NZPhotographer Issue 2, Dec 2017


Whether you’re an enthusiastic weekend snapper or a beginner who wants to learn more about photography, New Zealand Photographer is the fun and informative e-magazine for all Kiwi camera owners. You can always read the latest issue for free or subscribe to the magazine and get unlimited access to all back issues. Find out more:

ISSUE 2, December 2017











December 2017


From the Editor



Dear reader,

Join the conversation!

Get in touch!

General Info:

NZPhotographer Issue 2

December 2017


Cover Photo

by Rina Sjardin - Thompson –

Kahikatea Astro


Excio Group




Group Director:

Ana Lyubich

2 NZPhotographer

Taya Iv, Editor


Taya Iv

Graphic Design:

Maksim Topyrkin

Contributing Writers/Photographers:

Rajib Mukherjee, Ray Harness,

Brendon Gilchrist

Editorial Assistant:

Emily Goodwin

Advertising Enquiries:

Phone us on 04 889 29 25 or send

us an enquiry

We were thrilled to receive so much kind

feedback after the release of our first issue.

Your helpful comments and continuous

support motivated us to make the second

issue even more magnificent than the first!

In this issue, we’re proud to share various

photographers’ thoughts, expert critiques,

travel inspiration, and more. We had the

honour of interviewing talented individuals,

discovering brand new tips to share with you,

and growing our community. The photos

gracing these pages were carefully selected

to inspire you as much as possible.

As I write this, I’m reminded of the true value

of beginnings. NZ Photographer Magazine is

only a couple of months old now, yet it has

already grown into something significant.

Within a few weeks, our team has gotten to

know an abundance of talented individuals.

We’ve had the opportunity to give artists a

chance to be truly heard. What a humbling

experience this has been for us. It wouldn’t

have been possible without you, dear

reader. Thank you for being a part of our

community. Thank you for being you.

We look forward to seeing your work in future


© 2017 NZPhotographer Magazine

All rights reserved. Reproduction

of any material appearing in this

magazine in any form is forbidden

without prior consent of the


About NZPhotographer

Whether you’re an enthusiastic

weekend snapper or a beginner

who wants to learn more, NZ Photographer

is the fun e-magazine for all

Kiwi camera owners – and it’s free!


Opinions of contributing authors do

not necessarily reflect the opinion

of the magazine.















Emily Goodwin


Rajib Mukherjee



Photo by Diane Beguely



Brendon Gilchrist

December 2017


Interview with Rina


Her Journey from Farmyard

to Fulltime Photographer

Can you tell us a little about

yourself and how you became

interested in photography?

I was born in Rotorua, moved to Australia when

I was 16, finished school there, left school at

18, 6 months later I got married and worked

alongside my husband in our bricklaying

business and then I worked in a behaviour

management unit as part of the Queensland

Education Department.

After 25 yrs in Australia I came home, back

to Rotorua and worked in management of

a retail store until I found my feet again and

settled.... problem was I didn’t settle, I moved

to Hanmer Springs where I met a bloke from

the West Coast. When I realised he was 5th

generation on his farm at Bruce Bay I realised

he was not going to pack up to be with me so I

moved to Fox Glacier and eventually to Bruce


This was where I started taking pictures....

how on earth could you not!!! Every morning

I’d wake up, go to the loo and look out the

window to see the Mahitahi River winding

its way out of the mountains, Mt Hooker

permanently covered in snow, albeit a strip

down the middle in summer, the Flagstaff

Creek coming out of the foothills and Hereford

cattle grazing beneath 1000yr old Kahikatea

trees..... oh and occasionally a few deer!!! Truly

amazing scenery.

There was a small 4-megapixel camera in

the drawer and I used that to snap away

around the farm... quite the culture shock for

me having come from Brisbane/Gold Coast

Australia to the very rural Bruce Bay and onto

a farm no less. I had a lot to learn. My then

partner needed photos of his prized bulls for

catalogues and images taken from around

the farm for advertising his bull sales so I began

to take the camera everywhere I went – I was

never without it. I upgraded to a DSLR and

took that everywhere with me... I had caught

the bug. Bitten and smitten you could say!

My first competition came with the invitation

to enter a small local calendar competition

– The top 13 images being used to create

the calendar... I had 4 images go into that

calendar including the cover... then people

started asking for a particular image of the two

bulls fighting in the river so I was giving them

away.... Then it was suggested I enter a bigger

regional competition which I did. I entered 3

images in each category and won 1st, 2nd,

3rd in each category I’d entered.... that was

when I thought “ok, maybe I can take a

photo” and from there the sales started.

It was good to test the waters with these

smaller comps but now the only competition I

enter is the NZ Geographic Competition. I love

that NZ Geographic have restrictions on the

processing of entries and they hold you to a

certain standard thereby making it a soughtafter

title for photographers. Love that.

4 NZPhotographer December 2017 5

What happened next, how did

photography become your career?

I began loading my images onto Flickr and

I created a Facebook page, though this

wasn't for photos. It was to keep in touch

with friends whilst travelling but very quickly

became about photos and soon after it

became my office, gallery, and portfolio! I

have no website as I think FB does a better

job and I can communicate instantly with

people and potential clients.

I had an experience where I was doing the

photos at a family reunion in Fox Glacier.

A woman came up to me and said, “I love all

the photos you put on FB Rina.”

I frowned as I looked at her name badge as

I didn’t recognise the name. So I asked her,

“How did you find me?”

She replied, “I have a sister in Scotland who

has a friend in England who has a friend

in Australia who is friends with my friend

Paula....” I realised that Facebook would

have to stay!

What tips do you have for our readers on

turning a hobby or interest into a career?

It’s a journey and its a process. Unfortunately,

there are no shortcuts you have to do the hard

yards to learn how to use your camera. For me

things have worked a little differently than most

as I pretty much fell into photography as I have

with all my careers. There was never a master

plan, never a burning desire, never a marketing

strategy, never a conscious decision to go down

this road – In fact, for me, its more like my camera

is taking me on a journey, not me taking my

camera. I now go where the work takes me and I

love that... I’m literally just going with the flow!





