Wellington Regional Tree Climbing Competition 2nd October 2010 Botanic Gardens

The competition was a lot of fun to photograph. I worked alongside Phil Reid from the Dominion Post for some of the time shooting action sequence photos of the competitors doing a range of challenges like the Secured Footlock, which they scale a vertical rope. Probably my favorite was the Work Climb which was related to being a practicing aborist – chopping off limbs, dropping objects safely and of course doing it in the fastest possible time. Some climbers were literally running along branches- it reminded me of squirrels in California!

As well as shooting the event, today I set out to create some interesting portraits of the climbers. I took lighting gear consisting of two stands and my basic lighting kit. I ended up attaching honey comb grids to both of my lights. Partly, this was borne out of necessity as the winds came up first thing in the morning and I feared my softbox constantly falling over. It turned out great as the hard lighting contrasted well with the soft dappled light underneath the tree where I set up. I’m really happy with the portraits, I think they add a whole new dimension to covering an event and getting a sense for the culture of Aborist tree climbers in New Zealand- very cool people that care about the environment.

Jawand Ngau Chun with helmet and glasses on after competing in the Work Climb challenge

Drew Bristow, just back from 4 weeks filming for the Discovery Channel in a Vanuatu volcano- did really well competing at this events.

Krista Sanford-Hill, one of 4 female competitors after her climb at the Work Challenge event.

Wellington based climber Finn Parker fully dressed with all his gear and ropes.

Wellington City Council trainee Reuben hams it up for the camera with a chainsaw (without chain)

Drew Bristow runs along a branch during the Work Challenge.

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