Brought to you by
ISSUE 17, March 2019
WINNER & BEST ENTRIES
HOW TO CAPTURE:
WITH RICHARD YOUNG
WELCOME TO ISSUE 17 OF
NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE
You'll notice an underlying
theme of Love in this edition
of NZ Photographer magazine
which stems from us publishing
the best submissions from our
'What is Love' competition – Turn
to page 31 to see who won.
We have interviewed tramping
and travel photographer Shaun
Barnett and in Behind the Shot
we discover Scott Cushman's
love of fishing, in both of these
articles we learn how it's possible
to turn your passion into a money
We touched on Brendon's love
story right back in issue 2 but now
go deeper, understanding how
ESP photography came to be
and how photography became his passion – It's an emotional story so you
may need tissues at the ready, but just goes to show we never know what
is around the next corner for us as humans or as photographers.
Ana writes about getting on the path to becoming a happy
photographer and how a love of photography can be used for a greater
good than just taking shots for yourself. We also have another photo
review and last but never least, Richard shares tips on taking panoramic
Brendon is the man
behind ESB Photography.
He is an avid tramper
who treks from sea to
mountain, and back
again, capturing the
uniqueness of New
Co-founder of Excio,
journey started many
years ago with one of the
first Kodak film cameras.
She loves exploring the
unseen macro world and
capturing genuine people's
Richard is an awardwinning
wildlife photographer who
workshops and runs
photography tours. He
is the founder of New
Editor NZ Photographer
NZPhotographer Issue 17
Sunset over Sinclair Head
and Owhiro Bay
Phone 04 889 29 25
or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
nzphotographer nzp_magazine email@example.com
© 2019 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.
2 NZPhotographer March 2019 3
INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN BARNETT
BEHIND THE SHOT
with Scott Cushman of Digital Fish
INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN BARNETT
HOW ESB PHOTOGRAPHY CAME TO BE
by Brendon Gilchrist
MIND GAME: BEING A HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER
by Ana Lyubich
HOW TO CAPTURE: PANORAMIC LANDSCAPES
by Richard Young
IMPROVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO REVIEW SESSION
WHAT IS LOVE PHOTO COMPETITION
WINNER & BEST ENTRIES
PHOTO REVIEW SESSION
BEING A HAPPY
HOW TO CAPTURE: PANORAMIC
Behind The Shot
with Scott Cushman of Digital Fish
F4, 1/250s, ISO200, 30mm
HI SCOTT, TELL US ABOUT YOU!
I’m based on the North Shore in Auckland and am a freelance
writer, photographer, and videographer who works with
recreational anglers but also industry people.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND
I was doing my OE and got into photography as a 20 year old
when I decided to buy an old Pentax A3000 and start taking
photographs. I took an online freelance course and started
practising and developing my craft, starting with what I knew
(fishing) and branching out from there. My photography has
developed alongside my writing and as technology and media
have changed, my fishing and photography kit have grown with
video and then drone equipment being added.
TELL US ABOUT THIS JOHN DORY SHOT…
We were out fishing, doing a story in the Hauraki Gulf and it was still
early morning. The fish were slow on the bite but I pulled this up. I took
a moment to get my camera out. It’s difficult to get the balance
right – shooting or fishing because you need fish to photograph but
then you need to be constantly thinking photos because you need
to capture the moments. Building up a stock of images is essential
to be able to produce copy month in and month out and the fish
looked great in the water. I haven’t used it in a story yet but no doubt
will pull it out for a story on catching John Dory.
WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS SHOT?
The sun was low and the sea was darker because the sun wasn’t
high in the sky but it still illuminated the John Dory nicely and made
it stand out. The fish has very high dorsal fins (the ones on top of the
body) which helps make it look more interesting. The fish was sitting
at just the right angle to reflect the sun’s rays as well. John Dory are
such an unusual looking fish, they make interesting subjects even
for non-fishing people.
WHAT EQUIPMENT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH?
I currently shoot mostly using a Nikon D7200 with the Nikon 16–
80mm, Sigma 8–16mm, Nikon 80–400mm AFS, Nikon 40mm micro,
and Tamron 60mm macro f2 lenses. I often have the ultra-wide
or extreme telephoto on my camera but I have recently been
using my 40mm micro 2.8 and I have been getting some satisfying
The John Dory shot was with a Sony RX10 MkII which is an amazing
piece of kit. I needed the smallest, best quality camera that could
shoot stills and video and after reading about some of the guys
working for National Geographic using them as back up and
F5.3, 1/640s, ISO100, 190mm
shooting B roll I bought one and find it exceptional
for its size. Some of my fishing expeditions take me on
long hikes with lots of gear so a full DSLR kit is not that
ANY TIPS FOR CAPTURING FISH PHOTOS IN
GENERAL THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
Fish always look their best in colour and posture when they
have been just taken out of the water. They don’t look the
same when they are dead. You can sometimes get some
fantastic shots when the fish is still in the water as the water
movement around it frames the fish and tells a great story
of the animal in its element. Splashing water can add to
the image too as my snapper in the water picture shows.