Rina Sjardin - Thompson

6 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Tell us about getting published

in New Zealand Geographic...

What can I say? Apart from having someone

purchase your images to hang in their lounge, being

asked to publish in NZ Geographic is kind of the ants

pants really. It’s the one place, other than National

Geographic, where everyone wants to “be seen”.

For me, I was gobsmacked and didn’t really realise

what they saw in that image until I saw it published

and read the text they wrote with it!!! They found

me through Flickr where they’d periodically choose

images that they faved which in itself was pretty cool.

What’s your proudest moment

in the photography world?

I’m not sure it has happened yet. I’ve met some

amazing people and had some great adventures

and even introduced others to where I live to enjoy

the adventure with me... to be honest, I don’t

really understand the fuss that goes along with

photography... as if we are any different to a plumber

or labourer doing their job. Egos are rife in this industry

and I struggle to work out why there is a certain strut

that photographers can take on when lugging around

a big camera with a larger lens... they are all just tools

to help us do our job.

I suppose if I were to be “proud” it would be that I

am doing this full time when there are so many other

talented photographers out there that can’t or are





Rina Sjardin-Thompson

not. The other possible proud moment would be

when I am teaching in workshops and I see students

get it. When they figure something out they thought

they couldn’t do or when you see them growing and

producing good work! That’s pretty satisfying I think.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Canon 6D and L series lenses. 24 -105mm,

100mm macro, 100 – 400mm (my walk around lens),

and 16 – 38mm.

I don’t use filters other than an ND8 for water....

So you can see my kit is as simple as I am and as

simple as my work is. But I like it like that... and you

know what... it works for me.

I usually would say it doesn’t matter what gear you

have until you know where you are going with your

interest in photography, can afford all the good gear

or want to concentrate on something specific. I’m

more interested in how people see the world and

fill the frame more than what gear they captured it

with.... too many times I see people bragging about

what gear they have so the expectation is they MUST

have great images.... not so!!!

Where’s your favorite place

to shoot in NZ?

Without a doubt the West Coast. It is the MOST

underrated, underutilised area in NZ for photography.

It’s not an easy place to live if you’re not used to

being without all manner of creature comforts but

that’s part of what the West Coast is all about.... This

place is just amazing!

Any locations still on your ‘to shoot’ list?

People have asked me why I’m not travelling the

world with my photography. I kinda think that I am

already where the rest of the world wants to be

whether they are purely a tourist or a photographer....

If you weren’t already a photographer, NZ will turn you

into one!!!

I’ll go wherever the work takes me but I feel that I

could take photos for the next 50 years (I will be 103

by then)... and still not cover NZ and all it has to offer!

So no, I am totally happy to be a homebody!

Tell us about your workshops...

Four years ago I started teaching beginners who were

terrified of their cameras and its settings so I wanted

to change that for people... After doing them on

my own for 2 yrs I invited Mikey MacKinven to join

me to teach astrophotography and editing. I have

designed a few different styles of workshops for Epic

Photography Workshops ranging from beginners long

weekends to the longer 7 day epic workshop which

include doors off heli shooting, a night in an alpine hut

and a few hrs on the ice enjoying one of the 2 glaciers

we have here.

I have started to work with Rachel Gillespie from NZ

Adventures to run Female Photography Adventures

which have proved to be a huge response... These

are long weekends run each month in different areas

of the country. These are with beginners in mind, the

intention being to build confidence not only in their

photography but also within themselves. Through

workshops, we also offer mentorships so that they are

not left on their own once the workshop is done!!

As I have said previously that I will go where the work

takes me, I am in the middle of organising workshops/

tours overseas:

• South Australia with local photographer Dave


• Africa with host Tracy Pepper

• Canada with local host and guide Paula Sheridan

of Okarito Boat Tours




composition but if you purely look for the light,

that’s all you need to create magic... See step 1.

That also goes for editing as well. As I said, less is


4. Chase The Light. The light is what will make or

break your image.

What other tips do you have?

Rina Sjardin-Thompson

1. Never wear white around water. It is a guarantee

that you will fall in, be wiped out by a wave, get

caught in heavy rain... only to find your whites are

no longer white but opaque.... True story!!!

2. Chocolate. Never leave home without it – You

always walk further than you think you did and

you’ll need it for the return trip!!!

3. An over inflated ego is not attractive, in fact, it’s

downright ugly so stay modest.

4. Don’t rely on others to motivate you... You have

to get you out of bed in the morning. You have to

want to learn and you have to do the do.... and

only you. Photography is essentially a lone activity

and if you can’t motivate yourself to get out then

its not going to work for you.

5. When you are mustering cattle, fall off your horse,

and 2 fighting bulls come at you – RUN!!!! Don’t

stand there taking the photo and have your

partner telling you to “F@%K the photo get out of

the F@#Kn way!!! NB: That image became my 5th

best selling image!

What are 4 basics of landscape photography that

our readers should know?

1. Be Patient. Rather than hit the location, grab a

shot or two then hit the road, spend the time

“getting to know” and getting “the feel” of the

place.... Your images will be sooo much better for

the time spent connecting to your landscape.

Where can we find you online?

My business cards simply say, as does the text on my

high vis vest for sports photography,

“Rina Sjardin-Thompson... “Find me on Facebook”.

2. Get Out. People have asked how I get consistently

good photos. That’s easy. You have to get off the

couch and go out and you also have to develop

new habits like taking the camera with you all

the time. Re-train yourself if you have to, to take

advantage of the best light the day has to offer


3. Keep It Simple. I think we tend to overcomplicate

things and look for the most jaw-dropping

8 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Q&A with


10 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Can you tell us a little about yourself and

how you became interested in photography?

I live in Palmerston North and am married with

one daughter. By day I work as an administrator

in the transport industry.

I have liked visual arts in general since as long

as I can remember. I used to do a lot of art as a

child, and I also spent many hours looking at my

set of wildlife encyclopaedias and other books

with lots of photos.

I got my first camera at age 11 or 12, it was a

Hanimex Hanimette 110 pocket camera, and

I still have it. It was not until digital cameras

arrived that I really began to start doing a lot

of photography though, despite having owned

two film SLR’s.

