Brought to you by
ISSUE 25, November 2019
BY PETI MORGAN
ARCHITECTURE IS A
PART OF LIFE
BY PETER KURDULIJA
PIHA BEACH CLEANUP
BY RICHARD YOUNG
November 2019 1
WELCOME TO ISSUE 25 OF
NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE
In this issue we put the focus
on capturing historical
architecture along with
a healthy dose of nature
photography plus doing
Peti Morgan takes us on a
photographic journey around
Anvil House in Wellington,
Ana reflects on her love
affair with the Sydney Opera
House, Chris McKeown takes
us across to New York to
shoot the Chrysler Building
from a unique angle and we
welcome Peter Kurdulija back
to discuss why architecture is
a part of life.
Meanwhile, we've interviewed Shona Jaray and Michelle
Vollemaere, Brendon has been out exploring New Zealand's very
own Pearl Harbour whilst playing with time-lapse photography and
Richard has done his part in the Peak Design Piha Beach Cleanup
where we get to see the best photos from the day proving that our
own message of #photographyforgood is gaining strength.
Editor NZ Photographer
NZPhotographer Issue 25
by Shona Jaray
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.
ARCHITECTURE IS A PART OF LIFE
BY PETER KURDULIJA
WITH SHONA JARAY
INTERVIEW WITH SHONA JARAY
BEHIND THE SHOT
WITH CHRIS MCKEOWN
EXPLORING PEARL HARBOUR NEW ZEALAND
by Brendon Gilchrist
ARCHITECTURE IS A PART OF LIFE
by Peter Kurdulija
GETTING TO KNOW MICHELLE
VOLLEMAERE OF MIVO PHOTOGRAPHY
PRESERVING ANVIL HOUSE
by Peti Morgan
PIHA BEACH CLEANUP
by Richard Young
by Ana Lyubich
BEST READERS SUBMISSIONS THIS MONTH
BEHIND THE SHOT
WITH CHRIS MCKEOWN
GETTING TO KNOW MICHELLE
VOLLEMAERE OF MIVO PHOTOGRAPHY
1 Day Workshops
Learn how to take full creative control
and capture your own unique images.
Different one day options:
Fine Art Printing
2 Day Workshops
Small Group Photography Weekends
BOP Seascapes & Waterfalls
4 Day Masterclass
Be inspired with our master class
workshops, which are designed to be
educational vacations, where you are
immersed in a specific area
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Landscapes - Aoraki, Mt Cook.
Astro - Aoraki, Mt Cook.
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20 Day: North Island Highlights
17 Day: Ultimate New Zealand
12 Day: New Zealand Icons
15 Day: New Zealand
15 Day: North Island Landscapes
7 Day: Wild South Island
7 Day: West Coast Wilderness
7 Day: South Island Beaches
7 Day: Volcanic North Island
7 Day: Northland & Bay of Islands
4 Day: Fiordland
021 0845 7322
Preserving Anvil House
by Peti Morgan
I’m a Wellington based photographer who uses the
camera as a tool for creative expression. My work
spans landscape, architecture, fine art, travel, and
abstract - often focusing on the sea, and aspects of
Some key moments in my photography journey
include receiving my licentiate honours from the
Photographic Society of New Zealand in 2014, winning
a gold medal in the PSNZ Canon National Exhibition
(NATEX) in 2015, and exhibiting at the New Zealand
Academy of Fine Arts in 2016.
It was during a PSNZ convention that I was able to join
an architectural workshop with Jim Simmons, at Anvil
House on Wakefield Street, Wellington. We toured up
the stairwell, into one of the empty office spaces, and
onto the roof.
Anvil House was built in the ‘50s, for Smith & Smiths. A
little light research reveals that “Anvil” was actually
their paint brand, and their emblem is still shown on
the front of the building (the two blokes whacking
an anvil). Their original building was burned to the
ground, and Anvil House built in its place.
The stairway is exquisite. For such an outwardly
unpretentious building, this was a lovely surprise!
Looking up, or looking down, the stairwell is a
convergence of clean lines and warped angles. It
felt best to photograph it in black and white so that
I could focus on these lines and shapes. Given that I
was on a photography walk, I admit to having cloned
out the odd photographer in the finished images!
Sometimes though, I left them in to illustrate the
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I find stairwells in general, fascinating as they can be such a
beautiful feature of a building, and are often well preserved.
But I also felt there was some preservation required by us,
as photographers, as some parts of the building were in a
state of disrepair and no doubt would be renovated soon.
The peeling paint was a great representation of this. It was
quite a juxtaposition of beauty and age - in normal lighting,
the peeling paint showed the age and state of the building.
But when the sun filtered through the cubic windows of the
stairwell it became beautiful.
It’s funny to walk into what is considered a utilitarian
space and yet spend hours poring over the details. But as
visiting photographers, we had the temporary advantage
of seeing with fresh eyes. So the exquisite details that may
have been missed by the buildings’ residents, walking
those stairs daily, glowed like neon to us.
There are many opportunities around us to capture a
point in time, a historic perspective - but it’s easy enough
to become so used to the cities and towns we live in, that
we are immune to their beauty. If you want to reopen
your eyes to these possibilities, challenge yourself to
photograph an unfamiliar space each day. If you make
the challenge long enough (100 days?) you may push
yourself far beyond the familiar to the truly unknown.
Our spaces are always changing, so you can think of
yourself as a visual historian - because that’s exactly what
you are. Preserving a point in time, documenting history.
