They Might Be Giants
Popular Science|Winter 2020
A photographer-and-ecologist team are on a mission to document the forests’ mightiest members.
By Sara Kiley Watson

It takes centuries of slow growth for the world’s tallest trees to reach heights far beyond the tops of their surrounding forests. As they stretch for the sky, the giants nurture ever-changing ecosystems of plants and animals. Since 2015, Steven Pearce and Jennifer Sanger, a Tasmanian photographerand- ecologist duo, have been documenting Earth’s unique and underappreciated behemoths. The pair use rock climbing gear to ascend hundreds of feet from the trees’ roots to their wind-punished crowns. With the help of a homemade dual-camera rig attached to a pulley system, Pearce shoots dozens of photos over several weeks at each site and combines them into massive gigapixel panoramas. The resulting images capture the long-standing beauties before human interference can diminish or destroy them.

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