Do you have any professional training?

In photography, no - I am self-taught. I shoot

mostly on manual mode, and I do a lot of

manual focusing too, so I have learnt all that

pretty well.

I did do some private evening art classes

once, and a Graphic Design paper at Massey

University some years back, and both were very

helpful for learning theory and understanding a

lot about good composition and so on, which

is knowledge that I am able to transfer into my


With the technical side of photography

(learning about making good use of a DSLR,

and lenses and flash, and framing and light,

etc), it’s largely been a mix of trial and error,

and learning from others, both from tutorials

on the internet and from other members of the

Manawatu Camera Club.

What equipment do you use?

I use a fairly inexpensive - and now ageing

Canon EOS 600D.

I have the two kit lenses that came with it;

the Canon 18-55mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 IS II and 55-

250mm EF-S f/4-5.6 both for APS-C sensor only.

I have since purchased three more lenses; a

Canon macro EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM prime

lens (which I absolutely love using), and two

Tamron lenses - SP 24-70mm f/2.8 (I use this lens

the most) and SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3.

I only buy new lenses that can be mounted on

a full frame Canon so that I don’t have to start

over again when I upgrade my mount.

My flash is a Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT and it’s

great – I never liked the built-in camera flash.

I also have two tripods, a cheap wireless

remote and a few filters (Marumi ND and

Polariser), plus a light reflector and a portable

soft box stand that I use for off-camera flash.

You seem to shoot all genres, what’s your

favourite? And least favourite?

Yes, I like all sorts of genres and styles, whether

it be a perfectly lit formal studio portrait, or a

raw grainy black and white landscape or street

photo, so I have not been able to bring myself

to specialise in any particular genre or style.

What I love to do most is to create images that

are very unique in some way and also have

a wide appeal; images with good light and a

bit of a story, and often that involves having a

person, or group of people, for subjects in the


A good and well-shot long exposure landscape

with perfect light and a dramatic sky, for

example, is always very nice to look at, but if

you can place an interesting person into the

right spot in the scene then that makes it that

much more interesting and appealing. The

biggest challenge with that though is finding

willing subjects for the photo and then making it

all happen.

As for my least favourite - Well, I dislike badly

lit and poorly framed photos, and selfies

from phone cameras. In fact, I have an old

‘brick’ phone (grey Nokia, it has no internet or

camera), and that’s just the way I like it - No

photos with that!

You won a photo competition in 2016 which

then turned into an exhibition - Can you tell

us a little about that experience?

It was Alliance Française’s competition and

the subject that year was ‘Sport Objectif’. A

friend saw the competition advertised in the

local newspaper and mentioned it to me. So

I entered two photos I shot in March last year

of the annual beach horse racing event at


All local winners’ photos from around the

world are sent to Paris for the international

competition and the overall winner receives

a trip to Paris. After I had entered, I told the

people at Alliance Française that I had been

to Paris fairly recently and I offered to take a

couple of my printed photos from Paris in for

them to see, as well as a few other photos from

my Camera Club competitions.

12 NZPhotographer

December 2017


So I did just that and when they saw my work they

immediately invited me to exhibit 18 of my Paris


Deciding on 18 prints was difficult when I shot

around 1,800 photos in Paris. I had some favourites

that were on the top of my list though, and I chose

another 40 or so, which I processed and then gave

them all to Alliance Française to make the final

selection of 18. My two winning ‘Sport Objectif’

photos were exhibited at the same time, so there

were 20 photos on display in all. I know they had

difficulty choosing the final set, but their choices

were perfect. They very kindly organised the printing

and the mounting and all the associated costs too.

The exhibition was to run for three weeks, but the

exhibition that was to follow was cancelled, so my

photos remained on show for a further three weeks. I

sold a number of prints, mainly Paris photos, but also

one of the horses. It was a real buzz. I think every

keen enthusiast should give it a go at least once

if they have the chance, and enter competitions

as, as you can see, sometimes it can lead to other


This year Alliance Française asked me if they could

get even larger prints done for their library. I was

more than happy to oblige, so they have a half

dozen or so permanently on display there now.

How did you start working

with Dionisi Boutique?

I entered the Alliance Française competition again

this year, and I won it again. The subject for the

2017 competition was ‘Fashion and Dress Code’

and I asked one of the young woman at Alliance

Française, Florence, if she would like to model for

one photo (you have to enter two photos).

It turned out that Florence makes clothes and she

used to operate a small fashion website when she

was in Lyon before she came to New Zealand.

So, she made an amazing dress without a sewing

machine, and then she modelled in the hills one

cold Sunday afternoon for me.

In September this year Florence launched Dionisi

Boutique and I offered to shoot photos for her

website. So things just took off from there really. We

did a shoot in September at Castlepoint Beach

with Florence and an old treadle sewing machine

belonging to my wife, and also the main fashion

shoot with another amazing model for Dionisi

Boutique at the same time.

14 NZPhotographer December 2017 15

So, just by getting out and doing projects, and

entering competitions, and asking people to get

involved, sooner or later you find things just start to

happen more and more.

What tips do you have for working with models

on location?

Be nice, be courteous, and make it fun. I am pretty

down to earth and I joke around a lot. That seems

to work well, making models feel comfortable and

keeping them smiling.

When I want a more serious face instead, it’s

generally not too difficult to get that between the

smiles and the laughter.

As for posing a model, it’s important to know what

you want out of a model in advance and to make

sure you have done your research. This is really

crucial when you’re shooting someone who is new

to modelling, but even a more experienced model

- as we had at Castlepoint - usually needs a certain

amount of guidance. Dancers are generally really

good models because they are confident and they

tend to hold graceful poses without much thought

or effort.

Any tips for getting a model release? Do you

create your own or use one found online?

The easiest thing to do is to find one online. I did

that, then I made a few changes to suit my needs.

Other than that, I have no tips really - just make sure

you cover all the points well to make sure everything

is in order, so there is no risk of any problems later on.

