ISSUE 10, August 2018
WITH KANE HARTILL
WHAT'S YOUR WINTER?
WITH EMANUEL MAISEL
HOW TO CAPTURE:
WITH RICHARD YOUNG
5 HOUR LIGHT SHOW
BY THE CITY
BY BRENDON GILCHRIST
WELCOME TO ISSUE 10 OF
NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE
I hope Winter is treating you
kindly and you've still been
getting out there with your
camera. If inspiration is a
little lacking at the moment
hopefully this issue will give
you the boost you need!
Among the following pages,
you'll find a good dose of
wildlife photography plus
some travel inspiration both at
home and abroad. Brendon
shows us that we don't have
to travel far to get new shots,
whilst our returning guest
contributor Emanuel Maisel
takes us on a visual journey to
Richard shows us how best to capture coastal wildlife in this issue
whilst Charlie Dougherty's wildlife photography is sure to inspire you,
and show that talent can come at any age. Whilst James is away,
we welcome Ray back to the pages to discuss Prime vs Zoom lenses
and we also get to know Kane Hartill in our interview.
Whilst we've been busy preparing all of that, the entries have also
been coming in for our 'What's Your Winter' photo competition. The
winner is announced on page 69 along with a selection of the best
entries – Is your photo included?
Editor NZ Photographer
NZPhotographer Issue 10
by Kane Hartill
Phone 04 889 29 25
or Email email@example.com
Ray is an amateur
photographer who has
dabbled in photography for
45 years. He has a lot of
pre-digital knowledge under
his belt and enjoys capturing
landscape scenes and
Brendon is the man behind
ESB Photography. He treks
from sea to mountain, and
back again, capturing the
uniqueness of New Zealand’s
Richard is an award-winning
landscape and wildlife
photographer who teaches
photography workshops and
runs photography tours. He is
the founder of New Zealand
nzphotographer nzp_magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2018 NZPhotographer Magazine
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing in this magazine in
any form is forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.
Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the
opinion of the magazine.
INTERVIEW WITH KANE HARTILL
INTERVIEW WITH KANE HARTILL
HOW TO CAPTURE: COASTAL WILDLIFE
by Richard Young
BEHIND THE SHOT AT MILFORD SOUND
with Kirsty Tamatea
5 HOUR LIGHT SHOW BY THE CITY
by Brendon Gilchrist
RISING TALENT - GETTING TO KNOW
JOURNEYING TO JAPAN
by Emanuel Maisel
PRIME LENSES VS ZOOM LENSES
by Ray Harness
WHAT'S YOUR WINTER?
HOW TO CAPTURE:
RISING TALENT - GETTING TO KNOW
This month, we get to know the
winner of our Wanaka Tree photo
KANE, WHAT’S YOUR STORY? IS
PHOTOGRAPHY SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS
BEEN INTERESTED IN?
Let me take you back in time to the moment when I
turned just in time to watch my pack slowly tip off the
ledge and tumble away into the darkness. Not my
best gear management performance! But it was 2am
on the descent of Mount Arrowsmith; we were just
high school kids and we were tired out. Because the
pack was open, my gear was scattered down 300m
of Cameron glacier snowy rockyness. It took a while
to locate the VHS-c video camera and Canon SLR I’d
borrowed from my dad… both just wreckage... It was
a great adventure but not an auspicious beginning to
my photography hobby!
After a year or so I bought another SLR camera and
a couple of lenses and carried those weighty items all
over the hills and crags of this fair island from the tip of
Mount Cook to the shadowy lushness of Paynes Ford.
Those years of exploration and risky adventures with
fellow geology students were amazing and after each
trip, I’d be chomping at the bit to get my boxes of
Fujifilm Velvia slides back. At over one dollar per click
and on a student budget, it definitely helped hone a
keen sense of composition!
I met my wife Steph and under subtle coercion mostly
moved away from the risky alpine to concentrate
more on rock climbing and snowboarding. We both
swapped lens duties and enjoyed seeing our images
and the odd ramble featured in magazines and
guidebooks. To be honest, as the years went by it was
increasingly Steph’s eye at the viewfinder with myself
and friends on the sharp end.
When the big Indian Ocean decadal switch occurred
in the late nineties we gave up on Mt Olympus
powder and started dabbling in a fringy sport I’d
been trying since 1987 through my high school years;
kiteboarding. It soon became an obsession and
Steph and I were both swept up in the new sport.
A whirlwind five years or so of mostly back-to-back
summers as sponsored athletes on the world cup
tour. Based in The Hague, between competitions and
demos, we also worked in equipment development
and did promotional video and photography.