Sometimes when the water is still and reflective, it can add
an amazing quality to the photo too.
YOU ALSO SHOOT VIDEO AND HAVE A
DRONE, TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT ASPECT
OF YOUR WORK AND LINK US UP TO YOUR
FAVOURITE VIDEO YOU’VE CREATED.
This is probably my favourite video, Fishing is Awesome –
Little Barrier. It’s not so much about fishing action but
more the beauty of being out on the ocean and the
amazing sights you see when out fishing.
I have crashed a few drones over the years and have
used a few different brands and still get nervous every
time I try to launch a drone off a small boat. I was
probably the first fishing show creator in New Zealand to
start using a drone in my videos. It was funny because
my first video with drone footage was shot on Rangitoto
and as I was marvelling at my drone flying around
I stepped back and tripped on the volcanic rock and
slashed my hand (which was included in the video)!
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS
ABOUT FOLLOWING THEIR PASSION AND
MAKING MONEY FROM IT?
Persistence pays off. My wife calls me a tortoise because
I’m not a fast mover but I always cross the line.
I am my own worse critic of my work so I am learning
to appreciate it through the eyes of someone who
would pay for/value my work and put a monetary
value on my images.
Being critical of your own work is important to motivate you
to keep striving for greater and greater images but can
also cause issues when you come to put a monetary value
on your work. I fell into the trap (and still do) thinking that
the best gear will make me more sales or vastly improve
my photographs. I find myself too often dreaming about
what next piece of kit I’m going to buy next and have to
keep telling myself the truth – spending more time taking
photographs and honing my craft will improve my work a
lot faster with better results than buying more toys.
I have realised that being self-employed takes lots of allround
skills. You have to be a good learner and teach
yourself things you’re not so interested in, as well as the
things you are passionate about. Learning to be disciplined
with your financial resources, learning how to best promote
yourself (sometimes quite challenging for creatives) as
well as being able to effectively communicate with and
manage client’s expectations takes people skills you won’t
immediately start out with. My motto this year is – be less
passive and hopeful, more assertive and intentional.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
We’re inviting photographers to highlight all the wonderful things that make the Wellington
Botanic Garden much more than a garden, while encouraging photographers to focus on
the garden season by season.
For prizes and full Terms & Conditions see: www.excio.io/freshshoots
The competition is split into quarterly competitions based on each of the seasons:
Summer Autumn Winter
15 December -
22 March 2019
23 March -
21 June 2019
22 June -
20 September 2019
ROCK OUTCROP NEAR MAKIRIKIRI,
RUAHINE RANGE, HAWKE'S BAY.
HI SHAUN, WOULD YOU CARE TO INTRODUCE
I live in a Wellington house, nestled among trees, at
the end of a path with 80 steps. The lounge windows
outlook over the Remutaka Range and Cook Strait.
My wife, Tania, and I have lived in the house for the
last 20 years, and are raising our three children here
who had to learn to walk uphill from a very young
age! For the last 23 years, I have been a freelance
writer and photographer, specialising in nature and
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED IN
My first camera was a cheap, crappy Kodak one that
came free with the Pink Batts when my parents were
building a house. It took tiny strips of 110 negative film
which produced very poor quality prints. Nevertheless,
I got a taste for taking photographs, and by the time
I went to university, had decided to get a decent
35mm camera, my first being a Pentax P30.
After completing a science degree and parks and
recreation diploma in the early 1990s, I began working
for the Department of Conservation, and at the same
time started selling photographs – initially to Craig
Potton Publishing for their diaries and calendars, and
also through the Hedgehog House Photo library run by
Christchurch photographer Colin Monteath.
In the mid‐1990s, I converted to Nikon cameras,
starting with an F100. For most of the 2000s, I also shot
medium format transparencies using a Mamiya 6X7,
but started a bit late… digital was already starting to
be a game changer.
WHAT EQUIPMENT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH
I bought my first digital Nikon, a D700, in 2009.
Recently I purchased a D850, which I love. It’s
beautiful to hold, even one-handed, and I find Nikon
cameras especially intuitive to use.
I have a variety of lenses, mostly Nikon, and a carbon
fibre Really Right Stuff tripod which is excellent for
lugging around on a tramping pack as it is stable but
light. I use graduated neutral density filters to hold
back the exposure in bright skies, and – sparingly – a
polarising filter when there are unwanted reflections.
YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR TRAMPING AND
TRAVEL, TELL US HOW THAT STARTED…
I started tramping as a teenager, living in Hawke’s
Bay, and have since tramped all over New Zealand,
including a piecemeal traverse of the Southern Alps
from St Arnaud to Milford Sound. As a young man,
I was solely interested in New Zealand, but after
meeting Tania, who loves to travel (and had been
doing trips with her parents since she was a young
girl), I began travelling too.
