Brought to you by
ISSUE 19, May 2019
BEST ENTRIES FROM
THE CUBA DUPA
RULES AND TIPS FOR
BY JAMES GILBERD
BY STEPHEN DUFFIN
BREAKING THE RULES
HOW TO CAPTURE:
WITH RICHARD YOUNG
WELCOME TO ISSUE 19 OF
NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE
Did you notice the new logo
on the cover or were your eyes
simply taken in by the photo as
you skimmed the titles to see
what you can expect to view
and read in this issue?!
Our main theme this issue
focuses on street photography
with Stephen from Nifty Few
taking us around the streets of
Japan and our Behind The Shot
feature showing us Singapore's
skyline, both sure to instil some
wanderlust! Back on home
territory, we showcase some of
the best shots you've submitted
from Cuba Dupa in a special
readers' submissions feature.
James Gilberd shares some tips
for street photography whilst also covering the main rules but don't worry if
you've never been one to follow rules, neither has Ana whose article asks
us to put our perfect 'Instagram Worthy' shots to one side and purposefully
break the rules.
There's more, of course! We've interviewed Mike Bouchier and we hear
about Women in Photography from founder Lesley Whyte. Richard giving
tips on how to take bird photos and Brendon takes us kayaking across to
Quail Island to see the view from the water.
Editor NZ Photographer
NZPhotographer Issue 19
Phone 04 889 29 25
or Email email@example.com
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, Ana's
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 is an awardwinning
wildlife photographer who
workshops and runs
photography tours. He
is the founder of New
nzphotographer nzp_magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
© 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.
INTERVIEW WITH MIKE BOUCHIER
RULES & TIPS FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
by James Gilberd
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN JAPAN
with Stephen Duffin
WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY
with Lesley Whyte
BEHIND THE SHOT
with Arun Ravindran
CAPTURING QUAIL ISLAND BY KAYAK
by Brendon Gilchrist
HOW TO CAPTURE: BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY
with Richard Young
INTERVIEW WITH MIKE BOUCHIER
PHOTO REVIEW SESSION
MIND GAMES: BREAKING THE RULES
By Ana Lyubich
RULES AND TIPS FOR STREET
CAPTURING QUAIL ISLAND
54 BEST ENTRIES FROM CUBA DUPA 34
BEHIND THE SHOT
with Arun Ravindran
Rules and Tips for Street
When I began photographing, street
photography books by Andre Kertesz,
Gary Winogrand, Diane Arbus, Henri
Cartier Bresson, and Wellington photographer
Peter Black opened my eyes to viewing
familiar environs in a whole new light. Like the
first music you really like, it kinda stays with
THE RULES OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
Supposedly there are rules to street
photography, such as never shoot with
anything longer than a standard lens, or never
crop your images. I suspect these were made
up by lesser photographers from observations
of the greats. So, while there’s some sense
behind them, they are there to be broken. But
there is one golden rule that you should not
break: Treat others as one would like others to
That is to say; if you’re going to do street
photography you will need to develop a set
of personal ethics around it. Experience and
changing social influence may cause your
ethical stance to shift over time, demanding
frequent reflection and discussion with
peers. This is part-and-parcel of being a
photographer, but if you worry about it too
much you’ll seize up and stop taking photos
altogether. Finding a personal balance is key.
Although there was street photography
before Henri Cartier Bresson, the French artistphotographer
really defined the genre in the
1930s. His concept known as The Decisive
Moment still stands as one of the cornerstones
“To me, photography is the simultaneous
recognition, in a fraction of a second, of
the significance of an event as well as of
a precise organisation of forms which give
that event its proper expression.” – Henri
Reading further about the meanings and
interpretations of the Decisive Moment can
by James Gilberd
make your head spin. It’s far better to spend
the time looking at HCB’s photos and shooting
your own but put simply The Decisive Moment
means the point in time when all elements in
the scene combine in the best way.
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Have your camera prepared so that you can
quickly put it to your eye and shoot without
mucking about. With manual exposure, you
should pre-set your aperture and shutter
speed for the light conditions by metering
off the road or another mid-tone. Keep this
setting until the light changes. Somewhere
around 1/250s at f8 is generally useful. Some
photographers pre-focus their lens manually
for extra speed. Your overexposure warning
display should be switched on.
Don’t be afraid to set the ISO high enough to
get a fast shutter speed. Noise doesn’t matter
here; getting the photo does. Keep your
camera switched on and the lens cap off.
Use single shot mode as shooting bursts is like
trout fishing with a stick of dynamite rather
than a rod and fly! If you’re a chronic overshooter,
try using a 35mm film camera. It’s
cool, challenging but fun, and will help you
train your eye and shoot more sparingly. If you
spy a potential photo, wait around a bit for
something to happen.
Viewpoint Is Vital. When you spot a potential
photograph, decide where you need to be
for the best view and get there with your
camera ready to shoot (provided it’s safe and
isn’t going to upset anyone).
Don’t encumber yourself with unnecessary
camera gear and other baggage. You’ll
attract attention and struggle to move
around. One smallish camera and a prime
lens or wide-standard zoom are all you need.
