Ever since I started to photograph seriously, New Zealand has been the largest gap in my portfolio that I thought I'd never fill. Just too far away; too uncomfortable and mind-numbingly boring a journey. But then an opportunity emerged that cut into some of these objections and we grasped it with enthusiasm. And so began a year or more of careful planning and organising leading up to our departure for a month's tour in March 2016. We'd settled on just a short time on North Island and almost three weeks to circumnavigate the South Island- not an unusual decision for a photographer I imagine.
It took me a few days to work out that I'd been carrying a few misconceptions. I'd thought that NZ would be one huge photography paradise, photographing every day in massive volumes and so on. Well it wasn't like that . First because whilst there are unique and beautiful subjects for photography the whole Island is not like that and the time and distance between special subjects is often considerable. Second because many of those subjects are distinctly season and conditions dependent. We researched and thought we were going in autumn. What we found was in large measure the end of a long hot, dry summer, with a lot of blue sky and very little rain. Some days I scarcely photographed and in total I made perhaps half of the images I'd expected. But eventually you have to start thinking about what you have got, not what you haven't; and what you can do not what you can't.
In some places I was downright lucky - clouds over the mountains at both Doubtful and Milford Sounds. Great conditions and the tides just right at Moeraki. The atmospherics around Queenstown and Glenorchy. Finding places like Lake Ohau that had evaded my research. And the realisation in the weeks after return that I'd got plenty of photographs that pleased me, and different from other photographs I've made. I doubt whether I'll get back there, but I know that I took good advantage of what I saw, and I'm delighted to have made the trip.