We spent eight months in Alaska, the Canadian
Rockies and South America in 1997–98, tramping,
kayaking and travelling. And in the year we got
married, we trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.
Tania opened my eyes to the world. We’ve since
taken our children overseas, to California, Italy, the
UK and Ireland. My most recent trip was to Iceland,
helping Rob Brown lead a group of photographers
around there. A remarkable country, scenically
diverse and striking, but also with a fascinating history,
discovered by Irish monks who went there in tiny boatskin
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
I like to work slowly, usually on a tripod, but as I also
like to move on and tramp to new sights and places;
I don’t quite have the patience of my friends Rob
Brown or Craig Potton – who will wait at the right
location for the right light longer than me.
I’m not a purist in the American nature photography
tradition, in that I often include people, or tracks, or
huts in my images. I like bold colours, but don’t favour
HDR, and I think many landscape images are overprocessed.
I’m guilty of it sometimes too.
I’ve been influenced by nature photographers: the
American masters like Ansel Adams and (my favourite)
Eliot Porter; and also New Zealanders Craig Potton,
Andris Apse, Rob Brown and Colin Monteath. Other
New Zealand photographers I greatly admire are
Brain Brake, Jane Ussher, Marti Friedlander and Ans
Westra – especially for their skills at photographing
people. Landscape photographers whose work I also
appreciate are Tasmanian Peter Dombrovski and
Scotland’s Joe Cornish. I’ll confess to being pretty
ignorant about younger photographers.
I’m not a perfectionist, nor especially technically brilliant.
I mostly want to capture something of the flavour of my
outdoor or travel experiences. That’s more important
to me than getting something pristinely perfect. I like
rocks and water, patterns in nature and have been
experimenting recently with stitching together portrait
shots to make landscape panoramas – inspired by my
fellow photographer and friend Peter Laurenson.
I also like being able to use my photography for
a purpose. I’ve donated images to help with
conservation campaigns – taking a leaf out of
Craig Potton’s book, whose career has combined
photography and advocacy to help stop native tree
logging, and to get national parks created. I think
that’s a significant reason why his photography
has been so enduring. He’s not only a great
photographer, but has a real passion and deep
commitment to nature.
I guess I’m saying that photography should sometimes be
concerned with more than just making a pretty picture.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE
AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Adapting to the digital age. Like many photographers
who had learned the difficult art of mastering slide
film, I found the switch to digital painful. It was like
confronting a new language. Raw files need lots of
work to get anything like the saturation and contrast
of a well-exposed transparency. I’m a late adopter
of technology, because I have no great love of it,
except as a tool to record what I want. So when
I finally went fully digital in 2009, I was way behind the
game, and had a lot of catch-up to do. I still don’t
feel I’ve mastered how to process images exactly how
I would like (I use Lightroom), but I’m getting better.
WHARIWHARANGI BAY COASTAL TRACK
FJALLABACK NATURE RESERVE, ICELAND
BIG-HORN SHEEP IN ALBERTA, CANADA
WHARARIKI BEACH, GOLDEN BAY
DOMINIE BIV AT DAWN
I do concede that the advantages of digital now
largely outweigh film: the dynamic range, the option
to choose ISO per shot, the ability to get immediate
feedback are all great attributes of digital. However,
those attributes have flip sides. With digital, you tend
to shoot too much, and not think enough about
composition, like you had to with film, because it cost
to take every shot. And I see some people spending
too much time checking their screen, even when
the light before them is going off! Then, back at your
computer at home, the temptation to over-process is
so much greater.
WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES?
I love Wellington’s South coast (where I live) more
each year. I also have a particular fondness for the
mountains of Hawke’s Bay, where I started tramping,
partly because of nostalgia, and partly because
they are under-rated. The biological and geological
diversity of Kahurangi National Park makes it a pretty
special place too.
Overseas, I have a particular fondness for Tasmania,
having spent seven weeks tramping and taking
photographs there. Patagonia and Alaska are wild,
huge landscapes with astonishing mountains, where
I would like to return. The Skellig Islands, off Ireland’s
south-western coast, are one of the most amazing
cultural sites I’ve visited. Irish monks lived there for 600
years in conditions of abject poverty and hardship,
existing in tiny stone huts. I was also mesmerised by a
visit to Iceland in 2016, and I hope to return there next
year with Rob Brown to lead a trekking group.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND
WRITING CAREER, HOW DID IT START AND
WHERE ARE YOU AT TODAY?