It’s pretty straightforward really, but it is important to

do for any commercial work and for entries into big

competitions. The main thing to keep in mind, I think,

is that a model release is for the benefit and fairness

of all parties involved in the project, not just for the

photographer’s benefit.

How do you go about building a rapport with the


Talk! Invest some time to get to know each other

a little bit and make sure both parties have a

reasonably good understanding of what the other

has in mind. This can take place in advance, or on

the day of the shoot if need be. Just be open and

always be honest. And always keep it professional

and never try to pry into a model’s private life. But

also have fun, don’t be a dull bore.

16 NZPhotographer

Do you prefer shooting on location, or in the

studio, and why?

I love on location shoots. Studio sessions have their

place and I enjoy them too, but I like putting people

in nice scenes and using good natural light. Of course,

on location sessions take more time due to travel, and

you’re always reliant on the weather being kind, and

the window of good light doesn’t last as long as you’d


How much post-processing do you do, and what

software do you use?

I don’t like spending a lot of time on post-processing

so I try really hard to get great shots straight from the

camera to keep the post work down as much as


I frame up my shots very carefully so that I rarely need

to crop, and I am always on the lookout to avoid any

distractions in the scene. So, I try to take just as much

notice of the background as I do of the subject. But of

course, there is always some post required.

I use an old version of Photoshop and that’s pretty

much it. Most people I know use Lightroom, or both

LR and PS, but I know PS really well and I can get the

results from that alone for my needs.

I do quite a lot of bracketing/HDR and for processing

that I also use PS, or Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro. I

always shoot Camera RAW and I use PS’s tool to

process that too, then I bring the image into PS itself

and I usually finish off with some Adjustment Layers.

Most images only take about 5-10 minutes to process,

but occasionally I’ll spend an hour or more processing

some images, when I want to produce something

that’s a bit more special.

Any funny stories or horrific moments that you can

now look back on and laugh at?

I am quite shy by nature but I love shooting street

photography. There was one moment in the Paris

Metro. It was my first time in Paris and only the

second day, and a lady was singing on the train. I

took a photo of her performing and within a minute

or two she approached and was saying something,

presumably in French, and I didn’t have a clue. My

wife was on to it though, the performer was asking for

money, so it was all a bit awkward for a moment. Over

the following days, there were other times where I

would have liked to shoot similar scenes on the Metro,

but I was hesitant, especially since I had been severely

warned by my wife to keep my camera tucked away

after the first little incident.

December 2017


What is your favourite photograph ever, that

you have taken?

That’s a very easy question to answer, it’s titled

“Donnez-m’en aussi!” (or in English, “Get me

Some Too!”).

I often tell people that it’s the best photo I am

ever going to take, like when I am long gone

that’s the one photo people will remember me

by, I hope! It was pure luck to be in the right

place at the right time in Paris, to be by the shop

and have the Dalmatian and his master come

along, and the light was just perfect. I love this

photo so much that that is how I still feel about it

after shooting it in Paris back in November 2014.

It was my signature photo at my Paris photo

exhibition in 2016 and I have sold a number of

prints. I have also given prints away to a lot of

friends and family members as well.

Where can we find you online?

I am mainly interested in printed photographs

and print competitions, so I don’t have a strong

presence on the internet.

I guess the best place to look for me at the

moment is on Instagram (

paulrobertsonphotonz) which I only started using

very recently so there is not a lot there just yet;

and the studio and Castlepoint Beach fashion

photos on And on

Excio too of course. You can also watch for

some of my photos appearing in the camera

club’s website galleries, linked below.

18 NZPhotographer

December 2017







Behind The Shot with

Karen McLeod

“Tree in Fog #1” taken 19.07.17 – Gained Judges Commendation

at Art Waikino at Labour Weekend this year.

Did you plan this shot or was it more of a lucky moment?

This one was definitely a lucky moment. I live in Whitianga and was due to

be in Auckland for some meetings. I had already left earlier than needed

time wise for the drive as it was a foggy morning and I had been waiting

for an opportunity like this to capture some sunlight coming through the

trees in another location. Even though I must have driven past this tree

literally hundreds of times I had never noticed it before, until at 100k’s I

finally caught sight of it out of the corner of my eye. About 1km up the

road, I told myself I had to find somewhere to turn around and go back.

Finally doing so and the having to go back the other way a considerable

distance to find yet another place to safely turn around I was in luck that

there was a good area to pull right off the highway and get a clear view

of the tree.

What was happening behind the camera that we can’t see?

Thankfully I was on my own, but felt a little pressured with time and even

though off the road, the cars speeding past at 100ks rubber necking to

see what I was doing were a worry.

If you could re-take the photo, what would you change? Or are you

100% happy with it?

I took 14 images of the tree from slightly different angles and focal lengths.

This was the 6th shot and I don’t think I could re-take it and improve it. The

conditions were just right and the sun was at the perfect level.

Was any editing done after?

I used Adobe Lightroom to adjust the white balance, contrast & remove

some dust spots, then Photoshop to remove a couple of shining cow pats,

diffuse the sun spot a little more and crisp up the colour to what I saw.

Anything else we should know about this shot?

Every time I drive past that tree now, I slow down to look and have even

stopped to take a couple of photo’s, but it is not the same as it was that

morning. Those other days it has returned to being just a tree, a somewhat

unnoticeable tree. It was the day after my birthday that I got this image,

so I just accepted the gift of time & place and am grateful for the


20 NZPhotographer

December 2017




Nikon D750

f9, 1/80s,ISO 100

Taking on Taranaki

by Brendon Gilchrist

Brendon Gilchrist takes us to Taranaki this month. Taranaki is located on the

Western side of North Island and is both a coastal and mountainous region,

dominated by Mount Taranaki, the second highest mountain on North Island. The

promo slogan ‘Like No Other’ used to describe this place is suitably apt, this place

is something else!

Taranaki; One big mountain in the sky that beholds

and takes your breath away. A place where there

is so much to discover the question is ‘Where do I


The main city of New Plymouth is a great place to

base yourself and blesses you with so much to see

and do. Stroll through Pukekura park with its lush

forest, take in the view of Taranaki seen through Te

Rewa Rewa wave bridge and do the slightly more

adventurous 15minute walk/climb up Paritutu Rock to

see the stunning views all around – It’s very rewarding.

