Category Archives: New Zealand

The Road from Queenstown to Glenorchy

Is this the most beautiful drive in the world? I wouldn’t argue if you thought so! We spent about an hour at this special spot on the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy watching the colours change as soft, puffy clouds floated over Lake Wakatipu. Naturally I took way too many photos and had all kinds of problems choosing the one I liked best, haha classic first world problems!

Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , , , |

A Church Under the Stars

Tekapo is famous for it’s crystal clear night skies so what better place for some astrophotography! The last time I was here was probably about 7 years ago when I worked for a science centre in Christchurch called ‘Science Alive!’. Some of the educators and I did a field trip to the Mt John Observatory, staying a few nights so we could get the full blown astronomy experience. I remember seeing Saturn through one of their telescopes and having my mind completely blown, it was so beautiful! The guy in charge also had the most epic laser pointer, which the 8 year old in me found equally compelling.

Anyway here I was again, this time staying closer to the township so I could take photos of the Church of the Good Shepherd. This is a popular landmark (by New Zealand standards) so there were tourist buses constantly coming and going. It was quieter at night but I was still surprised by the number of people there taking photos, which was kinda fun!…and kind annoying! Haha mostly because of the car headlights, but even they could at times be useful for illuminating the church.

I don’t have a good lens for astrophotography at the moment but the Sony A7s is so freaky fast that I got away with some wide angle shots at f4 over about 20 seconds. Including this one that benefited from some whispy clouds that were lurking that night.

Also posted in Tekapo Tagged , , , , |

Timeless Split Apple Rock

While over here in Tasman Bay I got up early to take photos of Split Apple Rock (just around the corner from Marahau). It was close to 5am and still dark enough for a long exposure which helped smooth out the water. I don’t have an ND filter so to drag the exposure out for as long as possible (94 seconds) I maxed out the settings at ISO50 and F22. This brought out all the dirty spots on my lens but l gobbled up those dots in post like the Pac-Man you can kind of see in this photo if you tilt your head a little 🙂

I then ditched my camera, jumped in the water, swam over to the rock and did all those fun things you should remember to do in between taking photos!

One last thing you might find interesting is that a well known scientist was born around 40 minutes drive from here in a small town named Brightwater. His name is Ernest Rutherford, famous for splitting the atom…

Timeless Split Apple Rock

Also posted in Marahau Tagged , , , |

The Bend at Tahunanui Beach

I took this photo during a walk around Tahunanui Beach here in Nelson, New Zealand. I couldn’t fit the nice little tidal bend into one shot so ended up stitching 5 photos together to make a panorama, something that I’ve been doing more of lately using Photoshop. I export the individual shots through Lightroom and hey presto we’ve got a panorama! My computer churns through the process quite slowly and I might have to do a little adjusting when the algorithm doesn’t get it quite right but all things considered it’s surprisingly easy!

The Bend at Tahunanui Beach

Also posted in Nelson Tagged , |

A Pohutukawa Tree on Christmas Day

Happy holidays everyone! I went for a walk on Christmas day near the beach in Nelson, New Zealand and found this Pohutukawa. We also call it the New Zealand Christmas tree over here because of the beautiful crimson flowers you see at this time of year.

A Pohutukawa Tree on Christmas Day

Also posted in Nelson Tagged |

A Giant LOTR Dwarf at Auckland Aiport

A quick stopover in Auckland gave me time to take another Lord of the Rings airport photo (last time was Gollum in Wellington). I think this is some kind of dwarf warrior, although the statue is pretty huge which doesn’t seem to fit well with the whole dwarf thing. As you can probably tell I’m no LOTR expert! Not even close, although I did enjoy the movies. 🙂


Also posted in Auckland Tagged , , |

Timeless Reflections at Monaco, Nelson

I’m back home in Nelson, New Zealand for a few days and I’ve taken the opportunity to take some photos at Monaco, a lovely little boating area. I don’t normally go with black and white but I do like it every now and then and sometimes the situation just demands it! This seemed like one of those situations with the calm water giving the image a serene, timeless feel which is in direct contrast to my previous photo!


Also posted in Nelson Tagged , , , |

A Gollum Selfie

If you’ve been through Wellington Airport recently you may have noticed some fun additions! As a New Zealander, I sometimes cringe at our obsession with the Lord of the Rings but this is great! Anything that makes the airport experience more palatable is ok in my book!


