NZPhotographer Issue 27, January 2020

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ISSUE 27, January 2020

INTERVIEW WITH

LYNN FOTHERGILL

EXPLORING MYANMAR

WITH LYN ALVES

January 2020 1


WELCOME TO ISSUE 27 OF

NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE

HAPPY NEW YEAR

EVERYONE!

A new year, a new decade,

and a new edition of New

Zealand Photographer

magazine are all here to

inspire you to do great things

– Are you ready?!

We're keeping the focus on

travel in this edition since

there are so many of you with

stunning travel photos and

inspirational stories to tell – This

month's interviews and articles

taking us to China and Hong

Kong as well as to Myanmar

and Canada before we head

back home to explore more

of New Zealand's natural

beauty.

Richard, Ana, and guest contributor Milan Maric also write about

improving your photography (and videography), encouraging you

to pause, to think, and to play with ideas outside of the box. Your

photography can shoot up to the next level simply by listening to

your heart and connecting with your subject in ways that you've

never done before.

Emily Goodwin

Editor NZ Photographer

General Info:

NZPhotographer Issue 27

January 2020

Cover Photo

Cormorant Fisherman,

Lynn Fothergill

Publisher:

Excio Group

Website:

www.excio.io/nzphotographer

Group Director:

Ana Lyubich

Editor:

Emily Goodwin

Graphic Design:

Maksim Topyrkin

Advertising Enquiries:

Email hello@excio.io

2

NZPhotographer


REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS

Brendon Gilchrist

Brendon is the man

behind ESB Photography.

He is an avid tramper

who treks from sea to

mountain, and back

again, capturing the

uniqueness of New

Zealand’s unforgiving

landscape.

Ana Lyubich

Co-founder of Excio, Ana's

photography journey

started many years ago

with one of the first Kodak

film cameras. She loves

exploring the unseen

macro world and capturing

genuine people's emotions.

Richard Young

Richard is an awardwinning

landscape and

wildlife photographer who

teaches photography

workshops and runs

photography tours. He

is the founder of New

Zealand Photography

Workshops.

nzphotographer nzp_magazine nzp@excio.io

© 2020 NZPhotographer Magazine

All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing in this magazine in

any form is forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.

Disclaimer:

Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the

opinion of the magazine.

January 2020

3


CONTENTS

INTERVIEW

WITH LYNN FOTHERGILL

14

BEHIND THE SHOT

WITH JANICE MCKENNA

6

10

14

33

38

44

46

50

55

BEHIND THE SHOT

with Janice McKenna

WYE CREEK

by Brendon Gilchrist

INTERVIEW WITH LYNN FOTHERGILL

OF SERENDIPITY PHOTOGRAPHY

MOVIEMAKING WITH A SMARTPHONE

by Milan Maric aka Markuza

EXPLORING MYANMAR

with Lyn Alves

THE ONE AND ONLY THING THAT WILL

MAKE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BETTER

By Ana Lyubich

WHAT ARE YOU PHOTOGRAPHING?

by Richard Young

PHOTOGRAPHING MY WAY HOME

by Natalie Clarke

BEST READERS SUBMISSIONS THIS MONTH

6

44

38

EXPLORING MYANMAR

WITH LYN ALVES

THE ONE AND ONLY THING

THAT WILL MAKE YOUR

PHOTOGRAPHY BETTER

BY ANA LYUBICH


1 Day Workshops

Learn how to take full creative control

and capture your own unique images.

Different one day options:

Basic Photography

Creative Photography

Long Exposure

Fine Art Printing

2 Day Workshops

Small Group Photography Weekends

Lightroom Processing

Tongariro Landscapes

Kaimai Waterfalls

Cape Palliser

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

of photography.

Long Exposure - Coromandel.

Landscapes - Aoraki, Mt Cook.

Astro - Aoraki, Mt Cook.

Autumn Colours - Wanaka.

Wildlife - Otago Peninsular

Photography Tours

Taking you to the best locations

the country has to offer.

Draw inspiration from capturing

New Zealand’s most iconic

landscapes alongside some of

our more hidden gems.

20 Day: South Island Highlights

20 Day: North Island Highlights

17 Day: Ultimate New Zealand

12 Day: New Zealand Icons

15 Day: New Zealand

Coastal Landscapes

15 Day: North Island Landscapes

7 Day: Wild South Island

7 Day: West Coast Wilderness

7 Day: South Island Beaches

& Bays

7 Day: Volcanic North Island

7 Day: Northland & Bay of Islands

4 Day: Fiordland

www.photographyworkshops.co.nz

info@photographyworkshops.co.nz

021 0845 7322


Behind The Shot

with Janice McKenna

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SOCKEYE SALMON

F5.6, 1/1600s, IS03200

January 2020 7


JANICE, WHY DON’T YOU INTRODUCE

YOURSELF TO US…

I was born in Auckland, but now live and work

in Wellington. I work in logistics in the courier

industry. Work is all about attention to detail,

being on time, and ensuring what we need to

do every day, happens. Email and spreadsheets

are my friends. Outside of work I spend my time

with camera in hand or travelling. I can usually be

found at Zealandia where I volunteer as part of

their Storytellers Group, run by Judi Lapsley Miller,

where we are tasked with capturing the story of

the valley in words and pictures. Being outside with

my camera, sometimes sitting for hours waiting for

one picture, is what I love to do and is very much

my happy place - It helps me unwind and de-stress

from my working week.

HOW AND WHEN DID YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

JOURNEY START?

I have always had a camera around, but had

never really taken photography seriously. Then in

2010, I had the opportunity to travel to India twice.

So I decided to go out and get a good camera

as I was going to do a trip around Delhi and also

go to see the Taj Mahal. I purchased a Canon 7D,

the camera then sat in the corner of the room

until I visited Zealandia for the first time in late 2011

but after taking my first pictures of New Zealand’s

native birds, I was hooked. When I first started, I was

shooting mainly in P mode and gradually grew

confident enough to venture to A and M. When

shooting wildlife, I prefer Aperture Priority mode

but venture into Manual mode when doing most

other forms of photography. Bird photography and

photography in general is, I find, a journey on which

you will always be learning and continuing to grow

and improve. It’s a never-ending journey, but an

enjoyable one!

WHAT CAMERA AND ACCESSORIES DO YOU

HAVE NOW?

I’m still a Canon user, I have a 1DX Mark II and

an eosR. The 1DX is my go-to for wildlife and bird

photography, my favourite set-up is this camera

coupled with a 300mm f2.8L II lens. I also have a

500mm f4L II lens which I travel with when going

overseas on trips to shoot wildlife. I use teleconverters

with both lenses when needed. I’ve used both lenses

on the R and it works well with the supplied adapter.

But I tend to use the R more as my (non-wildlife)

travel camera, coupled with the 24–105mm f4 kit

lens. When shooting with the 500mm I will generally

use a tripod and gimbal head. I can hand hold it for

about 15–20mins before needing to take a break,

but having it on the tripod is much more stable.

TELL US THE STORY BEHIND YOUR SOCKEYE

SALMON PHOTO…

I have a bucket list of wildlife and birds I would love

to photograph and each year I try and do a trip

overseas or around New Zealand to tick something

off that list. In September 2019, I did a tour with

David Hemmings to photograph grizzly bears in

British Columbia, Canada.

After a pre bear trip of 3 days based at Eagle Bear

Lodge on Eagle Lake to photograph landscapes,

we made the 2 hour journey by road to Chilko Lake

where we would stay to photograph the bears.

There were long days out on Chilko Lake looking for

bears and anything else we could find, including

bald eagles, mergansers, and salmon – lots and lots

of salmon. We started our days around 6:30am with

breakfast and were out on the lake from around

7:30am through till 11:30am when we would break

for lunch and image downloading time. Then we’d

go back out on the lake again around 1:30pm

through till 5:30pm then a short break before dinner

which was around 6:30pm.

On the morning I took this salmon photo, we were

drifting on the calm lake, waiting and watching for

bears. To pass the time I decided to set the camera

up and watched as the salmon leapt, trying to

get a feel for where they were leaping and how

many leaps they would do. We were about 50

metres away from where I was focused (500mm +

1.4 TC), and I just kept scanning the water looking

for movement, then taking shots in anticipation of

a leap happening. I normally shoot single frame

but for this, I switched to high speed continuous.

