Louie Schwartzberg is a master of time-lapse photography, specializing in nature films. Over a career that has spanned more than 30 decades, Schwartzberg has captured the rarely seen acrobatics of a hummingbird, shared the soft sound of 1 million butterflies flapping their wings, taken audiences inside the hidden world of bats and highlighted the intricate pollination of blooming flowers. But one particular subject has always fascinated him: bees.
The award-winning filmmaker has captured countless slow-motion shots of bees in works like his Disneynature documentary, "Wings of Life", and his short film "The Beauty of Pollination". Tragically, it's been widely reported that the bee population is dying, which threatens much more than Schwartzberg's filmmaking.
"[It] is perhaps the most serious environmental threat to mankind because a third of the food we eat comes from pollinating plant," Schwartzberg tells Oprah on "Super Soul Sunday."
Though the magic of Schwartzberg's photography is that it allows viewers to see the unseen, there's also an important message he hopes to convey through his films. "I learned that bees, bats, butterflies, hummingbirds -- [their] relationship with flowers provides food we need," Schwartzberg says. "I wanted to tell that story."
"We kill the bees off, we're killing ourselves," Oprah says.
"Exactly," Schwartzberg says. "It's the web of life."
It's an important environmental story, but for the filmmaker, it's also a spiritual one.
"Basically, the intersection between the animal world and the plant world is where life regenerates itself over and over, billions of times each day," Schwartzberg explains. "It's the foundation of life on our planet. So, it's a keystone event, but it's also a spiritual and mystical event."