Moving away from the main city... If you want to get

Into the wild without having to walk too far to get to

something beautiful then there are many beaches

that allow for some amazing views.

Tongaporutu is one place, the Three Sisters Beach and

Elephant Rock (which sadly lost its nose recently) really

is stunning but do be aware of the tide as you don’t

want to get stuck!

Waterfalls are also plentiful with Dawson Falls, Bells

Falls, and Rerekapa Falls just to name a few.

The most famous place is Pouakai Tarn. Located on

the Pouakai Crossing, this is one of the most beautiful

and unreal locations I have visited. The tarn is small

but don’t judge it by how small it is until you see the

reflection of the mountain in it. Sometimes it is so

still it looks like you can see all the fine details of the

mountain in the tarn - A really incredible feeling. Be

sure to forget about photography for a moment to

take in what you are looking at, to be in that moment

of pure bliss. Being respectful of what you are seeing

will change what you shoot, how you shoot it and

help you forget about your other world for a moment.

It takes skill, experience, and understanding, to

successfully climb Taranaki, I have only climbed in

Summer but it’s on my ‘To Climb’ list for Winter.

Taranaki needs to be respected, it is not just a

mountain, it is alive, it breathes... and it’s dangerous.

The ocean being close by means that the weather

changes not in minutes but in seconds and has

trapped many unsuspecting hikers and climbers many

many times. Summiting this mountain in summer or

winter has many risks (and should not be climbed

alone) but the ones who take it are rewarded with

stunning views that will take their breath away.



December 2017 23


Nikon D810, f16, 3 seconds, ISO 64


Nikon D750, f16, 1/80s, ISO 250

December 2017 25

50 Years of


with Ray


My first camera was a Coronet

Commander. 120 roll film, 2 f stops 8

and 16, and shutter speeds of 1/60th

and 1/125 of a second. I bought it from

a local market in 1968. It came with no

instructions, trial and error gave me good

photos, but I needed to learn about the

correct combinations of aperture and

shutter speed. My learning came from

a great little book called “ Eye am the


My second camera, a Christmas present

from my Mother in 1974, was a Halina 110

cartridge, twice used and then discreetly

discarded, (sorry Mum).

My third camera was my first SLR. A Zenit E

sporting a 50mm, F2.8 lens and a Selenium

match-needle light meter in the top plate.

So 1978 saw my introduction to having

control of more creative photography,

with shutter speeds of 1/30th to 1/500th

As I was going through

my photographic gear

the other day, my mind

was drawn back to

my first foray into the

wonderful world of

photography, and the

cameras I have owned

along the way. Allow

me to invite you on a trip

down Memory Lane...

of a second and aperture up to F16.

The Helios lens was really quite good,

especially considering my previous

equipment. Solidly built, Russian made, it

served me faithfully until I felt it was time to

step up to a higher spec camera to further

my photographic experience.

Enter the Ricoh KR-10 in 1983. Aperture

priority, automatic metering (centre

weighted), shutter speeds to 1/1000th

of a second, and an excellent lens.

This camera was one of my favourites,

great handling, accurate metering, and

precise shutter speeds. Many, many rolls

of film went through this great camera,

and rarely a failure. Happy days until

catastrophe struck. Running upstairs to

the maternity ward to see my first born,

I tripped and the camera met concrete.

Game over, so, onto the next one!

26 NZPhotographer

December 2017


A friend had a fairly new Canon T-70 for sale, as

he wanted to upgrade to the T-90. So in 1987 I

purchased said camera, supplemented with an 80 –

200 Vivitar zoom. I had not read any reviews of the

camera, other than basic specs (oh, it incorporated

a motor drive for continuous shooting) but I was

never really enamoured of the camera, and due

to personal circumstances sold my gear on.

Four years were to pass before I bought a second

hand Yashica F-4. Aperture priority again, handling

similar to the KR-10 but, for me, lacking the precision

and quality of the Ricoh. It served me well until I

stumbled across a camera I had lusted after for

many years!

A well used Nikon F2 appeared at a local car boot

sale in 1996 at a bargain price which INCLUDED a

Tamron 80-210mm lens, I was in! The F-2 came with

the Nikkor f1.4 50mm lens, which in practice proved

absolutely superb in function and picture quality.

The camera, although well used, still performed up

to its almost legendary status. You may consider this

a retrograde step in functionality, as it was a purely

manual camera, but in quality of photographs, it is

without doubt, the best film SLR I ever owned. It did

mean re-acquainting myself with my Weston 5 light

meter, but that was no chore. The following year

saw the acquisition of the Photomic head which

gave me TTL metering though aperture and shutter

speed still had to be set manually.

I did, whilst owning the Nikon, take my first step

into digital cameras, with a Ricoh RDC-6000. At

2.1 mp, it was fairly well specified but gave poor


With failing eyesight, I bought a Nikon F65, with 28-

100 and 70-300 zoom in 2002. A capable camera,

the autofocus being a boon for me, but the

camera, sadly not awe inspiring.

Finally, my 60th birthday present last year, a

beautiful Nikon D70, in great condition, and a very

nice camera indeed. With the G type zooms from

the F-65, and the stunning 18-70mm lens that came

with the camera, I am now coming of age with the

digital era.

28 NZPhotographer

December 2017


near-deserted roads. If you like slow-travel

and can afford more time, do it!

Starting North West at Whanarua Bay you’ll

find yourself experiencing a microclimate.

With a particularly soft light, what better

way to start this photographic journey than

with some atmospheric seascape shots, at

dawn perhaps, if you can be dragged out

of bed so early!

Maraehako Bay is the next port of call, a

tucked-away town that almost seems stuck

in a time warp. The historically important

Raukokore Anglican church is close-by

with its see-it-to-believe-it location next to

the sea. If you’re super lucky you might be

able to see penguins nesting on the shore

beneath the church, and if you can’t see

them you’ll surely be able to smell them!