EXCITING TIMES! WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
One day in 2007, on the monotonous commute down
gridlocked Blenheim road I realised I’d had enough
of urban-ness and decided we should go bush.
Luckily, after subtle coercion, Steph concurred so we
sold up and bought an overgrown run down 10 acre
organic farm up toward those Abel Tasman beaches
and soon had a little guy accompanying us on our
Family life, work, and renovations kept things simple for
a long while… a phase of point and shoot cameras!
I ended up attaching a waterproof compact to the
leading edge of my kite for many missions. I would
F2.8, 15s, ISO6400
set it on time lapse mode, one shot per 20 seconds,
and then head out for hours exploring the golden
sandy coastline by kiteboard, sometimes with my son
onboard standing between my feet!
In early 2015 I started pointing the compact camera
and a GoPro upward attempting astro time-lapse but
that didn’t last long! In 2015 I bought my first DSLR, a
lightweight little Nikon D5300 body with a Tamron
17-50mm F2.8 lens.
By the end of that year, I had night shooting and
stitching as dialed as could be with rudimentary
gear and software and was itching for full frame.
Pretty much everyone was shooting Canon 6D’s,
and stomping on Nikon in online discussions, or so it
seemed. But after seeing some noise tests and DR
scores I diverged and got the Nikon D750 along with
Samyang’s 24mm F1.4 and the Sigma art 50mm F1.4
had me ready for any composition.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
I think I tend toward aiming for moody vignetted
scenes with a dramatic in-scene light source and
some close foreground feature of interest. At least
in my visualising and motivation that’s what I like if
not overly manifested in my gallery yet! It’s a cliché
formula yes, but likely for the reason that it optimises
all elements in the frame for maximum impact. I used
to be staunchly thirdly, framing landscape views but
now if I glance across my online gallery I notice it has
become quite centrist.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS
My first trip with the new gear was a windy February
night up at the Base of Farewell Spit. An image from
that night, “Badlands” won third place on Gurushots
and they used it as their social media promo image.
Then there was a fantastic night out on the Abel
Tasman coast. Firstly I remember quite nervously
shooting a two row panoramic nightscape which
spawned “Misty Frequencies”, a composition I’m
really proud of which has been one of my most
printed images… NikonNZ took a shine to it using it as
their Facebook sponsored ad image for quite a while.
I also caught "The Navigator" (next page) just before
sunset, a tricky bracketed stitched pano which won
the D-photo landscape photographer of the year
Next, I scored an epic night at the Tekapo Church
on a full moon with a fast moving veil of stratus…
perfect for single shot super wides. A couple of my
long exposures from that night won a few Viewbug
competitions - “New take on an overshot scene”
theme etc. I was really lucky with the conditions
making it easy to get something unique, but it did help
to have a wide 14mm and a low rising point of view to
accentuate and ‘radialise’ the cloud streaks.
F8, 15s, ISO100
F5, 300s, ISO300
F3.5, 60s, ISO800
F2.8, 20s, ISO6400
F2.8, 20s, ISO6400
WAIRUA KI WAIKOROPUPU
F2.8, 20s, ISO6400
F8, 120s, ISO100
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING
SHOOT TO DATE?
Motukeikei! Growing up I spent a lot of time playing
and climbing rocks along that coast so I’m pretty
comfortable out on the reef. But one of the days
I had out there was decently wild! Like 40+ knots
blowing masses of spray and waves across the starfish
platforms. First I ruined my 14mm and then later also
shattered my 150mm big stopper when I tripped due
to a really pushy gust. It was an expensive day!
CAN YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE IMAGE?
I do have a favourite but whenever anyone
enquires they’re often surprised that it is not a
nightscape. Those nights out are by far the peak
aspect of photography for me and I have seen
some phenomenal sights… those “Avatar” nights
of twinkling Milky Way, bolide explosions, beaming
aurora and seal pup acrobatics in bioluminescent
blue. But I really just like the depth, dynamism and
almost rendered in paint feel of “North Wind” with its
subtle muted tones. It is a Wharariki long exposure with
the Samyang 14mm fitted with a Lee SW150 10 stop
filter. It looks grand printed in black satin floating frame
canvas - the 16:9 or 2:1 wide-scene format pleases my
eye, and I’m reflection averse!
WHERE WERE YOU AND HOW DID YOU FEEL
WHEN YOU REALISED YOU’D WON OUR
WANAKA TREE COMPETITION?
I remember sitting at the workstation one afternoon
last month and it struck me that it was well after the
closing date of the recent NZphotograper Magazine
Wanaka Tree competition. So I did a quick search
and as I flicked through it was slightly surreal to see
my image with the first place logo! Delicious surprise
brightened up the rest of my day.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR
WINNING SHOT? WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND IT?
