Alice Springs Photographer Blog

Working in Panama's Cloud Forests


Over the next few weeks I'll be working in Panama on two different photo projects with the Smithsonian Institute documenting the research of Australian and Panamanian ecologists. The work will involve climbing trees once again just like my on going project EPIPHYTE. This time I'm going to be both photographing the research and making a short documentary about the research projects. I'm particularly looking forward to the video side of the project as I'm yet to post any of my work in this field. 

The projects have 3 weeks to complete their field work and while I'm here in a photographic capacity I'm also here as the lead tree climber as well. Currently we are 4 days into the field work and today was the first day where I've felt its time to bring out the camera. The first days were spent getting to know the lay of the land and the trees as they are very different to anything we've had to climb before. Not only is there several orders of magnitude greater numbers of epiphytes but also the trees suitable for climbing are often old. 

The older the tree then more likely it is to have rot and being secured only to a rotting branch is not what we want to see when reaching the canopy. 

Camera work in this forest will be a little more restricted this time around as there are substantially fewer places to secure myself to so that I can photograph the researchers at work. It is likely that I'll have to climb  another tree entirely so I can get any perspective on the work. This situation add so much time and effort to the project as it means twice as much gear and twice as much time to set everything up.

I'm really looking forward to the challenge to securing some amazing photos of the work.