2015 Countdown #15-11

Continuing with the countdown !

#15 Stars over Hooker Lake

This image was taken after taking a walk in the predawn light to Hooker Lake. It’s one of the most beautiful walks to do in New Zealand as an in-out shoot and ends at the impressive Hooker Lake.  This was part of a series I’ve been shooting this year of ‘night exploration’  and I thought the vertical format with stars above shows off the scale of the cosmos. It’s interesting to note that lately I’ve been seeing a great many shots from this location with the core of the milky way superimposed into the scene often with a day time shot of the surrounding mountains. These make for striking images but personally I still strive to capture what is actually there in what is actually the prevailing light. Hence, I settled for Orion and predawn lighting for this scene. It’s important to note that people will NEVER agree on the imaginary line which separates landscape photography from digital art. Marianne and I settle for the term ‘artography’ for manipulated images,  but this image still falls within our loose term for ‘photography’.


#14 Isthmus Peak

This was taken on the walk down from Isthmus peak where the actual dawn was a bust. And then the light came and was glorious for moments before fading away again. This was my second consecutive 3am start of long out and back trips before breakfast and it was a euphoric moment when the light appeared. As a point of discussion, it would be interesting to note if the people who have seen this image would be sufficiently inspired by the possibilities to get up there themselves. We’ll keep an eye on ‘Isthmus Peak’ google image searches to see if more images appear from this area and would feel very complimented if there are fine art landscape images appearing from  a location which has thus far been dominated with snapshot images on google.


#13 The Spa Pool

This is an image of the famous ‘Spa Pool’ in Hammersley Gorge, one of the jewels of Karijini National Park. At the scene, there are limited options to set the tripod up due to the tilting geography , but this composition is not one that is unique. Marianne did take another image with the foreground rock as a subject. That particular image did very well in the Epson Panorama awards but wasn’t an especially popular image. I guess this begs the question of what you shoot for at a given scene. In all honesty, Marianne was not shooting for social media nor competition performance at the scene. In fact, as a photographic experiment  we had decided she was to go to Spa Pool without having seen anyone else’s image! The fact that she came away with some different angles as well as the ‘tried and true’ points that some scenes lend themselves to certain compositions but yet there are endless opportunities to create something unique even from an iconic location. The bottom line is that we like this image, but we like her other version more 🙂


#12 Ashburton Tufts

This image was taken after an evening of light snow in the Lake Heron area. Since we were staying at Lake Heron station, we were allowed access on private 4WD paths. I wasn’t game to cross streams in our rental car so beyond a certain point, I went on foot in search of a composition to emphasise the unique landscape in the area. Button grass is certainly a characteristic feature in the New Zealand landscape. The image is 9 vertical frames taken with my 24-70 F2.8 II lens. These days, I’m finding much more success shooting longer focal lengths rather than ultrawide for panoramas. This is one of our favourite images from the recent trip and we’re hoping to get it printed 2m wide for our home at some stage!


#11 Wreck Beach

This image was taken near the anchor of the Marie Gabrielle shipwreck. It’s a 10 storey walk (350 + steps) down to the beach which actually sounds worse than it is. Along the walk to this point , the entire beach is filled with possibilities for compositions and different styles of seascape photography. I opted for a dry shoot on this evening. The interesting social media aspect to this image is how it came to rank highly in this countdown. It was one of our most liked images ever on facebook and I honestly do not feel that it ranks alongside some of our other well known images. I suspect that on that particular day, facebook allowed a greater ‘reach’ to the fans on our page. Reach limitations have stalled any meaningful interaction on most of our facebook posts and it’s somewhat disappointing that instagram seems destined to follow the same path of opportunistic greed. I like this shot enough, but once again, not enough to cry should it somehow vanish from our drives.


Stay tuned for the top 10 in the next post!


Posted on December 10, 2015, in Australia, How we..., New Zealand, Photography. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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