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Personal project 2 – Light in the New Zealand landscape

I love light.

I have never been to any country where light feels quite the same as it does in New Zealand. Because of this I’m totally fascinated by the quality of light we find here.

It’s a combination of its purity and its interaction with some of the most stunning landscape in the world.

New Zealand light is not always easy to work with, but it is extremely rewarding.

Dramatic light illuminating the hills around Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand.




Personal project 1 – People in the New Zealand landscape

To me New Zealand is defined by its landscapes and the outdoorsy nature of kiwis.

As a photographer I’m interested in how New Zealanders interact with their natural spaces.

Personally I’m attracted to the wider landscapes that we have here. The changing nature of the sea, the emptiness of the high country, the quietness of the lakes and the rawness of the mountains.

Those characteristics, I think, define our role within the landscape. We’re not insignificant, but we are often just a small part of the bigger picture.

I feel that in New Zealand we like to be part of the landscape and that there is enough space for everyone to feel a little unique and awed by what nature provides.

Evening activities on Pohara Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Evening activities on Pohara Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand.



Feeling sheepish – but finding peace

I can move on.

It has been a long time coming, 25 years to be exact.

Over the years I have tried to get what I consider to be the perfect sheep shot. On every attempt I failed.

Each time I lifted my camera the flock turned to show me their bums in a seemingly considered and choreographed gesture.

Maybe sheep sense that I wasn’t born in sheep country, that I don’t speak their language, don’t get their culture or their social habits.

Perhaps I give them too much credit, but I have a feeling that sheep are more deliberate than most people think.

I suppose they got bored with me trying and in the end relented.

Peace at last.

Near Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Near Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand.



Dog heaven on Tahunanuai Beach

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before. I baby-sat a dog.

I’ve never been much of a dog person but in recent years this has changed. I got introduced to three four-legged critters by a friend of mine. Red, Henry and Frank quickly included me in their pack and we soon became friends. They are very funny. I never realised how much personality dogs have. They are all so different from each other and what I really like is their honesty.

Then I met Taz. Taz is a Spaniel/Wheaten cross with a gorgeous personality. She’s very cute and pretty much irresistible. It was Taz who I took to Tahunanuai Beach in Nelson to spend a few hours in dog heaven with her and all her newfound doggy mates.

Taz is the cutey in the bottom right of the picture.

Tahunanuai Beach, Nelson, New Zealand
Tahunanuai Beach, Nelson, New Zealand.




You’ve got to love this country.

Earlier I got chatting to a couple from South Africa. We were enjoying the same view overlooking  Mahau Sound. The two were a bit gutted as their team had just been knocked out of the rugby world cup in a game they should have won.

Never mind that dampener to their holiday the couple commented on the beauty of New Zealand and it’s people. By all accounts they were having a ball.

It’s refreshing to hear the perspective of people who are new to this country. It reminds me that no matter how often I come across a view it’s always a privilege to see it again. And each time it looks a little different from the last.

Mahau Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Mahau Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.



Road trip to Picton

I love road trips.

I hadn’t been out of Christchurch since the summer and with a few days off work I decided to go for a leisurely drive up the coast to Picton.

I’ve got family up there and was looking forward to a few days of catching up and relaxing in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s a beautiful trip from Christchurch, but waking up this morning the weather looked decidedly uninspiring. Cloudy skies and a strong easterly gale did not make for a day of taking photographs along the way.

South of Kaikoura a group of Kiwis was doing what Kiwis do. Being out, enjoying the beach and getting kai, whitebait in this case. Living in Christchurch, and putting up with the earthquakes during the last year, it was easy to forget that life goes on as normal outside the Canterbury Plains. I decided to stop the car and watch the activity for a while. It was a good decision as I felt an instant sense of calm and enjoyment holding my camera and making images.

With photography you make your own luck and opportunities are everywhere, even on the seemingly unpromising days.

Whitebaiting in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Whitebaiting in Kaikoura, New Zealand.