Tag Archives: New Zealand

Beautiful Waiheke – Part 1

Waiheke Island is a beautiful part of the world. In April I was fortunate to be the photographer for Mark & Manon’s wedding. Apart from attending and capturing the event, I was able to spend extra time exploring and photographing this wonderful place. It included a fishing trip with Cliff Fishing for Snapper with soft plastics.

This series of images are the more “colourful” ones, I am working on a more subtle series 🙂


Alien Cloudscape



Brilliant Sunrise


A brilliant sunrise – panorama



Sunrise towards Coromandels


Auckland on Fire

Auckland on Fire



Full Moon Setting 


#Landscape #Waiheke #NewZealand

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When Is Too Much Not Enough? – Part 2

My previous post certainly focused on the colourful side of Autumn in New Zealand. Some of the images are quite surreal, but that is precisely the feeling I got when was capturing them. Also, a slightly slower shutter speed and the wind moving leaves gives the images a “painterly” look which I like very much. In Part 2 this folio of images have a much subtle use of colour. I am particularly happy with the tree images as the fine detail have a texture that looks like brush strokes.

The water texture is gorgeous & the single leaf lets you assume it is autumn

A black and white image with tiny splashes of colour

I love the patch of colour and the back-lit trees

These trees almost look like feathers

Dead trees contrast against the rugged hills

The trees look like beautiful brush strokes

Receding layers of different trees creates a wonderful depth

Soft light through branches creates a brush-stroke appearance








When Is Too Much Not Enough? – Part 1

Autumn in New Zealand is certainly in full swing. The riot of colours in many of the old gold mining areas is simply amazing. The range of photo opportunities is endless and range from wide panoramas down to a single leaf. I really enjoyed seeing complete hillsides covered in colour. The images show my attraction the colours. I guess there is always a choice, but for me I loved the vibrant palette so emphasised the colours. It was a case when too much was not enough!

Autumn Panorama – 10 x image stitch

Autumn Panorama – detail

The Arrow River winds past a riot of colour

A slow shutter speed and wide angle lens makes the water appear silky against the gold background

The overhanging autumn canopy provides the surreal glow

The autumn colours make the willow appear it is on fire

A trio of leaves contrasts against a dark trunk







NZ Snapper

At Easter I was on Waiheke Island (just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand) to shoot my mates wedding. Mark had organised me to stay at Villa Pacifica. Cliff and Gaye are wonderful hosts. Cliff is a photographer and fisherman, so we hit it off immediately! He generously offered to take me snapper fishing. So naturally I assumed deep-sea fishing miles off-shore. However, I was completely wrong as we fished between 100-200m off the rocks in less than 10m of water.

In fact often he fishes from his kayak and when the tide cover the cockle beds will catch large snapper in about 1m of water!

Cliffs technique is to jig soft plastics with light gear across the rocky bottom. The snapper are not shy in taking the jigs and certainly a lot of fun to catch.

If you are planning a stay on Waiheke Island I can highly recommend Villa Pacifica.

Cliff holding an nice snapper caught on soft plastic jigs

Cliff holding a average size snapper

Mark holding his personal best snapper

A fine catch

Cliff prepares a snapper fillet

Snapper fillets






Mark and Manon

I was thrilled to be the photographer for Mark and Manon’s wedding at Mudbrick Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand. The whole day was about family, friends, food and wine. Mark and Manon told me it would be a low-stress chilled affair, and indeed this was the case. After the ceremony guests were treated by a special cultural show which included traditional island songs and dances. The light was very bright and challenging during the ceremony, but the sunset afterglow on the wispy clouds was fantastic (if not all too brief).

The Bridesmaids & the Flowergirl

Beautiful Bride & Flowergirl

Just Married

Mudbrick Vineyard

Local Maori dance performance

Local Maori performing the Haka

Enjoying the dance performance

Mark & Manon Wedding Dance








Rule #1 of Photography

We all have heard various rules of photography such as don’t shoot into the sun, compose on the thirds, watch for distracting background elements etc. However, I think the first rule of photography should be :


After fishing rivers around the Lake Taupo district, my mate Roy and myself stayed a couple of extra days to explore around Rotorua.  During the day we checked out various tourist spots. The distinctive Hydrogen Sulpide smell certainly takes a bit to get used to. However the geothermal activity is just astounding!! Apart from the tourist spots where you can see geysers, bubbling mud and multi-coloured pools there are so many spots around Rotorua where the lake edge is bubbling and steam is venting in parks and even out of the gutter where roadworks are being carried out!

At night we tried our luck for trout in Lake Rotorua. It is reported that the lake has one of the highest populations of trout in New Zealand. Apparently in summer the water temperature often gets to warm for the trout so they seek respite in the cooler currents of spring-fed streams that empty into the lake. Advice from the local tackle store said that you would need to wade out some 100-200m from shore. Even here the fish are able to take advantage of the subtle temperature changes. I thought that carrying a backpack that far out into the water then trying to wrestle with a rod a camera and a flash would be a recipe for disaster…

As we left the unit at the caravan park I joke to Roy about leaving the camera behind would almost guarantee that we would catch a big fish. When we arrived at the stream mouth there were about half a dozen other locals, all lined up fishing a largish pool that marked the junction of the stream and the lake. There were also considerable numbers of sizable fish jumping, just to add to the excitement.

It certainly is a different fly fishing experience to cast smelt (baitfish) patterns in the dark. After losing a few fish Roy lands a very respectable brown. I am not sure why, but I keep losing fish by snapping my leader. Each time you curse because you have snagged the bottom, but then the bottom suddenly takes off. These are very hefty fish indeed!

Finally I stay connect to a very solid fish. Roy tells me to hurry up and land it, but at this point it is still stripping line off at an alarming rate. A local offers to help land the fish, as neither of us has a net. The fish is huge and almost does not fit in the net. In old terms it is 12lb – a double-figure fish. Generally a fish this big is regarded as  a “trophy fish” and you get it taxidermied and hang it on your wall. However, I have no intention of killing such a fine fish and the only thing I would like to hang on my wall is a great photo.

Dang – No DSLR!

Luckily I have my iPhone, so at least a get a “record” shot, but not a great shot.

We end up having a brilliant session, with several monsters lost and some “smaller” 4lbers landed

Ah well – I guess next time I will have my good camera with me…

Mark’s personal best – a 12lb brown trout

Roy’s 7lb brown trout