Always use a lens hood for flare reduction
and lens protection. A UV filter is also a good
WHERE’S MY HALF,
May MANHATTAN, 2019 2004 7
My ‘weapon of choice’ used to be a fully
manual Olympus OM‐1 with a 35mm f2
lens, (used for the black & white photos
shown here). These days, a smaller DSLR or
any mirrorless camera is excellent for street
work. I prefer a semi-wide prime lens, but if
you like extreme wide-angle, take care to
compose using the whole frame, including
foreground elements and avoiding tracts
of empty space. If you’re shooting with a
longer focal length, it’s all too easy to stand
off and get photos that look uninvolved,
like a passer-by’s view. Remember what
war photographer Robert Capa said If your
pictures aren’t good enough, [it’s because]
you’re not close enough.
If you’re new to street photography, try
covering a public event such as a festival
or food market where the presence of other
photographers means you won’t stand out.
Look for interactions, the peak of the action,
the decisive moment to take your photo.
Go back and review my article Planning
and Capturing a Photo Story in issue 18 so
that you capture a story rather than random
Of course, there are as many approaches
to street photography as there are
photographers. Wellington, for example,
has Gabrielle McKone, Julian Ward, Peter
Black, Camus Wyatt, et al, all of whom have
entirely different approaches.
It can be hard to muster the confidence
to take your first shot of the day but with
persistence and practice, you will find
reward. Like opp-shopping, you have to go
out often, knowing that some days you’ll
come home with nothing, other days with
OFF TORY ST, WELLINGTON, 2016
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
with Stephen Duffin
HI STEPHEN, CAN YOU INTRODUCE
I have a huge appreciation for all things
creative, in particular photography & music.
I’m an Aucklander through and through, but
don’t hold that against me ;) I’m originally
from West Auckland, but am now living on
I have a background in business and I run
a photography company that specialises
in travel, accommodation & social media
imagery. I also run Nifty Few – a New Zealand
Photography brand/community. We hold
regular meet-ups for like minded individuals to
link up and inspire one another.
WHAT’S YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
I started taking an interest in photography
at a young age. I remember early on using
disposable cameras and being fascinated
by the process. There was always a ton of
excitement and anticipation with how the
photos were going to turn out. I phased
through a few cheap digital cameras in my
teens but I found that I really got hooked into
photography when I invested in a Fujifim x100.
Ever since then it’s grown into a huge passion
of mine and I’m forever longing to get that
perfect shot and camera setup!
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE?
Camera: Olympus OMD EM1ii
Zoom Lenses: 7–14mm 2.8 Olympus, 12–35mm
Prime Lenses: 25mm 1.2 Olympus, 45mm 1.8
Olympus, 75mm 1.8 Olympus
Gimbal: Zhiyun Crane Gimbal
Drone: DJI Phantom 4 Pro
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE AND HOW HAS
THAT EVOLVED OVER TIME?
I enjoy travelling and aligning my photography
to capture the moment and experience –
whether this be the accommodation, the
surroundings or the attractions. I always aim
to convey a story through my photography,
for the viewer to get an appreciation for the
experience and a perspective the viewer
hadn’t previously seen.
I like to play with natural light in my images but
I don’t shy away from different techniques,
such as putting a slight spin on a photo
through editing software like Lightroom. I find
it’s very much a photo by photo process for
me and I try not to have any hard set rules to
achieve my best shot possible.
YOU’VE RECENTLY RETURNED FROM A
TRIP TO JAPAN, TELL US ABOUT THAT…
Japan was an amazing experience and it
had been on mine and my wife’s ‘to do list’
for some time. It’s one of those places where
you’ll find it hard to put your camera down as
there are photo opportunities around every
corner, from street alleyways to towering
architecture, ancient temples, and natural
landscape – it has it all.
We started our trip off in Tokyo – Japan’s
largest city. I loved the hustle and bustle of the
city, it really is a street photographer’s dream.
Whilst being such a hectic place, the people are
incredibly courteous and polite. The train network
is amazing and is an experience in its self. On
our visit, we often travelled through Shinjuku train
station which is the worlds busiest station. With
an average of 3.64 million passengers per day
passing through the station, it’s fair to say that we
got lost a lot! It was all part of the fun though and
provided ample photo opportunities.
We visited some of the iconic photography
spots like Shibuya Crossing which is another
incredibly hectic place, rumoured
to be the busiest intersection in the
world. At peak times upwards of 3,000
people cross at a time, coming from
all directions at once.
We also visited the Tokyo Sky Tree
(previous page) which is an amazing
piece of architecture and is one of the
tallest structures in the world standing
at 634 meters. For reference, the
Auckland Skytower stands at a mere
There are a number of day trips
you can do from Tokyo to get out
of the hustle & bustle and one that
we did was a train trip to Chuerieto
Pagoda, a five storied pagoda on the
mountainside overlooking Mt Fuji. It
was breathtaking seeing Mt Fuji in the
On the second half of our trip, we
travelled to Kyoto which is known
as ‘old Japan’ and is renowned for
its traditional temples, shinto shrines,
sublime gardens and geisha’s. It
was amazing witnessing such old
architecture and customs which still
thrive there today.
Again there were photography
opportunities galore but the stand out
photography spots for us in Kyoto were
the Kinkaku-ji Temple of the golden
pavilion (the temples top two floors
are completely covered in gold leaf!)
and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, with
its soaring stalks of bamboo, it’s like
being in another world here!