I played this game for about 30mins or so getting

lots of shots of calm water and not much else with

lots of mumbling about missing shots but also a

lot of laughter! Each time a salmon jumped I was

hopeful, but I ended up with just one shot, this

one. The salmon was caught in the far edge of the

frame, so the image has been cropped along with

some basic post-processing to adjust the exposure,

whites and blacks, a bit of sharpening, and lens

correction. There is definitely some luck in wildlife

photography, but if you prepare and are ready,

you never know what you may capture.

WHAT WAS HAPPENING BEHIND THE

CAMERA THAT WE CAN’T SEE?

We were out on a small flat-bottomed boat that

had room for 3 photographers, one tour leader

(David), and one boat guide (Nick). The boat was

powered by a small outboard motor, as well as an

electric motor for stealth mode, when wanting to

go into places the bears hung out at unobtrusively.

There was plenty of room to use tripods and to

swing from side to side so no problems in changing

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GRIZZLY BEAR

F5.6, 1/400s, ISO3200

direction easily, or having others in your shot. Most

mornings the lake was relatively calm, so there

were no issues in shooting with the movement of

the boat. Even when it was rough on one day,

it still did not make shooting difficult. Nick was

excellent in getting us into position to shoot and

keeping the boat steady. There was a lot of intense

concentration and watching across the lower lake

as we cruised up and down on our regular route.

WHY IS THE SALMON PHOTO SPECIAL TO YOU?

Our group had talked a lot about getting a shot of

a salmon. Everyone had their own ideas, but it was

decided to shoot to the conditions and to shoot

high speed continuous. I was lucky in being the only

one on this trip to capture a salmon leaping. When I

saw it on the back of the camera, I could not

believe it (jaw-dropping amazed!) and had to wait

till I downloaded the image to make sure it was

sharp, and it was. I could not have been happier!

WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR

PHOTOGRAPHY?

Conservation and helping to showcase the work

being done in this field is a passion. I have been

very fortunate to go to some amazing places and

to be tasked with photographing some of our rare

and endangered species – my highlight was being

able to photograph the infamous Sirocco Kākāpō.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?

www.instagram.com/eyemac23

www.facebook.com/eyemac23

janicemckenna.myportfolio.com

albums.excio.io/profile/eyemac

BEHIND THE SHOT IS PROUDLY

SUPPORTED BY

January 2020 9


Wye C

by Brendo

10

NZPhotographer


eek

n Gilchrist

F16, 1/8s, ISO100

January 2020 11


The Queenstown area may have some of the best

views of old glaciated lakes but did you know it

also has some beautiful short day walks with very

photogenic waterfalls and cascades? Why not

come up Wye creek with me for a look at what is on

offer at this beautiful location…

I had seen several photos from this stream over the

years to tempt me to go for a wander to check it out

for myself. On this day I was coming from Athol, I had

not enough money to go to Queenstown just yet and

found a nice little camping ground that was only $10

a night where I could put my tent up, rest, and edit a

few photos.

On my drive up I stopped at Kingston to get a bite to

eat, a pie and some chips is always a classic road trip

meal, before heading up the steep track that starts

off a small car park on the side of the road at Wye

Creek Bridge. The walk to the intake, a small dam on

the upper slopes of the Remarkables mountain range,

starts where the car park is and begins its steep ascent

very quickly with no warning what so ever. It is tough

but if you turn around you see some motivation as the

more you walk the bigger Lake Wakatipu gets with its

impressive views towards Queenstown as well as the

other direction to Kingston although this arm is too

long and you can’t see down to this township.

To understand the steepness you start the track

at around 375 meters above sea level and where

I stopped to take photos was at 700 meters so a

gain of 325 meters in around 1 hour of walking, that

is around 5 meters of elevation gain every minute. It

might not seem like a lot but when you’re walking up

there with your time-lapse gear, tripod, drink and a bit

of food it is a bit of a struggle on the body and mind!

I arrived in a relatively decent time but I was hot, I’d

brought my cup with me as I always enjoy drinking

fresh mountain snow and this stream feeds from the

Wye Creek basin which is a wilderness area. Once I’d

cooled down a bit I put another layer on as I was

starting to get cold (the water was very nice to drink,

by the way) then I set up my time-lapse with the log in

the waterfall (I thought it a unique composition as one

day that log won’t be there anymore) and stepped

away, watching to make sure no splashing water was

hitting the front element.

I found a little path that I could scramble up to get

to the upper part of the stream without entering the

frame of my camera and had a look around above

the waterfall. I found it to be quite interesting with

lots of little cascades coming down making me think

maybe my 14mm lens would be ideal for these little

ones as I can get nice and close.

F16, 1/2s, ISO100

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I headed back down to where my camera was and

waited there till it was finished which was about 10

minutes. I generally have a day time-lapse running

for 30 minutes to get enough movement with time to

have something interesting in the frame. Once the

time-lapse was finished, I looked through the photos

to check it looked good, just in case I had to redo it

again which 99% of the time I don’t, but sometimes it’s

impossible.

Happy with what I’d captured I packed my camera

up so I could walk up and over to the other cascades

above the main waterfall and play around with

different long exposure compositions. I think I may

have come away with 5 or 6 decent ones from this

little area. It was quite a good insight into how good

an ultra-wide lens is for small streams and how you

can compose streams to look much bigger then they

are as there is no scale to compare them against.

I maybe spent 10 minutes messing around up here,

trying not to slip as the rocks just in the water were

quite slippery. Composing the images was fun and

tricky, the water splashing was a bit more extreme up

here but I managed to get the compositions I wanted.

Next, I headed back down to get a wider view of the

Wye Creek Falls, the shot that everyone has and the

one that I also want. There was only one place to get

this and that was from the bridge, lucky it was a midweek

so no one else was around.

I love shooting waterfalls and this was no exception,

I felt like it was a successful half-day trip. I’d wanted to

shoot it for a few years and was happy with the iconic

shot as well as the extra ‘new’ shots I captured by

going above the falls plus the nice time-lapse.

Why, I’d go as far as say that Wye creek is a treat

waiting to happen! It was more than I expected and

I’d recommend a meeting with this beautiful mossy

waterfall to anyone with good mobility and a half day

to spare in the Queenstown area.

TIPS FOR SUMMER WATERFALL PHOTOGRAPHY

• Filters are not always needed so don’t be put off,

if it is cloudy and you’re in the bush you will not

need one – 1/6 second is more than enough to get

that silky effect.

• Invest in a wireless remote trigger, this will allow

you the freedom to move around while not having

to worry about a wire and bumping your camera.

• Don’t be afraid to get wet feet, a lot of the times

the best of the best compositions are in the water.

2020, 1 Day Dates:

Auckland Workshop

NZPW Tutor Ken Wright

29th Feburary, 4th July

& 24th October

Wellington Workshop

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.

www.photographyworkshops.co.nz

info@photographyworkshops.co.nz

021 0845 7322

January 2020 13


Interview with Lynn Fothergill

of Serendipity Photography

Photo by Ruth Beale

LYNN, LET US KNOW A BIT ABOUT YOU!

I have worked in education my entire working life, and

have been Deputy Principal at a primary school in

Manurewa since moving to Auckland from the Bay of

Plenty in 2006. I love my role mainly because no day

is ever the same, and I get to be around kids. My goal

is to have a positive impact on their lives, however

small that may be. I live with my two Cavalier King

Charles Spaniel fur-babies Reilly and Halo, the most

photographed dogs in South Auckland!

WHEN DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN

PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHERE HAS THAT

JOURNEY LED YOU?

I have always had a keen interest in photography,

but my journey began in earnest about ten years ago

when I purchased my first DSLR. I am a voracious

learner, and with photography this was no different; I

enrolled in a night school course to learn how to drive

it, continuing my learning through trial and error and

YouTube clips in the early days. The greatest learning

however, which has continued over time, has come

from being a member of my local camera club,

Manukau Photographic Society, entering images, and

listening to the judges’ critiques of my own and others’

images, and forming my own opinions about what

works and what does not.

One judge encouraged me to enter my photo of

three monkeys in Bali into external competitions, and it

immediately won a round of Canon Online in 2013.

That was such a confidence booster, and since then I

have continued to push myself to enter competitions,

with most successes coming from candid portraits

- mainly children - and street/travel work.

To be honest, I never think my photography is good

enough! I am hypercritical of my work and am often

surprised when other people appreciate it.

