NZPhotographer Issue 17, March 2019

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ISSUE 17, March 2019

INTERVIEW WITH

SHAUN BARNETT

LOVE COMPETITION

WINNER & BEST ENTRIES

HOW TO CAPTURE:

PANORAMIC LANDSCAPES

WITH RICHARD YOUNG

March 2019

1


WELCOME TO ISSUE 17 OF

NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE

HELLO EVERYONE,

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

making career.

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

photos.

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS

Brendon Gilchrist

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

Zealand’s unforgiving

landscape.

Ana Lyubich

Co-founder of Excio,

Ana's photography

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

emotions.

Richard Young

Richard is an awardwinning

landscape and

wildlife photographer who

teaches photography

workshops and runs

photography tours. He

is the founder of New

Zealand Photography

Workshops.

Emily Goodwin

Editor NZ Photographer

General Info:

NZPhotographer Issue 17

March 2019

Cover Photo

Shaun Barnett

Sunset over Sinclair Head

and Owhiro Bay

Publisher:

Excio Group

Website:

www.excio.io/nzphotographer

Group Director:

Ana Lyubich

ana@excio.io

Editor:

Emily Goodwin

Graphic Design:

Maksim Topyrkin

Advertising Enquiries:

Phone 04 889 29 25

or Email hello@excio.io

nzphotographer nzp_magazine nzp@excio.io

© 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.

Disclaimer:

Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the

opinion of the magazine.

2 NZPhotographer March 2019 3


CONTENTS

10

INTERVIEW WITH SHAUN BARNETT

28

6

10

20

24

26

28

30

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

IMPROVING YOUR

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO REVIEW SESSION

MIND GAME:

BEING A HAPPY

PHOTOGRAPHER

26

HOW TO CAPTURE: PANORAMIC

LANDSCAPES

24


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

VIDEOGRAPHY?

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

images.

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

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F5.3, 1/640s, ISO100, 190mm

FRESH SHOOTS

PHOTO COMPETITION

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

appealing.

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

NATURE

23 March -

21 June 2019

CATEGORIES

PEOPLE &

EVENTS

PARTNERS

22 June -

20 September 2019

CREATIVE


Interview with

Shaun Barnett

ROCK OUTCROP NEAR MAKIRIKIRI,

RUAHINE RANGE, HAWKE'S BAY.

HI SHAUN, WOULD YOU CARE TO INTRODUCE

YOURSELF?

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

the outdoors.

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED IN

PHOTOGRAPHY?

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

NOW?

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

coracles.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR

PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE?

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

12 NZPhotographer

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

and tuition.

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?

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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

PHOTO?

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:

www.photographyworkshops.co.nz

www.hedgehoghouse.com

www.pottonandburton.co.nz

SNOW STORM AT HAPERS PASS BIV, CANTERBURY

TRAMPERS AT BIGGS TOP, WEST COAST

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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,

my name.

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

after her.

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

annoying!

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

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21


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

treasured forever.

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 visit.

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!

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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.

24 NZPhotographer

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.

March 2019

25


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.

LEARN MORE

www.excio.io

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

image.

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

the sun.

QUICK GUIDE TO SHOOTING A PANORAMA

1. Set your tripod on a firm surface and check it is

level.

2. Set all camera settings to manual, including

white balance.

3. Check camera focus and then disable

autofocus.

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

March 2019

27


Improving Your Photography

Photo Review Session

by Excio

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

the water

PADDOCK BAY BY JACQUI SCOTT

REVIEW BY: ALMIN VRANAC

2013 Winner of Sony’s ‘Record Your Move’.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

F8, ISO400

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.

POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS

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

understanding;

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What is Love Photo Competition

Winner & Best Entries

Judged by Eugene Li and Darius Stevens

WINNER:

Angela Jury

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

aspect.

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.

WWW.EXCIO.IO

HIGHLY COMMENDED:

Cara Rintoul

Xiao Huan

Carolina Monserrat

Yogita Parag

SPONSORED BY:

30 NZPhotographer


MOTHERHOOD

Endless, all kinds of weather, selfless and enduring;

she loved the boy more than she loved herself.

Angela Jury

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March 2019

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NURTURER

Nurturer, lover of all things animal, every creature no

matter how small has a home here.

Angela Jury

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March 2019

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ONWARD!

Angela Jury

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37


SIBLING LOVE

Secret languages, private jokes, too much

mischief, inseparable, best friends for life; siblings.

Angela Jury

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March 2019

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A MOTHERS LOVE

At the Hamilton Lake a late in the

season Pukeko chick is with its mother.

Cara Rintoul

CLOSELY GUARDED

An endangered red bill gull chick is

closely guarded by its parent at the Royal

Albatross Centre in Dunedin.

Cara Rintoul

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PIPI

Last night of my dog.

Xiao Huang

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NEVER CLOSE ENOUGH

The birds will see.

Xiao Huang

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LITTLE LOVER

Father and daughter wandering on the beach.

Xiao Huang

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HUSH NOW BABY

Hopefully, you will remember we

needed each other so much.

Xiao Huang

SISTERS

Sisters enjoying themselves at a concert.

Captured on iphone.

Yogita Parag

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THE ADVENTURE OF LOVING

Carolina Monserrat

50 NZPhotographer

March 2019

51


WHERE THERE IS LOVE

THERE IS LIFE

Carolina Monserrat

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March 2019

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A GRANDFATHER EXPLAINS

A grandfather explains to his grandson the meaning of the

‘love locks’ on the bridge.

Gail Orgias

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March 2019

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FRIENDSHIP

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.

Parmeet Sahni

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March 2019

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MOMMY?

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.

Paula Schlager

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March 2019

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BABY, LOVE REALLY HURTS

WITHOUT YOU

Like Billy Ocean sang in the year 1976, we all know that feeling of a

broken heart.

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

happen.

Paula Schlager

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BFF'S

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.

Scott Cushman

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March 2019

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PHOTOGRAPHY IS

A LOVE AFFAIR WITH LIFE.

BURK UZZLE

64 NZPhotographer

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