The trip as a whole was extremely
inspirational and I found that it
gave me a revitalised energy to my
photography. I couldn’t recommend
Japan enough if you’re looking for a
getaway with photography in mind!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU
with Lesley Whyte
HI LESLEY, WHEN DID YOUR LOVE OF
PHOTOGRAPHY START AND WHERE HAS THAT
My love of photography started in my teens when my
uncle gave me his Rolleiflex 2 1/4 square camera. My
parent’s bathroom soon turned into my dark room, my
newly developed pictures hanging from the shower rail.
Although very faded, I treasure my first photo; a photo
of my Fox Terrier dog Sally peering out from the long tall
grasses on the bank of the pond on the family farm.
Many years passed, my photography passion didn’t
wane – photos filled our house, memories on display.
Over those years other aspects of my life took priority
though, family, moving countries twice, and a career
outside of photography. It wasn’t until around 2013 when
I seriously picked up a camera again that I realised what
I’d been missing – I wanted to create that same feeling
I felt with my first photo, I wanted another Sally moment.
In 2017 I was fortunate to be mentored by Tom Ang as
part of the Connections programme, which resulted
in two of my photographs being exhibited on Queens
Wharf. I don’t think of myself a photographer though,
I think of myself as a “women with a camera” who has a
passion for photography.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE AND
WHAT YOU’RE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT…
Over the years my photography had been quite
general – never any specific style, probably because
I hadn’t found “my style”. It was only in 2013 that I found
my niche, that being street photography.
I prefer to not go through too much post production
editing, rather attempting to take the photo the way
I want it to look as a finished product. For me, my style is
in the upfront research which is when the taking of the
photo starts; checking out tide times, sunset / sunrise,
weather forecast all of which will dictate what settings
I should be using before I get on location. Whilst street
photography is for me, “my passion”, it is the creative
process, the connecting with people and my building
a sense of community in my photos. My photography
style isn’t about being a good technical photographer,
it is about enjoying my photography. It is not about
becoming a famous photographer or getting lots of
likes and comments on my photos, it’s about sharing my
journey and my passion.
It is street photography that has provided me with
the most growth challenge; being comfortable
photographing people in public surroundings, being
comfortable in approaching people in public. Using
that confidence and my mentoring by Tom Ang, my
knowledge has grown; but what is more important to
me is that to grow as a photographer is to not lose the
My challenge and growth at the moment lay with my
newly acquired Canon EOS R; while a new camera
doesn’t necessarily improve my finished photo, it
contributes through pushing me to explore and use a
greater range of manual settings. My technical growth is
now coming through and reflected in my photos.
WHICH PHOTOGRAPHERS DO YOU MOST
Vivian Maier is my all-time favourite street photographer,
I so admire her work. However, war photographer Gerda
Taro is who I admire the most; her coverage of the
Spanish Civil War is truly amazing but unfortunately, she
was the first female photojournalist to be killed on the
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY
EVENTS AND ADVENTURES – HOW WAS THE IDEA
BORN AND WHY WOMEN ONLY?
When I re-entered the “world of photography” –
I couldn’t find any photography workshops or networking
forums for women. Chatting with a few ladies, like
me, they were also looking for social activities and
photography adventures – hence Lesley Whyte
Photography was borne; New Zealand’s only
organisation which provides adventures, tours,
workshops, and networking events, run by a woman,
solely for women.
Women network and have different learning styles to
men – an article in Forbes magazine points out that
whether through online social networking or face-to-face
contact, women are meeting, sharing and connecting
in ways that men often shy away from. The Forbes
article continued to highlight that women generally see
things from a lot of different angles and in an effort to
personalise networking, women normally try to create
connections or friendships and ask, ‘what can I do for
her in order to get what I need.’ For me, this is what
#womeninphotography is about – working together
so we can all grow; grow our passion in photography
together whether a professional or hobbyist.
It’s been a heartfelt journey bringing
#womeninphotography to fruition and since the launch
on 3rd April 2019 it’s been a whirlwind few weeks; my
inbox has been inundated with messages from around
New Zealand and overseas wanting to know more
about #womeninphotography networking events,
photography adventures, tours and workshops for ladies.
For me, when I receive feedback such as “you are onto
a winner, I love the concept and the execution” only
serves to reinforce what I felt was missing.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE LAUNCH EVENT…
In collaboration with Progear in Newmarket, the
launch in Auckland was attended by 35 amazing
ladies who heard Marina de Wit talk about her journey
as a fine nature photographer and her work, which
has recently been shortlisted from entries across the
world at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society
Botanical Art & Photography Show in London. Of
course, the evening concluded with some amazing
networking and chats.
SO HOW CAN OUR FEMALE READERS JOIN YOU?
Getting hold of me is really easy, all the contact
details and dates for networking events, workshops,
tours and adventures are on my website www.
lesleywhytephotography.co.nz. I’m also easy to find
on social media; Facebook and Instagram – Just
search Lesley Whyte Photography.
by Arun Ravindran
Behind The Shot
with Arun Ravindran
HI ARUN, CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO
US AND SHARE HOW AND WHEN YOU GOT
STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I work in Wellington as an IT Consultant having
relocated to NZ from Singapore in December 2018.
I am originally from Kerala, a beautiful place in India
famously knows as “God's own country”.