If you don’t have any luck with a penguin

shot you’re more than likely going to get

some great horse photos as they roam free


The famous East Cape lighthouse is

certainly not a place to dismiss from your

itinerary, despite the 700 steps you need to climb

– The panoramic view, once you’re up there, is

simply breathtaking, particularly if you’re there

when the sun comes up and you can boast

being one of the first people to capture a brand

new day on camera.

Once you’re done at the lighthouse, drive back

to Te Araroa and stop to take some shots of the

600 year old Pohutukawa tree. Visit at Christmas

time and you might be able to capture it in


As we now make our way down, hugging the

East Cape coastline towards Gisborne, a stop at

Tikitiki to see St Mary’s Church is recommended

for history and architecture lovers. The 1920’s

church has a European design from the outside,

but inside you’ll find Maori carvings, tukutuku

panels, and kowhaiwhai patterned rafters.

Tologa Bay is famous for its 660m long pier,

apparently the longest pier in the Southern

Hemisphere. With neighbouring picturesque

white cliffs and a black sand beach, you

won’t go wrong to base yourself here for a

Exploring East Cape

A region seldom explored by visitors, East Cape is an outdoor photographer’s

playground with much to offer. Tucked away on the isolated far east corner of

New Zealand’s North Island it has everything from crashing waves to rolling

hills, galloping horses, more sheep than you can count and you might even be

lucky enough to spot a nesting penguin or two...

With 350km of wild and rugged coastline

to explore, the colours of this stunning

landscape are just waiting to be caught

on camera! A mix of larger surf beaches

and smaller secluded bays and coves with

driftwood aplenty are sure to make any

seascape photographer happy.

East Cape has a rich cultural heritage too,

this being the landing place of the first

Maori canoes over 800 years ago as well

as the place where Captain Cook set foot

back in 1769.

A recommended 3-5 days is needed to

explore this remote and rugged area

as you drive long stretches of winding,

30 NZPhotographer

December 2017


night to enable some stunning seascape

photography from the pier at sunset.

Cooks Cove Walkway is also here, a

beautiful 5.8km hike that will have you

following in Captain Cook’s footsteps.

Photo opportunities can be enjoyed from

the viewing point overlooking the township

with plenty of sheep and landscape

photography too. If you’re fit enough,

continue the trek to the bay via ‘the hole

in the wall’ and then the monument as it’s

well worth it. Note that the track is closed

during lambing season. Visit Tologa Bay at

Christmas/New Year and you’ll be able to

capture the Kaiaua Beach Horse races too.

Heading inland next, Eastwoodhill

Arboretum is well worth the detour.

Covering 131 hectares it offers amazing

opportunities for capturing some unique

species of trees and plants as well as

opportunities to practice your bird

photography. Make a note that there’s

reasonably priced accommodation on-site

too with the picturesque Rere Falls on the

same road. Part of Te Urewera, the largest

native forest area on the North Island, is

included in East Cape too and The Lake

Waikaremoana Great Walk is a must-do

covering 44 kilometres of tramping track.

If you’re going all out you might keep on

driving down to Moerere with the hot springs

before hitting the Mahia Peninsula, now that

would be an epic road trip!

Emily Goodwin

32 NZPhotographer

November 2017


Noise Reduction Techniques

for Low Light Photography

In a previous article on low light photography, I pointed out that there are

many noise reduction techniques that you can use during post-processing in

order to produce a cleaner and much more attractive looking image. In this

article I shall be discussing a few simple techniques that you can use in Adobe


The need for noise reduction comes from our

over-indulgence to shoot with a high ISO

number. I know modern DSLR’s have crazy low

light sensitivity and they perform really well in these

traditionally difficult lighting situations. But the fact

Technique 1 – Adjusting the

Luminance and Color Sliders.

Noise is typically two types –

Luminance and/or Color. Luminance

noise is what you see when you push

the exposure during post-processing.

These would begin to appear in the

darker areas of the image as specs of

white dust as you push the exposure.

On the other hand, color noise is

typically the type of noise that you

would see as colored specs in your

image. They can appear anywhere

and are usually dull specs of different

colors. Both these types of noise have

the effect of reducing the overall

contrast and sharpness of your


To remove them you can tweak the

Luminance and the Color sliders

under the Detail panel of the develop

module of Lightroom. Sometimes

there might be both luminance and

color noise in your images. In that

situation, you may have to tweak

both the sliders. In other cases, you

may need to tweak only one of the


remains that high ISO only induces more noise. So

invariably, you will need to have some sort of noise

reduction technique in order to produce images

that are presentable.

Technique 2 - Using the Radial Filter or the

Adjustment Brush.

Sometimes noise is apparent only in limited areas, the sky

for example. At other times it’s all over but noise reduction

cannot be risked on the entire image for risk of losing

details. You need a different approach to reduce noise

in both these situations. Both the Radial Filter as well as

the Adjustment Brush work great for these sort of local

adjustments of noise.

Select your preferred tool. Let’s say that you choose

the Adjustment Brush Tool. Make sure you check ‘Show

Selected Mask Overlay’ and choose ‘Noise’ from the sliders.

Next, choose the strength of noise reduction that you need

to give to the image, also check ‘Auto Mask’ just in case

you are removing noise from delicate areas where you

have highly detailed areas interspersed with detail-less

areas. Auto Mask will ensure that it selects the edges to limit

the effect of noise reduction only to the intended areas.

When ready you can start painting over the areas where

you need to reduce noise. Uncheck ‘’Show Selected Mask

Overlay ‘ to see the effect. Drag the Noise slider to increase

or decrease the effect. Hit done when you are happy.

In some areas, you won’t need to use Auto Mask at all. The

sky, for example, will show up noise in some situations. You

can easily remove this noise by using the Adjustment Brush

tool. You don’t need to check Auto Mask. Simply click the

amount of noise reduction and then start painting.

Technique 3 – Convert the Image into

Black and White.

Sometimes the noise is too much to be corrected

using just the Luminance and Color sliders. The

solution is to then convert the image into black

and white if you don’t want to use Photoshop.

This is a technique that never seems to fail.

