Planet earth II has some incredible footage. One of the major differences I've noticed in the second series is that the footage appears to get much closer and follow the animals a lot more. That got me wondering, how did the camera crew manage to get all of these shots without disturbing or distracting the animals? For example:

Sloth swimming around:

Snakes hunting baby iguanas:

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    I seen a guy take a picture of a crater on the moon, and he wasn't even in space when he did it. Just sayin'. ;o) Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 6:02
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    @JohnnyBones yes, but he didn't take a video that rotates around the crater. Planet earth 1 seems to have a lot of long distance video. Planet earth 2 seems to have something more Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 6:03
  • I don't see rotation, I see panning shots from multiple angles. Those could easily be done with a zoom lens, and not even a very powerful one. They're probably 40 or 50 feet from the subject, maybe further. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 6:07
  • Robots probably ! I have seen documentaries where they film tigers, elephants, bears with a turtle shaped robocam in disguise.Similar technique might be employed for underwater filming.
    – Rahul
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 8:07
  • I don't know for sure hence this is only a comment, but I heard they used a lot more drone-mounted cameras and camera traps this time. There's also habituation - the crew spend a long time where they film, and many animals (particularly mammals) can learn that humans with cameras aren't a threat - part of the skill of wildlife photography is getting the animals to tolerate you like this Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


Here are a series of articles and video-links about some of the behind-the-scenes work:






Also, after each episode, there is a brief segment showing how they captured one of the more intense scenes of the episode. They will likely all be contained, with probably more, on the DVD/BRD release for Planet Earth II.

The Blu-Ray UK release is scheduled for 2016-12-05, but there is no date for the 4K UHD US release: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Planet-Earth-II-BD-Blu-ray/dp/B01M629REH/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1479813140&sr=1-1&keywords=planet+earth+ii+4k


In summary, it's a collection of new and old footage, and some captive/trained animals, but generally seems to be just a mix of persistence, technology, and sometimes just walking right-up to them.

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