25 April 2024

Into the wild with Kristi Odom

Find out how wildlife conservation photographer Kristi Odom uses the Atomos Ninja not only to get closer to nature, but as an essential tool teaching fellow photographers in her educational workshops.

By Atomos
Kristi (pictured) is also a Nikon Ambassador

Wildlife conservation photographer Kristi Odom shares her life-long passion for nature through photography and filmmaking. She believes that photography has the power to connect people to wildlife and inspires others to follow suit using their own camera. As a Nikon Ambassador and Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, she understands the importance of possessing a reliable set of tools and trusts the Atomos Ninja V to further enhance the capabilities of her camera.

As someone who admired photography from an early age, Kristi expressed a curiosity in the field when she first discovered her grandfather’s camera. She went on to study electrical engineering while developing her talents as a photographer for her college student newspaper. It wasn’t until later, when Kristi graduated with a fine arts degree in Australia, that her passion for wildlife began to flourish. “From this moment I fell more in love with wildlife and developed a true dedication for the arts.”

Having amassed more than 60 international photography awards with images featuring either online or in print in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, and at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Kristi now shares her photography expertise with others. She travels the world delivering educational workshops to budding and professional photographers with the aim of emotionally connecting them to animals, wildlife, and the natural wonders of the earth. She encourages her participants to learn a range of skills to help get the best out of their images, including utilising the correct tools and adjusting camera settings. “It’s such a rewarding experience developing the next generation of storytellers. I love being able to use a camera to serve and protect the planet, while teaching others how to help protect the wildlife and animals,” says Kristi.

“At my workshops I always get asked, ‘What’s on top of your camera?’ I say – that’s my Atomos Ninja!”

Kristi explores the Bolivian Amazon as part of the B&H wildlife video series
The Ninja captures the hummingbird's movements

Geared up and ready to go 

When Kristi’s away from her home in Longmont, Colorado, she selects her equipment resourcefully to ensure all eventualities are covered on her travels. Kristi’s go-to set-up include the Nikon Z8 and Z9 mirrorless cameras, in addition to a wide range of lenses to procure shots from different angles. However, it’s the monitor-recorder positioned on top of her camera that attracts ample attention from her students. In fact, it’s one of the questions she gets asked the most at her workshops. “I always get asked, ‘What’s on top of your camera?’ I say – that’s my Atomos Ninja!”

With its ability to record in ProRes RAW, the lightweight and portable Ninja makes it the perfect accessory for mirrorless cameras. Kristi uses the high-definition display of the monitor to pinpoint details of the images to her students. “The Ninja’s a fantastic tool – there are a lot of people who want something bigger to look at than the electronic viewfinder on their camera, and that’s where the Ninja proves most beneficial.”

Recently, Kristi utilised the Ninja in the Bolivian Amazon as part of the B&H wildlife video series. As a conservation photographer, she is often faced with the challenge of taking all-important images of the animals without disturbing them in their habitat. The monitor’s 5-inch display coupled with its recording ability enabled her to unobtrusively film the finer details at close range.

The Ninja may be compact in size, but it played a significant part capturing extraordinary footage throughout the series. In a remarkable moment, Kristi recalls setting the Ninja to record, waiting patiently from a distance, and observing it capture the fluttering movements of a hummingbird. Now a preferred choice for Kristi, she sums up her fondness for the monitor: “I love using my Ninja! It’s great that I can just hit record and let it do all the work.”

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