To do this I prefer to convert the image into black

and white by tweaking the Saturation sliders

of the color channels individually. After that, I

adjust the Luminance slider to ensure that I have

the right tonal range among the different colors

within the black and white image.

Another advantage of converting the image

to black and white is that I can really push the

sharpness slider all the way without making the

resulting artefacts get too apparent.

Regardless of the technique that you use to

lessen noise, there is always a flip side. In this

case that is the loss of detail in your image. Noise

reduction uses a software process whereby

the pixels are ‘smoothened’. This effect, when

applied to the whole of the image produces an

image that appears like melted plastic. So, it is

always best to find the right balance. This will

happen over time as you edit and then compare

your images with those shot and processed by


Rajib Mukherjee

34 NZPhotographer

November 2017


Expert Critique

Dejan Kijevcanin – Sunrise Land

Marina De Wit - Peonies

Taya Iv

Emily Goodwin

Taya Iv

Emily Goodwin

Dejan perfectly captured the breathtaking

landscapes of Greece. I love the relationship

between every colour in this image - the gentle

orange tones in the sky beautifully complement the

darker blues in the water. The only thing I’d like to

point out is harshness of the shadows in the smaller

rocks. Everything else is perfect!

Dejan’s ‘Sunrise Land’ is absolutely stunning –

However, my eye is instantly drawn to the horizon... It

looks off, as though it’s tilting ever so slightly to the left

– It’s important to get those horizons dead straight as

this is where the eye is instantly drawn. Moving on, we

have a good composition with interesting foreground

and background along with good focus. I did spot

a halo around the rocks on the left (against the land

in the background) which is caused by too much

highlight recovery, also the white point is on the low

side so you needn’t have recovered so much but this

is me being picky! I personally love it! I think you can

go far with your work – and I’d be happy to hang this

in my home!

Marina’s graceful image is worthy of being shown

off in exhibitions and museums. Her peony series is

mysterious, sharp, and visually appealing. I love the

placement of the flowers and how confident the

overall composition looks. However, I agree with

Emily’s note on the darkness of the image. While the

vignette adds an interesting touch, the photograph

itself looks a little too underexposed. Regardless,

this photo is a perfect example of a photographic


Marina really has caught the feel of the old masters

with her ‘Peonies’ piece. It’s difficult to critique a

photograph at the best of times but when that photo

has become art it becomes even more subjective to

personal opinion! The soft lighting and post process

is well done, and the focus is good considering the

lighting conditions. Personally, I think this is a little too

dark (I’d be interested to see how it prints out since

each screen is different) and that we lose too much

detail from the stems and vase. Looking carefully, I

did note that the vignette catches the flower on the

left, but overall the vignette is good and draws the

eye in. Niggles aside, I’d say you pulled off your brief

fantastically, put this into an old gilt frame and you

have yourself a masterpiece!

36 NZPhotographer

December 2017


ZOMEI Q666C Carbon

Fibre Camera Tripod/

Monopod kit


38 NZPhotographer

Night Sky Photography: A

Field Guide for Shooting

After Dark by Jennifer Wu

and James Martin


The Art of Landscape

Photography by Ross

Hoddinott and Mark





Men's Outdoor Leisure

Photography Vest



If you haven't worked out what you'd like for

Christmas yet, or if you still need to buy for a fellow

photographer, here are a few ideas, both practical

and fun, covering all price points.

Here at NZP headquarters we're thinking wishfully

and hoping Santa has us on his Good list! Taya,

our editor, would be quite happy to receive any

experimental lenses such as Lensbaby while Emily,

our editorial assistant, would love to get some kit

for her upcoming travels, and is also eyeing up that

gorgeous pink camera bag below!


Wide Angle

Telephoto Kit

Kelly Moore


Camera Bag



Camera Lens Travel Mug

Don't get them muddled up when

you go to grab on the go!






30-Second Photography:

The 50 Most Thought-Provoking


Styles Techniques Each

Explained in Half a Minute

by Brian Dilg


Wish List

Toshiba Canvio

Connect II


Vivitar DSLR Camera Raincover

Don't let the rain stop you any longer!

Lens Cap


Clip Belt


I Shoot





Get those horizons

straight each and

every time.

Help! I'm a

serial shooter




Grizzly Camera

Bean Bag Rest

One of those items that you don't

think you need, until you've had it

and discover you can't live without it!







Epson Expression

Premium ET-7700

Eco Tank Printer



All products available and prices correct at time of publication. NZPhotographer will receive compensation

if you purchase any products using the affiliate links above, this does not affect the price

you pay and you're welcome to use our suggestions but find a different retailer. However, if you do

want to support us, we thank you!

December 2017



Best readers' submissions this month

Brigit Platt

Sunset Over Porthmeor Beach

On holiday in St Ives, Cornwall, one evening there were the

most breathtaking colours in the sky as the sun was setting

over the beach.


40 NZPhotographer 41 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Barbara Kerr

Bruce Miller

Southern Black Backed Gull

Himachal Pradesh

Friendly gull just posed for us, even turned his head a little!


This is a sunset view from the 10th Century Baijnath temple, Kangra,

Himachal Pradesh.

ISO400 1/125S F8 35MM

42 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Bruce Miller

Alistair Boyd

Tibetan Lady

I set up a tripod mount opposite a shuttered store which I used for

a dark backdrop. Then I just waited for pedestrians to walk into the


The Winery

A small, intimate family cafe / winery in Croatia.


44 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Ciara Gibson

Dejan Kijevcanin

Titahi Bay Sheds

Summer Sunrise

Taken on an evening, this is the cover photo of my fund-raising calendar

for my school choir trip to Europe.

F/9, 1/50, ISO100

Summertime. A young woman walking on a beach at sunrise.

CANON EOS 80D F/4/, 1/320S, ISO100, 105MM

46 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Demelsa Burnand

Diane Beguely


Lake Waikare

This is an image of the coast north of Patea Beach. This is the rugged West Coast with cliff's,

black sand and enormous waves. This was taken one August afternoon and it was a wild

day. Patea is where I grew up and I love the views up and down the coast - So moody and

dark and rugged that you can't help but pay attention!