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Interview with Shona Jaray
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SHONA, WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I studied to be a dietitian but eventually started up
my own food business, opening a delicatessen and
catering business in Karori. After 10 years of that I set
up a private practice in Sports Nutrition at Wellington
Sports Med Clinic and at the same time I joined my
husband in the coffee business – we imported green
coffee and roasted it for the hospitality industry, and
imported coffee machinery.
I sold my nutrition practice in 2000 and concentrated
on the coffee business until we sold that in 2003
essentially becoming “retired”. At this point we moved
from Wellington to a lifestyle block in Reikorangi – a
beautiful valley 10 km inland from Waikanae on the
Once we moved, I would see people – clients from
my nutrition practice and from the coffee business
who would greet me and say “so, now you are not
working, what do you do all day?”
On a 10 acre property, there is always plenty to do.
We grow a lot of our own veggies, we have animals –
little highland cattle – although my husband looks after
them. We have regular house guests – friends to stay.
I enjoy reading, good movies, and listening to classical
music. I am also learning to speak Czech – it’s a
challenge. I have an excellent teacher whom I meet
up with once a week in Wellington. I am currently the
chairperson of the Judge Accreditation Panel for the
Photographic Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) and
along with Bruce Girdwood, run 3–4 training weekends
throughout New Zealand per year. These aim to be
an introduction to photographic assessment with an
emphasis on respect for the photographer and the
image they have made.
WHEN DID PHOTOGRAPHY ENTER YOUR LIFE?
When I was 10, a very enlightened schoolteacher set
up a makeshift darkroom in our classroom. We were
taught how to make a black and white print from
a negative and from that moment I was hooked,
wanting to be a photographer when I grew up.
However, we lived in a very remote part of rural
New Zealand – about 40km from Gisborne and there
were not any opportunities in Gisborne for women in
particular to make a career in photography.
When I went overseas on my 2 year O.E based in
London but travelling around the UK and Europe I
bought my first SLR. It was a Praktica, very heavy
(although probably not as heavy as some of today’s
DSLR’s with a zoom lens) and it was totally manual –
manual exposure, manual focus. There was a little
needle you could see in the viewfinder which gave
you a guide in terms of correct exposure. Friends and
family commented very favourably on the images
I created so I thought I must be pretty good. The
reality was, the images had straight horizons, were in
focus where they should be and were generally quite
nicely composed, but that was all – I did not have the
money to indulge to a degree where I could expand
my skills until digital cameras came along.
In 2001 my husband suggested that perhaps the
coffee business needed to have a digital camera
to record various events we were involved with. Of
course, I agreed wholeheartedly and promptly went
out and purchased a Canon Powershot G1. I read the
manual from start to finish – there were 2 puzzles. First,
the camera was capable of recording raw files – what
the heck were they? More seriously though, there was
a significant section headed “Degrees Kelvin” I spent
a lot of time on that and ended up none the wiser –
until I went out on a beautiful sunny day in Zurich with
the camera set to tungsten.
In 2004 I joined the Photographic Society of New
Zealand (PSNZ) and at the beginning of 2005 what
was then called the Waikanae Camera Club, now
called the Kapiti Coast Photographic Society (KCPS).
I ended up as president of KCPS 2007–2008 and
president of PSNZ 2012–2013. I think the problem is that
I don’t see problems, I see solutions and then I open
my mouth!! However, I have a strong belief in “giving
back” and sometimes this can tend to take over your
life. For me now, it is time to spend more energy on my
SHAFT OF LIGHT
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THE HAND OF MAN
WHAT GEAR DO YOU HAVE NOW?
I have a Canon 5D Mk3 and a Fuji XT2. I like to travel
and find the Fuji XT2 easier in terms of size and weight,
and less hassle with airlines and carry-on luggage. A tall
person can carry a larger backpack without drawing
attention to themselves at check-in, I am not a tall
person and the same sized backpack on me would
always be questioned by check-in staff!
WHAT DO YOU CAPTURE?
I like photographing landscape, street photography,
architecture, flowers, plants, and foliage, humour,
beauty, and travel – I guess most things except birds and
fungi. I enjoy experimenting.
I am not sure if I have a distinctive style yet – I asked
a friend once if he thought I had a recognizable style
(he judges our club competitions at least once a year)
and he told me that he usually guessed which were
my images because of the quality of the presentation –
I am a print person and take a great deal of pride in the
quality of the printing and matting.
ON YOUR EXCIO PROFILE, YOU SAY ‘I STRIVE TO
CREATE A PHOTO THAT REFLECTS MY POINT OF
VIEW’, CAN YOU EXPLAIN MORE?
I believe we all see things differently – even when we are
in the same place at the same time. I have made images
that sometimes get the response of “that’s not what you
saw though is it?”. If I am feeling happy and cheerful then
the scene in front of me will probably appear bright, and
colourful. I could visit the same scene when I was feeling sad
and make a totally different image, even though lighting/
weather conditions might be similar. I guess what I am saying
is that I want my images to reflect how I feel about the
subject I am photographing.
With digital photography, because there is no incremental
cost (as there was with film), every time we press the shutter
I think there is a tendency to rush – in fact that is life in the
21 st century isn’t it! When I am photographing a landscape,
instead of rushing, I like to spend a bit of time first just sitting,
surveying, thinking about how I feel about what I am seeing.
Then I try to make an image which reflects this. I think it is the
creative process which is my initial motivation – I like to create
something which is either beautiful or has a strong message.
HOW DO YOU LEARN AND IMPROVE?
I have been on a number of photographic workshops,
most of them run by Tony Bridge in Central Otago, and
have learned a lot from each one. Since 2006 I have
attended a number of PSNZ Regional Conventions and
since 2007, all of the National Conventions. There are
generally a good variety of workshops available to
choose from and inspirational speakers to learn from.