That image was taken on the first trip we did down
South in winter 2015 with the D5300. I arrived predawn
in total claustrophobic foggy darkness and with
first light, one other guy turned up and it was just the
two of us through a great lightshow. He left his D800e
perch on full height carbon and came down the
gravelly beach, eyeing up my $29 tripod, and said
“What’re you shooting?” I think I pointed at the little
cropper and mumbled something about “a few snaps
for my photo album”. It was a sublime morning of
total calm, and so relaxing sitting there clicking away
with the changes of light and arrival of ducks and
eventually more people.
I sometimes look at an image like my “Lake
Mysterious” Wanaka tree and think about how I would
shoot that same scene now with my trusty D750. I think
about end use more now… for large print, I’d shoot
a one or two row pano with the Sigma art 50mm,
possibly with an extra foreground row or two at more
appropriate focus and exposure. Then I’d quickly
change to the super wide (which is currently an Irix
11mm just to be well off the bell curve) and shoot
some longer exposures, making sure to get some vertstitch
or portrait shots for device viewing. I’d be sure
to ferret around for some nice white schisty-quartzpebble
foreground interest. I remember thinking back
then that a broom would be handy to gently brush
the brown algae off the pebbles!
YOU’VE RECENTLY JOINED OUR APP, EXCIO,
WHAT’S YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE SO FAR?
After noticing NZPhotographer magazine popping
up here and there (virtually) I had a look at Excio
and saw a few familiar photos from Mr. Gilchrist
and decided to take part. What I like about the
random feed of imagery on the mobile is that it keeps
me thinking of places, scenes, experiences, and
possibilities. I became a member so I could display
my work, mainly so that they’d be looking nice on my
wife’s 6” C9 pro (I downloaded the app for her). She’s
my harshest critic and I love the fact Excio starts up
discussions at her workplace!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
As I write this I’m readying for a family adventure/
photography trip down to Mount Cook. It’s been a
while since I’ve had exciting views in front of the lens
so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve just finished
a time pressured international student marketing
shoot for a high school which went well in spite of
winter light. Next up is a non-time pressured project to
provide two big canvases for each motel room… but
the accommodation owners are quite particular and
seem to want a few views/styles which haven’t really
been on my radar so it’s not so easy.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
My life might sound like 1 big adventure but there
have been some very tough times too. I’ve done
my best despite having a decidedly traitorous
immune system with ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s
and vasculitis delivering extensive dollops of pain
since 2001. Recent years have been better, but this
year I’ve had another two of many episodes of iritis
trying to rob me of sight. I find that the creativity
of photography and ecstatic glee of getting out
amongst it really helps keep my chin up.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
F14, 1/25s, ISO100
HOW TO CAPTURE: COASTAL WILDLIFE
Wildlife photography tips with Richard Young
Yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho, Otago Coastline
KNOW YOUR SUBJECT:
The key to great wildlife photography is capturing
fleeting moments of natural behaviour. It pays
to observe your subject, getting to know their
behavioural patterns so you can predict what they
will do next. Most importantly stay at a distance so
that you are not changing their behaviour - Getting
too close will only result in stressing out the animal and
them running away.
GET YOUR SETTINGS RIGHT:
Make sure that you are using a fast shutter speed to
capture any movement, this is also important when
using long lenses as any vibration in the camera will
be magnified. The most import part of any wildlife
photograph is the eyes of your subject, they need
to be sharp and in focus; set your camera on single
point focus (not auto point focus) and then make sure
the focus point is on the eyes.
CAPTURE THE ENVIRONMENT:
Don't just zoom right in on your subject and
completely fill the frame with it. Try to show your
subject within its natural environment and the
landscape where it lives, a close-up shot could just as
well be taken at a zoo! Make sure you take the time
to just sit there and enjoy the privilege of spending
time with an animal in its natural environment.
FIND SOME WILDLIFE:
F6.3, 1/250s, ISO 800, 280mm
In NZ we are lucky to have the chance to encounter
some amazing wildlife while walking along our
coastline. Time of day and year plus knowing where
to find your subject always helps; whether it's seals
on a rocky shoreline, penguins walking up a sandy
beach to their nest in the forest or some of the many
bird species that migrate along our coastline.
IMPROVE YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY ON A 4-DAY WILDLIFE MASTERCLASS WORKSHOP ON THE OTAGO
PENINSULA: 3RD - 6TH NOVEMBER WITH NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
The search for uncompromising photography and videography performance is over. The
Nikon D850 sets remarkable standards of quality with an impressive 45.7 effective megapixels.
