As you might have gathered, Queenstown turned into a very landscape-photography oriented photography trip; the colors of the landscape were magical, but the variation in light and contrast was even more so – naturally lending itself to fantastic black and white images. Since it was winter, the sun traces an arc across the sky but never shines directly downwards from above – the upshot of this is you can shoot at all times of day. Naturally, I took advantage of it. I drove, stopped where the light arrested me, shot, and moved on. And on one day, spent most of the afternoon in the Arrowtown River delta – formerly the site of the Queenstown gold rush, but now the the home of some pretty spectacular trees – and a riot of colour that will be the subject of a future photoessay. Nevertheless, I felt black and white suited the subject matter quite well, as the trees in winter have this stark beauty to them that I felt was best captured without that sense of ‘life’ that colour imbues.
If you think about it, skiing must be one of the most pointless activities on earth – right next to motor racing. Both involve completing the same circuit (or piste) repeatedly. Sometimes with the objective of speed, sometimes with no objective at all. I’ve tried to figure out why we find it enjoyable, but honestly have no idea – perhaps it’s both the necessity of focusing on something to the exclusion of everything else, and the fact that it’s different enough from our normal activities that other parts of brains are stimulated. I remember having to work very hard at the basics before everything ‘clicks’ – and then you start moving at a much more intuitive level. I suppose it’s a sort of meditation, not unlike photography. Today’s photoessay is a series I shot at Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand a couple of months ago whilst taking a break from developing my landscape photography. I’m the sort of skier who learns off piste so he can fins something else to shoot; this time I used a Manfrotto Lino Pro field jacket to hold the gear – it’ll take a 645Z/55mm in one padded pocket, and a D810/Otus in the other. Enjoy! MT
Some urban scenery captured during downtime on another work assignment at the end of 2010 – often, this is all the time I get to shoot personal work. It’s a rather pleasant city by the bay that’s really quite nice when the sun is out – when the sun isn’t out and it’s cold and windy, it’s downright miserable. Especially when you find out everything closes by 5.30pm and there’s precious little in the way of dinner options. It’s also a popular cruise ship destination/ stopover en route to the outer Pacific islands or Hawaii. MT
Series shot with a mishmash of equipment – Apple iPhone 4, Nikon D700, AFS 28-300/3.5-5.6 VR and Sony NEX-5 and 18-55 kit lens.
The taxi driver I had on the return trip to the airport told me he just bought a new SUV to tow his 50ft yacht. I ran out of words, thinking solely that I was both in the wrong job, and living in the wrong country.