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National Geographic’s Bertie Gregory Battles the Elements with Sachtler

As a 22-year-old filmmaker and photographer, Bertie Gregory had a lot to offer when National Geographic recruited him to assist veteran photojournalist Steve Winter. After spending six months in South Africa and Sri Lanka, Gregory received his first solo assignment: a three-month expedition on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.

“I was on the beach most of the time, so I had to deal with saltwater and sand everywhere, along with a bunch of wind and rain. Basically, if you wanted to destroy your camera equipment, you’d go on this trip,” jokes Gregory.

Ultimately he decided to use Sachtler’s SpeedLock CF tripod paired with Sachtler’s Video 18 S1 fluid head. Gregory’s schedule kept him active and nomadic, and the tripod’s weight didn’t slow him down while he traveled.

“With other tripods and fluid heads, it’s usually game over when you expose them to sand because they get defective and there’s this horrible noise every time you pan. But that never happened with the Sachtler—even with water and sand all over it. I didn’t even have to think about if the gear was going to be okay. It just was.”

To avoid missing vital shots, Gregory took advantage of the tripod’s SpeedLock clamping system, which allowed him to conveniently telescope all three parts with one release. “The SpeedLock legs are wonderful because, with wildlife photography, it’s all about that one moment. The fact that Sachtler has something like that is a game-changer. It’s the difference between capturing a moment and missing it.”