Northern Rivers photographer Steve Axford's time-lapse images of local fungi are featured in Sir David Attenborough's documentary Planet Earth II.
Northern Rivers photographer Steve Axford's time-lapse images of local fungi are featured in Sir David Attenborough's documentary Planet Earth II.

Local photographer's work in Attenborough's Planet Earth 2

LUMINOUS fungi from Booyong and other local fungi feature in the time-lapse images by Northern Rivers photographer Steve Axford that are part of Sir David Attenborough's upcoming documentary series, Planet Earth 2.

Planet Earth 2 a British nature documentary series produced by the BBC, presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, as a sequel to the highly successful 2006 Planet Earth series.

The extended trailer features some of a number of time-lapse images shot by Mr Axford locally for the TV series.

Published on YouTube only two weeks ago, the trailer has been seen more than four million times.


The series will premiere this Sunday in the United Kingdom on BBC One and BBC One HD but it does not have an Australian premiere date yet.

Planet Earth II will be the first television series that the BBC have produced in Ultra-high-definition technology, also known as 4K.

All time-lapse footage of fungi in the documentary are from Mr Axford and are shot locally, which will be part of episode three of the series, called Jungles.

Locally grown and luminescent

Mr Axford said the luminous fungi featured in the documentary is easily found in the Northern Rivers.

"They are local fungi," he said.

"You just need to go out at night after we get a rain event, after four or five days of rain. They grow on fallen wood including camphor."

Mr Axford said the video clips he shot for Attenborough's documentary are about a minute and 20 seconds long, which took between days to more than a week to shoot each.

"The luminous fungi shot is a fairly quick one, that took three or four days to complete. Others in the documentary took two or three weeks," he said.

Mr Axford said the Northern Rivers is a particularly good area for shooting images of wildlife.

"Because of our volcanic soil, our rainfall, and the fact we are in the dividing line between the south and the tropical areas, we get species like the Richmond Birdwing butterfly, that is only found here and in Cairns."

"There is a huge biodiversity here and the fungi is excellent, it's a really good place for all that sort of thing."

From Booyong to Yunan

Mr Axford moved from Melbourne to the Northern Rivers in 2008, but had already developed an interest in photography back in 2000, and fungi photography in 2004., after retiring from the technology and computing industry.

The photographer reached global recognition some years ago, after blog Colossal started covering some of his work.

Magazines and websites from across the Europe, Asia and the US started to become interested in Mr Axford's work, leading to the BBC contacting him for time-lapse shots of local fungi.

"I sent them samples of the time lapse and they loved it," he said.

Mr Axford said initially he used to go out hunting for photographic subjects armed with specialised books, back in Victoria.

"I was then invited to photograph fungi in Yunan, in China, by the Kunming Institute of Botany. They invited me to China to photograph their fungi in a rainforest. Fungi is big in Yunan. They eat 800 different species of fungi there, and it's a billion dollar industry."

"I've learned quite a lot about mycology through all those experiences."

You can see more of Mr Axford's photographic work in his website.

Truth about where you grew up

Truth about where you grew up

Research has revealed just how big an effect your suburb can have.

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Drivers using phones illegally will get an extra demerit point.

Wildcats win on penalties

Wildcats win on penalties

Byron Bay wins grand final shootout.

Local Partners