I am a bit of a recidivist studier (see learning above!)

and in 2017, after gaining my post grad and Masters

of Education, I decided to do some study for myself,

and spent the next two years working towards my

Diploma of Digital Photography through the Southern

Institute of Technology, graduating in 2018. I also was

awarded my Licentiate with the PSNZ in 2017.

Earlier this year I decided to establish a small

boutique business in response to frequent requests to

photograph kids and families. It’s a bit of a juggle with

full time work, and definitely still a work in progress!

WHY IS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU?

It spreads joy! Making photos makes me happy and

sharing them makes others happy! In particular, I get

immense pleasure from sharing with parents, photos of

their kids.

For me, photography provides not only a creative

outlet, but balance to my busy day-job life. I can get

lost at my local ponds for a couple of hours chasing the

perfect spoonbill shot, or following tui at the Botanic

Gardens. A typical way to unwind after work for me

is editing a photo or two (let’s face it, we are never

caught up on the editing!) I have also met some great

friends through photography, and it’s lead me to travel

to places I may not have otherwise ventured.

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3 MONKEYS

UBUD MONKEY FOREST, BALI

F4.5, 1/100s, ISO400

January 2020 15


WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH?

I have a Canon 5D Mkiv and my trusty old Canon 6D

Mk1 as a back-up. On my recent China trip, I actually

took them both; I know most people are trying to

travel light these days but currently, I don’t have a

lightweight option. As an all purpose travel lens, I use

my 24-105mm f4. But I also took my 70-200mm f2.8

this trip, as it is my favourite lens. This meant carrying

a lot of weight up stairs etc, but it was worth it to get

the compression on the mountains in Zhangjiajie for

example, and the cormorant fisherman shot which

is shown on the cover. I also took my 16-35mm f4 to

make sure I got those epic wide shots.

WOULD YOU SAY YOU HAVE A CERTAIN

STYLE OR GRAVITATE TOWARDS 1 GENRE OF

PHOTOGRAPHY?

I would like to say no, but when I critique my own

work I do note I favour clean, balanced images with

a strongly considered composition, and I usually tell

my story through a single subject. As far as subjects

go I definitely favour people, in a range of contexts

- travel, street, sport, event and candid. But I enjoy

a range of genre really - I love shooting birds and

wildlife, and I enjoy dog photography (portraits,

candid, action, dog shows, agility.) I play with creative

techniques from time to time, and I am just learning to

love landscape photography!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTO OF THE

CORMORANT FISHERMAN ON THE RIVER LI IN

YANGSHUO THAT FEATURES ON THE FRONT

COVER...

This was the photo I wanted to bring back from China.

I am so humbled and delighted to see it on the cover.

To give some background to the subject, the ancient

art of cormorant fishing dates back centuries. Back in

the day the fishermen would restrict the bird’s throat

to prevent them from swallowing the fish, and would

then bring the bird back to the boat to spit the fish

up. Though cormorant fishing was once a successful

industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism

industry as sadly, there is no longer a sufficient supply

of fish in the Li River.

The shot was taken at sunrise as the fisherman set

up for his day. I watched as he filled and lit his oil

lamp, donned his traditional bamboo fibre coat,

and organised his cormorants. He seemed to have

a genuine relationship with his birds, and this is what

I enjoy about this particular frame. Seeing him set

against the incredible mountains which are mimicked

by the shape of the birds definitely made this a

‘money shot’ for me.

LI RIVER FROM XIANGGONG MOUNTAIN

F4, 61s, ISO100

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RAFTMAN, LI RIVER

F6.3, 1/160s, ISO250

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO CHINA...

I started my China experience in Guangzhou,

spending three days there with a friend who works in

an International school. I found Guangzhou a really

pleasant city to be in - hot, but interesting in terms

of culture and history. This was my first experience

with Chinese markets, and I was both fascinated

and saddened by what I saw. Fascination came in

the form of weird and wonderful ingredients at the

Qingping Medicine market - dried snake, seahorses

and starfish, and live scorpions! But I was saddened by

the pet market, litters of puppies in cages, and teeny

tiny turtles painted with gaudy patterns for sale.

Interesting Things at Qingping Medicine Market

January 2020 17


SHAMIAN

F4, 1/500s, ISO100

I was taken to visit a very western looking quarter of

the city - Shamian Island. Previously it was the home

of many foreign consulates and banks. Streets are full

of churches and buildings of western architectural

design, and the largely pedestrian streets are lined

with huge, leafy trees. Scattered throughout the area

are several bronze statues, depicting life in the area,

past and present. We visited on a Sunday, a time

to see people engaged in a wide range of social

activities - tai chi, singing, practicing dances - at the

water’s edge. Shamian presents a broad view of

Guangzhou across the water but unfortunately, I only

took a 360 degree photo on my phone of this.

I then flew to Zhangjiajie to join Susan Blick on her 12

day Real China photo tour. As a woman in her 50s

who would otherwise travel alone, being part of a

specifically organized photography tour is my travel

nirvana. I’ve previously travelled to India with Susan

so I knew the absolute focus (excuse the pun) of the

China trip would be on photography and that with

Susan’s research and experience, every place we

visited would be guaranteed photography gold.

China itself is so vast that I would not have known

where to start if planning a trip there on my own.

I certainly accomplished things and ventured to

places my solo photographer self would not have

thought to do, or pushed myself to do. What I loved

about China was that every experience was one I

would not get at home. The lack of familiarity meant

every day presented you with something new to see,

photograph, and learn. Since being home I am backmapping

my experiences through my photos, and

researching places we visited in more detail.

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TELL US MORE ABOUT

SOME OF THE PLACES

YOU VISITED WITH

SUSAN...

I absolutely loved the ancient

town of Feng Huang in the

Hunan province. Central

to the town is the Tuo

Jiang River, which offers a

plethora of opportunities for

photography! Many of my

favourite shots feature the

centuries’ old stilt houses on

the river’s edge. Boats are

constantly ferrying tourists up

and down the river, several

varied bridges - and the

stepping stones - traverse the

river, all making for fantastic

photographs.

Our time in Feng Huang

was shared with a myriad

of national tourists, as it

coincided with the holidays

celebrating the 70th

anniversary of the Peoples’

Republic. Whilst this was

challenging at times in terms

of getting authentic shots,

it was also fun to watch

them dress in traditional

Miao costume for their own

photos (so many selfies!),

and provided opportunities

for some great street

photography.

We stayed in Feng Huang for

three nights, which enabled

me to revisit places at

different times of day. Some

of my preferred shots were

taken in the early morning

when I wandered by myself,

watching the town wake

up. This was when I was

able to get great shots of

the stilt houses, although

by the time I got to the

stepping stones again, they

were already heaving with

Chinese tourists. That said,

I do enjoy the images I

captured of the river being

crossed. I kept waiting for

someone to stumble and

tumble in but it did not

happen!

EARLY MORNING, FENG HUANG

F2.8, 1/250s, ISO100

UNDER THE BRIDGE, FENG HUANG

F8, 1/320s, ISO500

STEPPING STONES, FENG HUANG

F8, 1/100s, ISO160

January 2020 19


BUFFALO, FULI TOWN

F8, 1/500s, ISO400

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January 2020 21


WOMAN IN DOORWAY

OLD FULI TOWN

F4, 1/250s, ISO400

KNICK KNACK SELLER

F4, 1/1000s, ISO400

A GLIMPSE WITHIN

F4 1/200s, ISO400

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On a day tiki-touring around Yangshuo province we

visited the gorgeously authentic old Fuli Town, and here

I captured more of the type of image that I personally

love. Wandering through the streets I was drawn to the

doorways, and the glimpses of life you could see within.

Without wanting to intrude, I tried to shoot unobtrusively.

At one doorway, just as I passed, an old woman

emerged and looked up and out at the perfect time.

When I looked more closely at the image later, I loved

that I could just see a picture of Chairman Mao behind

her, and other artefacts that told me more about who

she may be.

Another character in Fuli Town was a woman selling

dusty knick knacks - to enable the photo, I bought a

‘treasure’ off her. Generally I found the Chinese people

quite unwilling to engage with the camera without some

sort of trade off which is fair enough - I’m not fond of

being photographed myself!

We also visited Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. I do

not profess to be a landscape photographer, and this

is definitely an area of continued learning for me but

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was the perfect canvas

for experimenting and honing my skills.

