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Forest Projection | Turning A Quiet Forest Into A Gorgeous Bioluminescent Dreamland

By Kishore Sawh on January 2nd 2015


This is stunning. It’s like a Saharan sunset, a moonlight rainbow, a meteor shower seen from the Rockies, Sophia Loren in a bikini in a Riva Aquarama on Lake Como – it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

It’s not often I come across something that pulls me away from anything to do with aviation. Usually, being at an executive airport, or reading flight journals, or geeking out on the technical methodology of air combat swallows me and my attention whole. While my utter love of photography is great, seeing a photography/cinematography project that will stop me in my tracks is rare, but ‘Bioluminescent Forest,’ is one.

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Artists Friedrich van Schoor and Tarek Mawad spent six weeks taking projection mapping into the forests and created 3 minutes of visual faux-bioluminescent bliss. While projection is typically associated with films and 2D images onto a flat surface, projection mapping allows, with skill and understanding, projection onto 3D objects, such as living organisms in the forest in this case.

[REWIND: The Road Ahead – The Future Of Our Gear & Industry]

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Using a specialized and powerful projector, connected to a computer that facilitated the projections program, the team plotted out projection movements and recorded the whole thing using a DSLR. The inspiration, according to their site, was pulled from nature itself, though more from the oceans than from the forest. The pulsating bioluminescence from deep sea jellyfish and the likes, really do bare a striking resemblance to what they’ve created, and the result gives the appearance of movement to even stationary objects. This adds a whole new dimension to the forest, yet managing to avoid disrupting its tranquility.

It’s really incredible to see what can be done with seemingly small amounts of gear, but a tremendous amount of skill, artistic vision, and wells of patience.

You can find out more about the project at their site, and they even have a download packet of their images. And check out their BTS video below as it’s just as intriguing and enjoyable as their feature. Well, close enough.

Source: PetaPixel, Images are screen captures from featured video


Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.


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  1. David Hall

    wow… awesome.

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  2. Ryan Chabot

    This is really cool, has an Avatar kind of feel to it.

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  3. Kevin Sutton

    Very cool, though I wish the bio luminescent forest wasn’t faux :(.

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    • Graham Curran

      Yes, it would have been fantastic if they had document something real, even if they had to use UV or IR to do so.

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