I relocated to Singapore because of my job and
it was there that I started developing an interest in
photography with the purchase of a Nikon D7000 with
a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens before upgrading to a Nikon
Just before coming to New Zealand I brought a Sony
A7R3 with a 16–35 f/4 for landscapes though I am
yet to explore and capture the real untapped New
Zealand – I look forward to doing so in the near future
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE YOU
BOUGHT YOUR FIRST CAMERA?
At first, I was under the impression that investing in
gear gets better results and better photos. I failed
terribly. So, I started investing in learning, doing
photo courses and photo tours and I slowly started
In the past, with film cameras, each click was so
precious because the films were limited to 36 shots.
We really used to think and click each shot and this is
a missing craft since the introduction of memory cards
on digital cameras.
One major change I did when I started learning was
that I started to take no more than 35–36 shots a day,
to mimic the film cameras, and to really think before
composing each shot.
Another thing I learned was to specialize in one genre,
to focus on one style of photography and to master it
rather than be mediocre across all styles.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SHOT ENTITLED ‘FISHEYE’D
This shot was taken from the famous Marina Bay
Skydeck in Singapore. It shows ‘The Shoppes’ at
Marina Bay Sands Hotel in front, the ArtScience
museum towards the right side (the Lotus like structure)
and last but not least we can see a fish-eye view of
the famous Singapore Skyline.
The panoramic view was absolutely amazing from the
57 th floor and I decided to try a different perspective
with a Fish Eye lens since most of the locations
in Singapore are already explored and heavily
I arrived at the location early so that I could secure
a spot with my tripod because the place gets really
crowded during the night.
This photo was actually taken during my second
attempt at entering the Marina Bay Sands hotel
because they didn’t allow me into the Skydeck with
such a heavy tripod the first time. I had to come
again, hiding my tripod, and got lucky to get inside
with it to achieve this shot!
IF YOU COULD RE-TAKE THIS SHOT, WHAT
WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
The observation deck is absolutely amazing for
capturing the view at sunset. However, when I visited
it was raining heavily so if I could go back and re-take
the shot I would try shooting this on a day with a nice
sunset rather than just shooting it at blue hour.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR
This might be where I need to improve as I am not
so good at promoting my work. I post my pictures on
Instagram using hashtags to reach a wider audience
than my own followers.
I also joined Excio after stumbling onto the site via
a Google search one day. After going through the
website I came to know how Excio promotes amateur
photographers and was amazed at the content – I’m
honoured to be taking part in NZP because of clicking
the Excio link that day and signing up!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
F7.1, 1/400s, ISO100
Capturing Quail Island by Kayak
Lyttelton Harbour aka Christchurch’s Nature
Playground is a place where people come to
boat, fish, swim and, of course, take photos. It’s
just a small place but many people don’t realise
the extent of hidden opportunities available. Over
the next few minutes, I will be your tour guide and
harbour master as we circumnavigate Quail Island
by sea kayak.
First let me say, to be in a position to explore
waterways by sea kayak is a huge eye-opener and
to have access to places that many other people
do not, due to other boats simply being too large,
is a priviledge which allows me the freedom to find
and photograph new locations.
Meeting my friend at 7am, the paddle over was
smooth sailing, there was a point where the wind
picked up in the middle but it was as expected
as it is very exposed. We made a bee-line for the
shipwrecks graveyard with our starting point in
Cass Bay which is the easiest entry point in Lyttelton
Harbour mainly because of the sandy beach and
shallow water for easy entry.
by Brendon Gilchrist
I find paddling quite relaxing, it’s just you and the
water, the birds and your thoughts. It was amazing
to see so much wildlife as we paddled over; Shags,
Sea Gulls, the odd fish and sometimes a noise that
makd you think something (someone?!) hit the
bottom of your boat.
You might remember I wrote about Quail Island
in issue 14 when I visited the ships graveyard
amongst other places. Having already captured the
perspective from land, it was amazing to see the
view from the water and compare how different the
The scene you can get by boat is a lot harder to
capture but you have far more options than on
land. The hard part is lining up the composition and
lining the boat up so that the waves push you across
till you have that photo you want… It took me 3
attempts to get the one image I wanted!
We must have spent about 15 minutes here,
kayaking around the boats and enjoying the shelter
we now had from the wind. Being so close to the
surface of the water gives you a different view
F7.1, 1/250s, ISO100
F4.5, 1/160s, ISO1600
and not being able to exit the boat is also a bonus
as it lets your creativity go on a journey of finding
something possible to shoot and making it work,
lining the kayak up and floating through, redoing it
over and over until you have the photo you like.
As we continued our first circumnavigation of Quail
Island we arrived at the calmest part and shallowest
part, the only part where you can walk to the island
at low tide. Yes, that is right, you can walk to the
island at low tide! It’s not very often you read that
nugget of wisdom but it’s true. You will find the
shallowest part near King Billy Island which is located
on a peninsula near Charteris Bay.
