Almost Weekly Photo

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Early morning, Phobjikha Valley overview, BhutanPhase One XF 150MP, 110mm…

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Water gums from Paul Curtis's book, The Heritage of Trees.…

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Tree in Mist, Above Sofala, NSWCambo Actus-DB2, Phase One IQ4…

We spend a lot of time and money travelling as photographers and perhaps the strangest trips are by Australians flying over New Zealand.

I confess I travelled to Europe, Africa and South America before I stepped foot in New Zealand, and then it was to go skiing, but once I'd sampled the delights of the South Island especially, you can hardly keep me away. Iceland is great, Patagonia is amazing, but New Zealand really has it all and the ice cream and chocolate are great too!

I thought I'd post a few photographs taken from our last Middlehurst art photography workshop. A couple of the aerials are down at Cape Campbell, on the north western tip of the South Island. You can see how the earthquake raised the rock shelf in places a year or so ago. And it was pretty windy when we flew, but when you're over the ocean, strong wind isn't such a problem as it's completely flat below, whereas when you're flying over hilly land, you can find the trip a little bumpy. Keep your shutter speeds up high and all will be well.

Near Cape Campbell

Vineyard patterns, down the valley from Middlehurst.

Middlehurst Station

I confess I generally like aerials without the sky. When you include the sky, as in the overview of Middlehurst above, it becomes more of a record shot. And that's fine. What's not to like about a view like that?

On the other hand, when the sky is omitted, the resulting photographs can be more abstract in nature and I think this gives them more impact. Of course, as aerials become increasingly popular, especially with drones, we're all going to have to re-think our approach to aerials photography if we want to stay ahead of the pack!

Tony Hewitt and I have two photo tour/workshops in New Zealand next year if you're interested. One at Middlehurst again, the second an exploration of nearby D'Urville Island and also Cape Campbell where we'll be staying in the lighthouse buildings. Check it out on the Better Photography website!

The Middlehurst trip has now sold out, but just in case we have any cancellations we can put you on the wait list or we are taking expressions of interest for our trip in 2020.  Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Okay, so it's true - the book's not published until February, but we can give you a Gift Certificate so you have something to hand over on Christmas Day. And then there's a second surprise in February when the book arrives in the post, signed by Peter.

So, what's the book again? It's The New Tradition. This is an exquisitely lavish print production, 272 pages, 300 mm square, hard cover, french fold jacket, all pages laminated. It is beautiful!!!

And the content is pretty amazing too, even if the editor doesn't say so himself! One hundred beautifully reproduced photographs accompanied by processing steps, behind-the-scenes photos, techniques and tall stories. 

It's a book for the photographer in your life. Or perhaps it's for you!

As the book is currently at the printer, it's being offered for $95 including postage (within Australia, $145 outside Australia), but once it is printed, the price will be $120 plus postage and packaging. So by helping us out with the print cost now, we're helping you to a substantial discount.

Interested? For more information, see the website. And why not purchase a book and print package while you're there? For $295, it's an amazing offer with an original Peter Eastway signed print.

Click here for the website page:

One of the many locations in the world that I struggle with (photographically) is the Grand Canyon. I remember before I had visited there the first time, someone told me I would be blown away by the scale. I was sure I would be, because everyone says how big it is, but there are big places in Australia, too.

Yet, knowing all this and thinking I was prepared for 'big space', when I first stepped out of the rental car and looked over the edge, I couldn't help myself, exclaiming "F*%# me, that's huge!!"

Now, I realise you will be utterly shocked to learn that I swear. My parents taught me proper, especially in public. On the other hand, if you have already visited the Grand Canyon, you're probably smiling and remembering your own first encounter with 'big space'.

Yet despite the Grand Canyon being so grand, I struggle to get great shots. Sure, I can take panoramas and overviews, but often there is so much haze that the photos struggle to look impressive. In the photo books you find in the souvenir shops, you see that this style of photograph works best when there's a weather system pushing through. And I guess the more times you go, the greater the chances of finding interesting light.

If the weather isn't cooperating (photographically), then early mornings and late evenings provide me with the best opportunities. If there's direct sunlight, it can be a struggle to deal with the high contrast: deep shadows inside the canyon versus the bright sky above. Before sunrise and after sunset, the light softens out and this is when the above photo was taken. There's also a bit of a colour cast in the file - from memory there was a little cloud over the horizon where the sun was rising - and I've chosen to keep the colour in the final image.

I've also used a telephoto. While everyone should take a grand view and a panorama, if you're looking for images with impact, then I think a telephoto allows you to concentrate on small sections of the Canyon. And there is no shortage of opportunities as you drive along the rim road.

This photo was taken earlier this year on a photo tour with Tony Hewitt, travelling from San Fran to Las Vegas. We're going again next February and there is just one seat left in our luxury van, so if you're interested, check out the website here.

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