Saturday, 25 February 2017 08:00

Nikon documentary filmed that includes young Pincher Creek area photographer

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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Josiah Launstein captures the lush green vegetation in the mist while in Thailand.  Launstein of Pincher Creek travelled to Thailand in the summer of 2016 to be featured in a film by Nikon Singapore for his wildlife and conservation photography. He loved every minute of it, with hiking and being able to photograph things he wouldn’t get the chance to in Canada. Josiah Launstein captures the lush green vegetation in the mist while in Thailand. Launstein of Pincher Creek travelled to Thailand in the summer of 2016 to be featured in a film by Nikon Singapore for his wildlife and conservation photography. He loved every minute of it, with hiking and being able to photograph things he wouldn’t get the chance to in Canada. Photo by John Launstein

Josiah Launstein had the opportunity to travel to Thailand in the summer of 2016 for photography purposes.


Nikon Singapore contacted Josiah, an 11-year-old who hails from the Pincher Creek area, about flying to that country for a film production about him and his wildlife and conservation photography. He was eager to take part and travelled there at the end of July last year for 13 days.
Josiah says his experience was awesome, even though they had some troubles getting to Thailand and his luggage went awry. 
“It was really fun and exciting to be there, although it was crazy hot and humid. I loved hiking in the rainforests and climbing the mountains. I even got to hike into Laos for one scene,” says Josiah.
He had never done anything like that before, so he didn’t know what to expect with the filming, but once they started, he says it was a lot of fun. He enjoyed the director and working with the entire film crew.
When Josiah was first contacted by Nikon officials, he was leery about going. He also didn’t believe he was chosen for a film about himself.
“I was really excited and honoured for sure. Then I had a Skype meeting with the producer and one of his assistants and I felt a lot more excited about it and really wanted to do it,” adds Josiah.
He went for a hike with his father John in the coulees around their home and talked about what it would be like and became more excited so he decided to take part.
When Josiah showed up on set for the first day with his father, there were 56 people all focused on him. He says it was a little overwhelming. Once Josiah realized he was mostly going to be hiking through the rainforests and photographing, he relaxed and was more comfortable.
“I love animals and I really enjoy photography, so I guess it just comes naturally. My dad and sister were always out photographing wildlife and I got to come along with them. By the time I was seven I wanted to start taking pictures too and I just really got into it,” he adds.
Josiah’s favourite part of wildlife photography is being out in the places wild animals live.
“My favourite species to photograph is Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and I love the challenge of hiking up to where they hang out to get good pictures. I also really love just hanging out with whatever animal I’m photographing,” adds Josiah.
While in Thailand, Josiah woke up early every morning and then hiked to get to the area they would be filming that day. Along the way, Josiah saw a lot of the country and climbed four mountains.
He photographed many animals he would never get to see in Canada.
“I even got to photograph a tarantula. My favourite was photographing the elephants,” says Josiah.
“My overall favourite experience was one I wasn’t expecting. I had to climb down into a river valley to photograph a gecko and then they had me climb up a really long waterfall for one of the scenes.”
Josiah says whenever people ask him for photography advise he says his dad taught him to photograph what you love and it will show in your pictures.
“I never would have thought I would love photographing a tarantula or gibbons, but now I realize I just love photographing all kinds of animals. I’m really glad I got to go all the way to Thailand and do this, and I’m really honoured Nikon chose to do a film about me.”
Josiah is the youngest ever to be named the Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year in 2015 and John thinks that’s what originally caught the attention of Nikon Singapore.
The production schedule ended up being less than two weeks after John opened up their wildlife photography gallery and had their grand opening.
“We had a crazy run of issues actually getting to Thailand, but the experience was pretty fantastic. Josiah and I loved the Reservoir Production team and even the process of getting the scenes,” adds John.
The main film about Josiah was released Dec. 7, and John says it quickly became “one of their most loved films to date,” according to Nikon Asia, with more than 1.1 million views in the first two weeks. Since Dec. 7, Nikon has released the behind-the-scenes ‘Making Of’ feature as well.
“We’re really anxious to see the Director’s Cut as well, which is supposed to be released sometime soon. Nikon officials chose to use an adult voice for the narration on the main film so people connect with this wildlife photographer and then discover he is an 11-year-old boy,” adds John.
This was something totally different for Josiah.
John says Josiah had been reading the script over and over, the week before the trip and during the
47 hours of travel getting to his destination.
Within five minutes of the first scene, Josiah and the director were laughing and making changes together. Josiah was always asking the director and director of photography if they needed him to do certain things.
John says Nikon was intrigued by the fact that Josiah, Jenaya and John photograph wildlife together as a family, but wanted to explore the father-son relationship.
John’s wife Melanie stayed home and managed their newly-opened gallery in the Crowsnest Pass.
People can view the film by visiting the Launstein Photography website at: http://www.launstein imagery.com/.
Once the directors cut is posted, John will post a link on their website as well.

Read 683 times Last modified on Monday, 27 February 2017 07:58

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