A Trick of the Light: The Nameless

As we stroll further and further down the road of technological advances, creatives are finding fresh new ways to connect where we were and where we’re going. 

One team of creatives, Photographer Vaughan Brookfield (VB) and Sound/Lighting Producer Tom Lynch are using some fancy tech, a few tricks of the light and some of New Zealand’s most breath-taking spots to make an impassioned plea; help conserve the natural landscapes they grew up in.

“Do you remember some of those favourite places you visited when you were young? Are they still there?

Mine have all changed.” – VB

It all started nestled around a campfire, spinning some yarns with a few beverages, and resulted in adding the 1+1 of their creative skillsets and getting ‘let’s project content that relates to the impact we’re having on the environment, on to that environment’. Naturally.

Starting with projections on rock faces and waterfalls, with the help of Canon’s creative incubator Show Us What’s Possible, the guys began putting a plan in place to scale the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand’s South Island, with the aim of projecting a series of stark reminders on its many ice faces.

The Tasman Glacier was about 28 km or 17 mi long until it started receding faster than your dad’s hairline back in the 90s. Right now, we’re losing around 477 to 822m (1565 to 2697 tf) every year thanks to the lackadaisical approach us humans take to looking after our home. It’s estimated to be completely gone in the next 10 – 19 years.

So in June 2017, armed with a helicopter, a 25kg projector, a filmmaker (Heath Patterson), some Syrp gear, a Canon 1DX, a fair whack of technical nous and a whole heap of muscle, the guys made the risky journey up the glacier, all the while filming their experiences.

As you can probably imagine, there’s heaps of challenges involved in lugging that much gear up a glacier, and in getting the final shot. Temperamental weather patterns are a problem. So is keeping the projector warm enough to function. Timing’s an issue too.

With only 20 minutes before sunrise and after sunset when the light from the projection matches the natural light to get the perfect shot, the guys have to hustle to get the image they’re looking for. We think the words used were “a f*&^ing mad rush every time.”

With most of the world’s glaciers tucked away, projects like Tom and Vaughan’s are an important way to keep these incredible ice formations and our impact on them firmly in sight and in mind.

On ya, lads.

Aug 29, 2017