We sat here taking photos and looking at the
southerly that was sitting over Banks Peninsula
thinking it looked a little nasty. The rain was off and
on and we didn’t notice until we started paddling
again that we had drifted back about 200 meters
with the changing tide. It always amazes me with
each paddle, whether in choppy conditions or
calm conditions, that you know which way the
tide is going. Even when it’s calm the current is
really strong, it is like an unseen river of water that is
The rain seemed to have set in by this time but it was
somewhat soothing although the wind was picking
up. I was thinking it might be tough going back to
the mainland but no one ever said that I would
gain confidence by staying in my comfort zone so
it felt good to know that something coming up was
going to test my skills yet give me experience and
ultimately make me better at sea kayaking.
The same goes with photography, if you want to
learn more you need to take more photos. Go to
places and put yourself in situations where you will
learn more about light or how to capture something
that you might not ordinarily think to capture
as it will help you learn and grow and might be
something that can be applied to your main focus/
niche in photography in the future.
Still raining slightly, we decided to check out the sea
caves. The caves water colours were so fascinating
it was as if the colour of the water changed when
you went inside. The caves were not huge but
big enough to go inside and turn a 5-meter boat
around. Sitting inside the biggest cave you could
hear the water crashing and you would get sucked
in and out with each set of waves, a very cool
Once we had finished at the caves the wind was
blowing quite hard and the waves were getting
bigger with some white caps on the top. We
headed in a parallel direction on our journey back
so the waves were not hitting us side on, we were
asically going from the shipwrecks to Governors
Bay, then once we got back to calmer waters
we turned back the other direction and headed
towards Cass Bay. Some waves would punch
through the nose of the boat and splash up around
us, it was a pretty awesome feeling and with the
camera in a dry bag in front of me, nothing to worry
Once back in calmer waters a Shag came near us
which we just sat and watched. It dove down to go
fishing and we wondered when it was going to pop
back up… a few moments later it resurfaced right
in front of my boat – It’s in these moments that I wish
I had a Go Pro!
The sea kayaking world I have entered will open up
new opportunites that will allow me to see the world
in a whole new perspective. The locations I can now
reach are only limited to my fitness and experience.
3 TIPS FOR KAYAKING PHOTOGRAPHY
• Remember that you’re limited – You only have 1
angle of perspective. Put your creativity to work but
do play with ‘point of view’ shots – A view of the tip of
the boat looking out to show the viewer what you saw
in that moment of time.
• Before you leave the shore, set your camera to a
native setting so that it is all ready to go. You want to
be be able to pull the camera out and be ready for
your shot rather than messing around with camera
settings on the water! You may want a faster shutter
speed if you suddenly see dolphins jumping out of the
water but generally for landscape scenes, be ready.
• Don’t forget where you are! One big wave could
knock you out of the kayak or make you almost fall
out… Be careful and aware of your gear. Make sure
you’re confident in staying afloat if the weather is a
bit rough before taking the camera out. Insurance is
good but you really don’t want to have to use it!
F7.1, 1/400s, ISO100
HOW TO CAPTURE: BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY
Bird Photography Tips with Richard Young
NZ White Capped Albatross, Kaikoura F11, 1/250s, ISO 200
Capturing The Moment:
When photographing birds it is important that they
are sharp and in focus. To achieve this it’s best to use
a tracking focus function with a fast shutter speed. To
gain a fast shutter speed in the forest you may need
a large aperture. It is also important to make sure the
focus points are on the bird, ideally over its eyes.
Being Aware Of The Subject:
Be careful not to scare the bird away. If you walk up
to a bird it will normally fly off, so keep your distance
when observing birds. Generally, if you stay still near
small forest birds like Robins and Fantails they will
come close to you. You could also try to find the birds
food source and wait for them to come and feed.
Lighting For Forest Birds:
If you are photographing birds in the forest, try to find
some nice light breaking through the canopy. This will
allow you to use a faster shutter speed to help freeze
the bird in motion, as small birds move about a lot.
It will also help show the detail of the bird’s feathers
which can be hard to capture in poor lighting.
Previsualise Your Composition:
A messy background can distract from the subject.
Try to position yourself so you can line up the bird with
a pleasing background, this may be something that
offers a contrast in colour or lighting to help define the
bird. You can also use a large aperture to make the
bird stand out against an out of focus background.
IMPROVE YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH A 4-DAY WILDLIFE MASTERCLASS WORKSHOP ON THE OTAGO
PENINSULA: 1ST - 4TH NOVEMBER WITH NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
1 May 2019 - 10 July 2019
which was adequate and a step in the right direction
but I wanted more. Then came the Canon EOS6D
and a Samyang 14mm manual lens. I bought my
first Fujifilm mirrorless back in 2016 which was an X-E2.
I bought this for a trip to Melbourne as I didn’t want to
carry the Canon 6D. I loved the form of the X-E2 which
has a classic Rangefinder Style.
HI MIKE, CAN YOU TELL US WHO YOU ARE AND
WHAT YOU DO?
I live in Whitby, Porirua North of Wellington with my
wife and son. We moved to Wellington nearly 10 years
ago from Bristol in the UK.
I work for Transpower in the National Coordination
Centre as part of the team securing the nation’s
power supplies! I have worked in the electricity supply
industry all my life. I started as an overhead linesman
then power station operator, trader and power system
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
I have always had a camera, an old film point and
shoot for holiday snaps and family shots originally.
I bought my first digital camera in 2001, a Sony DSC
P50 2.1 megapixel which was so slow! I never thought
digital photography was going to take off after this!
