New Zealand landscapes supplement

Amidst the many family holiday photographs from our New Zealand trip, three more landscape compositions have been hiding. The first photograph, a long exposure, shows clouds flowing over a mountain ridge and then dissolving. One can only imagine that there may have been many more clouds on the other side of divide. Lake Pukaki, the subject of the second composition below, has already been shown in the last post. However, I like the particular view below (also a long exposure) and did not want to withhold it. A Moeraki boulder has also been shown, but in contrast to the first example, the specimen below is intact. If you want, also have a look at my entire New Zealand gallery; more photographs will be added in the coming weeks.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug The cloud divide, Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

2015/01/26 by Florian Freimoser
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New Zealand landscapes

The third New Zealand holiday photographs blog post is about landscapes. Looking at my compositions, I realize that I am much less of a landscape photographer than I may have thought. Of course, New Zealand abounds with impressive landscapes on every coast and in between. I am also as much in love with nature and the outdoors as ever. However, I think that landscape photography is mostly about being at a beautiful place at a right time. With respect to photography, I am now more interested in seeing and discovering than in being. Therefore, details and intimate views are the subjects I am mostly after, not primarly broad landscape vistas. Nevertheless, here is a collection of my most preferred "classical" New Zealand landscape photographs of our trip. Some of these landscape photographs are more documentary than the others and you can see that I was particularly inspired at Muriwai Beach, Tongariro, and Lake Pukaki and the Aoraki/Mount Cook area. Besides the landscape gallery, all my New Zealand photographs are collected in a dedicated New Zealand gallery.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugOrange lining beyond Oaia island, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand

Nesting gannets on the cliffs and on Oaia island (in the distance), Muriwai Beach, New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe and South Crater, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

The three Emerald Lakes, Central Crater, and Blue Lake (on the left edge, in the background), Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Rocks and surf at Monroe Beach, New Zealand

Hooker River, Hooker Valley, and Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Sunset at Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Aoraki/Mount Cook catches the very first sun rays, Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

2015/01/24 by Florian Freimoser
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New Zealand trees

I am working my way through the photographs from our recent New Zealand trip, so that I can share more compositions here, prepare a family photo book, and put together a slide show. Today, the topic are trees and forests. For a visitor from Europe, the native trees and forests of New Zealand are otherworldly, astonishing, and foreign. The lush and intense greens, the dense undergrowth, all the epiphytes and mosses, and of course the many types of ferns. There are also the majestic Kauri trees - which might be on the verge of extinction due to a microbial pest - and wonderfully colorful trees such as the Pohutukawa and the Rata tree. During our walks through the New Zealand rain forests the visual impressions were often completed by exotic noises, smells, and the sensation of pouring rain on our jackets - quite fittingly for a rain forest. However, I found it extremely difficult to adequatly capture our impressions in photographs the "work". Below are a six compositions that I like; not only as docuemnts, but also as photographs. However, a photograph can never really do justive to the experience of wandering through such a forest.
All my New Zealand photographs are filed in thematic galleries, but there is now also a New Zealand gallery, within the new "Beautiful places" folder, where all photographs from our recent trip will appear.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPohutukawa entaglment in Wenderholm Regional Park, Waiwera, New Zealand

Pohutukawa forest in Wenderholm Regional Park, Waiwera, New Zealand

The awe-inspiring Tane Mahuta Kauri tree in Waipoua Forest, Kauri Coast, New Zealand

Lush Kauri rain forest in Trounson Kauri Park, New Zealand

Temperate Northland rain forest, Trounson Kauri Park, New Zealand

Waving Northern Rata tree in Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki, New Zealand

2015/01/17 by Florian Freimoser
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Moon-lit Moeraki boulder shell

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Moon-lit Moeraki boulder shell on the beach, Hampden, New Zealand

A few days ago, we have returned from wonderful New Zealand and I am now sorting, discarding, selecting and developing the thousands of photographs that the children and myself took. It is a slow, time-consuming process, but it offers many opportunities to look back at our adventures, to reminisce, and to be grateful for all that we could experience as a family. Although photography was of course not the main purpose of our vacation, there is a number of compositions that I am satisfied with. The first New Zealand photograph that I would like to share is, at least currently, my preferred composition of our entire trip. For me, this photograph is rendered special not only because of what you see, but also because it involved planning, some hardship, and a bit of luck. 

I was really looking forward to photograph at the Moeraki boulders, but had hoped to discover compositions that are different from the famous sunrise/sunset shots that I had often seen. When we arrived on the beach where these gigantic boulders lie around, it was clear that I could only photograph the rocky spheres early in the morning or late at night - unless if I had cared for photographs of tourists posing on the rocks. Luckily, the tidal patterns were compatible and I had realized that it was full moon. I previsualized Moeraki boulders in moon light and set out for a nightly walk from our campground. 

The scene was as I hoped: the beach, rocks and sea lightened by the moon and no tourist far and wide. But then, while kneeling next to my tripod in the wet sand, while taking photographs, my knee cracked. It first seemed like a negligible inconvenience, but soon became a painful disability. The prospect of the hike back to the campground became more and more discomforting. However, just when I had packed up my equipment and started limping back, I came across this boulder: a cracked Moeraki boulder with a puddle in the middle, and if looked at from the right angle moon light in the puddle and on the sea. Almost too good to be true! Despite the pain and advanced hour, I unpacked and quickly took two exposures (only one of which turned out reasonably sharp). It is one of the rare cases where I think virtually everything is right - the frame has not even been cropped the tiniest bit.


2015/01/14 by Florian Freimoser
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A happy, healthy, and successful 2015!


Since we are currently traveling through New Zealand, we have celebrated the earliest possible "arrival" of the year 2015. We have welcomed 2015 and bade farewell to 2014 in Wanaka, on New Zealand's south island. Here, 2014 has ended with a torrential rainfall and hurricane winds, but just in time for the fireworks it cleared up. We have thus made a long walk along Lake Wanaka in order to look at the fireworks (shown below). On our way, my four light painting assistants have helped create the photograph on the top as a new year greeting from New Zealand.

We wish you a healthy, interesting, challenging, happy, fulfilled and successful 2015! Wherever you are, I hope that 2015 brings you much light and sunshine and only occasional clouds and rain.

All the best,

Florian.

 New year fireworks 2015 above Lake Wanaka, Wanaka, New Zealand..

2014/12/31 by Florian Freimoser
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