Forest Photography

In the Kaipātiki local board area, we are fortunate to have over 30% tree canopy cover. This includes a number of special ecologically sensitive areas containing beautiful kauri and native bird life. Every year we want to be able to measure the state of the urban canopy cover to ensure it remains healthy.

We can do this by using a ‘photopoint’, which is a fixed location on the edge or within a site from which you take a photograph in a particular direction. You can compare photographs against previous images taken from the same spot or photopoint and in the same direction. 


This Citizen Science Month, you can take part in tracking the state of the forest canopy by:

  • Finding the photographic points below or creating your very own photopoint in your backyard or local reserve.

  • Taking a photo that may include various parts of the forest and repeating this photo in the same spot each year.

  • Submitting your photos to PFK by sending your image, along with the details of your photopoint location to: 

Below is a great example by Miles Giller, showing the change of a native planting and stream side vegetation over four years:


For Citizen Science 2020, we have simplified the photopoint process and created two ways for you to get started.  

Create a photopoint

Select a photo point in your own backyard or a feature of the environment that interests you. Fill out our PFK photopoint creation template, snap the photo and send a copy of both to use here at Pest Free Kaipātiki.


If you want to produce really accurate photopoints, we suggest you:

  • bring along a ruler or tripod so you can get the height of your image the same every time

  • Use a more advanced compass that shows a 'bearing' in degrees

  • If you are taking a photopoint on your own property, consider installing a small indicator or marker that permanently marks your spot. You can rest your camera on this marker for easy photo taking

  • Try and use the same camera and same camera settings each time you take the photo. 

Photograph a Pest Free Kaipātiki Photopoint 

Step 1: Visit one of the locations in the table below; these are official Pest Free Kaipātiki photopoint locations.

Step 2: Plug in the coordinates onto your smart phone google map function (don’t forget the negative mark and the comma) and navigate as close as possible to this location. A handy tip is to turn on the satellite function of your smart phone on google maps to help guide you. You will need to have the GPS turned on for google maps to work.

Step 3: When you are close enough to the area, use a compass to point your camera in the direction listed on the table below.

Step 4: Snap your photo, generally holding the phone at eye height or 1.5m above the ground.

Step 5: Submit your photos to PFK by sending your image, along with the details of your photopoint location to: 

Step 6: Repeat this every year (or more frequently if you want)​

Pest Free Kaipātiki Photopoint Locations














































Left to right: Simple compass to angle your photo, Google maps to get latitude and longitude, coordinates, image of simple photopoint marker for your backyard, mobile phones also have a compass... just make sure it's calibrated correctly. 

Things to remember


Remember to always respect peoples privacy and never enter

private property without permission from the owner.


Take care when bush walking, always scrub your shoes at home

before you go (so no visible soil remains) to prevent the spread

of kauri dieback and go with a buddy or tell somewhere you

are headed for safety.


Get involved so that we can make Kaipātiki Citizen Science Month the biggest Citizen Science project in Auckland!

Register your interest in Citizen Science Month.

Download a flyer and distribute to friends, family, colleagues and community organisations to help us promote Citizen Science Month.

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Click here


Detect Predators

Instructional guide


Identify Pest Plants

Instructional guide


Stream Health

Instructional guide


Monitor Bird Life

Instructional guide


Forest Photography

Instructional guide