I then had a Casio Exilim 6 megapixel and then a
Panasonic Lumix TZ10 14.5 megapixel.
Around 2012 I came across Mark Gee’s images and
that seemed to spark something in me. I wanted to
emulate an image like Marks. So I researched what
equipment I needed to achieve this so I bought a
second-hand Nikon D70 with an 18–55mm F3.5 lens
WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH NOW?
I now have the Fujifilm X100F which lives up to the
hype! I love the compactness of this 24 megapixel
camera. It’s easy to carry around and is nearly always
with me. It has a fixed lens of 23mm which is 35mm full
frame equivalent, great for street photography.
It also has a built in ND filter which is great in really
harsh light or if you want a long exposure. But
what I really like about the fujifilm X Series is the film
simulations you can select in camera. Most of my
black and white images are taken with the Acros
Simulation which gives great tones.
In terms of lenses, I have the Fujinon XF18–55mm f2.8–
4, XF27mm f2.8, XF35mm f2, XF 50–140 f2.8 and the
Samyang 12mm f2. The 18–55 is so much more than
a kit lens and is often found on my X-E2 or X-T20. The
Samyang 12mm is fantastic in low light and great for
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
I didn’t think I had a style but when you look at my
instagram feed, there’s definitely a trend going on
there! I’m a bit of an opportunist and tend not to plan
too much. That is probably why my feed is becoming
more and more street focused.
Landscape photography is still a passion though. Now
winter is almost with us, I look more at my shift roster
followed by the weather and moon phases just in
case an astro opportunity could be had.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
HAS IMPROVED OVER TIME AND WHAT HAS
BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE?
From the outset, because I wanted to make astro
images, I had to learn very quickly how to drive my
camera in manual and focus in the dark! Not an easy
task when you’re impatient and want those images!
Having to understand the relationships between ISO,
aperture and shutter speed seemed so daunting and
frustrating but I soon got the hang of it.
It sounds funny but after mastering the camera
functions, I really struggled with composition.
I would make images that would be too busy or
distracting or have no clear focal point. Then came
editing the images. I use Adobe Lightroom for my
editing and finding the best workflow was tricky but
I soon found a solution.
One common mistake I made in the beginning was
to over process my images, making the colours really
pop but to have ghosting around objects where I had
used a selective brush. I look back and cringe when
I see some of my old images! I now try just to keep
things simple and try as much as possible to try and
get things as good as possible in camera.
First I make sure the image is level and correct the
verticals or distortion and then judge whether to
crop to improve the composition. Then I check the
histogram to see how the image is exposed. I usually
tend to expose for the highlights when taking a shot
so I may need to recover detail in the shadows. But
saying that sometimes shadows draw your eye to the
focal point. Then it is just checking where I can extract
any more detail but being careful not to push too far.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTO ON THE COVER…
I’ll never forget the morning I took this shot. I was
visiting family in the UK last December and staying at
a friends house in Stinsford, Dorset. I knew there was
going to be a good chance of some fog that morning
so woke up early.
The walkway runs behind the village church (where
poet and novelist Thomas Hardy’s heart is buried) and
out into the countryside. The sun was just rising over
the horizon and cast this beautiful diffused orange
glow through the fog.
A man came walking through and we had a brief
chat before he carried on his way. As he was getting
further away I noticed the overhanging trees framed
his silhouette perfectly so I quickly took a few shots
before he disappeared. As soon as I looked at the
image on the back of the camera I knew it was a
good shot, the framing of the man and the leading
lines of the path drawing your eye to him.
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY OR SUNSETS, WHICH
DO YOU PREFER?
At the moment it has to be street photography.
I’m not one of those “in your face” street
photographers, yes I like candid shots but I’m not that
bold to blatantly go up to someone and take their
photo. If I see a good shot I will ask the person if it is
OK. If they say no, fair enough and I’ll move on.
Living close to the ocean I do like a nice seascape
and living on the west side of NZ we do get some
good sunsets. The Pauatahanui Inlet and Plimmerton
are my go to spots for these.
HOW DO YOU NURTURE YOUR PASSION FOR
PHOTOGRAPHY? ARE THERE TIMES WHEN YOU
DON’T PICK UP YOUR CAMERA, IF SO HOW DO
YOU RE-INSPIRE YOURSELF TO GO OUT AND
There are quite often times where I don’t pick up a
camera, although lately I always have my X100F with
To get the creative juices flowing I tend to watch a lot
of YouTube and listen to many podcasts.
I’ve recently discovered Sean Tucker, who has an
amazing YouTube channel. He’s not your usual selfpromoting
youtuber but has a very philosophical
approach to many photography genres.
Another photographer I follow is Kevin Mullins. He’s
predominantly a wedding photographer with a
candid / street style. He’s also a street photographer
and Fujifilm user and does a podcast with Neale
James called Fujicast.
Neale James has a podcast called Breathe Pictures
where he interviews many popular photographers
that I listen to too.
WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE OUR READERS?
Just get out there and shoot. Don’t be scared of trying
Find a meetup or go on photowalks to meet like
minded people. Most of my favourite images have
been taken while out with other photographers.
It doesn’t matter what camera you have it’s what
your eye sees that makes the image.
I read recently about someone commenting on an image
and saying “oh you must have a good camera?” and
their response was “would you ask a chef if he has a good
oven if he made you a nice meal?” Food for thought!