For a couple of years early on I recorded my
adventures using print film, with mixed results, but still
took it seriously enough to use a tripod. However, it
was a pivotal trip in 1990 with my friend Rob Brown
that saw us both switch to slide film (this was then the
standard if you wanted to get published in colour). On
a weekend trip around the Pouakai circuit in Taranaki,
Rob and I challenged each other to get the best
images. This sparked healthy competition between us,
which has continued as co-operation and friendship
to this day.
We both started selling photographs at roughly the
same time in the early 1990s and would both lug
enormously heavy packs with a 35mm and medium
format camera (Rob took a large format 4X5 view
camera), plus a range of lenses, flash and tripod,
often having 8+ kilograms of camera gear each – plus
food and gear for whatever trip we were doing. We
did a month long tramp from Mt Cook to Arthur’s
Pass, and both carried packs weighiing more than 32
kilograms. Back in those bad old days of film (we used
50 ISO film because it had the finest grain) taking a
tripod was essential. If you got it right (not always
guaranteed as you didn’t know until it was too late)
side film like Fuji Velvia gave crisp, richly saturated
images with fine grain, which was usually impossible
for any amateur hand-holding their camera. Now, the
huge reach of instantly changeable ISO digital has
eroded much of that advantage away.
After working as a DOC ranger for four years,
I decided to give freelance photography and writing
a go. I wrote articles mainly as a way to be able to
sell more photographs, and contributed to local
newspapers, and magazines, such as New Zealand
Geographic, Forest & Bird and Wilderness magazine.
I also contributed to Geo Australasia, Action Asia, and
some UK travel magazines.
After Tania and I got back from South America, Rob
Brown told me he wanted to work together on a
book, which was our first, Classic Tramping in New
Zealand (1999) – published by Craig Potton Publishing.
It combined photographs with thoughtful essays on
some of the harder of the well-known tramps, and
won a Montana Book Award in 2000. About that time,
I also got a lucky break when David Hall, publisher
of New Zealand Wilderness magazine, asked me to
be editor, which I did for three-and-a-half years. Rob
Brown and I continued to work together, and have
since completed two more books, Shelter from the
Storm (2012) and A Bunk for the Night (2016), with a
mutual tramping friend, Geoff Spearpoint. I have also
written three guidebooks, a book on New Zealand
natural history, and Tramping, A New Zealand History
(2014) with Chris Maclean.
I also edited the Federated Mountain Club’s
Backcountry/FMC Bulletin for 10 years. In between
times, I sold photographs to a range of calendars,
overseas publications, books, and have had over 1000
articles published. Occasionally I’ve done commercial
photography, such as recording the annual
Wellington marathon, but it’s not really my strength.
Recently I’ve begun instructing outdoor photography
with friend Richard Young (New Zealand Photography
Workshops), who is a talented teacher and much
better with technology than I am. I’ve learnt a great
deal working with him, and loved seeing the results
that people can get with a bit of encouragement
I’ve also just completed a book with Chris Maclean
called Leading the Way, a centennial history of the
Tararua Tramping Club, which celebrates its 100th
birthday this July.
WHAT WISDOM CAN YOU SHARE WITH US
ABOUT GETTING PHOTOS PUBLISHED?
The key thing about getting published is developing
knowledge of the publication, and trying to establish
some sort of working relationship with the editor.
That’s really hard when you start out, and something
you have to renew every time a magazine changes
its editor too. The best piece of advice I can give
is: don’t be casual about making a submission to a
magazine or pitching a book idea. Find out what the
magazine or publisher needs. Read the magazine.
Know the publisher’s previous work (the worst thing
you can do it pitch an idea that they have just
covered). Think hard about what the readers might
want, edit your own work hard, and don’t expect a
quick response. Editors get hundreds of submissions.
In this online age, I also think people are too willing
to present all or most of their work online, when that
effectively kills the surprise or the originality of a fresh
shot. Print magazines and book publishers like to have
impact by first presenting something in their pages,
and only later having it reproduced online on their
website or your website. Old-school thinking, I know.
That brings me to the whole conundrum of online
versus print. What you can earn through photography
has greatly declined over the last 10 to 15 years
because many people are willing to put everything
online, and to sell it for nothing. For that reason,
photo libraries are almost dead. Websites are a
great tool for showcasing your work to the world,
but by saturation (excuse the pun) and devaluing
the work photographers do, we are making it harder
and harder to earn a living from it. There are lots of
parallels there with the music industry, or any other
creative pursuit. If photographers are to make a living,
we have to value our work better than that.
ANY INSPIRING WORDS TO LEAVE US WITH
ABOUT FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION?
Collaborate. Work with other people, and adopt a
co-operative rather than a competitive attitude with
other photographers. You’ll learn more, have more
fun, and probably develop your own style faster.
Diversity. You have to be willing to shoot what people
want. Creating the most artistic beautiful image in the
world might be a valid goal, but for magazine and
books you need to shoot lots of different styles, and to
some degree meet an audience’s expectations. To
survive as an outdoor photographer in New Zealand
you have to be diverse and adaptable.
