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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Jun 6, 2023

In this engaging podcast episode, we converse with the acclaimed Director of Photography and Filmmaker, Thom Pollard. Known for his adventurous expeditions to some of the planet's most isolated spots, from the mystic Easter Island to the challenging summit of Mount Everest, Thom provides deep insights into his adventurous life. His thrilling high-risk exploits have changed his outlook on life and significantly shaped his mental health. Thom's numerous treks to the daunting heights of Everest have broadened his mindset, shaping his life philosophies and instilling a palpable sense of energy in him.

Delving deeper into the discussion, Thom elucidates how his ventures into high-risk territories forced him to step out of his comfort zone and helped him understand life's essentials. The intriguing aspect of adventure is its potential to direct individuals toward recognizing what is truly significant in life. Thom also unravels his personal experiences with near-death situations, discussing their profound effect on his perspective on existence. Such experiences have shaped his worldview and made him more aware of the varied ways high-risk adventure can impact mental health.


Thom’s Bio from the Eyes Open website:

Thom Pollard of EYES OPEN PRODUCTIONS is an award-winning Director of Photography and Filmmaker who has filmed from Easter Island to the summit of Mount Everest and everything in between. His films and camera work have won numerous television, film and production awards, including an Emmy for (Orphan Orca/PBS), finalist of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for best cinematography (Lost on Everest/BBC) as well as a Silver Telly in the Nature/Wildlife category for his camera work on a Mako shark documentary (Monster Fish). His photographs have appeared in dozens of books and languages worldwide, as well as in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine.

Thom is an experienced public speaker, thrilling audiences around the world with his tales of adventure, using his brilliant photographs and films. He is said to have the “It” factor. His presentations create powerful impressions for schools, businesses and annual events.

Thom has filmed four Everest documentaries spanning two decades, for PBS, the BBC, National Geographic and Sony.