November 2019 23
TESSIE AND TOMMY
Back in 2005 I decided to try and learn Photoshop, this
being my biggest learning curve relating to photography.
I am pretty good at learning new software, but Photoshop
was a step too far for me in terms of learning intuitively. It
happened because I had to have foot surgery and knew
that I was going to be pretty immobilised for a couple
of months so I purchased a book called “Photoshop
Classroom in a Book”. It had 20 tutorials in it, each lasting
1–2 hours. I worked my way through it. It was a really good
start but now there are so many courses online, YouTube,
books, e-books to help people learn new skills.
I think my biggest limiting factor now is time.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS REGARDING
PROMOTING YOUR WORK ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
I am not very good with social media – I tend not to
spend a lot of time on it. Getting lots of likes and/or
followers is not really important to me. I would rather
sit with a group of friends and get some good honest
critiques of my images.
AS CHAIRPERSON OF THE JUDGE
ACCREDITATION PANEL, WHAT TIPS CAN YOU
SHARE WITH READERS?
Get feedback from someone you respect and admire
who has a good knowledge of photography. That
person should be able to enunciate what the image
communicates to him or her, and why. They may or
may not have recommendations you might consider,
which to their mind, may make the image a stronger
one. All this needs to be put in a way which honours
and respects both you and your work. Having friends
and family say that they like it, is perhaps good for
your ego, but is not really helping you grow.
If done properly, I believe that critiques help you
grow as a photographer. It is very difficult to be totally
objective about your own work.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 10
Find out more at
November 2019 25
Behind The Shot
with Chris McKeown
F9, 1/320s, ISO200
CHRIS, ALTHOUGH WE’VE INTERVIEWED YOU ON
THE BLOG, REMIND US WHO YOU ARE AND HOW
PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWS UP IN YOUR LIFE…
I’m originally a geologist from Glasgow and recently
realised that I’ve always taken photos of landscapes.
My first field trip back in 1987 was to a place called
Ardnamurchan Point, the most western point in Scotland
– That trip made me realise how beautiful Scotland is.
I travelled a lot around the world as a geologist – I’ve
been to China, USA, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Oman,
Holland you name it – any oil and gas town pretty much.
I moved to NZ in 2002 and was just stunned by it.
Although I’ve always taken photographs of landscapes,
I started being a bit more serious about it 6 years or so
ago. I think I was in Singapore when I decided I wanted
to buy a real camera as I only had a point-andshoot
(a decent one by the way – a Fuji or Panasonic
something), so I bought a Samsung NX1000 and the
quality of images just blew me away, I thought “Oh My
God! This is amazing!”
WHAT CAMERAS DO YOU HAVE NOW?
A Samsung NX1, crop sensor with a range of lenses,
plus a Fuji X1000. The Samsung is a great camera, but is
showing its age now with a few things going wrong, and
as is not supported by Samsung anymore (they have got
out of the camera world), I have just recently bought the
Sony A7Riv which has a full fram 61MP sensor and a 24–
105mm f4 lens. I am hoping for good things from it!
TELL US SOME BACKGROUND INFO REGARDING
YOUR TRIP TO NEW YORK…
I was lucky enough to go to New York for work and had a
full day to myself to wander around Manhattan taking a
bunch of photos of the landmarks. I’d been in touch with a
really helpful NYC based photographer to look at getting a
guided tour. Even though he couldn’t be there when I was,
he sent me a copy of his guidebook, telling me the best
places to go to get the best shots, which was so helpful.
I’d always wanted to go to New York and it certainly
lived up to my expectations, the sheer scale, noise,
and busyness was awesome! There were a number
of highlights: taking in the view from the Empire State
building (day and night (very, very cold…), the ferry to
Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty, looking up at
the Chrysler building, Central Park in the low winter sun.
I’m obsessive about taking only carry-on luggage so usually
take the Fuji camera with me, as was the case here.
AND THE STORY BEHIND THIS SHOT?
The Chrysler Building is my favourite. I love it because it’s
just so… un-necessary and over the top and beautiful
and symmetrical and of it’s time complete with chrome
covered gargoyles. I feel the same way about the Opera
House, the Guggenheim and the Shard: functional
internally but bonkers on the outside!
That’s why this shot just stuck out for me. It was taken
around 3.30pm on a freezing February day, it was –7C
with a wind chill taking it down to –11C. The light was
fading, but the sky was still very blue.
I had heard that there was a good angle to take a shot of
the Chrysler Building from outside the New York Public Library,
on the corner of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, looking east
along 42nd Street. I wanted to capture the crispness of the
architectural lines of the Chrysler building, but frame it with
the non-vertical angle of the building on the left of the view
and the branches of the tree on the right of the frame.
Normally for a shot like this I’d use as wide an aperture as
possible, indeed the Samsung lens I was using could go as
wide open as f4, but given the variable depth of field with the
trees etc, I kept the aperture to f9, and adjusted the exposure
and ISO accordingly. The focal length was 130mm, which is
around 200mm on a full frame sensor, so pretty zoomed in.
I was a bit worried about camera shake so had optical
image stabilization (OIS) switched on and tried to keep
it as steady as possible… There were a lot of cars and
buses on the road, and lots of people around, but I think
I managed to capture it well.
I then took the image into Lightroom 5.7 for some
cleaning up (some dust on the lens) and to export
in B&W with some vignetting to make the focus (the
WHAT TIPS FOR ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY
CAN YOU SHARE WITH US?
