Exploring New Zealand's unique landscapes
By Doug Hall
New Zealand is a place unlike anywhere else in the world. The variety of landscapes close to each other means you can be shooting the sunrise on the beach, amazing rivers and waterfalls through the day and then a sunset over majestic snow covered mountains.
My business partner and fellow photographer, Samantha Taylor, and I often lead photography tours through the south island of New Zealand.
On this particular 10 day tour, we had been travelling for almost a week, travelling from Christchurch, through the mountainous Arthur's Pass, weaving our way down the west coast to Franz Josef Glacier, before then making our way to the beautiful township of Arrowtown.
We had spotted this little lookout off the road on the downward spiral into Arrowtown and marked it as a possible good sunset location. When we returned late that afternoon, the wind was whipping through the valley and was hitting the lookout like a tornado.
We set in and found some spots to bunker in and sit for sunset. It was freezing, the clouds covered the sky and the wind was stinging my face. I just didn’t want to be there, however I then heard a huge scream of joy from one of my students as they used some shooting techniques I showed them and they had captured an amazing frame.
My smile filled my face and I was reminded that this is why I love photography so much. Even in the worst conditions a great photo can make everything worth it.
When you are caught in windy conditions like this, I always try and get down low, into some cover, even using my own body as a wind break for my camera if positioning allows. This had led to some funny behind the scene photos of me trying to block wind with my body.
You can also lower your tripod down low and weighing the tripod down (I often use my camera backpack and hook it to the centre line hook). This will give you a sturdy base and in turn will steady your camera. A steady base will help you capture a sharper image.
In the end I captured this beautiful moment, making the cold and wind worth the effort.
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Have a wonderful week
PS You can check out the rest of the Doug Hall Collection here.
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