The New Zealand Tree Project Captures Last Forest Frontier:

The New Zealand Tree Project is an innovative film and photography venture that captures imagery of majestic New Zealand trees and native podocarp forests from viewpoints not experienced from the forest floor. The project was formed by four passionate tree lovers: Catherine Kirby (University of Waikato Science and Research Support Officer), Jen Sanger (Plant Ecologist), Steven Pearce (Photographer), and Andrew Harrison (Climber, Technician, and Tree Climbing Instructor at Wintec).

Together, with the help of sponsors who provided funds, climbing ropes, and camera equipment, the group captured the Pureora Forest, northwest of Lake Taupo, chosen for its rich history and amazing trees. By using innovative mediums such as time-lapse, hyper-lapse and 3D video, coupled with custom built camera rigs, drones and 50m long cable cameras, the group was able to create one-of-a-kind footage of the forest from groundbreaking new angles.

Jen Sanger said, “The centrepiece of the project is a tree portrait of an ancient and beautiful rimu. A custom made camera rig that ran the entire 40m vertical height of the rimu was painstaking installed by suspending a platform from two adjacent trees. This allowed for the camera rig containing two Canon 5D MkIII cameras to be slowly lowered with a series of photos taken every 50cm. The photos were then stitched together using Photoshop to produce an image from a level viewpoint without distortion. This method allows for a super high resolution image that captures the true glory of the tree, rather than a distorted and incomplete view that is so common when we are limited to photography from the forest floor. This is never seen before stuff. The project will also feature documentary-style interviews with iwi, scientists, bird-watchers, hunters, and even loggers.”

Set to launch officially at the end of this year in Hamilton, New Zealand, the project team is working to create an exhibition for museums around New Zealand and is looking for donations or sponsorship.

In 2016, the group will set its sight on Tasmania, with a similar project planned for southern Tasmania. The Tasmanian Tree Project will capture a portrait of the Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans), the tallest hardwood tree species in the entire world, and second tallest tree species after the Californian Redwood.

For more information, visit The New Zealand Tree Project or The Tasmanian Tree Project.

photo credit: Tasmania Mount Field Russell Falls . wikipedia commons