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The Galapagos Islands via iPhone [Video]

This is the second edition of our Seeing South America video series. Each month we’ll feature one of our favorite videos related to South America travel or culture and interview the intrepid travelers and videographers behind the magic. See last month’s video here.

Anyone who thinks you need a fancy camera to make a stunning video, prepared to be amazed. Miami-based Miguel Endara used his iPhone 4S to capture this gorgeous footage of the Galapagos. He used his skills as an artist to assemble the footage and used the popular Adobe editing program After Effects to pull it all together. We chatted with Miguel about the Galapagos and travel videography.

Q: What inspired you to visit the Galapagos?

A: Galapagos has always been a desired destination for several reasons, but particularly because of the level of wildlife preservation efforts by the government and local communities. I also have family temporarily living/working on one of the main islands, so it only made sense to visit them and explore such a remarkable paradise at the same time. You can see them at timeframe 1:12.

Q: Tell us about your trip to the Galapagos.

A: We stayed in the Galapagos for two weeks and sailed on the Mandalay Cruise for approximately seven days, visiting Santa Cruz, Isabella Island, Totuga Bay, Puerto Ayora, Garrapetero Beach, Las Grietas, among others.

Q: What animal impressed you the most?

A: The Frigate bird is by far the most impressive animal in the Galapagos. They are unable to take off from water, yet they spend most of their time hovering above the sea, robbing other birds of their food by attacking them midair until they eventually regurgitate their stomach contents, resulting in the Frigate birds catching the dropped food before landing back into the water. Evolution at its finest!

Q: How did you get so such clear and close shots of the wildlife? 

A: Because the island is very well protected from human interference, and because most of the animals in the Galapagos do not have any natural predators, they lack the need to flee when approached. Most of the animals are vegetarians and/or pescatarians, so I was of no real threat to them and was immediately accepted and welcomed as a guest.

Q: What required more work, taking the video or editing it afterward?

A: I hardly call it "work" since I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of producing the video, but in terms of time, the editing was the most time consuming part since it required shuffling through approximately 30 hours of footage and making it into a 3 minute video.

Q: Any photography tips for armature filmmakers?

A: Don't be afraid to get close, unless you're next to a hungry bear or something.

To see more from Miguel, visit miguelendara.com.

To learn more about the Galapagos Islands, browse our Galapagos Island guide or speak to one of our Destination Experts about crafting the bespoke vacation of your dreams.

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