Capture the most awe-inspiring images and produce phenomenal 8K UHD time-lapse movies.
Create epic film masterpieces in full-frame 4K UHD with NIKKOR wide-angle lenses, or prolong
exquisite moments with its 120p/100p Full HD slow-motion recording.
Purchase from an Authorised Nikon New Zealand Retailer to receive an Extended Two Year Local Warranty.
F4.5, 1/500s, ISO400
BEHIND THE SHOT AT MILFORD SOUND
with Kirsty Tamatea
KIRSTY, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF
AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY…
Growing up near Muriwai in West
Auckland, Dad was forever snapping
photographs when I was a kid. As much
as I would like to say his passion for
photos sparked my interest… I think his
camera was more fascinating because
I’d been told not to touch it!
I made the move South to Queenstown
4 years ago and was roaming the
mountains year round either on foot or a
snowboard. I always had my cellphone
with me to snap shots and decided to
get a DSLR so I could take better quality
photos of my favourite places. This
snowballed into night photography -
astro and aurora hunting.
TELL US ABOUT THIS PHOTO…
Last Spring I drove to Milford Sound after
work to meet up with Mitch Perfect, Brent
Purcell, and Deb Clark; arriving so late
that evening I completely missed them! I
knew where they would head for sunrise
so the following morning I caught them
up at the beachfront.
Unfortunately sunrise was a non-event
with bad weather setting in but we were
treated to some beautiful reflections and
decided to hang around. Brent took one
for the team and modelled for us; within
minutes dorsal fins broke the surface
and a pod of dolphins could be seen
leaving Deepwater Basin. Besides Kea, I
have never had a wild animal show up
while shooting so it felt quite special -
particularly because we were the only
people on the beach that morning!
WHAT WERE YOU SHOOTING WITH?
My Canon EOS 6D Mki with Canon EF
24-70 f/4L IS USM lens; mounted on the
Manfrotto Compact Action tripod.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING BEHIND THE
CAMERA THAT WE CAN’T SEE?
Our four cameras were stacked next
to each other on tripods - there were
excited squeals, panicked shutter clicks
as we held umbrellas above our gear to
protect it from the rain… and the three
of us yelling out to Brent to stay still when
he reached for his cellphone to try to
snap a quick picture!
HOW MUCH POST-PROCESSING DID YOU
DO ON THIS SHOT?
Shooting RAW I tend to favour Photoshop
for editing. I’m still learning through trial
and error but for this image, I tried to
keep it more natural starting with lens
correction and slight tweaks to the
exposure, contrast, vibrancy, and clarity.
I pulled back some of the blue and
purple tones from the mountains and
added a light dodge and burn where I
felt the image needed a boost.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW?
Milford Sound is absolutely stunning on
a beautiful clear day, but never let rain
deter you from visiting. The moody,
waterfall filled landscapes are my
absolute favourite and have an intense
Jurassic Park vibe!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
Wouldn't it be wonderful
if people started their day with your photos?
Don't wait for people to come to you,
become an integral part of their life.
BECOME A MEMBER
People all around the world will see your images
every time they look at their phones.
Tell your story the way you want it,
take viewers on a journey.
Get hours of exposure.
Increase traffic to your website or
Social Media page.
Manage all your collections from
Enjoy real-time in-depth analytics
on how your images are performing.
As a member, get access to special offers,
events and competitions.
5 HOUR LIGHT SH
OW BY THE CITY
by Brendon Gilchrist
F3.5, 5s, ISO2000
Have you ever thought about how much you
can do or how far you can go in 5 hours? Have
you ever thought how far you don’t have to
go to capture fresh & exciting images?
Because I love mountains, streams and green
forests, I struggled to get too excited about
capturing images from around Christchurch City,
where I live.
However, I heard about a cute heritage hut high up
on Godley Head, Lyttelton, known as ‘The Cabin’
with great historic significance.
The Cabin was one of four huts built for the British
Antarctic Expedition of 1910–1913, which was led
by famous explorer Robert Falcon Scott. The Cabin
was also known as ‘Uncle Bill’s Cabin’ after Edward
Wilson, Scott’s right hand man.
The Cabin sailed on the Terra Nova to the
Antarctic where it was intended to be used as a
meteorological and research hut, but it actually
returned to Lyttelton unused. It became a refuge for
Antarctic adventurers and their families for the next
I’ve always been fascinated by the Antarctic and
places of historic relevance and it’s a place I dream
of going one day.