We live in the lovely rural town of Te Kauwhata in the Waikato. There are loads of

photographic opportunities in this rural setting and one of my favourites is to drive

around our local lake and capture the many landscape vistas. This shot was taken

in the early evening causing the light to cast shadows across part of the paddocks.

I was just learning when I took this photo and I'm pretty sure it was on Auto - Not that I use

that much anymore, but this is one of my all time favourite photos.

1/40, AV:13, ISO100

48 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Big Apple Skyline

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere...

EJ Mathers


Leopard laying around.

Canon 30D, F/10, 1/125

Gary Reid

50 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Emanuel Maisel

Emanuel Maisel

Karamu Walkway

This was taken up at the Karamu walkway. Shot as I was about to walk back.

Last Light Surfing

Think I was more fascinated by the surf doing a last moment Surf than the sunset. It was one of

those moments... the sunset across the Bay or stick to surfers.... the surfers won.

F/6.3, ISO100, 1/400s

F/6.3, ISO160, 1/320s

52 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Emanuel Maisel

Gary Reid

Raglan Sunset

Whale Bay last light on the way home. I looked back, saw the scene and pulled off the road

nearly going down the hill. The clouds were in explosion mode.

F/7.1, ISO200, 1/125s


We watched the Chameleon slowly cross the road then climb into the tree. I waited until it

got to window height of the car before taking this photo.

Canon 30D, F/10, 1/1000

54 NZPhotographer

December 2017



Eva Polak

Light and…

Eva Polak

Another image from my moss series. This looks to me like

a robot from the War Of The Worlds movie.

F/8, 1/50s

Another image from my moss series. I like to play with

water, light and colour together with a very shallow DoF

to create fun and interesting shapes.

F/1.4, 1/1000s

56 NZPhotographer

December 2017


EJ Mathers

North American Landscapes - Montreal

The Canadian city of Montreal shot as an 8 image panorama from atop Mont


58 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Jeff Ross

John Kelly


Radiant Tui

Trying out my ND400 filter on Canon EOS 5D Mklll

F/11, 20s, ISO100, 100mm

Saw this radiant Tui sunning itself. When I put it on the computer I saw the bee added a

nice touch also.

F/2.8, ISO100, 1/1250s

60 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Lance McCaughan

Linda Cutche

Golden Light Over Muriwai Gannet Colony

That Wanaka Tree

Muriwai Gannet Colony at sunset. It was cold and windy but I saw a chance to get a scene with a

type of lighting I like in a style of old oil paintings.

F/5.6, ISO400, 1/200s

I am drawn to this beautiful tree as it changes with the seasons, weather and time. I find it

challenging as it has been photographed extensively and is a draw card for tourists to visit the

Wanaka area.

F/20, ISO100, 1/3s

62 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Marina De Wit

Lynette Vallely

5 Tulips

Stormy Swells

5 orange tulips in glass jars, I loved the bright color and the sideways composition, it is as if they

are leaning towards the light, looking and yearning for something better to come...

NIKON D7200, F/8, 1/250, ISO100. NIKON MACRO 105MM, F/2.8

Captured at Castlecliff Beach Whanganui on a beautiful stormy day.

F/22, ISO 500, 1/160, Focal length 200, Bias +0.3

64 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Lynette Vallely

Peter Booth

Silver Eye With Winter Treat


Silver eyes were regularly visiting the coconut feeder I hung in my garden.

Fortress City, Umbria.

F/6.3, ISO4000, 1/2500, Focal lenght 200

66 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Peter Booth

Peter Kurdulija

Bird And Berry

A bird with a berry in her beak on a San Moritz walk.

Perpetual Void

West Coast, New Zealand.

NIKON D7100, NIKKOR 18-200MM, F/8, 1/400s, ISO200

68 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Sundown at Te Anau

Peter Kurdulija

It is the simple things that make our souls smile, like an evening walk by a great lake while inhaling the random

snowflake augmented virgin air, floating down from the nearby mountains.

A sense of wonder is provided by spectacular nature and the late golden sunlight that can visually elevate

its mundane man made contributions, resulting in an impressive sight.

NIKON D200, NIKKOR 18-200MM, F/7.1, 1/200SEC, ISO100

70 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Teresa Angell

Ray Salisbury

European Greenfinch

Window into Wharariki

Started with a goal to capture the greenfinch in our garden in flight. Concealing myself in a bird

hide over many days, over many months looking to perfect the capture I managed to get this one.

Ultimate goal is to capture two birds facing each other in flight.

CANON EOS 7D MARK II, EF70-200mm F4L lens at 135mm, F/7.1, ISO400, 1/2000

Seen this shot on the Windows 10 screensaver? This is my improved version, but employing HDR

blending techniques to bring out the detail in the shadows.

Staying in the local lodge, I returned to the sea cave mid-morning at mid-tide. Using a shower cap

to stop the drip, drip, dripping onto my DSLR, I bracketed my exposures to cover the high dynamic


CANON 5D MARK 3, F/11, ISO100, Varied shutter speeds, Exposure Blend

72 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Ray Salisbury

Steve Harper

Sunstar on Fifeshire Rock

Branches and Morning Light

The Fifeshire and Arrow both hit this Nelson landmark in 1842 after settlers disembarked. On this

evening, the sun kissed the rock, as I utilised a narrow aperture to create the sunstar effect.

Double exposure sunrise and tree branches.

CANON 5D MARK 3, F/32, ISO100, 1/20s, 120mm

74 NZPhotographer

December 2017


Morning Meditations

A morning view East from Maungakiekie.

Steve Harper

76 NZPhotographer

F/16, ISO100, 1/3s, 24mm lens

December 2017


Bullers Albatross

While attending a PSNZ Convention I took a trip to Kaikoura and went out

to see the albatross at sea. I was impressed with the grace of the birds and

caught this one casually swimming up close to the boat.

Teresa Angell

Archway Sunset

Peter Booth

CANON EOS 7D, EF 100-400mm lens at 400mm, F/7.1, ISO200, 1/1000s

Sunset in Tuscany.

78 NZPhotographer

December 2017


80 NZPhotographer

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