We visited three different areas of this massive park; Tianzi

Mountain on the first day, and Tianmenshan the next. To

get to Heaven’s Gate at the top of Tianmen mountain,

we rode the longest cable car ride in the world, looking

down on the famous 99 bend road (and trying to

photograph it from out the tiny cable car window!)

which we later bussed down on.

For me, the most spectacular views were from the

‘Avatar’ mountains as they are now often named,

having been the inspiration for the floating Hallelujah

mountains in the movie Avatar. From Wulingyuan, we

travelled to the base and ascended via the Bailong

elevator, the tallest outdoor elevator in the world, which

took us up the mountains in 2 minutes flat. It took us a lot

longer to get down, but that’s a whole other story!

The sandstone pillar like mountains that stretch for miles

are definitely ‘otherworldly’ and scream China to me.

The shot across the layered mountains was another I had

hoped to achieve, and it justified lugging the big lens.

YOU STOPPED BY HONG KONG ON THE WAY

HOME, TELL US ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE...

Hong Kong was a three day stop over, apart from an

organised bus tour of Hong Kong Island, including Aberdeen

Fishing Village, I stayed on Kowloon. Because of the limited

time I had, and the protest activity (which I had no desire

to seek out or photograph) I elected to hire a photography

guide. Through a quick internet search a couple of days

before arriving in Hong Kong, I found William Banzai who

offers cultural/historic city tours as well as photography

tours. I’d mentioned the sort of photographic experience I

wanted, and through William’s knowledge of the area, I was

taken to all the right places.

TIANZI MOUNTAIN

F8, 1/500s, ISO250

January 2020 23


24

NZPhotographer


MOUNTAIN LAYERS, ZHANGJIAJIE

NATIONAL FOREST PARK

F4.5, 1/8000s, ISO250

January 2020 25


SANDSTONE PILLAR, AVATAR MOUNTAINS,

ZHANGJIAJIE NATIONAL FOREST PARK

F10, 1/50s, ISO200

26

NZPhotographer


BAILONG ELEVATOR TO AVATAR

MOUNTAINS

F6.3, 1/400s, ISO400

January 2020 27


We firstly meandered with our cameras through two very

old local style Chinese neighbourhoods: Yaumatei and

Mongkok. Mongkok literally means crowded street corner

in Cantonese. Our walk ran parallel with Nathan Road, a

famous shopping street also known as Hong Kong’s Golden

Mile, only we stayed on the Western side which is old

residential and industrial and definitely not touristy.

William described this area as Hong Kong style “messy

urbanism;” public spaces and buildings externally modified

and adapted to uses not originally envisioned by city

planners. The area is densely packed with old tenement

buildings dating back to the early 50s, the period when

Hong Kong was inundated with refugees from Mainland

China. There are still vibrant outdoor markets, street shrines

and temples, old pawn shops, old family owned restaurants

and traditional shops as well as seedier establishments of

the night such as mahjong parlours and night clubs. We

did come across evidence of the protests, including a

shrine to a young girl recently found dead in the harbour

- supposedly suicide though rumour of being killed by the

police. But thankfully no direct protest action.

After threading our way through all manner of Hong

Kong/Cantonese Street life, we reached a quintessential

expression of Chinese culture: the Yuen Po Street Bird

Garden. Evidently, old men like to have song birds as pets.

They keep them in wonderfully ornate bamboo cages and

take them for a daily stroll to the local park or bird meet-up

place. The birds sing to each other and the good old boys

socialise and talk bird shop. There are a few ladies in the

mix, but most seem to specialise in selling the birds and a

range of bird-related accoutrements.

WHAT TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS CAN YOU

SHARE WITH US?

Allow yourself time to revisit certain spots at different times

of day, or again at a favoured time of day. I think this has

been my own short-coming, as I haven’t always been as

patient and considered as I might have been had I taken

more time in one place, so maybe this is also advice for my

future travelling self. There’s not always something better

around the next corner so best to get a great shot where

you are than a series of rushed shots on the move.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON OVER TOURISM?

Hmmm well that is an interesting one isn’t it because

as photographers we are somewhat perpetuating the

problem. We take photos of these beautiful, amazing

places which encourage others to want to visit!

In China, almost all the thousands of tourists we ‘toured’

alongside were Chinese nationals so I am not sure if that

fits the definition of over tourism as they are technically

locals themselves. My perception in China was that

the tourist dollar was very welcome, but I did often

wonder about the impact of so many people on the

environment, and was often surprised at the ease of

access to precious places that would perhaps benefit

from controlled access to preserve longevity. I guess

that is the rub worldwide.

ABERDEEN FISHING VILLAGE, HONG KONG

F8, 1/500s, ISO200

28

NZPhotographer


SHRINE TO CHAN YIN LAM, HONG KONG

F4, 1/400s, ISO125

YUEN PO BIRD GARDEN,, HONG KONG

F4 1/1600s, ISO320

January 2020 29


STREETS OF HONG KONG

F9, 1/30s, ISO200

30

NZPhotographer

HONG KONG BUILDINGS

F6,3 1/1600s, ISO500


AT EXCIO WE PROMOTE

#PHOTOGRAPHYFORGOOD – HOW WOULD

YOU SAY YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY DOES GOOD?

My ‘doing good’ is close to home. A cornerstone of

my school’s ethos is “Doing Good because Good

is Good to Do” and as our ‘unofficial official school

photographer’, I take a lot of joy out of freely sharing

with their families, the photos I take of our kids at

school events etc. Last year I created all the photos

for our new school website (gratis), did all the team

and group photos for our Yearbook, and our website

blog and Facebook page are regularly updated with

my images. It’s humbling to receive feedback from

families about how they love the photos, and that

they are joyfully shared with whanau here and around

the world… keeping families in touch with each

others’ lives in this way fills my cup!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

Top of my travel bucket list is a photography trip

to the Galapagos Islands, although that will take a

bit of saving so is a pipe dream currently. This year I

intend to explore my own backyard with a trip to the

South Island planned in conjunction with the PSNZ

convention in Christchurch.

Photography wise I have just purchased a drone, so

am looking forward to exploring my photography

from a different perspective – literally! I am also keen

to build my little side hustle business, and investigate

the possibility of a small home studio for portrait and

‘petrait’ work, and to learn more about lighting. But I’ll

not be giving up my day job any time soon - I’d miss

the kids too much and I need photography to remain

an escape, not be a necessity.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?

www.instagram.com/

serendipityphotographynz

www.facebook.com/

SerendipityPhotographybyLynn

www.serendipityphotographynz.com

albums.excio.io/profile/serendipity

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Moviemaking with a Smartphone

by Milan Maric aka Markuza

A behind the scenes look at what it takes to shoot a ‘simple’

short film with an iPhone.

Over the past 17 years, I have lived on

4 different continents and worked

for a dozen television stations,

government agencies, and independent

film productions as a producer/editor and

photographer/cinematographer. As a freelancer,

I have participated in the production of 4 featurelength

documentaries and about 50 short fiction

films.

Photography has always been my passion, long

before I enrolled in art school and got a chance

to really learn more about it. I took thousands of

photos without any instructions or formal training,

these images preserving moments for myself, my

friends, and my family and which now hold utterly

different value from any other material that I’ve

done professionally.

During the past 20 years, I’ve had 14 different

cameras from 4 different manufacturers. The

majority of my photos are done digitally, roughly

180,000 snapshots organized in 1,477 folders. Every

once in a while, I dive back into these archives and

think of the topics that I covered at the time, as

well as the evolution of the technical quality. Like

with any other work, practice makes you perfect

but passion and inspiration can give you the edge.

If we look at the statistical data, the amount of

photos uploaded every day on the internet is

overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean we should

stop creating and honing our craft. I agree that

sometimes it is intimidating to look at all the

beautiful photos on highly curated feeds and say

“I will never reach that level” but that is not the

truth, and you should always remember “it is not

the wand, it is the wizard!” – A lack of sophisticated

technology can be lightened with a good idea,

planning and a bag of tricks. This is what I would like

to talk about with you today.

January 2020 33


While working in the field, I had the privilege to see some

amazing men and women creating their visual magic.

Yes, the fancy camera will help you to create a better

image technically but it won’t do the framing or create

the idea on its own. You know what your passion is,

and once you demystify the tools and understand the

tricks, you will be able to achieve a high creative and

technical level.

