Morley Read PhD is a freelance biologist, stills photographer and videographer currently resident in Ecuador, South America.
From the biological point of view there is an exceptional diversity of habitats in this country, ranging from snowcapped volcanoes, cloudforest and lowland rainforest within easy reach of my home. One of my areas of specialist interest is herpetology, particularly frogs. Ecuador has the highest amphibian biodiversity per unit area than any other country in the world. I currently carry out contract work as a biological consultant, mostly for oil companies working in the Ecuadorian Amazon, but am devoting an increasing amount of time to photography.
My first filming experience was with Super 8 film when our expedition to Trinidad was selected as finalist for the BBC Natural History Unit Mick Burke Award. Our film “The Herpetology of Trinidad” was broadcast in 1979. Following this I continued working with the Natural History Unit on an occasional basis, as a researcher and contributing specialist sequences in 16mm film, mostly shot in Trinidad where I carried out my PhD research.
In 1986 I directed and filmed “Iere Land of the Hummingbird” for the Trinidadian company Pearl and Dean Caribbean Ltd, the first TV wildlife documentary to be produced by a local company.
Worked nearly full time for a year in 1988 and 1999 as a researcher and cameraman for Partridge Films, London and Genesis Films, Oxford, mainly for the series “The Sexual Imperative”.
Resident in Ecuador since 1990, contributed footage for the BBC Natural History Unit production “Big Oil” and as researcher and coordinator for “Flames in the Forest”, Nexus Films, London. I received the semi-finalist award in the 2000 Animal Behaviour Society Film Festival for my work as cameraman on the documentary “Frogs the Movie” produced by Survival Anglia. I shot many of the key sequences for this programme, this time on video, using the Canon XL-1, in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador.
Material online is classified as follows:
DV PAL clips shot mostly with Canon XL-1 from 1998 to 2008.
HDV clips shot with the Canon HV30 between 2008 and 2010.
25p HD clips shot with the Canon 550D/T2i and 600D/T3i from May 2010 to present. Most of the macro work was shot in the field, with the Canon EF 100m macro. Extreme macro work is shot using an Olympus Zukio 20mm Macro Lens made in the 70's.
Recently (July 2013) am experimenting with a DJI Phantom remote controlled helicopter carrying a Gopro 3. The first shots are online, future shots will be gimbal stabilised.
I also have an extensive archival collection of material shot of Hi8 (mostly not online) from 1990 to 1998 documenting expeditions to remote and interesting places in Ecuador, and my experience with Indian tribes in the Amazon.
I specialize in recording frog calls which are useful in amphibian taxonomy and have produced several audio identification guides to the frogs of Ecuador and the Caribbean. In addition I have an extensive collection of nature recordings made in the Caribbean, South America and Europe, only a small fraction of this material is currently online here. However I recently digitized my entire audio collection so more should start appearing soon. Equipment used is as follows:
Before 1982: Sony TC-1535D cassette recorder
1982-1995: Sony TC-D5M cassette recorder
1995-2010: Sony TCD-5, TCD-8 DAT recorders
2011-present: Olympus LS-11 recorder
If you don’t find what you need in my portfolio I am available for contract, both for video and stills.