Documenting endangered flora with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

by planetmitch1 Comment

It is always a great pleasure to find people doing really positive things for people or the enviornment with their Canon HDSLRs and this one is a wonderful example – Glen Ryan is using his Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews) to document his efforts to propagate and save endangered Australian flora. planet5D friend Victoria Taylor-Gore wrote up this story over on NeedCreative‘s blog “ON THE VERGE' Documentary Project By Glen Ryan

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Here's a brief snip from Victoria's very good (and very detailed) piece… please make sure to read the whole thing.

“What happens when a lifelong passion – verging on obsession – with native Australian plants meets a love of photography and video? Documentary photographer and filmmaker Glen Ryan’s interest in raising awareness of and actively conserving Australia’s vulnerable plant species, many of which now survive only on fragile roadside verges in Western Australia, finds its voice in his latest project. The title refers not only to the areas these plants are found, but also to the fact that many of them are literally on the verge of extinction. Glen’s project also documents his efforts to propagate and grow many of these unique and fascinating plants as part of his ongoing campaign of ‘conservation by cultivation’.

That is where our story begins…no really where this romance begins. HDSLRs are an important part of this story.”

On the Verge from Glen Ryan on Vimeo.

Excerpt from the vimeo description:

This short piece is a collection of footage from last spring’s preliminary field work and site research for my documentary project ‘On the Verge’. It basically covers one day spent researching several locations in Western Australia to try and find the rare Grevillea thyrsoides ssp. thyrsoides.

One of my real passions is propagating, promoting and protecting Australian plants – in particular the rare and endangered flora of Western Australia which often now only survives on fragile roadside verges – hence the title of this ongoing documentary project. ‘On the Verge’ has an unfortunate dual meaning here as many of these species are literally also on the verge of extinction.

One of the reasons I first got into the whole HDSLR video thing was is to expand my documentation and help raise awareness of the issue of these endangered species and their roadside verge habitats.

Edit: Premiere Pro CS5 – Magic Bullet Looks

Music : Kevin Macleod


More from Victoria's story on Glen.

‘On the Verge’ is still in the development stage. Plans include more field work in Western Australia: site research, field testing his rig, preliminary images and video. The next major location shoot for the project is scheduled for spring 2011. The future of the documentary? Glen's not sure yet. There’s more footage to put together and a supporting website to build before moving on to the next stage of the project.

Back east the trial gardens are currently undergoing renovation, with the addition of new beds and the replanting and regeneration of existing beds. Grafting and propagation trials also continue. Glen has found the creation of the gardens the longest and most difficult artistic project he’s undertaken due to the many variables involved. The whole “installation” is ephemeral and constantly changing. Glen admits, “It can be frustrating working on a piece that is effectively never completed and requires constant work to even maintain what has already been done! Challenging and rewarding – but also frustrating at times.”

Glen once mused on Twitter that the title, ‘On the Verge’, also alludes to his obsession with the project. My response to that was “You should be obsessed with it – it's beauty and near tragedy all wrapped up together…and hopefully will wake people up.”

There's really much more to read… please make sure to read the whole thing. And our thanks to Glen and Victoria for doing such good work!

(Photo credit: snap from the video)

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