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Custom Cameras Capture Harsh Crabbing Conditions on ‘Deadliest Catch’

On Sept. 12, the “Deadliest Catch” cinematography team will learn whether they’re taking home a fifth consecutive Emmy (and a sixth overall).

Until then, though, they’re prepping season 12 in the icy, choppy Bering Sea, a far cry from the Microsoft Theater in sunny Downtown Los Angeles.

It took years for the “Catch” producers to secure a stable of cameramen who would return season after season. Members of the present crew are determined to stay aboard, come hell or, literally, high water.

The crabbing fleet is rigged with special gear that can withstand the harsh environment, including cameras in waterproof housing held by a floating bracket, along with audio and lighting equipment that can do the same. Red Dragon and Canon C300 cameras are used. Sometimes  poles suspend them over hulls and propellers; a special system drops them as low as 450 feet beneath the surface.

The payoff? All the custom equipment “has given us some amazing images of what’s going on in the world of crabs,” says d.p. David Reichert.

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