DO YOU HAVE AN OVERALL FAVOURITE
I went back to the UK at Christmas to visit family. On
the way back I managed to spend a few days in
Kyoto, Japan. The Gion district is synonymous for
Geisha and while we were wandering the streets,
three well dressed women were coming out of a
residence. Although they were not in traditional
Kimono with full hair and makeup, there was
something about the way they were dressed and
their how their hair was done that suggested to me
that they were in fact Geisha or Maiko. It was raining
a little and while one was holding her hand out to see
how much it was raining another was looking up to
sky. I had my Fujifilm X100F with me that day and just
took the shot. I edited this on my return home and
converted to black and white with a square crop.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?
My main platform at the moment is Instagram. I have a
Facebook site but don’t get much engagement with it.
I’m not one who goes out for likes and comments. If you
like me images, great. If you don’t, that’s great too!
Only last week, through Instagram, I was invited to
join a group for Wellington Street Photographers. We
have already discussed many topics, shared images
and given constructive comments on our images. I’m
sure this will progress into meetups and collaborations
which can only help our interests.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER NZP AND EXCIO?
I have a friend that works at Wellington Botanic Gardens
and she put me onto the Fresh Shoots Competition.
From there I downloaded a copy of the magazine.
I was struck by reading stories and recognising names
of people whose images I had seen online. Rather than
being aimed at professional photographers, I liked how
it is aimed at photographers of all abilities.
I only recently downloaded the Excio app. I love the
ability to show images of people I follow on my phone
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE?
I was lucky enough to travel quite a bit over the last year
so I shall be turning to areas of New Zealand that I have
yet to explore now. My son is a budding film editor so we
are going to film some video for him to create a short
film. I have never done this before so should be fun!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
Improving Your Photography
Photo Review Session
F/8, 1/350s, ISO 400, 19mm
The idea for this photo is good showing the high
skyscrapers in the big city from street level. The focus
is spot on, the skyscrapers are very sharp and the
colours are very good being vibrant yet still natural.
An overall solid image with a few technical errors but
otherwise great potential.
Evening in Qatar by Alexander Heggie
The skyscrapers in the image are perfectly exposed
but the bottom of the image, especially the right
corner, is too dark creating a “closed” feeling. I would
advise going into Photoshop or any other image
editing software and selecting the darker parts, lifting
the shadows and then masking them into the image
so that they don’t stand out. This would give the
image an overall better feel and most importantly,
make it appear more open. The added brightness
would also make the skyscrapers look better and
maybe even give them the sense of being taller.
One major drawback in this photo,
and something that could’ve easily
avoided, is the traffic lights blocking
the view. All photographers have
to learn to zoom with their feet
although I understand that you
took this shot on a tour bus so
didn’t have that luxury! However,
if you had taken another few steps
(or waited another second) you
could’ve captured an even better
image without those two traffic
lights getting into the way.
A lot of times you can mask these
types of problems out in Photoshop
but in this image, it would be
extremely difficult to get it right and
very time consuming so it’s always
best to take a moment and look
around you before taking the shot
to see if there’s a better place to
stand without the distractions.
Composition wise, I think this photo
would’ve looked better if you had
captured more towards the left
of the frame than the right - The
skyscrapers are really close to each
other but then suddenly you have
a gap between them and another
building on the far right that’s cut
off. Looking carefully, the corner
of skyscraper on the far left of the
frame seems higher than those on
the right so it would’ve potentially
improved this shot dramatically
to have included more of that
building to show a mix of tall/short
In this edit, I made some of the
buildings a little bit taller and others
a bit shorter to create an invisible
descending line which makes the
image a lot stronger. I also did
some colour correcting, making
the blues more teal to give this
image an overall warmer look.
Would you like to get your photos reviewed? Become an Excio member and get public or private
feedback so that you can learn what you’re doing right and where you can make improvements.
Mind Games: Breaking the Rules
““Life is fluid and sometimes the pictures disappear
and there is nothing you can do. You can’t tell the
person, ‘Oh, please smile again. Do that gesture
again.’ Life is once, forever.”
By Ana Lyubich
This month's article was
inspired by my recent talk
at Johnsonville Camera
Club. While preparing for it I was
doing some research and came
across the term “Instagramworthy”.
I tried to find out what
people mean by this phrase and
discovered an apparently simple
meaning – An image that is
“pretty and popular”.
My belief is that an image being
‘Instagram-worthy’ takes away the
pure enjoyment of photography as
people follow popular and modern
trends in order to get likes rather
than taking photos to capture
moments, record history, and
express their views.
It is great to be inspired by other
photographers or artists work that
we admire and try to achieve
the same level in our own work,
but there is something wrong with
replicating someone’s work or style
just for the sake of it getting lots of
attention on social media.
Since I’m a huge fan of breaking
the rules (from a creative point
of view obviously!) I always try
to consciously do something
“wrong” when taking a photo
whilst still making it look good.
Subconsciously it is quite hard to
do since (no matter whether you
are a self-taught photographer or
have a degree in photography)
your mind knows you have
some general rules to follow in
photography e.g. the rule of thirds.
Even our team of photo reviewers
at Excio recommend following the
rules in most cases as you can read
on our blog but I decided to look
at suggestions of when and how
it’s ok to break the rules, being the
creative rebel that I am!