Shoot what you love and learn about it. To get good
images of anything, I think you need some empathy
with the subject and some knowledge of it. What is
that alpine flower? Who is that person, and what is
their story? What is the history behind that hut?
Others are better judges. It’s hard to evaluate your
own work because you were there when the photo
was made and you know how hard you might have
worked to get that image. But that doesn’t mean
anything to someone viewing the image in isolation
from the place where it was made. My publisher
Robbie Burton, while not a photographer himself (and
perhaps that helps), has a very good aesthetic sense,
and I’ve learned to trust his judgement implicitly. He’ll
often choose an image I had disregarded, or reject
something I thought was really good.
Know when to put the camera down. Photography
can be the greatest avenue to arouse curiosity,
to unleash creativity, or to record what you care
about. But it can be intrusive, and can destroy
an experience. Once, I grew frustrated trying to
photograph a Robin, which would not stay still long
enough for me to get a decent shot. Then I realised
my attitude was wrong. I needed to put my camera
down, stop trying to shoot the bird, and instead
enjoy the experience of interacting with a friendly
native creature. Similarly, when travelling overseas,
sometimes it is just not appropriate to treat the locals
as photographic subjects, and if they don’t want their
photo taken you should respect that. I think we can
fool ourselves that just because we have a camera,
we have licence to shoot whatever we like.
DO YOU HAVE AN OVERALL FAVOURITE
One of my favourite shots is one I took on slide
film during a snowfall at Harper Pass Bivouac, in
Canterbury’s Lake Sumner Forest Park. It’s the only
shot of my own that I have printed and framed on the
wall at home. It’s possibly a bit grainy, but I like the
tracery of the slow shutter speed snowflakes streaking
over the background, and the almost painting-like
effect it has with the leafless trees behind. And of
course, the orange hut provides a contrast with the
brooding colours of a forest in bad weather.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
I don’t have a website yet (that’s my plan for this
year!) but you can find out more about me and see
my work at:
SNOW STORM AT HAPERS PASS BIV, CANTERBURY
TRAMPERS AT BIGGS TOP, WEST COAST
How ESB Photography Came To Be
My passion for photography did not start
until the end of May 2012. But let us wind
back a few years further to understand
where the heart of ESB beats from.
You see, “ES” is the nickname of my late wife Ester
who passed away in 2012. “B” stands for Brendon,
I met Ester through a friend at church and we got
on so well I ended up moving in with her, her sister
and partner, niece and nephew. It was one big
family in one 3 bedroom house. A few years later
we moved to Lower Hutt where we lived til 2008
which was the year we got married. We were so
happy, everything was perfect. Ester had come
home a few months before and said, “I want to be
a dental hygienist”. So I said ok and we packed up
our bags and moved to Dunedin where she began
her Bachelor of Oral Health at Otago University.
by Brendon Gilchrist
Due to difficulty in finding full-time work in Dunedin I
ended up moving back to my sister-in-law’s house
in Christchurch where I got a job at the Ibis hotel.
I had been in Christchurch less than 6 months when
the February earthquake hit – I was standing in a
doorway on the 7th floor of the hotel waiting for the
building to collapse. Everything was moving; the
beds going from wall to wall, the power going on
and off, dust everywhere. It was a big quake and
I had no communication with Ester or other family
for at least 6 hours. I was made redundant after
this so I moved back to Dunedin to be with Ester
but ended up moving back to Christchurch a few
months later to start a job at NZ Post.
Once Ester finished her studies we moved our
belongings back to Christchurch to a house of
our own but all was not well as Ester was sick. She
was sore, tired and vomiting a lot. She went to the
doctors, and after a number of different tests and
scans we found out she had gastric cancer.
Hearing those words was like the Ibis building
collapsing on our world. She was given a new job
at the Christchurch DHB on the Wednesday and
diagnosed with cancer on the Friday. How can you
receive such amazing news, only to then receive
such devastating news and the realization that the
love of your life only has weeks to live?
We were in and out of the hospital for treatments to
make Ester more comfortable but the cancer had
spread to her lymph nodes and had become too
aggressive for doctors to attempt surgery – There
was nothing they could do. It was hard to watch
someone so healthy and active become bedridden
within a few weeks. Despite her sickness and lack of
strength, when Ester heard that her sister was giving
birth she got up and made it to the hospital in time
to cut his umbilical cord. Ester named him Esten
Ester knew the week before that she was not going
to live much longer. She told me to take the week
off work. She passed away with me holding her
hand. She left this world in peace, just her and me,
no one else around on May 11th 2012.
That is a small part of my story of when Ester left this
world. People said my world was going to end and
they were right – it did, but a new one began.
WHY DID I START PHOTOGRAPHY?
I was sitting on the couch with my dad, and I had
this random thought – I need to buy a camera!