For me the building is only part of the story, of course it’s
the key part of the image, but it’s also about light falling
in interesting ways, and other elements (e. g. the bare
trees in this image) that invokes a time and place.
If you can find an interesting angle, juxtaposing the
building with some other element, that can make it stand
out. Including people for scale and movement can be
great too, something that added interest to my photos
inside Grand Central Station.
I got some interesting photos of the inside of the Chrysler
Building, and wouldn’t have known about the lobby
without reading up before hand so I also recommend
doing your research.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
BEHIND THE SHOT IS PROUDLY
F14, 1/125s, ISO100
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F3.5, 1/100s, ISO100
There are not many places around Lake
Manapouri that will give you easily accessible
epic views, that is until you discover the Circle
Track which is accessible by water taxi or your
own boat followed by some leg power!
The Circle Track is a full loop track that is 6.9km long
roughly a 3–3.5 hour round-trip that starts on the
opposite side of Pearl Harbour. Yes, that's right, New
Zealand has its very own Pearl Harbour.
I started my short 5 minute boat ride across the harbour
and then up onto the jetty and into the bush at around
9am. I was told by the water taxi company that the
track is rather steep, but I thought it would be ok, it
didn’t look too steep on the map.
You see, I had checked the topographical map and it
looked fine, but I always forget to look at the contour lines
and the distance between the maximum height of the
track and where you start from – it can be very deceiving
at times. The elevation gain on this track starts at 200
meters and rises to 556 meters in quite a short distance.
Allowing for snack breaks to keep the sugar levels up,
it took me about 1 hour 20 minutes to climb up to the
top, it was hot going. Not in temperature but just in
general – walking at a steady pace along a slippery
track with a heavy camera bag plus water bottle
(there is no water source on this ridgeline) is tough work.
When you know what the view looks like it helps with
motivating you to keep going though and I knew
I could rest and take some epic photos of a place that
I have never seen before.
Upon my arrival at the top, the view over Manapouri didn’t
disappoint with the famous monument that is a feature of
this lake along with the rest of Hope Arm, West Arm, and
Pomona Island all visible. What a sight I was looking at.
I was hot but I had at least 2 hours up here before I had to
start the descent back down to meet my boat.
When I arrive at new locations I always stop and take it
all in before I photograph anything, it helps me to see
where the wind is blowing and which way the clouds
are going and allows me to can capture the raw
beauty mentally before digitally. It also gives me time
to put on some warmer clothes and have some lunch,
a drink, and maybe send a photo to friends to make
them a little jealous of where I am standing!
This time I only took one camera with me, my Nikon
D750 which I chose because it is smaller and lighter as
I wanted to take my big 80–200mm lens with me which
alone weighs as much as my other camera! My main
goal on this trip was to time-lapse at 24mm, 50mm,
80mm and 200mm to have different focal lengths and
different compositions to choose from.
I set up the first motion time-lapse with the Syrp Genie
then stepped away to find shelter from the cold and
strong wind amongst the trees, enjoying the scene
whilst the camera was busy clicking away, taking
around 350 images for one time-lapse which takes
about 30 minutes to complete.
I took the 2nd time-lapse at 50mm with 300 images
lasting another 30 minutes. I thought the framing
looked much better now than it had on the previous
24mm motion time-lapse, but at 50mm it is impossible to
create motion from a slider, so this one was a stationary
time-lapse. I completed set up and walked away
into the bush again to stay warm, I could still see the
view but the wind was coming straight over the snowy
mountains and up to where I was standing.
The last time-lapse I took was at 80mm, deciding that
the 200mm was a little too zoomed in. The 80mm timelapse
I liked even more than the 50mm – superimposing
the mountains is something I am starting to love and
the telephoto lens is a great tool to achieve this.
So another 300 images and another 30 minutes later
(1.5 hours in total) and I had a total of 900 images
resulting in 21seconds of footage – It seems a little
excessive but I was amazed at how 3 different focal
lengths can have so much impact on 1 location.
With all the motion time-lapses finished and feeling happy
with what I had captured it was time to take the stills, while
considering how much time I had left to walk back to the
jetty! I’d had enough time to think about what I wanted
to capture whilst waiting for the time-lapses to finish. It was
a challenge as I was limited to one viewpoint with few
options but it would have been difficult not to take a great
shot here so I only needed about 10 minutes to finish up.
Once I had captured everything, wishing that I could
have camped here to capture sunset which surely
would have been epic, I packed up, took one more
look at the amazing view, loaded my pack on my back
and headed off. I was hoping for another viewpoint
along the ridgeline that leads back to the lake but
unfortunately, there were no views, just lots of bush,
ferns, and many birds but it’s times like this when I can
reflect on what I have just captured and be at peace
with everything that is going on in life.
I returned to the jetty a little earlier than expected so
I gave the water taxi a ring and asked if they could
pick me up early. I was told ‘see you in 15 minutes’ so
I sat down on the jetty and waited, preparing a nice
composition with the front of the small metal boat
3 TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
• Make sure that the intervals between each image
are not too long. If they are, the final MP4 Clip will
be jerky rather than smooth.
• Remember that you will crop to a 16:9 ratio and
that you need to set the composition to allow for
this, knowing what framing you are aiming for.
• If it is windy, position the camera in an area that
is not affected as much, any slight bump of the
camera will affect the smoothness of the final
2020, 1 Day Dates:
NZPW Tutor Ken Wright
29th Feburary, 4th July
& 24th October
NZPW Tutor Richard Young
2nd Feburary, 31st May
& 4th October
Long Exposure Workshop
This is a one day coastal and long exposure photography workshop at
Murrys Bay on Aucklands’s North Shore or Wellington’s South Coast.
