NZPhotographer Issue 25, November 2019


Whether you’re an enthusiastic weekend snapper or a beginner who wants to learn more about photography, New Zealand Photographer is the fun e-magazine for all Kiwi camera owners.

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



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