So the next day we went to a camera shop and
I bought a Sony A57 (the landscape photos here
were some of my first with this camera) using
money Ester had saved. I had no idea what I was
doing, I had no idea where my story was going to
take me (and still don’t where this journey will end!).
This wasn’t my first foray into photography as
such, I had always enjoyed taking photos and
used to take a small compact camera in my back
pocket while riding my bike (the hobby I was
most passionate about before), taking snaps of
places around the Port Hills and posting them on
Facebook. It’s funny because Ester used to tell me
to stop posting the photos online as she found it
Fast forward to today and here I am, a passionate
photographer. I love nature, getting out into the
bush, going for a walk, taking the time to watch the
waves, watch the clouds, explore new locations
and share the beauty. From broken to whole,
photography is a place where I can forget about
the world and recharge my body, refreshen my
soul. It is like fuel for me, a place where I forget
everything and capture the beauty in front of me
mentally and artistically.
I want to leave a story behind that will inspire other
people, letting them know that there is a new door
of opportunity behind the one that has suddenly
closed. After Ester’s death, many people told me
that time heals, but I disagree – time changes but it
doesn’t heal. You can’t heal a scar on your body,
and you for sure can’t heal a scar on your heart.
Ester was such a strong and amazing woman,
someone who was active, cared for people and
was always smiling and making silly jokes. This is
the heart of ESB Photography. It is a dedication
to something that was, till death do us part. My
dedication to what we were will continue until
I finish my life on this earth. It’s my story to say to
the world that love never dies, it never stops. Family
will always be family and those memories will be
Life should not be lived without LOVE though. The
passion I have for what I want to do and where
I want to go is something that drives me to want to
be better. I use a sport mentality to describe what
I feel with photography, it’s of losing in a game of
basketball but not wanting to lose in life, the fight in
me wants to win at any cost. I do what others won’t
do and risk whatever it takes to get what others
won’t risk. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t
but that is the story of life. Keep trying until you see
your vision come to pass. If you don’t take that shot
(in terms of basketball) it will never go in, if you do
and it goes in there is a high chance you can use
that energy to do the same again. Emotions are the
most powerful force on this earth and if you do not
harness the power of your emotions you will never
see your full potential.
The future of photography for me, the story of
my life, and where I want the story to go next is a
difficult one for me to answer.
Living in New Zealand has its benefits. We have
everything you could ever want to witness and
photograph, but the world is also waiting. Number
one on my list of places I really want to visit is
Antarctica as it has interested me for many, many
years. Next on my bucketlist are Greenland,
Norway, Israel, Jordan and other countries in that
area. As you’ll know from reading my articles, I love
history and discovering the stories from any place
I have a vision of a book about how photography
helped me heal. I want people who have been
through similar events in life to know that they are
not alone and being young I believe this story
needs to be heard so people can relate to the raw
emotions of how cancer affects your whole life. A
book not solely based on photography but a book
where photos show beauty when all you might
feel is darkness. When the time is right I would like
to step into workshops too, to teach my passion
for what I have taught myself and to keep working
on my biggest dream to one day be a full-time
photographer. Let’s see where my story takes me
and how life unfolds from here!
Landscapes change, seasons pass, people grow
older, ecosystems evolve and so on. You can
participate in projects helping people or organisations
with your passion and when something happens as a
result of that it will be one of the best and memorable
moments of your life.
Say you volunteer for a local foster care and take
photos of the gorgeous inhabitants, it will very likely be
your photograph that soon-to-be adoptive parents
see first, that spark in the eye of that one little girl
grabbing at their heartstrings because you managed
to capture her looking just so in that split second of
time. This isn’t to say that you must give everything up
and start volunteering, but if you ever doubt whether
your photography is of any value, remember that you
can go out and create the value.
So, we’ve covered the social and fulfilment sides of
being a photographer but another major advantage
of loving your camera and developing some
photography skills is that you have an opportunity
to express and understand yourself in a way that
non-creatives don’t. No matter what niche of
photography you are into, nor how often you go out
with your camera, photography allows you to show
your inner world to others and is a great therapy to
relieve stress and anxiety.
I’m pretty sure you all experience the same feeling
that I do when I pick up my camera; the world just
disappears – whatever was happening a few minutes
ago doesn’t matter anymore.
It’s important to try and stay in this creative zone after
you’ve clicked the shutter and are at home viewing
your images on the big screen. Take time to analyse
the shot, think back to why you captured the scene
from that exact angle, was there a specific reason?
What would you like to do differently next time?
Thinking these thoughts helped me to understand myself
better. You see, I always wondered why I love macro.