David and Valerie Crichton lived in a house that
surrounded The Cabin, which at that time was on
Clifton Hill, above Sumner. In February 2011, the
Canterbury earthquakes violently shook The Cabin,
and sadly the Crichton‘s home was destroyed. Soon
after, The Cabin was stranded in a no-go zone after
part of the cliff face collapsed in a subsequent
quake that June.
The Crichton’s worked in partnership with the
Department of Conservation to move The Cabin
to the site where it stands now and had it restored
which included putting a stairway over the roof.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how
I wanted to photograph it. I took a friend with me
and we headed off for a night shoot of The Cabin,
the stars and the city lights.
We didn’t know how hard it would be to find The
Cabin in the dark because there was no formed
track leading to it. I’d been there before in the day,
but never in the dark. It always amazes me how
different everything is from day to night.
We parked up at the car park; got the photography
gear ready, and headed off over the fence. We
headed straight down the hill over the golden
grasses to where I remember it standing. It took
We could hardly see where we were going, but
after about 10 minutes I started to see a shadow of
what resembled a building. Was that The Cabin?
The closer we got the clearer it became until, after
further walking and talking, we were welcomed by
this incredible sight.
There was The Cabin, illuminated by the Milky Way
shining high in the sky behind it. Wow! What a
This is a special location for photography. On a
clear night it’s the perfect distance from the city to
see the Milky Way shining and to also get a great
view of the city lights. This combination of lights
makes the surrounding hillside look like a painting.
We were ready start shooting. There’s a ladder
leading to the top of the roof of The Cabin so the
plan was to take a selfie looking out towards the
Milky Way. My photos came out perfect, exactly as
I’d imagined them in my mind when I first saw The
Cabin in the local paper.
My next vision for this location is a time lapse of
the Milky Way, rising behind The Cabin but I’ll have
to wait until this ‘River of Heaven’, as it’s known in
Japan, to be lower in the night sky for what I am
SHOOTING THE CITY LIGHTS
On our way back to the car we decided we’d
check out a couple of other sites, including Mount
Pleasant and take some city lights shots. From there
you look out across Lyttelton Harbour providing a
The trouble with shooting these types of photos is
that the lights of the Harbour are so bright and the
sky so dark. How you get a good picture showing
both city lights and stars is a challenge.
I decided to experiment with my graduated neutraldensity
filter. I took a few shots before reversing
the filter to have the darkest side against the
harbour lights, which really worked well. Why hadn’t
I tried this before! The difference was more stars
in the image, the harbour lights were not so bright
allowing me to have a longer exposure to capture
more light, but also reducing light at the same time.
It’s an odd concept when you think about it.
We then headed to a part of Summit Road near
Sumner, overlooking Ferrymead and out to all
the city lights. It has been on my list to shoot for
sometime but I’ve never had the motivation to
shoot it. The urge was there this night & I captured
this amazing scene; a vast landscape covered in
The one disappointing part of this is seeing the new
white LED lights, which can cause over exposure
due to the brightness the LED lights emit in such
a small space… This is all part of the changing
landscapes and future of Christchurch.
On this night I didn’t take many photos; 64 in total.
I love to watch more then take photos, which is
one reason I love time lapse photography. Also,
planning what I want to shoot before I get there
helps so much. I can take fewer photos and have
more time to enjoy the setting I’m in.
I look forward to more 5 hour trips, random short
drives with the camera to capture something new,
or something that I don’t usually shoot to inspire me
to try this type of photography more. What will your
next 5 hour trip be?
3 TIPS FOR A NIGHT SHOOT
• Find an old building that’s in the east of the
city (out of the city is best). I use an app called
Photopills to plan what time the Milky Way will be
present at that particular location.
• For city lights, depending on how bright it is,
if you have a Graduated Neutral-Density (GND)
filter take some shots with it upside down.
• When taking long exposures, always use a
remote trigger, even in daylight, as it will remove
any possible camera shake to make your images
F7.1, 20s, ISO1600
F4, 20s, ISO10000
Rising Talent - Getting to
Here’s someone to watch over the next few years… Charlie is a talented young wildlife photographer
Charlie is 17 and lives in the heart of
Otago in a place called Maniototo
where he works on the 150 year old
family sheep and beef farm. Photography is
his passion, he’s a self-taught photographer
with an affinity for capturing wildlife in their
Starting off with a Nikon D3300 Charlie
currently has a D7500 and uses a Tamron
150-600mm lens with tripod (which he says is
a must!) for his wildlife photography.