DEMYSTIFYING SIMPLICITY IN PHOTOGRAPHY

AND VIDEO

In 2014, a director/friend of mine from Tristan Pope invited

me to work on the short fiction movie titled “Romance in

NY”. He wanted to shoot an entire project on an iPhone

4. My role was to record behind the scenes video, take

production stills and design lightning for the scenes. At

the time, the iPhone camera was the cutting edge of

technology, and people waited in line in front of the

store to get their hands on a new model.

For the behind the scenes shots, I used a Canon 5D mark

2. Like the iPhone 4, the flagship Canon 5D was packed

with new technology and multiple improvements over

previous model. One could ask “why didn’t you use the

new DSLR to shoot the movie”? Well, at the time, we

saw a very successful promo campaign called “shot on

iPhone”, focused mainly on the still photography. Making

movies on a smartphone was still a pretty new thing, and

we wanted a piece of that action.

The director had an idea to make the entire movie from

the point of view of a guy in love. The form factor of the

phone allowed us to position the camera right in front

of the protagonist’s eyes, mimicking the width of human

vision for close up’s and, using a small Gorilla tripod, we

secured the camera on the directors shoulders and

head. The camera position followed the movement of

the body, so the footage looked pretty natural without

any additional stabilization. For wide angle fast moving

shots we used a smartphone steady cam rig.

While reading this, remember that any photography skills

are easily applicable to moving images. The principal

rules of aperture, focal length, exposure and sensitivity

work the same way except for shutter speed.

In controlled lighting conditions, such as diffused light

and with a dynamic range of about six stops, the iPhone

footage was beautiful. With the help of third-party

software, the sensor could be pushed to seven stops

of dynamic range without any visible loss of quality or

the introduction of grain. Nevertheless, that still wasn’t

good enough for cinema-style visuals, so we had to use

additional light sources to raise the overall exposure and

balance the scene.

We also purchased a set of snap-on lenses made

for the iPhone. The set included: a wide-angle lens,

telephoto lens, and a circular polarizer filter to be able

to partly remove the reflection from glass surfaces. We

also prepared a few other pieces of equipment – In the

apartment, we used a fog machine to create a mist

resembling waking up from a dream and in the night

scene at the Brooklyn bridge park, I followed the action

with a small bi-coloured/dimmable LED light.

34

NZPhotographer


The restaurant scene was arguably the most

complicated scene and it took us a few hours to set

up and flag the lights. We had two 1K ARRI Fresnel’s,

and one 300W smaller source. Larger units helped me

to raise the overall exposure of the scene and set the

mood whilst having the spectator still believed that the

dominant illumination came from the candles on the

table.

The result was a good, short fiction film 17 minutes long

with a very organic spontaneous look. If we take into

account everything from the pre to post-production

stage, it was a very efficient ten days with a skeleton

crew of six people.

Social media giants and many influence’s on their

respected platforms are selling the idea of “simple and

easy setups, that provide miraculous results”. In reality, it is

never that simple. On this particular shoot the movie was

indeed shot on a smartphone but here is the list of extra

stuff.

1. The movie had a director and director of

photography with experience in traditional film

making. That means we prepared a storyboard in

advance and had the equipment for lighting design

necessary to improve the iPhone’s poor performance

in low light.

2. Additional crew members helped us with lighting

setups and crowd control at improvised locations.

Extra crew also included grip and make up person.

3. We had professional actors trained to read the mood

from the script and follow the directions.

4. The power of contemporary post-production

software – If your footage is exposed correctly

(no blown up highlights and no crushed shadows),

you can really make miracles in post-production.

5. Last but absolutely not least, the experience for how

to pitch and sell the project for a successful festival

run.

Another more high profile example of a movie shot on

an iPhone comes from Oscar-winning director Steven

Soderbergh who, in 2018, shot “Unisane”, an entire

feature-length movie on an iPhone. He explained that

the motivation for using a smartphone camera came

from the script itself – One of the main guidelines of

framing in cinema comes from the point of focus and

overall depth of field. If the entire shot from foreground to

background stays sharp, the gaze of the audience won’t

be guided, forcing the spectator to “look around” and

analyze the entire frame. Unisane is a story of a person

losing their mind, and by filming the footage where

spectators are struggling to find a focus, the director

implies the state of mind of the main protagonist.

A CAMERA IS A TOOL THAT SERVES THE ARTIST

To go back to the point from the beginning, if we are

able to understand the abilities of our equipment, we

can maximize the potential of what we already have. If

as an author, we are clueless about what the main plot

is, no expensive gear will solve the problem. By knowing

what we are trying to achieve in the shot, we can

utilize all the practicals and props around us and find a

creative way to substitute specialized equipment. As a

creator, you should never be intimidated by technology

or by the bragging of any “influence’s” because the

basis of the technology is not complicated to learn, and

all influence’s were once beginners just the same as you.

Watch the short film “Romance in New York” and see

behind the scenes footage at http://www.milanmaric.

com/films.html

January 2020 35


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January 2020 37


Exploring Myanmar

with Lyn Alves

I

am a female solo traveller in my late 60’s, who

enjoys wandering the world, journeying along the

‘road less travelled’, off the tourist trail. My camera

is my companion on my adventures but I haven’t

always been a solo traveller - my husband shared my

passion for travel and adventure but, sadly he passed

away so I have been traveling on my own for the last

5 years.

Looking back, photography has always been part of

who I am. It started with my first box Brownie at the

age of 9, progressing through a range of point and

shoots until my first real camera in my early 20’s, a

Zenit. My love affair with this solid Russian beauty died

when it froze on me on a mountain holiday in the

snow!!

I have been a Canon girl ever since, buying a SLR

when my husband and I backpacked around South

America way back in 1996. 16 precious films were

guarded with my life. Those were the days of placing

your films into black bags so they could ‘safely’ be

scanned by the X-ray machine at airports and not

knowing if they would be okay until being developed

on returning home. How times have changed. I

resisted buying a digital camera for as long as I could.

I couldn’t get out of my head the term ‘spray and

pray’, but have to admit my photography changed

in 2009 when we travelled across North Africa - Egypt,

Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco. We were going to do a

camel trek out into the Sahara, stay with the Bedouins

and sleep on our camel blankets under the stars so

I needed a camera that was dust and sand proof -

enter my first DSLR, the Canon 40D.

Capturing on my camera moments, scenes,

occasions and people is such a pleasure and a

privilege. It enables me to relive the journey whenever

the occasion arises. My fascination with cultures

from around the world, I’m sure, stemmed from the

National Geographic Magazine that I devoured as a

youngster – it’s a passion that I cannot get enough of.

I travel for 2 months each year and have plans for at

least the next 5 years! I’m simply one of those people

38

NZPhotographer


GOAT HERDERS OF BAGAN

F5.6, 1/1250s, ISO1250

that gets excited when opening a map and thinking

“where to next”. I am at my absolute happiest with

a pack on my back and a camera in my hand, and

welcome any new adventure that comes around the

next corner.

When I travel, I travel light - I have a backpack and

that’s it. Everything I take with me has to be carried on

my back, so camera gear is at a minimum. All I take is

a Manfrotto travel carbon fibre tripod, my Canon 80D

(I have a 5D mark IV which stays at home) and two

lenses; the Canon 24-105mm f4 L USM and the Canon

10-18mm.

Myanmar was part of my adventure last year where

I also visited Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Three

countries as different and as diverse as you could

get, but it was the extra ordinary journey into the

conflict area in the Shan Military Zone that makes my

memories of Myanmar more special.

I was travelling through this beautiful, but troubled

part of the country with a photography tour guide

and a local photographer, who, through his contacts,

had applied for and organised the safe access for us

through the Hoya Region to meet and photograph

Hill Tribe Women of the Htekho Tribe who have been

subjected to atrocities by the Burmese Army for

decades.

On our journey by car, through the hilly mountainous

country, we passed through check points the higher

we climbed. (Before the road was pushed through,

the tribe we visited, had a four day trek to get to

civilization). Opening the windows, the car was

instantly filled with the scent of fresh pine from the

forest. The undergrowth was covered in a carpet

of wild sunflowers and cardamom, the latter being

harvested by the locals in the area. The peaceful

scene belies the tension that I was feeling though -

traveling through conflict zones is not a daily thing for

me!