I have tried other genres and while I really enjoy taking
landscape shots and also portraits, I tend to gravitate
towards capturing the mini-world. The reason was quite
obvious when I stopped to think about it – I’ve always
been short-sighted, I can see things up close very well
with or without glasses, but can’t see well enough in the
long distance. The fact that even as a child I could see
some extremely small things and small print that adults
couldn’t was fascinating! I could see what other people
could not. Now, with my camera, I can show people
that there is a completely different universe existing right
nearby that most don’t see.
Being a photographer may not be an easy choice
and shouldn’t always be a job, but if you have a
love for photography be sure to carry it with you
throughout life as it will not only bring joy to you but
people around the world.
MIND GAME: Being A Happy Photographer
When you talk to people and say that you are
a lawyer, doctor, an accountant or anyone
else with a stable and predictable income
stream you can feel people’s respect.
When the next minute you mention “Oh and I’m also a
photographer!” that respect often diminishes. Believe
me, as an accountant with more than 10 years 9–5
office experience I know what it feels like.
It’s great when you have support from your family and
friends regarding your photography, but more often
than not people cannot understand what on earth
you are talking about or worse, will try to turn your
passion (whether it’s a hobby or part-time career) into
something else. Have you heard phrases like “Why do
you need that new lens for $1000?!” or “Who is going
to care about your photos?” If this sounds familiar,
welcome to the club!
The above doesn’t just relate to photography, but for other
hobbies too – I, for example, wouldn’t have a clue about
the equipment a fisher might spend his or her money on
nor how much time they spend out on the water.
by Ana Lyubich
This is why it’s so important to find your tribe, so
that you can always talk to someone who not only
understands your passion for photography but who
can also give you good advice, someone who you
can share your thoughts with and lean on when
support is needed whether emotionally or technically!
When it comes to photography, it is more common to
see “lone wolves” on the street or in the field than herds
of photographers wandering around, so this hobby can
be as lonely but also as fulfilling as you want it to be.
Communities and meetup groups are a good place
to start when seeking to find your tribe – Every time you
go on a photo walk you will meet like-minded people,
discover something new, see who else is in the same
boat as you and learn what they are doing.
The second thing to fully realise is that you can make
a difference in someone’s life or even in the world if
you are a photographer. Wherever you are with your
camera you have that unique opportunity to capture
something happening in that exact moment that no
one else had, has or will ever have.
HOW TO CAPTURE: PANORAMIC LANDSCAPES
Capture landscapes in a new perspective with panoramic
photography tips by Richard Young
A new generation community
for passionate photographers and image lovers
Proven to increase awareness of your photography,
improve your skills and give you
the confidence to succeed.
6x17 Panoramas: Autumn Lake Wanaka and View over Dusky Sound
SUBJECT: The best locations for panoramic images are places
that overlook the landscape, i.e. standing on the top of a
mountain, looking down from an elevated viewpoint, or on the
shore of a lake.
COMPOSITION: Unless you have specialised calibrated
panoramic equipment avoid taking photos with objects in the
immediate foreground. Photos with objects in the foreground
can be difficult to stitch together and can result in a distorted
LIGHTING: The best light of the day is usually early morning or
late during the “Golden Hour” when low light shows more detail
across the landscape. It is important to shoot a panorama that
has even light from one side to the other, else it will lead to
problems with overall exposure so do consider your angle to
QUICK GUIDE TO SHOOTING A PANORAMA
1. Set your tripod on a firm surface and check it is
2. Set all camera settings to manual, including
3. Check camera focus and then disable
4. Take a single picture and check the exposure.
5. Start your pano from the left. Take your first photo
and rotate the camera right, allowing images to
overlap by at least 20%.
6. Visually inspect all images on the LCD screen to
make sure that you do not have any problems
with your setup.
CAPTURE GRAND LANDSCAPE PANORAMAS OF THE SOUTH ISLAND ON A 4-DAY FIORDLAND
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR THIS AUTUMN WITH NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
Improving Your Photography
Photo Review Session
The third thing that is a great aspect of this photo is the reflection of the land in the water. Capturing reflections
of any objects from the scene gives the photo a more artistic feel. For this particular photo, with the bright
colours of the trees, capturing reflections makes even more sense because of the vibrant bright reflections in
PADDOCK BAY BY JACQUI SCOTT
REVIEW BY: ALMIN VRANAC
2013 Winner of Sony’s ‘Record Your Move’.
The most appealing thing I absolutely love about this
photo is the composition. Combining three different
elements in a photo (in this particular photo, the
waterside, land, and mountains in the distance) is not
always easy to capture correctly and is what really
makes this photo appealing. Combining different
distances is always a great idea to give depth to
a photo, having the mountains in the background
while at the same time maintaining the focus on
the waterside. Of course, the great thing behind this
shot was selecting the aperture at 8 f-stops, which
gives the photo a less shallow depth of field which is
needed to achieve this kind of look.
The second thing which is also nicely done in this
photo is the contrasting colour. To be precise, the
bright colours of the bushes and trees between the
more dark colours of the water and the mountains
makes the seaside really stand out and creates a
perfect photo harmony from a colour standpoint.