On this workshop, you’ll learn how to shoot dramatic and awe-inspiring
coastal landscapes and make long exposure photographs.
This is designed as an intermediate-advanced workshop.
021 0845 7322
November 2019 31
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to have impact?
Join Excio today for global reach
and showcase your message.
We’re different from magazines and social media.
Take a look
November 2019 33
ARCHITECTURE IS A PART OF LIFE
by Peter Kurdulija
JUST LIKE YOU, ONCE UPON
A TIME I WAS A BEAUTIFUL PROMISE
November 2019 35
Ihave learnt to respect architecture. The
domineering socialist structures of my birth city were
an important component of the socio-economic
milieu which shaped my personality, including my
visual perception. I spent my childhood in a maze of
neatly aligned concrete buildings, which epitomized Le
Corbusier’s description of urban edifices as ‘machines
for living in’. For better or worse, the overbearing
masculine geometry of the place fostered my acute
curiosity for man-made landscapes.
Moving to New Zealand and leaving the ideological
Shangri-La behind, refocused my attention on the
living spaces that are smaller and emotionally easier to
approach. While large crumbling buildings symbolise
the erosion of power, the decay of civilization as a
whole, empty family homes bring the same message in
a more evocative and deliberate fashion.
There is an undeniable truth written on the faces of old
walls by the abrasive hand of time, left there to serve
as symbolic signposts on our epic, one way trip towards
the rendezvous with mortality. If architecture is ‘frozen
music’, as Goethe put it, doomed dwellings have to be
heartbreakingly sad, solo violin pieces.
ARCHITECTURE IS LANDSCAPE
It is a man-made one, but a landscape nevertheless.
From a technical point of view, it means that you
will rely mostly on your wide angle lens and make
apertures between f8 and f16 your best friends, giving
your subject a substantial depth of field. If your tripod is
handy, it will help to keep the ISO setting at a minimum.
The electronics within your camera will take care of
the shutter, and if it has any problems with doing it
correctly, the exposure compensation dial is there to
Finally, for a healthier post processing experience, all
images should be consumed RAW.
Let’s see some interpretations of the concept of
‘place-in-time’ by dissecting several of my images.
CONTRASTING CONDITIONS HELP THE
If we observe the existential tension through the
prism of opposing forces, it will give us an analogy
applicable to the world of photography. The
interaction of the visually polarising stimuli will ask
neutral observers to subconsciously resolve the
issue, forcing them to engage.
The idea is quite evident in the picture 'Morning's
Burden' depicting a Maniototo defunct farmhouse,
from an area you never leave without a superb
capture of the resident clouds. They didn’t
disappoint on the day when I had to jump the
fence to improve the angle, which helped the
interplay between the serene, softly illuminated
foreground and an angry, ready to strike sky.
The energy born out of this friction also provided
the visual narrative behind 'A Treasure at the End
of a Rainbow', an image of an abandoned house
in Taranaki, which demanded a bit more for its
execution. The pouring rain pinned me down in
a car for what felt like an eternity. The effort was
worth it, as a beam of light sneaked below the
clouds and illuminated the worn-out subject. It was
all there; our vulnerable existence stoically facing
the hostile elements, a broken wire, synonymous
with isolation in our contemporary language and
an ever-present hope in the colours of a rainbow.
November 2019 37
A TREASURE AT THE END OF A RAINBOW
November 2019 39
OLD IS PART HISTORY, PART ILLUSION
The much photographed Wairarapa house always
tickled my imagination. Placed on top of a hill, with
an all-round view, it looks like an entry ticket to the
grandiose fantasy called ‘Living Happily Ever After’.
In a complex tale of life, we like to write beautiful
beginnings, but it’s the destiny that scripts the final
chapter. The image ‘Just Like You, Once Upon a Time I
Was a Beautiful Promise’ is a brick and mortar ode on
degraded ideals, living between the world of should
be and the one we end up with.
The Otago scene depicted in the image ‘The Day I
Time Travelled This Land, On Foot’ was akin to
stepping back in time, witnessing a Kiwi flavoured
metaphor of The Wild West era. The intriguing
juxtaposition of subjects gifted the composition a
lyrical and slightly surreal quality. It’s that kind of sight
that naturally appeals to our creative souls, casual
shooters and photography ascetics alike.
HISTORY IS MYSTERY
The past and the unknown are close neighbours.
Mystery is born out of gaps opened by missing and
fading recollections, filled with arbitrary interpretations.
The difficulties arise when we attempt to complete
this jigsaw known as our present relying solely on
memories, those ever-shifting sand dunes of our
The image ‘I Often Find You at Extraordinary Places’
explores an idea behind the mystery of memories.
Shot across the pond in monochrome, to emphasise
the return to a time of unknown, the image combines
the barely visible old house within surroundings not
prepared to reveal anything more than they have to.
‘Alone with the Clouds’ asks questions about the
transient nature of civilisation and the ways decayed
architecture can help us comprehend a nearabstract
concept of past. When the geographical
presence of man-made structures diminish in
importance or disappear altogether, the memories of
those may follow them there.
TIMES TO REMEMBER
Reality is personal and always in motion. What we
did, saw or experienced will soon become history.
Meanwhile, the technological revolution has created
a parallel world, all with vast storage places and
cyber shadows of our personas The new home in the
cloud can help us memorialise the past by shifting our
precious moments into its digital realm. This should be
our motivation to photograph and eternalise manmade
places destined for certain oblivion.