His biggest achievement so far is getting
one of his WaxEye photos displayed at the
Otago Museum through their photography
Charlie grew up hunting so has been able
to transfer his skills of spotting animals and
stalking them to his photography - Tongue in
cheek crudeness, he’s gone from one type
of shooting to another! He says that wearing
the right gear is crucial to getting close to
the animal - the more camo the better whilst
also being careful to remain as hidden as
possible. For big game animals, he says it’s
also vital to make sure the wind isn’t blowing
towards the animal as they’ll smell you and
With plans to build a website so that he
can start selling his work, Charlie would also
love to travel to Africa one day in order to
photograph Cheetah’s in the wild, his all
time favourite animals. His dream is to make
photography his career and full time job.
Know Charlie Dougherty
with dreams of turning his passion into his career.
JOURNEYING TO JAPAN
by Emanuel Maisel
You might visit Japan expecting to find a Samurai, a Geisha, and a Ninja all in one
place but that Japan does not exist anymore. Now, in a country where old meets
new, it’s a place where Taiko drums fill your spirit and ladies still walk around in
their colourful and stylish Kimonos.
Japan for me, is an extraordinary
experience that I will surely never tire of.
I hope my words and my photography
will transport you to this wonderland for a few
moments as you click through the following
My own fascination with Japan started when
I was about 11 years old after having seen
You Only Live Twice, a James Bond movie
which was shot in Japan and featured Ninja,
craters, and beautiful landscapes. Now, I’m
able to visit regularly as a tourist thanks to my
son living in Yokohama – He is married to a
Japanese girl and they live in Shin-Kawasaki.
He is an English teacher at a Japanese
school and she is a Theatre Sister/Nurse at a
hospital in Tokyo.
I find the Japanese culture and its people
absolutely fascinating; the extremely
reserved and almost over-polite people and
the calm, almost serene way of going about
daily life. Their respectful interactions and
aim-to-please mentality are quite refreshing
although no doubt, behind the closed doors
of their homes, people are dealing with the
same life challenges as you and I. Some
might see it as a weakness but underneath
there is a precise and very structured way
of managing everyday life and surely the
country would be less successful if it was
anything less. How else do you maintain
order in a country with a population of over
126 million where everything works and
there’s basically no crime whatsoever.
A country where beauty is found almost
everywhere can be overwhelming to
explore, especially for a photographer who
doesn’t want to miss anything! In an ultramodern
city such as Tokyo, the old and the
new blend together - temples, shrines and
magnificent gardens are hidden behind
modern buildings and if you do not have a
keen eye, you might just miss it. You might
think the thousands of people walking on the
streets and the helter-skelter of telephone
poles, electric wires and bicycles are
elements of disorder and confusion, but it
is very much a part of modern Japan and
everyday life. I greatly enjoy capturing the
hustle and bustle of the city in my street
scenes but if you take note of the small
things in life you will easily see a small flower
growing somewhere outside the barriers
around a construction site or a bonsai tree in
We try and visit different cities and places
every year we visit Japan. We love visiting
in winter as it is easier to dress warmly than
face the humidity of Japan in summer where
you’re wet the whole time with perspiration!
I think if I had to choose a favourite city, it
would be between Tokyo, Yokohama, and
Kyoto but Japan is Japan and for me, the
country as a whole is the most beautiful
place I have ever been to.
F4, 1/160s, ISO80
There are a few castles in Hiroshima and this one is,
for me, the most impressive. You are allowed to take
photographs of some of the displays inside the castle
but not the swords etc.
F13, 1.6s, ISO100
It is every photographer’s dream to take night shots
at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo. Every angle becomes
a challenge and an enjoyable indulgence of shutter
speed and composition.
TOKYO AT NIGHT
F13, 1.6s, ISO100
Your senses are overloaded almost every moment in the city with
sounds, colours, advertising, and music. Tourists, cars, crossing goahead
sounds, all seem to go on at the same time.
TOKYO - CHINA TOWN
F8, 1/50s, ISO400
Music from small open shops and the noise of traffic and people, all
becomes a part of calming you down, forcing you to enjoy every sight
HIROSHIMA AT NIGHT
F8, 10s, ISO200
There is a canal flowing through Hiroshima and this specific shot
was taken on the bank of the canal across the lake/canal towards
buildings that never seem to switch their lights off at night.
F8, 1.6s, ISO100
This sailing ship is actually a museum and serves as a training vessel.
It is permanently docked in Yokohama harbour and is every bit of a
F3.5, 1/20s, ISO200
There is no way I can describe the flow of people in Osaka. On this
specific day, a public holiday, there were thousands out. We found
this almost hidden gem in one of the side streets.
SHIN KAWASAKI SNOW
F8, 6s, ISO100
Shin Kawasaki is where we stay when we go to Japan every year, it's
about 2 hours from Toyko. We usually miss out on seeing the snow but
this specific evening… the reward was given!