Colour contrasting is a well respected technique in
photography as it makes the scene more interesting
to the viewer.
There isn’t too much to improve in
this photo, as it is photographed
really well, respecting the most
important rules in photography.
With this said, there are still some
things I personally would improve.
I feel that the symmetry of the
land area in this photo could be
improved. What do I mean? The
empty and the less dense area
of the trees on the landside on
the left side of the photo, it’s not
quite symmetrical to the other
side and symmetry is something
that we should always aim for
in photography. See the photo
explanation below to get a better
What is Love Photo Competition
Winner & Best Entries
Judged by Eugene Li and Darius Stevens
The outlined area is the ‘empty’ space that makes the
land area nonsymmetrical which is disrupting the flow
of the photo in the symmetry aspect.
There are two main ways we can fix this:
Correcting the photo in post production with a pretty
easy technique - cropping.
As you can see, when symmetry is achieved, the
photo looks a lot better even though the cropping has
its bad points. It’s always better to keep the original
crop of the photo for numerous reasons, especially
in landscape photography and it’s also worth
mentioning that we’re not going to be always able
to crop the photo because of of other photography
rules and sometimes solely because our main subject
loses the focus it had without the crop. With cropping,
it mostly comes down to weighting on what is more
important to the photo, the symmetry or some other
A better but more demanding way of solving this
problem would be to try to angle the shot before
taking the photo in a way that captures the scene in
a symmetrical manner. For this particular photo, you
may have been able to shift the scene a little to the
right before taking the photo, just enough to cover
that empty area of the left side. Remember, taking a
few shots is always a good idea so you can choose
the best shot later.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY,
JOIN EXCIO TO GET FRIENDLY ADVICE AND SUPPORT.
Endless, all kinds of weather, selfless and enduring;
she loved the boy more than she loved herself.
Nurturer, lover of all things animal, every creature no
matter how small has a home here.
Secret languages, private jokes, too much
mischief, inseparable, best friends for life; siblings.
A MOTHERS LOVE
At the Hamilton Lake a late in the
season Pukeko chick is with its mother.
An endangered red bill gull chick is
closely guarded by its parent at the Royal
Albatross Centre in Dunedin.
Last night of my dog.
NEVER CLOSE ENOUGH
The birds will see.
Father and daughter wandering on the beach.
HUSH NOW BABY
Hopefully, you will remember we
needed each other so much.
Sisters enjoying themselves at a concert.
Captured on iphone.
THE ADVENTURE OF LOVING
WHERE THERE IS LOVE
THERE IS LIFE
A GRANDFATHER EXPLAINS
A grandfather explains to his grandson the meaning of the
‘love locks’ on the bridge.
On a recent visit to Bhutan, I was taking photos in a small
village when I met this adorable group of children. They
were all playing together, in their own world. As I took photos
they started telling me tales of their friendship and laughing
like there’s no tomorrow. I believe that is what love is. Love is
friendship, looking back at all the memories that have been
made together and rejoicing.
Siblings are connected by a special kind of love. On the
one hand they are fighting. A lot. And both wish to rather be
an only child. Both feel that they are treated unfairly often
and tears roll at least once a week. And of course they
never agree with each other. As a mum you can hardly do
anything right from the point of view of your two little ones.
But on the other hand when both would like to have that
lollipop or ride on the merry-go-round they seem to be like
the best team in the world to convince Mommy.
BABY, LOVE REALLY HURTS
Like Billy Ocean sang in the year 1976, we all know that feeling of a
Nothing makes sense any more, the bed and the chocolate are our
best friends and somehow the knife sticks in our chest causing a
horrible pain. Everything around you reminds you of this one person
who isn't a part of your life any more. All this because of this little rude
thing named ""love"". In these times your brain is working 24/7. At first
there are all the sad thoughts. I can't live without you. What should I
do now? I need you! I love you! Damn, I love you! How will I ever be
able to move on? Will I ever be happy again? Can I ever love again?
And then the thoughts which make you accepting. Probably you will
forget me. And all our beautiful moments. Every kiss. Everything we
laughed about. I know you're moving on. So I should do it too. I need
to find myself again. Without you. Can I do that? And then... But I'll
never fall in love again. That's over. This damn love is only hurting me.
I don't need love. I'm happy like this. Without you or anyone else. I'm
fine. And during all this struggle there is a little moment when you're
sitting somewhere and your brain is just empty. It has thought every
little possibility over and over again. Maybe you're tired. Maybe just
balanced. You're breathing in and out and you're just accepting that
what happened and suddenly you're open for everything which will
Torbay is a popular dog walking area at the
weekends. I learnt that these two were the best of
friends as the big dog wouldn't let any other dog
chase his ball, except his little friend.
A LOVE AFFAIR WITH LIFE.