THE DAY I TIME TRAVELLED
THIS LAND, ON FOOT
I OFTEN FIND YOU AT
ALONE WITH THE CLOUDS
November 2019 41
Getting to Know Michelle
Vollemaere of MiVo Photography
F16, 1/250s, ISO100
November 2019 43
MICHELLE, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU…
I live in Auckland not too far from our famous
Waitemata Harbour (which is great for photographic
opportunities) and am married with 2 grown-up kids.
I have had several careers, but my latest incarnation
involved a Diploma of Journalism and writing and subediting
work on magazines and newspapers. I still work
with words, mostly freelance writing and proofreading
of English translations.
Just for fun, I also study part time at university.
Languages are my current passion; Latin, Italian and
German, inspired by my first overseas trip in 2012 to
Italy and Greece. Travel led to study and study led to
more travel when I got the opportunity to live in Italy
for ten weeks in 2016. I improved my language skills
and took hundreds of photos. I went back again last
year, and to England, Scotland and France, and took
a few hundred more images.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
I was 13 when I got my first camera, a Kodak
Instamatic 255x which I had coveted from the
moment I saw it in our local pharmacy shop window,
imagining the photos I would take just like those in the
National Geographic magazines my family subscribed
to. The reality didn’t live up to my imagination, but
I did learn the art of composition and the importance
of getting close to the subject. The cost of film and
developing made one think carefully before pressing
I got my first SLR when I was 18. A family friend died
and left me a Canonflex R2000 along with a bag full
of lenses and filters. I learned all the photography
basics using that gear until somebody nicked the
camera. I still have all the lenses and am currently on
the lookout to replace the body.
I moved on to an Olympus OM10, and then added
an OM20, using both until I could no longer avoid
the transition to digital. By then I was a stay-at-home
mother with two kids and no spare money. All I could
afford was a ghastly little point-and-shoot. I hated it
but my composition skills compensated for the lack
of aperture or shutter control and I do have some
reasonable keepers from those wilderness years.
WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH NOW?
I use two cameras, both mirrorless: a Leica D-Lux 5 and
an Olympus OMD EM10 Mk III, which I refer to as my
OMG. I also use my Samsung phone a lot, as it is the
camera that I always have with me. I love the retro
styling and the compact size of these cameras which
is ideal for travel. I hate carrying too much stuff and
these are small enough to fit in my shoulder bag, out
of sight of thieves and pickpockets. I have a limited
lens selection: the Leica has a fixed 24–90mm zoom
lens and for the Olympus I have the kit 14–42 mm and
a 40–150 mm, so I tend to choose one lens at the
beginning of the day based on what I think I will be
photographing and work within the limitations of that.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED STYLE/GENRE?
I’ve tried all sorts of things mostly inspired by others’
works. I’ve gone to zoos and channelled my inner
wildlife photographer, tried my hand at interiors,
thought inside the square with Instagram, and
tried landscape and seascape, but I never had a
preference until I did a street photography workshop
with Lesley Whyte last year. That really fired me up
and now I think street is most definitely my thing as it
lends itself so well to capturing the essence of a place
that goes beyond the usual standard tourist shots. As
a journalist, I am drawn to the sort of people I used to
interview, ordinary people doing interesting things –
at work, at play, hanging out, playing music, enjoying
themselves. I also love the thrill of taking a quick shot,
capturing a moment and telling a story.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE SHOT…
I especially love 'The Players' because I nearly didn’t
take it. My husband, Willie, the man in the middle, has
a habit of wandering into my carefully considered
shots, just at that moment when the light is right, the
extraneous people are out of frame and everything
is just perfect. This often creates, shall we say, marital
tension. We were in Avignon, France, and this time,
just to keep the peace, I took the photo. Later when
I was deleting my dud photos, I noticed that his
presence added more vitality to the shot than I had
expected, so I kept it and made a vow to at least try
to be more tolerant of his habit in the future.
F14, 1/60s, ISO320
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU OVERCOME IN
PHOTOGRAPHY AND HOW DID YOU DO THAT?
I have had two challenges. Firstly, I really struggled
with the transition from analogue photography
to digital. I simply could not get the settings right
and had to resort to using Auto. All the rules I had
learned with film just didn’t work. Luckily, I happened
on a great online course called Digital Camera
Mastery which covered the absolute basics of digital
photography and I am now back in control.
The other challenge is one I have managed to turn to
my advantage. I am shorter than average and tend
to get stuck at the back of crowds, especially at tourist
destinations. Everyone stands ten deep in front of a
famous statue or painting or landmark, for example,
and I can’t get a decent photo. Once I stopped
trying to battle the crowds, I realised that finding a less
popular vantage point could net me a more interesting
photo than the clichéd touristy postcard one everyone
else has taken. Sometimes incorporating the obstacle
even makes for a great photo, too.
November 2019 45
F3.5, 1/60s, ISO1600
November 2019 47
F4.5, 1/60s, ISO400
DAVID’S DARK SIDE
F13, 1/60s, ISO500
November 2019 49
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ADVANTAGES ARE
OF BEING A FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER?
I think that the camera is a creative tool without a
gender bias; technical skill, imagination and creativity
are what make great photos. That said, some of
my greatest inspiration has come from women
photographers, especially Annie Leibovitz with her
celebrity portraits, street photographer Vivian Maier, and
the Depression-era photojournalist Dorothea Lange.
HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM BEING
PART OF LESLEY WHYTE’S WOMEN IN
PHOTOGRAPHY, WHY IS BEING PART OF AN
ALL-FEMALE GROUP IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Any group that generously shares knowledge and
experience provides a stimulating environment for
its members. Being involved with Lesley Whyte’s
Women in Photography has been a great boost
for my confidence as a photographer. This diverse
group of women photographers is always positive
and encouraging and friendly. Lesley, our esteemed
leader, is dedicated to improving our skills and
is always coming up with new ideas for weekly
challenges, workshops, trips and fun – always fun.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE
FUTURE, PHOTOGRAPHY WISE?
I always have a list of things I want to do – learn more
about photo editing, get my photos organised, do
more courses, etc, etc. But mostly, now, I would love
for my worlds to collide and that my writing skills,
passion for photography, and love of languages will
lead to more travel and some opportunities for some
paid travel journalism jobs.
ANY INSPIRING WORDS TO LEAVE US WITH?
My mantra is “Take the photos that please you. Have
fun and love what you do.”
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
November 2019 51
Piha Beach Cleanup
by Richard Young
As many of you would agree, New
Zealand is a truly amazing place - it
is a small country on the map, but for
photographers, its landscapes, nature,
and wildlife present endless photo
opportunities. Taking care of the environment and
our nature is an important step that everyone should
take, but especially us photographers as without it, our
photography careers and passion for capturing the
beauty would cease to exist.
When out there taking photos it is our chance to help
preserve the beauty not just on the photographs but
also in real life. It’s important to behave responsibly
as photographers, you know the saying, take only
photos, leave only footsteps!
That’s why it was a privilege to join Peak Design
along with a group of 60+ environmentally conscious
photographers on 19th October to clean up Piha
It was an exciting event that managed to combine
our passion for photography with doing good and it
was a privilege to be able to capture the fun as well
as some beachscapes whilst getting to know people
and talking photography and the environment
- Photography is truly a universal language and
by spreading good messages and helping the
environment we can all make a difference, one
photo at a time.
This time, we cleared Piha Beach of more than 100
litres of rubbish making the environment not only a
nicer place for us photographers to visit, but more
importantly, a healthier environment for our West
The event was organised by Peak Design who
recently launched their project Climate Neutral which
encourages all brands to take meaningful action on
climate change. This is something we at New Zealand
Photography Workshops take seriously too. This year,
in an attempt to reduce the impact of our workshops
and tours, we joined the Abel Tasman Tree Collective
to fund native tree planting and offset our carbon
footprint. We also care deeply for the places we
visit and the wildlife we photograph as it is important
that we can return to photograph this in future years.
Some of the projects we have been involved in this
year also include adopting 2 hectares on the side of
Lake Rotopounamu in Tongariro National Park and
donating to both the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust and
the West Coast Penguin Trust to support the work they
do to look after these threatened species.
Incentives always help people get up off the sofa and
out to do good, that’s why Peak Design ran a photo
competition at the same time as the beach clean -
a big congratulations to the winner Lambert Laluz (@
capturedby.thelight) and some of the other entries
that are featured on the following pages.
More events like this will be organised by Peak Design
in the future and of course, NZPW with Excio and
NZPhotographer will continue to share the message
of photographers who are raising awareness and
doing good with their photography so if you’re feeling
inspired, ponder for a moment – How do you do good
when you pick up your camera?
Photos captured on Nikon D850 with an 8-15mm Fish Eye Lens
by Ana Lyubich
When I was about 10 years old
my Mum gave me a book
about learning to draw for
my birthday - My favourite
image inside was of the
Sydney Opera House. At that time in my
life, growing up on the other side of the
world in Kazakhstan, I had no idea where
that building was or even where Australia
was but I fell in love with that building. I
drew a picture of the Opera House and it
took an almost permanent place on one
of the walls at home. 15 years later nothing
had changed – it was still my favourite
building and it became my dream to visit
that place one day.
That day came when I decided to come
to New Zealand and had a stopover in
Sydney. One of the worst things that can
happen on the day of your flight is falling
sick and I did. It was one of the worst fevers
I’ve ever had, I completely lost my voice
and had a temperature of +39c for several
days but cancelling flights was not an
option. Long story short, two days of travel
and I finally made it to Sydney. Despite my
condition, when I saw the Opera House
it was a magical moment. I can’t quite
describe the feeling I had but I reached
very closely so I could touch one of the
walls and it was like an electric shock.
Almost 8 years later and I still remember
that feeling vividly and will do so for many
How does this story relate to photography?
Well, photographing buildings and
architecture is quite a big challenge for
many of us. While there are a lot of keen
street photography enthusiasts, taking
photos of buildings is not one of the most
popular choices amongst photographers
and can make people anxious as to how to
approach this genre. So here a few tips.
November 2019 75
THINK OF WHAT THIS BUILDING MEANS
It’s good if you have a personal connection
with the building like I had with the Opera
House as it becomes more “approachable”.
You don’t have to photograph all of the
building to capture it, you can photograph
parts of it – windows, doors, decorations and
so on. Maybe that window on the second
floor has a special meaning? Maybe that
little crack always captured your attention?
If you don’t have a personal connection
with a building or are not taking the photo
for a particular challenge or task, try doing
some research about it, especially if it’s a
building that is all too easy to overlook. Find
out when it was built, by whom, the original
idea behind it, special design elements
and so forth and see how your perspective
(metaphorically and literally) changes.
ENGAGE ALL YOUR SENSES
If possible, and of course if it is safe, get as
close to the building as possible. Then pause.
Breath, look closely, touch. Is it made of brick
or wood or another material? Is it cold or
warm? Ask yourself – what do I feel?
