Kew’s Seed Bank Hits 24,200 Species

Kew Seed Bank 2009 – Images by Edmond Terakopian

Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership celebrates banking its 24,200th species, a Yunnan banana seed – a pink wild banana from China which is an important staple for wild Asian elephants (Musa itinerans). Royal Botanical Gardens Kew is celebrating collecting, banking and conserving 10% of the world’s wild plant species. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, East Sussex. The seed is banked inside the vault which is kept at minus twenty degrees centigrade.

Must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment. Its astonishing to see the size of the project and how much has been achieved already. It still leaves 90% to be collected though, so visit their web site and see if you can help out.

At work with my 5D MkIIs and Think Tank Photo bag and pouches

Photographically speaking, I took a couple of Canon 5D MkII bodies and mostly used the 15mm f2.8 Fisheye, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f2.5 Macro and the 85mm f1.2L II.
What really surprised me was how well the cameras and lenses behaved, but more so the batteries; I was going from minus 20 degrees centigrade (which reached minus 30 near the coolers because of the wind chill) to hot and humid greenhouses and then back again to the arctic temperatures. After having shot over 1000 RAWs, both cameras’ batteries showed full power! Astonishing.

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