The village is located on a steep hillside, dry and dusty

without a blade of grass to be seen. We were met

January 2020 39


y a young 27 year old who would be our guide

and interpreter. He told us that as a 7 year old,

he had to flee into the forest with his younger

siblings when the Burmese Army came and burnt

the houses and destroyed the crops. They had to

survive for 5 days in the forest, can you imagine!

Myself and my photography tour guide were the

first Westerners the villagers had seen in nearly

3 years. They were curious yet shy. It was mainly

young Mums and the elderly women in the village

that day, as every able person was out harvesting

the vital crops located a two hour walk away, with

no vehicles or machinery to help them.

The usual raft of puppies nipped at our heels as

we wandered through the village. The houses

are all built on high stilts, totally wooden, with the

cool underneath used for storage of livestock ie

cattle and pigs, this also being the place where

they thresh the rice. All the precious grain is stored

away from the houses, also on stilts, to keep the

rodents at bay, but also to keep it away from

potential fire - The cooking is done inside the

houses in a special ‘pit’ in the floor so there can

be the accident of a house catching fire. A house

can be rebuilt but food cannot be replaced.

We observed two women who were threshing rice,

it was steaming hot, so I could understand why

it’s done under the house. They have found an

ingenious method of getting the job done quickly

and efficiently, with the added benefit of feeding

the pigs and hens at the same time.

The women were wearing their traditional

clothing, which is worn daily and often handed

down from Mother to daughter. All the tribes

have their traditional dress and their unique style

of beauty. Here it was long earrings, threaded

through plugs in the earlobes and copper coils

on the lower legs which are never taken off. One

theme that ran through the three hill tribes we

visited, was the beauty of ‘fat knees’ which the

copper coils emphasised (I thought I fitted in

well!!).

The first member of this tribe that I got to sit down

and talk to was a 74 year old widow. Her house

just had the one room with a thatched roof, open

windows with one window draped with a cloth

for a curtain. She lived in the barest of conditions,

aside from a mattress on the floor as her bed, the

only piece of furniture she had was a wooden box

that held her worldly belongings, this also doubling

up as her seat and bench.

I discovered that she had been made to move

three times in her life because of the Burmese

Army… If a husband dies (life expectancy is 58

for men and 64 for women) the widow must then

THRESHING THE RICE

F4, 1/320s, ISO500

A HTEKHO TRIBAL ELDER

F4, 1/40s, ISO3200

40

NZPhotographer


go and clear land and grow her own food. If

you don’t work, you don’t eat. Simple truth.

It was humbling to talk to this lady, a survivor,

living on her own. She had such an elegance

about her, a self-assured inner knowledge that

each day is a blessing and nothing is taken for

granted. She told us she has six grandchildren

and her only wish is that they will visit someday.

Simple needs. She could not understand why

we would want to take her photo, but was

very happy to sit on her box and let us click

away making use of the natural light coming in

through her open window.

Further up in the village we met a young

woman who was very happy to take her

basket of wood off her back, lay it down and

talk to us. She thought she was about 40 years

old, she didn’t remember which year she was

born, but she knew that she was married at

sixteen. She told us she had ten children, but

two had died – Life, death, it’s all accepted

here.

She was so open, smiling and friendly, and

happily shared a moment with her youngest

three children. Again, It was a total privilege to

be in the company of a person that has had

such an extremely hard life, but like the rest of

the village, she didn’t complain. These people

simply get on with what they have to do for

daily survival in extreme conditions, living under

the threat of the Burmese Army.

I will never forget my day there and the many

women that I met. It made me re-evaluate my

life and priorities - You cannot meet, visit, and

spend time with these incredible women and

not be affected, not be inspired to be a better

person and not accept some of the bullshit of

first world issues. I must live with purpose. I must

be thankful for every breath. I must be thankful

for every day. And I was definitely thankful

for every one of the sixteen days I spent in

Myanmar.

Yes, I did visit some of the popular sites which

made for magical photo opportunities, I

watched the net fishermen of Mandalay and

ballooned over the 1000+ temples of Bagan

which were bathed in a soft mist. I lightpainted

old fishing boats on the Irrawaddy

River and walked along the famous teak U Bein

Bridge, all at sunrise. I was mesmerised by the

‘dancing fishermen’ on Inle Lake, watched

goat herders return to their village on a wellworn

path, and saw young women with

baskets full from a day’s toil in the fields, all at

sunset.

COLLECTING THE

DAYS FUEL

F8, 1/25s, ISO125

A LIGHT MOMENT

IN A TOUGH LIFE

F4, 1/80s, ISO125

January 2020 41


BALLOONING OVER BAGAN

F4, 1/320s, ISO400

MORNING TEA BREAK, INLE LAKE

F4, 1/40s, ISO800

42

NZPhotographer


STUDY TIME

F4, 1/320s,ISO1000

I also loved my time at an ancient rundown monastery

which was totally off the beaten track - Only local

knowledge enabled me to visit here and I came

away what would become some of my most favourite

photos.

Spending time with the young novice monks and the

young children from the village that ran amok and

brought me so many freshly picked flowers created

precious moments - what an experience, to take

time to sit and talk and ask about their lives, feelings,

and aspirations. This monastery would have been so

imposing in its prime, but I just loved how it still had

an air of elegance even though the paint had faded

and the gold had lost its gloss.

Using only natural light from the windows that had

long since seen any glass, I found the paint-peeling

walls a great contrast against the bright orange

robes of the young novice monks. We spent a whole

afternoon here which enabled me to get shots with

the monks looking so relaxed – because we had spent

time getting to know them first. This is my type of travel

photography - I love to sit and chat and spend time

with the locals.

My mantra is “Travel with an open heart, a free mind,

and a big smile. Be totally in the present moment,

let go of any perceived expectations and embrace

every single second of your journey”.

instagram.com/lyn_alves_photography

twofeetandaheartbeat.squarespace.com

albums.excio.io/profile/Wanderlust

January 2020 43


The One and Only Thing That Will

Make Your Photography Better

By Ana Lyubich

The title of this article is not original - I

borrowed it from a photography forum as

it grabbed my attention! Reading that post

my hopes and expectations were quickly

dashed as the article quickly narrowed down to

the idea of ‘the only thing you need is practice’.

I couldn’t agree more, but… while practice is

very important and the more you photograph the

more you start seeing photographic opportunities

and start understanding your camera and

exploring creative angles, the only thing that will

make your photographs special and different is

connection. Let me give you an example of what

I mean.

Those of you who live in Wellington will know

that there is an event called “Tulip Sunday” that

happens every year at the Botanical Gardens.

It’s always beautiful and I have been visiting it

every year because I simply love tulips but also

because the event is a dream come true for

photographers who want to practice their skills.

Photographing the same thing every year is a

challenge at the best of times but it is an even

bigger challenge to photograph the same

flowers year after year! I have photos of tulips

taken from all angles - from the top, from the

bottom, from the sides, under, over… you know

what I’m talking about.

So this year I was a bit anxious, not knowing

how to photograph the tulips in a different way,

despite having had a lot of practice. I decided

I’d just walk around to see if I could spot a new

angle, perhaps I’d be able to get inspiration after

watching other photographers.

What I accidentally discovered not only surprised

me but has since changed the whole course of

my flower photography. In all those wonderful

beautiful flower beds full of tulips I saw it. I

saw the one. That one tulip that wasn’t like all

the others - it wasn’t super pretty, it was even

a bit out of place, but it was beautiful in all

its weirdness. I started photographing it and

I couldn’t get enough, that’s when I started

looking around for other odd or blemished

beauties and realised they are everywhere - We

just don’t tend to see them as we are blinded

by the ‘standard’ beauty and stereotypes. It has

now become my mission to find the most unique

looking flowers and show how beautiful their

uniqueness is.

Back to the topic of what will make your

photographs better. That special connection

that I now have with my ‘unique’ flowers is

an example of what I was talking about. A

photograph is just an image until you connect

with the subject on a special new-dimensional

level at which point it becomes reflected in your

images.

Technically, there will always be photographers

who are better and indeed worse than you but

we cannot and should not compare ourselves

with others. Even if you have the same camera

and accessories, are at the same place at the

same time, with the same light, you and another

photographer next to you will take photographs

that will look different. Why? Because there is a

reflection of the ‘inner you’ in each photograph

you take which is quite obvious to the viewer,

believe me.

