Project Preservation Creates Crowdsourced Database to Document and Preserve Landscapes

Rapid changes in our global climate conditions are putting the Earth's landscapes at risk. Andrew Geraci and Project Preservation are creating a global public database to preserve and document rare and beautiful landscapes for future generations.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Geraci of District 7 Media about his efforts to preserve the beauty of our planet through his collaborative efforts with Sony, Dell, Nvidia, and Kessler, called Project Preservation.

With global warming becoming increasingly concerning in recent years, Andrew and Project Preservation aim to document and preserve rare and scenic landscapes for future generations. 

Who Is Andrew Geraci?

Andrew is an award-winning photographer and cinematographer who's worked in TV, film, and advertising for over 20 years. Following nearly a decade of service in the U.S. Navy as a mass communication specialist, Geraci founded District 7 Media, specializing in brilliantly colored and high-impact HDR motion-controlled time-lapses, aerial and high-speed content for film, TV, and commercial advertising.

Geraci rose to prominence after landing a job working with David Fincher to film the now-iconic House of Cards opening title credits, and has gone on to work with other high-profile directors including Steven Spielberg, Jordan Peele, Alejandro Iñárritu and more. His work has been featured in projects for the NFL, HBO, Netflix, Red Bull, Sony, Apple, Disney, Showtime, Dell, Cartier and films like Nope and Westside Story.

The Interview

Q: What is Project Preservation?

A: As a photographer and cinematographer, I spend most of my time out in the world, capturing beautiful scenery of mountains, rain forests, deserts, and the occasional frozen tundra. All of these places exist naturally and have done so for millions of years. It’s no secret that our climate is rapidly changing, and it wasn’t until I visited Yellowstone park in the winter of 2021 that I realized that things have accelerated at an alarming pace. Seeing the landscapes physically change from one year to another because of climate change, such as erosion, wildfires, flooding, and deforestation, put things into perspective for me. While it’s natural for landscapes to change over centuries of time, we’re now seeing huge changes in our environment in a matter of just a few years. The changes in the landscape impacted me so greatly that I decided to start an initiative to help preserve the landscapes we currently have in such a way that future generations could at least enjoy and learn from what is happening in our current state.

Project Preservation isn’t a one-off, one-person project. It’s meant to assemble the world’s photographers and cinematographers to help generate a large and extensive database of imagery that we can share with future generations, for both visual and scientific information. Utilizing high-resolution photography, we’ve already begun the process of capturing landscapes that are in jeopardy of disappearing forever, mainly due to costal erosion, wildfires, and flooding. This imagery is currently available on our website for all to view. While the project itself is ever evolving and it will be a few years before we can actually see the impact and results, this first round of preservation has already seen resounding support from the photographic community.

Q: Why type of camera gear and hardware do you use to produce the imagery?

A: To capture the endless number of landscapes that the Earth provides, we’re using simple, but effective tools to help tell the story and document what’s happening with our landscapes. Much of our filming requires the use of high-resolution still cameras, in this case, the Sony a1 and a7R V, coupled with a two-axis programmable motion-control head, provided by Kessler Crane, to give us precise movement in our 50k+ resolution panoramic shots. We also utilize a powerful workstation-grade laptop out in the field, graciously provided by Dell and NVIDIA to process all the imagery and data live on site. This allows us to ensure the imagery that we’re creating, especially during the stitching process, comes out as it should without any defects. Once we’ve collected all of our shots, we’re compiling all of the imagery into a large database, specifically a nearly 1.8 PB server that will allow us to expand into the future as the project grows, and we gain more photographers who are willing to help support our cause.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge of the project?

A: Our biggest challenges right now consists of a few things. Number one, we need as many photographers as possible to contribute, so we can blanket the globe and capture/document all of the beautiful locations we’ve come to love and enjoy. This task isn’t possible for our small team, so it’ll be up to the contributors that are giving their time and skill to help us document these specific locations. Next is time. Already in 2023, we’ve seen a huge uptick in natural disasters, and it’s only going to get worse as climate change evolves, so we’re racing against the clock to capture these locations before they’re changed or worse yet, disappear forever. With the help of the photographic community, I believe it’ll be possible to preserve the landscapes we have and allow everyone from around the world to enjoy those landscapes in ultra-high resolution photography, cinematography, and time-lapse.

Q: How can people get involved?

A: The easiest way for other photographers to get involved is by becoming a contributor. Our website is in the early stages of taking on larger amounts of people and content and by the end of 2023 we hope to have it functioning like a well-oiled machine, so folks from around the globe can contribute to the effort and see their work viewed by the masses. You can apply here.

The more people and the more awareness we can bring to the ever-changing climate issues we have, the better our future will be and hopefully it’ll provide a positive impact on the climate crisis as a whole.

Doing Our Part to Preserve Our Planet

There has never been a more important time to pay attention to the signals that our planet is giving us. Rising temperatures, bigger natural disasters, and depleting resources are all big concerns that we should all pay attention to. 

By contributing to the preservation of our planet, we can all ensure that future generation not only get to enjoy the beautiful landscapes that we have, but that they will also be inspired to carry forward the torch of caring for our planet. 

What are your thoughts on being more mindful about how our decisions impact the future? Share your feedback in the comments below!

Images used with permission of Andrew Geraci.

Reza Malayeri's picture

Reza is a professional photographer, cinematographer, and educator based in Seattle WA. He specializes in a variety of creative fields, including wedding photography, portrait photography, cinematography, and FAA Part 107 drone aerials. As an educator, Reza's aim is to produce compelling educational content that inspires and empowers creators.

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