Beautiful New Zealand X: New Zealand Ascending

A new time lapse film by Martin Heck of Timestorm Films came out this week. ‘New Zealand Ascending’ It took sixteen weeks of production time and 185,000 photos to make a film of less than seven minutes. The result, as always is beautiful.

New’s Zealand’s Māori name is Aotearoa, which means “Land of the Long White Cloud”. That’s particularly appropriate for this film as the changing clouds that are part of our changeable spring weather feature heavily.

New Zealand Ascending



The TimeStorm Films website has details about the locations in the film.

Filming is at various locations of the South Island and Stewart Island including Canterbury, the West Coast, and the Southern Alps. Heck writes, ” this video is aimed to bring you as close to the scenery as being just on location”. He continues:

Capturing high resolution time-lapse visuals in some of the most remote places of New Zealand came with a lot of challenges for men and equipment. Nature made [it] clear who the boss is by destroying two of my cameras. A very strong Mag 7.5 earthquake hit the Kaikoura region about halfway into the trip. Spring weather was very unsettled so it surprised me even more to capture one of the most perfect night sky reflection scenes I have ever done. …

Getting a plane-ride to Stewart [Island] and landing on pristine beaches was only one of the many highlights of the trip. Taking a boat to discover the mysterious lakes of Fjordland, crossing freezing cold streams to reach hidden canyons or exploring the [magnificent] underworlds of [New Zealand’s] glowworm caves where incredible experiences that came along capturing the natural wonders of one of the most beautiful countries on earth.

Film of some of the plane rides taken plus landing on Stewart Island is part of the “Behind the Scenes” film.

Behind The Scenes

The website also includes this short “Behind the Scenes” film, which is as beautiful as the main film. In fact, in many ways it’s more enjoyable. A highlight is Heck’s a close encounter with a kea.

Film Production, Equipment, and Music

For those who understand such things, the YouTube page gives the following details:

Captured in incredibly detailed 8K resolution and mastered at 60fps….

Within the production-time of 16weeks, 185000 photos have been taken, 8TB of raw-material shot, over 220 hours of time captured, 8000km driven and over 1000 hours have been spent for post-production.

Cameras: Sony A7RII, Sony A7s, Canon 6D
Lenses: Zeiss Otus 28mm, Canon 11-24 mm, Tamron 15-30 mm, Zeiss Milvus 35mm, Canon 70-200 mm
Motion-Control: eMotimo Spectrum ST4, customized Dynamic Perception Stage One

Soundtrack: “Waves” – Mattia Cupelli



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16 Responses to “Beautiful New Zealand X: New Zealand Ascending”

  1. Jenny Haniver says:

    And now we know that all this majesty and wondrous existence is just a fragment, the tip of the lost submerged continent of Zealandia. Wow!

  2. Michael Fisher says:

    Hi Heather – I found your site via your comments at Jerry’s
    Good stuff & thus I’m subbed for any new posts [via rss]

    I much preferred the second vid because it’s mainly realtime – have you sent to Jerry?
    The timelapse 1st vid is too perfect for my taste – I admired it without feeling involved, there being no sense of scale in time & space. Clever use of sound editing in both vids.

    Peace! 🙂

    • Hi Michael – thanks for subscribing. The mention of rss got you sent to Siberia (the spam folder), which is why it’s taken so long to be released – sorry.

      I like the real time vids best too. There’s one attached to one of his other timelapse videos as well; he has a close encounter in that one too – with a sea lion. See here.

      Jerry reads all my posts. His comment on this one was via e-mail. Hopefully he won’t mind me quoting what he said about this one: “These are lovely.”

  3. rickflick says:

    Wonderful film. I visited New Zealand in 2012 so many views are familiar. We flew a light plane all around the South Island, around the snow covered peaks, over the lakes and to Stewart Island. We visited a cave with the glow worms as well. What a great nation is New Zealand. I recommend an extended visit for anyone unfortunate enough to live elsewhere if it can be arranged.

  4. Larry Green says:

    Beautiful country! I would love to visit some day.

  5. Ken says:

    Wonderful! Would so like to visit Stewart Island again.

  6. HaggisForBrains says:

    I must come back! It’s on the bucket list.

  7. Lee Knuth says:

    An absolutely marvelous film. Since I will never be able to visit this marvelous country I am grateful to see its beauty in this film. Thank you.

    • If you stick Martin Heck New Zealand in the search box you’ll find several more of his films I’ve posted in the past. If you leave off New Zealand, there are a few in other countries as well.

  8. Stuartg says:

    I’ve been to most of those places. I prefer the South Island (te ika a Maui) to the North Island (Aotearoa), but live in the North Island. The North Island has it’s own beauty, completely different, with volcanic features and sub-tropical landscapes that are lacking in the South Island.

    • I think I prefer the North Island if I had to choose, but wherever I go I’m often overwhelmed by just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country.

      And also that the beauty is both accessible and available to most people.


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