THE RULE OF THIRDS
We’re told to have 1/3 sky and
2/3 land or 2/3 sky and 1/3 land
and to position the subject on
the intersection of “invisible lines”
horizontally and vertically not
in the centre. Breaking the rule
means capturing the moment,
capturing emotions, experimenting
with composition, and putting the
subject in the centre of the frame
when it feels right.
We’re told to check the histogram
so as to check the light and
exposure before taking the photo.
We’re told to bracket so as to
get all the lights and all the darks
perfectly captured. Breaking the
rule means trying purposefully
to overexpose/underexpose to
create a fine art piece. Experiment
with the light, shoot against the
light, challenge yourself to shoot
at the brightest time of day with
direct sunlight and see how you
can break the rules whilst creating
an image that works.
THE HORIZON LINE
This is the first thing we get told to
fix on an image when our horizon
is tilting to one side but it is possible
to break the rule and create your
own horizons on purpose. I recently
learned about the ‘Dutch Angle’
thanks to our photo reviews on
the blog and is something I’m now
trying to experiment with.
USE A TRIPOD – AVOID
Sure, most of the time we want
sharp images, but what about
breaking the rule and jumping up
and down or spinning around with
the shutter open to purposefully
create blurred, out of focus
photos? This is how we create art!
As long as they captured what you
wanted to tell and they tell your
story as you see it, go for it!
FILL THE FRAME – FOCUS ON
THE CENTRE OF INTEREST
Here comes a great piece of
advice from Abraham Maslow on
how to break this rule... “Enlarge
the object. Or, squint at it so you
see only general outlines. Or, gaze
at it from unexpected angles,
such as upside down. Look at the
object reflected in a mirror. Put
it in unexpected backgrounds…
or through unusual colour filters.
Gaze at it for a very long time.
Gaze while free-associating or
daydreaming.” His main theory is
that by framing the object, you
cut it away from its surroundings
and, thereby, from common
“perceptions, expectations and
theories of how it should look.”
So, next time you go out with your
camera with the main goal of
taking that perfect shot to post
on social media for everyone’s
You put a lot of stress on yourself
by wanting the ‘perfect’ shot and
if (when) something doesn’t go
as planned or as good as you’d
hoped you can quickly lose your
motivation for taking photos.
If you just go out for a walk without
planning or expecting anything,
but have your camera ready to
capture whatever is awaiting
you in the big world, you will see
that the magic starts to happen!
Let your passion and creativity
shine through without following
the crowd of ‘Instagram-worthy’
F1.2, 1/1250s, ISO100
MANNERS STREET, WELLINGTON
I love the context of this shot of a woman
at the bus stop... her dress, shoes, flowers
in her hair, and the timeliness of the pursed
lips, sucking of her drink. The added bonus
was when she appeared to see me taking
the photo and looked over the top of her
glasses in an assertive manner.
Featuring a modern take on
opera with a caffeinated theme!
F1.8, 1/500s, ISO100
F2, 1/500s, ISO1600
Mr Wizowski juggling as part of his
show titled Joust of the Unicorn.
F2.8, 1/6400s, ISO1600
The New Zealand Opera performed an
offbeat piece of theatre centred around
the love of coffee, how very Wellington!
DANCING WITH THE RHYTHM
F2.8, 1/250s, ISO400, 70mm
A busker playing his violin on Cuba street.
F1.4, 1/6000s, ISO200, 85mm
Complete involvement in the bands
F2.8, 1/1600s, ISO400, 85mm
Hard to mistake the chemistry
of these two in the crowd!
The people dancing were dazzling,
the light of the sun too.
WOULD YOU LIKE
Coffee time with a taste of
excitement and fun.
MOMENT OF JOY
F1.2, 1/1250s, ISO100
A woman dancing with red butterfly
wings and an unstoppable smile
takes the heart of the audience.
Lin Htet Aung
INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE IS MUSIC
They may look different but they have
one thing in common, music. Feel it to understand it.
Lin Htet Aung
F5.8, 1/250s, IS0800
Enjoying the last performance of Cuba Dupa 2019 on the Glover
stage; the vibrant, fiery and energetic, Cha Wa.
TIME OUT FROM
Mid-afternoon, Glover Park at the 2019
Cuba Dupa Festival.
Colourful and enthusiastic dancers
entertaining an appreciative crowd.
SHUT UP & DANCE
Shut Up & Dance doing just what it says
on the package.
F8, 1/160s, ISO400, 35mm
This group burst into an impromptu song
while looking for any offers of work.
F4, 1/320s, 70mm
This couple have a very spectacular
and unique costume. They are shining
in the crowd and attracting everyone's
attentions - The best couple of the day.
BLENDING (BENDING) WITH
F2.8, 1/100s, ISO 200, 200mm
PERFECT DRESS WITH
F4, 1/320s, 105mm
She had a very unique style with an amazing
outfit. Her expression shows how much she is
enjoying the event.
Ras Judah & The Culture Embassy
preforming at Cuba Dupa.
DANCE GOINGS ON
Wellingtonians are determined to
celebrate at this annual event.
"TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH IS TO ALIGN
THE HEAD, THE EYE AND THE HEART.
IT'S A WAY OF LIFE"