Also posted in Wellington Tagged , , |

Driving Dogs

Sometimes you walk past something that just makes you smile, this was one of those moments, immediately reminding me of that story about the SPCA training dogs to drive 🙂


Tagged , , |

New Zealand Photo Adventure with Trey Ratcliff

Well that was fun! Big thanks to Trey, Curtis, Karen, Scott and everyone else who made this New Zealand photo adventure so awesome! I made some great new friends and it was cool seeing parts of NZ that I hadn’t been to before. I feel like I really improved my technical knowledge, composition and post-processing skills over the week and I’m looking forward to putting them into practise! These are a few of my favourite shots from the trip 🙂

Moody MilfordThe Primordial LakeThe UFO Landing SiteThe Perfect NZ SunsetThe Mysterious Glowing TreeMonkey CreekQueenstown from High AboveA Pond at the HillsThe DuelLake Wakatipu UFOMilford CloudsLady Bowen FallsMonkey Creek CloudsQueenstown Garden BridgeFunky CloudsBendemeer HayBendemeer HillsClassic NZ LandscapeGlenorchy Lake HillsBendemeer WarmthKorean PrisonJumper at the HillsThe RemarkablesA Glenorchy PathA Glenorchy SunsetDeer Park FieldsThe Winding RoadThe Wolves GatherEarly Morning on Lake WakatipuBendemeer UFO'sSunrise on Lake WakatipuGlenorchy WatersGlenorchy ReflectionsWide Open SpacesEarthynessWool Shed Stars

Also posted in Milford Sound, Queenstown Tagged , , , , , , |

Bendemeer Moments

Man this place was so photogenic I’m tempted to refer to anything similar from now on as a “Bendemeer Moment”, I probably won’t but still, this place was amazing! As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bendemeer is a residential development near Arrowtown and Lake Hayes. We caught it on the perfect night where the colours and light changed dramatically every few minutes while the sun slowly dropped below the horizon.


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , , , |

Stars Over the Wool Shed

We wrapped up an amazing photography adventure of New Zealand’s deep south with some food and drinks at a conveniently tricked out wool shed. Naturally with so many photographers in attendance it wasn’t long before we were all outside gazing at the Milky Way. It took a bit of experimenting but this might be the first time I’m happy with a photo I’ve taken of the stars, it’s something I really want to get better at and I’m pleased to be making progress!


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , |

The Perfect New Zealand Sunset

So this is why people want to visit New Zealand! It had already been the perfect evening exploring the countryside outside Queenstown but it was about to get more perfecter! 🙂 I could tell this sunset was going to be something special so I wanted to find the perfect spot to watch it happen. I jumped fences, ran through fields, climbed hills and finally settled at the location you see below. Just a mesmerizing moment.


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , , |

The Primordial Lake

While exploring the beautiful surroundings at the Bendemeer Estate I came across this amazing lake. It felt like the kind of place where all sorts of wondrous biological processes were taking place.


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged |

Funky Clouds near Lake Hayes

As the night went on the clouds got more and more interesting. These funky clouds near Lake Hayes look like blobs of paint thrown against a wall, and I love them for it.


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , |

Bales and Bales of Hay

To finish our incredible Queenstown adventure we went to a residential development near Arrowtown and Lake Hayes called Bendemeer. It’s a stunningly gorgeous spot and we definitely hit it on a good night, the first photo I took (after jumping a few fences) was of these hay bales and things only got better after that!


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged |

A UFO Over Lake Wakatipu

On the way back to Queenstown from Milford Sound we stopped alongside Lake Wakatipu to take photos of some strange lenticular clouds. This one looked like a UFO!


Also posted in Queenstown Tagged , , |

Beautiful Milford Sound

Funnily enough I’m the only New Zealander on this trip, Trey is getting close to Kiwi status but I think he has to work on his accent a little 🙂 I guess we can see our country whenever we want but I’d never seen this part of NZ and having the opportunity to experience it with an amazing group of photographers was just too good an opportunity to miss. Now that I’m here in beautiful Milford Sound I can’t believe I didn’t come earlier! I’ve been out of the country a lot though and my interest in photography and the outdoors has really only blossomed recently. We spent a lot of time taking photos down at the water’s edge and it was great fun! The tide was rolling in so every couple of minutes you had to pack up your gear and make a break for dry land over the slippery rocks. From here we took a memorable cruise through the fjord, checking out Lady Bowen Falls and enjoying the company of some very playful dolphins. Good times!


Also posted in Milford Sound Tagged , , , , |

Milford Sound on a Moody Morning

We got up early in the morning to take photos of Mitre Peak and Milford Sound with our fingers crossed that there would be less fog than the night before. It turned out to be almost perfect with moody clouds and some beautiful light. I took a number of different shots but I think this was my favourite.


Also posted in Milford Sound Tagged , |

Ghosts of Milford

We walked down to the water’s edge to take some evening shots of Milford Sound but it was quite foggy. At the time I thought the photos would be pretty much unusable but you’d be surprised how much light cameras can pick up. This shot of some Milford ghosts (and their tripods) ended up being one of my favourites. I guess the moral of the story is to give every shooting situation a chance even if it doesn’t seem great at the time, you never know how the pics are going to turn out until you sit down and take a look at them later.


Also posted in Milford Sound