Sometimes when you see rural derelict houses
you don’t need to engage your senses as
these buildings share their centuries-old
stories with everyone who is passing by. With
industrial buildings however, it can be more
difficult but try to ‘break the walls down’
and see something unusual in the building
whether it is about shapes, sunlight, frames
or other elements. You may also be able to
capture scale in an interesting way and paint
a bigger picture of the building if you have
a chance to distance yourself and find a
new and interesting perspective – a roof or
window view from another building such as a
rooftop cafe may give you new angle.
PHOTOGRAPHY HAS THE POWER OF
CAPTURING MOMENTS AND STOPPING
If you have an opportunity to photograph
buildings in your own town or while you
are travelling, don’t hesitate and don’t
over think – just do so. We all like seeing
and comparing what the place looked like
50 or 100 years ago and thanks to other
photographers of those times we can do so!
So let’s ‘encapsulate’ history and preserve it
for future generations.
November 2019 77
Submit your long exposure photos by 10 January 2020
to be in to win an Unleashed smart camera control
plus other great prizes.
How much do you dare to expose?
Check Out Now
THE GALLERY IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY
BEST READERS' SUBMISSIONS THIS MONTH
November 2019 79
CATHOLIC CHURCH SAMOA
F1.9, 1/50s, ISO160
I was fortunate to have an opportunity to work in Samoa a
little while ago. My Samoan work colleagues took me to
see their beautiful church in Apia. With permission, this was
shot on my Samsung Galaxy phone.
November 2019 81
F5, 1/1000s, ISO100, 35mm
Taken on a Wellington Harbour walkabout, this
building is photographed many times, so it's a
challenge to get a different perspective.
November 2019 83
F/2.8, 1/320s, ISO250, 20mm
A Hamilton trip wouldn't be
complete without visiting the
November 2019 85
F13, 20s, ISO100
A personal project of Auckland City
architecture. Taken at the new Victoria Grace
Quarter building in central Auckland with a Lee
Big Stopper filter.
November 2019 87
F8, 1/160s, ISO100
An abstract look at the Grand Mecure
Hotel in central Auckland. I had taken
a photo of a part of the building but
wasn't happy with it, until I saw a line
in the corner of the photo... I thought
if I mirrored it 4 times that it might be
interesting. This was the result.
November 2019 89
An abstract look at the Pullman Hotel
in Auckland. I have been working on
a personal project of architecture in
Auckland, focusing on the abstract
qualities of these buildings.
November 2019 91
F8, 1/160s, ISO100
Photo of the Geyser building in Parnell,
sky among windows.
November 2019 93
REFLECTIONS ON A
F3.7, 1/200s, ISO125
CARMEL, CALIFORNIA, USA
I liked the reflection of Carmel Bay, the
textures, the warm light and the angles,
especially how the reflection of the
print on the wall aligns perfectly with
the ribs in the window shade (probably
November 2019 95
REFLECTIONS ON A SETTING SUN
JUNCTION HOTEL, THAMES
Thames has many heritage buildings, such as the Junction
hotel, that add to the character of this small NZ town.
November 2019 97
F3.5, 1/3s, ISO900
Taken beneath the bridge that links Tauranga
and Mount Maunganui at dusk with the street
lights just illuminated and the shadows of the
November 2019 99
F7, 20s, ISO100
This photo was taken at the site of a
historic pa, Te Onewa Pā. It is under the
Harbour bridge. It was a privilege to
spend time there.
UNDER THE BRIDGE
F10, 60s, ISO100
MANGERE BRIDGE, AUCKLAND
Thousands of cars drive over this bridge
every day but pass too fast to notice the
magic underneath. Beauty is everywhere
if you stay still and seek.
November 2019 101
VIEW FROM THE JETTY
F8, 30s, ISO100
This photo showcases two contrasting architectures:
The Jetty made out of timber vs the Harbour Bridge
made of steel. This photo was taken at Ponsonby
Jetty which is where my partner and I often enjoy a
beer watching the sunset.
New Plymouth is a city filled with street art, I
found this particular building very interesting
with the graffiti work by Mikaere Gardiner which
sadly no longer exists.
November 2019 103
The Vector Lights illuminate
Auckland's iconic Harbour Bridge.
November 2019 105
French influenced architecture
in Saigon, Vietnam.
November 2019 107
F8, 1/50s, ISO100, 24mm
INSIDE THE OCULUS, MANHATTAN,
NEW YORK, USA.
A stitch of 4 landscape shots.
The Pacific Hotel and Towers in Hong
Kong are covered in gold glass. To get
this shot I used a Laowa 12mm and
positioned myself as close to the centre
of these four towers as possible.
November 2019 109
I was recently in Singapore with my wife and
we just had to visit Raffles Hotel to sample
the Singapore Slings. Was definitely not
disappointed, what a beautiful hotel! I thought
the lighting in this photograph was so calm.
THE REAL BEAUTY
One of the finest buildings in New Zealand is
the 113 year old landmark of Dunedin Railway
Station, the Clock Tower. The design and style
November 2019 111
F8.0, 1/320s, ISO100
CARMEL, CALIFORNIA, USA
Whilst studying photography in Dunedin this was
my most anticipated field trip - to the ruins of
Cargill's Castle. Later in the year I discovered
that my Grandad visited the same castle many
years prior to me, the only difference was that
his visit was when the castle was intact and
hosting events. I chose to make the photo black
and white to match the feeling of the castle.
November 2019 113
PILLARS OF ALTARE
A photo from our last Rome visit showing the
pillars of Altare della Patria (Vittoriano).
November 2019 115
"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY IS A
RECORD OF YOUR LIVING, FOR
ANYONE WHO REALLY SEES."