Any interaction with nature is one to be treasured. It’s not that often we poke our heads underwater to see what’s going on there and when I do the sheer amount of life still mystifies and bedazzles me – sharing these experiences throughout the expedition will be the greatest gift I can give.

If you’d like to know more about Ben, why not check out his My Nikon Life profile?

Visit Ben’s Profile


Learn more about the D7000 by watching the product tour or by heading to the D7000 gear page.


Learn more about the COOLPIX P500 by watching the product tour or by heading to the COOLPIX P500 gear page.


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