Like fingerprints, there are no two identical

photographs. Photography taps into your heart

and the better understanding of yourself and

what you are trying to photograph and achieve

with your shots, the better photographer you will

become (note that I didn’t say ‘the better your

photography will become’!).

Many of us have made new year resolutions

so if photography is on that list for you, forget

about comparing yourself to others, forget about

influencers and think first of what you want to

photograph, how you can do that, and then try

to capture and create something unique.

Even though a photographer consciously

photographs an object or landscape or anything

else, in the end, it is always his or her personality

that creates the interpretation that gives each

image its individual power. And only as a result

of that, does a photograph resonate with the

viewer.

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January 2020 45


What Are You Photographing?

Deeper thinking about the true subject of your photograph.

by Richard Young

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MOUNTAIN LIGHT, TASMAN GLACIER

F11, 1/1250s, ISO400

January 2020 47


Often while immersed in capturing a stunning

landscape, bathed in beautiful warm light

at sunset, a passer-by will stop to talk to me.

The first and more than likely only question will

typically be; “what are you photographing?” As if there

is something that they are missing looking out over the

same fantastic vista in front of them. It is a question that

annoys me at times, partly because of being interrupted

from the moment I’m in, but also because it seems they

feel that this beautiful landscape is not worthy enough to

make a good photograph on its own. I could, and often

have replied to them with “this beautiful landscape, isn’t

it stunning?” They will generally seem a little disappointed

by this answer, as if they were expecting something else,

perhaps some exciting wildlife.

But in reality, it’s a very worthy question. Yes, I am

standing in front of this stunning landscape, but what part

of it is my subject? What is the story I wish to tell about

this landscape? If I point my camera towards this grand

vista without considering this, I am going to record the

scene without any personal or artistic interpretation. As

a photographic artist, it is my job, not just to capture this

landscape but to add my visual interpretation to it and

tell a story in my work. Sometimes it is also what we leave

out of a photograph that can help define our subject. A

painter has the luxury to choose what to include in their

painting, as a photographer, we often need to decide

what does not add to the image and how we can leave

this out. Deciding what to leave out of a photograph is

often harder than it sounds, especially when faced with

an amazing vista as it is all too easy to include everything.

I think there are three crucial elements that make up

any successful landscape photograph; subject, light,

and composition. Just shooting some beautiful light (e. g.

a fantastic sunset) is not enough on it own to make a

great image. If we start to break down the landscape in

front of us, we might wish to capture all of it, but which

part of it is most interesting? What part of this grand vista

should our subject be? Once we have made this choice,

we can then decide how to compose the photograph

to make this subject clear to the viewer. We can also

PINK BOULDER, LAKE OAHU

F11, 4s, ISO64

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FROSTY TUSSOCK, TASMAN RIVER

F11, 6s, ISO64

determine what other parts of the landscape will add to

the picture, and what will only be a distraction.

While teaching on workshops, when I ask a student what

they are photographing I will often get a reply like “that

interesting little rock on the side of the lake” – the rock

they are standing 10 meters away from with an ultra-wideangle

lens on their camera. While that rock is a great

subject, it will be lost in their final photograph, due to their

current composition. With their distance from the rock and

lens choice, the rock might only represent about 5% of the

image area in the photograph. Therefore, it’s important to

decide what our subject is before we set up our tripod, this

will then inform our decisions of which lens is best to use

and where best to capture the subject from.

If they had started with deciding this rock was to be

the main subject of their photograph, they could have

moved closer to it, made it larger and more defined within

the surrounding landscape. Or they could have selected

a longer telephoto lens to zoom in on the rock and isolate

it from the rest of the landscape. Both of those choices

would allow it to be a more significant part of the end

photograph and define it as a subject to the viewer.

Hopefully, the subject, (“what I am photographing?”)

in the pictures with this article, are clear. For the image

looking out across lake Ohau, it is the foreground rock

on the side of the lake, I framed this with the distant

mountains and soft light behind. The photograph looking

up the Tasman River at Mt Cook is about the lovely texture

of the frost-covered tussock against the soft swirl of the

river pool. I framed Mt Cook in the background, but this

is to give a sense of location, not as the subject of the

picture.

So the next time I am out photographing a beautiful

sunset at one of my favourite landscapes, will I be any

less annoyed when a passer-by stops to ask “what are

you photographing?” Probably not! If I replied to them

that I am photographing this little rock on the side of the

lake, instead of this beautiful landscape, do you think they

would be less disappointed with my answer? Probably

not! They might even reply with; I thought you might have

been photographing the sunset!


Photographing My Way Home

I

recently came full circle with my photography,

whilst making an image of a lavender flower head.

It was a beautiful moment to be out in Wellington

Botanical Gardens on a sunny day capturing the

photo and remembering that this was how it all

started.

You see, it was seeing a photo of a flower with a

shallow depth of field in a magazine as a young teen

that launched my interest in photography. The beauty

of the flower must have dazzled me and I wanted to

know how the photographer had achieved the blurry

background so that the flower stood out so naturally

like that. It wasn’t until 2006 when I was gifted a DSLR

from my family and took a career break from ICT

teaching that I started to figure it out. And now with

years of learning and unlearning, I’m able to give

myself complete permission to experience wonder

and photograph flowers just for the sheer meditative

by Natalie Clarke

joy of walking the gardens barefoot and enjoying

pretty things!

My journey with photography has led me to many

places – across the globe and deep into my inner

world – and ultimately to a place of being, which I

feel Denis O’Connor encapsulates in his Rudderstone

sculpture, which I also projected through my

photography that day.

“To walk through Rudderstone engages the body in a

metaphor for the journey that the New World we live in

challenges us to take; the transition from old to new.”

Denis O’Connor

I feel my photography practice is taking on a life of

its own as I settle into life here in New Zealand – cue

cliché shots of ferns unfurling! I’ve been making the

transition from London to Wellington over the last two

and half years – I feel the most at home I’ve ever

been and the Botanical Gardens is part of that and it

has become my favourite playground.

JUST BE!

F5.6, 1/320s, ISO400

A NATURAL BEAUTY

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F5.6, 1/160s, ISO200


LIGHT ON KORU

F4, 1/80s, ISO100

I love my time in the Gardens, being nurtured and

inspired by nature. Having recently moved into a

house right next door, I’ve swapped my daily coffee

habit for a more healthier and active morning ritual

of being out amongst the trees and flowers! Some

days I take my camera, mostly my iPhone, but as

collaborators back in the UK taught me, valuing

the experience of life ahead of the photo is more

important. A challenge indeed when photographing

for work and someone is paying you to document

their event that you would really just like to be a

participant in!

Photography has been an on-and-off love affair

in my life for over 13 years now, and it’s been an

incredible vehicle for self-development with others in

all areas of life. It has allowed me to grow holistically

as a person – creatively, emotionally, spiritually and

entrepreneurially. Through a whole load of teaching

photography projects and personal photographic

pilgrimages (as I now call them) I’ve transformed

some of my deeper struggles with depression and

stress. I’ve found a natural home in the contemplative

style of photography and as a form of creative

meditation which I was introduced to in Scotland

whilst on Buddhist retreats.

Photography has also guided me on the pathway

to a whole new adventure into my calling as

an independent personal and project change

consultant. In 2018 I completed five years of rigorous,

therapeutic training as a professional certified coach.

I often thought my photography days were over

during this time but it wouldn’t go away and refined

as a spiritual practice for me. I’m now enjoying

playing more with the symbolism, metaphors and ritual

nature of photography. This has come out of building

on some powerful human change technology called

Clean Language developed in the 1980s by David

Grove, a late New Zealander. My own integrated

approach to deep inner change work incorporating

Clean and photography is of course called

‘Clean-ography’!

As I settle and make my creative routines here, my

aim is to make a long-standing wish come true by

becoming a dawn photographer - being able to

rise early for the blue and golden hours and capture

Wellington at her best. I’m also now focusing on

writing up and sharing my photographic and

coaching experiences through my groups such as

the Coach with the Camera monthly peer-mentoring

event at Thistle Hall. It’s taken me a long time to

feel confident in my photographic ability and find

my approach and voice, so I’m looking forward to

bringing the photo stories alive as lessons in trusting

the process and as a thank you to the power of

photography as a truly creative medium.

