Very few people are aware that the tallest flowering tree in the world grows right here in Tasmania. The forests in which they inhabit are one of the most carbon rich forests in the world yet they have an intrinsic and ecologically necessary relationship with fire. We want to elevate these trees to become a symbol of Australias natural heritage along side Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef and The Blue Mountains.
In 2016 the team spent over 8 weeks in the Styx Valley, 100 km to the west of Hobart, filming, photographing and climbing giant Eucalyptus regnans trees. The camera rig for photographing the tree portrait took two weeks to install due to the huge size of these trees, the wide distances they were apart and the frequent bad weather events. Despite this, the team have managed to create an incredible portrait of a 84 meter high tree. We have also produced some stunning photos and videos of the forest, capturing many beautiful photos from a bird's eye view using drones.
THE TREE PORTRAIT
THE TREE PORTRAIT
The Regnans Portrait is a combination of 87 photos which took more than 3 weeks of full time editing to assemble. During the project which lasted for 67 days more than 12,000 photos were taken of the tree. Our biggest problem other than getting the lines for the camera rig into place was the weather, any wind would render the system inoperable.
Of the 67 days in the field we had 12 successful mornings of weather and only 5 mornings of suitable fog. There is so much more to the story of this photograph and it possibilities. If you would like to start a conversation about how you think it could be presented outside of a museum/gallery context feel free to contact us. We are very keen on projections!
VR TREE TOUR
VR TREE TOUR
Our experience is geared specifically for presentation on a mobile device, if you are viewing this on a computer COPY THIS LINK to your phone for a clearer, more dynamic experience.
During the Tasmanian Tree Project we experimented with the idea of creating a virtual reality tour of the tree. This presented us with a number of technical and financial challenges. Our biggest consideration amongst these was the setting. A tree offers no secure sturdy platform to shoot such images with a typical DLSR setup which requires great precision.
A mobile delivery option would mean we could take advantage of the accelerometers on a mobile device providing a infinitely more dynamic experience and opening up the possibility of using more affordable VR headsets. We also wanted very much for the experience to be one that everyone could download for free and take home from the museum. This mobile delivery would allow to effectively transform the viewer into a advocate for these grand trees when showing it to a friend.
For the first time the team produced a full sized representation of the trees base inside the museum. We felt that while the tree portrait represented the trees full vertical scale there was another dimension that we could use to produce a work of equal significance.
For the model more than 1600 photos were taken of the base from every angle. These photos were then compiled buy a University of Tasmania super computer to produce a millimetre perfect 3D model of the base. Our original plans were to use the data to build an exact model in the middle of the gallery.
Unfortunately the gallery, while a very large space, could not adequately accomodate such a grandiose sculpture. The only possibility remaining was to flatten the sculpture, place it on the wall and use the height data as rings. Again the wall was not big enough but the team a TMAG was in love with the concept and allowed the piece to spill out onto the floor adding to amazing sensation of scale.
Steven is a renowned, award-winning photographer who specialises in wilderness and adventure photography. Steve was the creative director for the New Zealand Tree Project and was the driving force behind all of the deliverable content. Willing to push the boundaries and embrace the latest technologies, Steve is able to deliver content that is unique, beautiful and inspiring. As an avid tree climber and a passionate naturalist, he has spent over 10 years documenting forests, the canopy of trees and the scientists who study them. He was nominated by New Zealand Geographic for New New Zealand Photographer of the Year award and was also a finalist in the 2014 International Travel Photographer of the Year Awards for his work in Eastern Greenland www.stevenpearcephoto.com .
Jennifer is a passionate plant ecologist as well as science outreach coordinator. She has spent many years studying rainforests and the charismatic plant species which inhabit them. As an epiphyte ecologist and passionate tree climber, she has spent countless hours exploring the canopies of rainforest trees around the world. Jennifer was also a Project Co-ordinator for the New Zealand Tree Project. She has successfully run many other field expeditions in the tropics of Queensland, the snowy highlands of Tasmania and the montane cloud forests of Panama.
Yoav is a research tree climber and outreach ecologist with fifteen years’ experience working in some of the world's tallest and largest trees. He has been involved in many treetop forest projects producing scientific discoveries, deliverable outputs, and community engagement, in many of the world's superlative forest trees: the massive rainforest evergreens of the Northwestern USA, the giant banyans of tropical India, the famous kauris of New Zealand, the tropical rainforests of New Caledonia and many more. He currently publishes the free online magazine Tasmanian Geographic and actively encourages science outreach, outdoor explorations, and adventure science. Find out more at http://www.outreachecology.com
Tom is a fully qualified arborist and spends much of his spare time volunteering on environmental projects all over Australia and well regarded within the international arborist community. He has been climbing trees and cliffs over the world for more than a decade but now calls Tasmania home. He has recently found great opportunity with his dramatic tree top video work a where he takes the viewer on a journey into the worlds trees.
Sam is an ecologist who has been researching pattern and process in Australian forests for fourteen years. After a stint in NSW investigating the carbon dynamics of the picturesque Spotted Gum forests, Sam moved to Tasmania to complete his PHD on the moorlands and rainforests of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Since then he has been travelling Australia establishing tree-growth plots in tall forests and looking at the effect of fire on the endemic conifers of Tasmania. Sam has published a range of scientific papers based on the age, growth and ecology of the remarkable Eucalyptus regnans forests.
Dan has more outdoor qualifications than you can poke a stick at. He provided essential and high spirited climbing support throughout the project and also is A grade camp cook.
Stuart is a filmmaker, camera operator and editor who has worked 10 years in the industry. He recently went around Australia shooting and editing a the special “Love Your Sister” for network 10 and has worked extensively filming music festivals, theatre and arts productions. He resides in Alice Springs as a documentary filmmaker and collaborator in inter-cultural arts.
Dr Steve Harwin - Spatial Science, Mapping & Arials
Steve is passionate about environmental monitoring, mapping and research. Steve recently completed a PhD in Spatial Science focusing on 3D mapping with drones. Steve is currently a researcher with the TerraLuma Drone Research Team (www.terraluma.net) at the University of Tasmania. Steve's research focuses on fine scale landform change monitoring with drones, photogrammetry, LiDAR and remote sensing. Steve is a licensed UAV pilot (multi-rotor and fixed wing) and has over ten years’ experience as a GIS and web mapping specialist and spatial software engineer.