SHRINE SHIN KAWASAKI
F8, 6s, ISO100
This shrine/temple is in one of the side streets in Shin-Kawasaki, these
temples and shrines are everywhere.
F8, 4s, ISO200
Standing on a corner, waiting for the lights to change I suddenly felt
inspired for light trails and long exposure. There was a slight drizzle and
this was the result of rain, long exposure, and some really good luck.
F8, 10s, ISO100
The Kiyomizu–dera is a temple that has to be seen at night. It is
situated on a hill in Kyoto. It is just unfortunate that the camera does
not see what the eye picks up. The colors were spectacular.
by Ray Harness
Much is spoken about the virtues of prime lenses
as opposed to zoom lenses, in this article
we will try and discern the advantages and
disadvantages of both.
SO WHAT IS A PRIME LENS?
A prime lens is a fixed focal length lens, it cannot
zoom, be it ultra wide angle, wide angle, standard
(50mm) or a short or long telephoto lens. In the days
before DSLR’s, prime lenses were the norm on SLR
camera’s, the standard lens in everyone’s kit being a
50mm due to it being the closest field of view to the
Prime lenses have fewer moving parts than zoom
lenses, thus giving more accurate critical focus,
sharper focus across the whole picture area, and
better colour saturation. This holds true for all prime
lenses, as they only have a focusing ring and an
aperture ring. On the aperture side, a wider stop is
available on these lenses, sometimes as wide as f1.2
or f1.4 which means a narrower depth of field and a
much faster overall shot.
Prime lenses still cost the mortgage on a small house
but they will generally outperform a zoom of the
ADVANTAGES OF PRIME LENSES:
• Sharper pictures.
• Better colour rendition.
• Wider apertures allowing faster speed in low light
• Best choice for specialised photography such as
DISADVANTAGES OF PRIME LENSES:
• Need for constant lens changes (time consuming
with a strong possibility of you missing the shot).
• More chance of dust getting into the sensor due to
frequent lens changes.
• Your only zoom function is to walk in closer or crop in
Zoom lenses were designed to negate the need to
carry many different prime lenses around, making
them much more versatile, the photographer being
able to quickly take advantage of changing photo
opportunities when needing to go from wide angle to
short telephoto pretty much instantly.
Zoom lenses have an extending barrel to give
different focal lengths in one lens. The larger telephoto
zooms suffer from less than perfect critical focus and
softening of the edges of a picture due to what is
called “pin cushioning” meaning the outer edges
show increased grain and detrimentally affecting the
Although modern day zooms have the clarity of
prime lenses for the most part, prime lenses still hold
sway when we are talking about ultra wide or macro
photography or ultra long telephoto requirements.
ADVANTAGES OF ZOOM LENSES:
• Versatile, 1 zoom lens takes the place of 2 or 3 prime
• Allows instant re-framing of a subject for a different
• Less equipment to carry and change.
DISADVANTAGES OF ZOOM LENSES:
• Heavier than single prime lenses but not as heavy as
2 or 3 different prime lenses!
• Smaller maximum apertures mean restricted low
light creativity (i.e a slower lens).
• More moving parts and glass inside result in less
accurate focus and colour rendition, detrimentally
affecting the result when compared to prime.
SO WHICH IS BEST, ZOOM OR PRIME?
There’s no right or wrong answer for this, it’s really a
question of what you are trying to achieve. You must
weigh up the different aspects of both types of lenses
against cost and the type of photography you are
For example, wedding photography, with the need to
include closeup details as well as group shots, benefit
from the zoom’s versatile focal lengths, unless you
have two camera bodies like the pros.
Prime lenses, will give you an extra sharpness when
you have the time to plan and setup the shot,
whether for product and still life work, or portraiture
when obviously your subject is not about to run away.
In all cases, reading the reviews of different
manufacturers lenses, preferably from an objective
source, will give a broad view of the type of lens best
suited to your photography. It is said that in some
cases, zoom lenses are actually sharper than prime’s,
but if you view the manufacturers spec and cost of
the zoom versus prime, usually (and I stress USUALLY)
the prime lens wins out for quality.
If you are using zoom lenses for what I would call general
photography, then they give much greater flexibility
over primes. If on the other hand, you want to do
specialised photography, macro for example, or bokeh,
then in my view, prime lenses win out in terms of quality.
WHAT'S YOUR WINTER?
A big 'thank you' to everyone who took the time to submit an image, we
had a great time looking through all the shots and seeing what Winter
looks like to you. On the following pages you'll see the best entries that
we received - A huge congratulations if your photo has been included.