January 2020 51


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For me, photography is so much more than

taking images or judging how good a photo is.

As a photographer it’s about having a loving,

mindful state of presence and more broadly,

a way of life that’s about noticing, witnessing

and honouring. For some, photography is an

expressive vehicle for coming home to one’s own

true nature. I personally feel very happy to have

seen that flower in the magazine that captured

my imagination many years ago! As Saul Leiter

simply put it, “I don’t have a philosophy, I have a

camera.”

www.instagram.com/coachwiththecamera

www.facebook.com/coachwiththecamera

www.coachwiththecamera.co.nz

albums.excio.io/profile/cwtc

HOME IS RED

F4, 1/640s, ISO200

January 2020 53


Photography

Unleashed

PHOTO COMPETITION

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

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THE GALLERY IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

PORTFOLIO

BEST READERS' SUBMISSIONS THIS MONTH

January 2020 55


HEAVENLY BEINGS

F5.6, 1/400s 140mm

This image was taken on Mirissa beach

in Sri Lanka. I was standing at a distance

watching the sunset when this man went into

the water. It lined up like magic.

Ainsley Duyvestyn-Smith

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VILLAGE

FUN

F11, 1/500s, ISO320

These children were

captured playing in

the village street of a

small village called

Alberabello in Bari,

Italy. The area is noted

for the special design

houses called Trulli The

style can be seen in

the photograph with

the round peaked roof

and the white washed

walls..

Don McLeod

January 2020 57


HAVANA FOOTBALL CLUB

F1.8, 1/1000s

Walking around in Havana, Cuba I came across

this group of children playing football on the street.

Oblivious to their surroundings, I decided to stop

and watch for a while, and in the process caught

some wonderful moments of kids being kids.

Ainsley Duyvestyn-Smith

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January 2020 59


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SUN UMBRELLAS

Amalfi Italy

Alistair Boyd

January 2020 61


TRANQUILITY

This was the sunrise from our little jetty

outside our room on our last day in Bacalar,

Quintana Roo, Mexico. One of the most

beautiful peaceful places we've stayed at.

Taken on my Samsung s7 edge camera.

Allie Sharp

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January 2020 63


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FLINDERS STREET

F9, 1/300s, ISO3200

A busy station, Flinders Street in

Melbourne. Watching the people go

by, walking and talking.

Ann Kilpatrick

January 2020 65


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WHAT'S MISSING

F9, 1/320s, ISO250

Street scene in Melbourne, Australia, these guys

must have been very warm on a hot sunny day.

Ann Kilpatrick

January 2020 67


FLYING OVER THE KIMBERLEYS

F9, 1/640s, ISO200, 14mm

Three couples rented three 4-wheel drive vehicles and headed out into the outback.

One of our excursions was to take a seaplane trip out to the Horizontal Falls. As the

plane was pretty cramped, and I didn't know how wet we would get on the jet boat

through the falls themselves, I left my main camera behind. This was shot with my

mirrorless camera from the seaplane. I was pretty happy with the results.

Carole Garside

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"EVERYONE LOVES CUBA"

Each time I return to Cuba the colour fades. Buildings are being destroyed by

storms and lack of maintenance. Tourism is decreasing, food is in short supply,

pharmaceuticals are desperately needed. The struggles for the people on the street

is becoming desperate. But the joie de vivre is still evident despite the despair for so

many. This photo was taken on the Malecon (sea boulevard) in the capital city, Havana

in 2015. Upon our return last year we discovered many of these buildings had collapsed

in September 2017 due to Hurricane Irma.

Liz Cadogan

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AL HAMALI

F5.6, 1/100s, ISO200

The Porters in the traditional markets in Qatar.

Maria Ligaya Bumanglag


BADWATER BASIN

F16, 1/60s

3 shot panorama of the salt flats of Death

Valley National Park, Las Vegas.

Nee Christopher Lagria

January 2020 73


MARDIN: THE SHINING CITY OF

MESOPOTAMIA

F6.3, 1/200s, ISO400

Located in Southeastern Turkey, Mardin is an enchanting city demonstrating a

cultural wealth and architectural heritage passed down through thousands of

years. It is considered to be one of the most unexplored places in Turkey. Stone

dwellings cascade down the hillside above the Mesopotamian plains, minarets

emerge from a baked brown maze of rambling lanes, a castle dominates the

old city, the golden stone houses, masterfully and elegantly built on the steep

slopes, achieve an extraordinary harmony between climate, geography, and

architecture, revealing the city to be an architectural treasure chest.

Maria Ligaya Bumanglag

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RELAXING ON THE GALAPAGOS

F13, 1/180s, ISO200

We stopped on the island of Fernandina

and the wildlife was so tame.

Mark Davey

January 2020 77


BADLANDS

F16, 1/60s

When travelling to Las Vegas, a lot of people often opt to stay in Vegas and enjoy the casinos, the nightlife,

the food, etc except for me. I travelled alone to Death Valley National park, a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas

while my family and friends were enjoying Vegas life. I didn't regret my decision because I got to see the salt

flats of Death Valley National Park.

Nee Christopher Lagria

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COMING IN FOR LANDING

There is something I just love about a Pelican coming in

to land. The way they use their wings. I always head to

the Charis Seafood market when I'm on the Gold Coast

Australia to watch this daily ritual. Sometimes up to 70

Pelicans arrive for a daily feeding.

Paula Vigus

January 2020 81


HIMALAYAN PRAYER

The Kanchenjunga massif (8,586m - third highest on earth), viewed at dawn

through prayer wheels at Pelling (2,083m) in Sikkim. This is a most sought

after travel destination due to the wonderful line of sight to Kanchenjunga,

closer than the more widely seen view from nearby Darjeeling.

Peter Laurenson

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January 2020 83


REFLECTED ANTS

In August 1997, before terrorism had really impacted tourist movements in northern Pakistan,

I hired a guide and porters to complete a route in Baltistan to K2 base camp, then over

Gondogoro La, back to Hushe. I had reached Gondogoro La from the Hushe side 5 years

earlier. Here my porters (the 'A Team') are reflected in Daltsampa Lake. Trekking in this less

populated region is a more remote experience than in nearby Nepal. Well worn trails dotted

with tea houses are replaced by vast deserted glaciers.

Peter Laurenson

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EXPLORING ON ORKNEY

F10, 1/250s, ISO400, 55mm

Travel and holidays are all about exploring new

places. After exploring Marwick Head we headed

back to the car while taking in the view of typical

Orkney landscape.

Peter Maiden

January 2020 87


SUNSET ON THE CHOBE RIVER, BOTSWANA

We were on a safari in Botswana and stopped to enjoy the sunset. The dust in the air

created the most amazing sunsets and as we watched the buffalo came wading

across. It was wind still and quiet. The photo captured what it looked like.

Rudolph Kotze

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January 2020 89


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MYSTICAL MOUNT

NGAURUHOE

Spent a weekend in Tongariro National Park

and on the way back from a great walk

to the lakes, the sun started to set and the

mountain just looked great.

Rudolph Kotze

January 2020 91


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DAYS END

F8, 1/20s, ISO200, 55mm

The last of the sun at Maori bay, Muriwai

Ruth Boere

January 2020 93


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NEW LIGHT, NEW DAY

F5.6, 1/400s 140mm

I'm lucky enough to be able to call this my

local beach. No matter what is going on in

my life, if I rise early enough to watch the

sunrise here, I always come away with new

energy. Sunrises provide so much hope.

Sarah K Smith

January 2020 95


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SUNSET MAORI BAY

F 7.1, 1/20s, ISO100

Sunsets on Auckland's west coast never

fail to deliver. There is always mood and

intensity regardless of the time of year.

Simon Wills

January 2020 97


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CASTLEPOINT

F5.6, 1/400s,140mm

I took a series of photos which I stitched together to

create a panorama of Castlepoint.

Tanya Rowe

January 2020 99


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SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE AND

THE ICONIC HARBOUR FERRIES

While the Opera House and bridge will stand as the most recognised

images of Sydney, the ferries and a true icon of this vibrant city.

William McPhail

January 2020 101


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SYDNEY SUNSET

Capturing the quieter, more relaxed

side of Sydney as the sun set.

William McPhail

January 2020 103


"IT'S NOT WHAT YOU LOOK AT THAT

MATTERS. IT'S WHAT YOU SEE.”

HENRY DAVID THOREAU

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