MIST OVER THE MOUNTAINS
F10, 1/160s, ISO100
National Park, Ohakune, Mt Ngauruhoe had received a soft cover of snow
during the night.
F16, 152s, ISO100
Taking the time to isolate a detail in an epic location like Hooker Lake in
Mt Cook National Park can be one of the most rewarding feelings.
F8, 8s, ISO100
A trip out to Alexandra to Butchers Dam, I had seen a hoar frost out there
years ago, and was keen to go out again, now that my camera skills have
improved. Hoar frosts are very beautiful but disappear quickly once the sun
CLAY CLIFFS, OMARAMA
F2.8, 1/1250s, ISO100
I stopped to catch the light filtering through the clouds at Omarama.
NEW ZEALAND KEA
One of the famous Fiordland and Southern Alps locals sitting high in
Fiordland near the Milford Road. The kea sat there for quite a while enabling
me to get quite close and arrange the composition nicely with the valley
WINTER IN THE WINTERLESS NORTH
F7.1, 1/1250s, ISO200
I have recently moved to the North of New Zealand and along with my AA
(able assistant aka husband) I took my crystal ball down onto the beach.
After burning my hand, I decided to let him hold it and I just pressed the
FROST AND MIST
F8, 1/10s, ISO100
Taken at 6.30am from my deck in Te Kauwhata, Waikato on the 4th of July
with the sun just starting to rise over the frost and mist.
The mountain range beyond Lake Tekapo.
A WINTER OASIS
F4, 1/10s, ISO100
The appearance of an isolated land protruding from the mist. Taken in the
hills in proximity of Cambridge, NZ.
WINTER IN OTAGO
Living here in Middlemarch, we get a lot of snow
and frost on the hills - The sheep get used to it.
DIAMOND LAKE REFLECTION
F36, 13s, ISO200
Dawn reflection of Diamond Lake.
F8, 8s, ISO100
When everyone is shooting across Tasman Lake towards Mt Cook, you
should never forget to look behind you. I was graced with this stunning view
looking down Tasman Valley. The contrast between the mountains and the
beautiful colour in the clouds is absolutely breathtaking. This is a stunner
of a winter sunrise. Winter is a beautiful time here in New Zealand and I
sometimes forget that. But looking at this image helps me remember that I
truly am lucky to call NZ my home.
FULL MOON OVER WAIRAKA
F11, 1/50s, ISO100
The first full moon of Matariki (Maori new year), sets beyond Wairaka (lady
on the rock) on a crisp winter sunrise in Whakatane, the morning of Friday,
June 29th, 2018. I planned this shot for a little while and was lucky enough to
get perfect conditions for it! There was not a spot of cloud and the beautiful
pre-dawn hues, were colouring the sky just right to be able to get this shot
with a single exposure.
F2.8, 1/1600s, ISO64
I wanted to get some foggy shots and what better place to do that than
at Reperoa. I was driving around looking for compositions when I noticed
Rainbow Mountain peeping through the mist. it looked cool but was missing
some foreground interest. I continued to drive then noticed this line of trees
with a gap in them.
F11, 30s, ISO200
"Wow come get a shot of this Dad"... "Nah come on, we've gotta keep
moving to get to the top in time for sunset"... But then I had a microsecond
ponder over the fact that he's usually right and so peered down the creek.
With fumbly cold fingers I quickly ditched a hefty pack and whipped out the
D750 to catch this icy masterpiece.
The Vector Harbour Bridge lights are in full force on
a very cold July night in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.
F5.6, 1/640s, ISO160
Climbing up towards "two peaks".
COLOURS OF A RAINBOW
A friend was driving us to Muriwai to take photos of the gannets when this
really vibrant rainbow appeared. We had stopped to take some photos of
it but this one was actually a "drive-by" out of the passenger window that I
took once we'd started on our travels again.
EARLY MORNING STEAM
F1.7, 1/1144S, ISO40
This photo was taken in late June 2018 in Otorohanga as I was
going for a walk through a little park in the freezing early morning.
F10, 1/2000S, ISO100
Tasman Lake on a chilly winter's day.
A TENDER RESTLESS SOUL WITHIN
A WINTER MYSTERY
F11, 1/100S, ISO110
Mackenzie Country, Canterbury
F1.8, 30S, ISO3200
The winter sky across Wellington with Saturn and
Mars visible around the Brooklyn windmill.
Lake Poaka Twizel region before the sun came up.
It was -6 degrees but worth the effort.
"THERE ARE ALWAYS
TWO PEOPLE IN
EVERY PICTURE: THE
AND THE VIEWER."