Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our first decent winter storm arrives on our landscape

There has been much "a do" about the current weather, but what's different for this time of year!? "Not much" I say! We get a snow storm or two from a depression heading for Milford Sound, and the media, it being cheap news, make much "a do" about it! Consequently the public, rather than learning how to cope simply seem to over-react. The messages on road reports are pervasive, but it seems to be forgotten that by the time they reach an audience the messages are already often out-of-date. I guess then the good news is that should you travel, you'll be safely alone! By this I mean, with a good vehicle, chains, a dose of common sense, good clothing, food and sleeping bag, there is not much to fear apart from the ill advised "antics" of others.

This was the view last Friday evening just before the weather worsened on Lake Wanaka..

OK, the past many weeks the theme on this blog has been New Zealand landscape photography. I started on this significant part of my life, way before blogs, as a boy with a folding Kodak B. and W. folding camera, complete with bellows etc. I then began wandering about in my "landscapes". Forty years later not much has changed here either! I still do so much "solo". This is my way, and apart from personal preferences it does ensure an unhurried approach to composition. But there is something missing with regard to solo wanderings in our amazing New Zealand landscape, and that is, when something stunning is "on view" then it's rather meaningless in one sense when you cannot share it with others! This maybe the most compelling reason I take landscape photos and it's coupled with a desire to enhance awareness of how our raw environment can affect us, and simply because we know it's there, can give us a little something extra in our daily lives to "ground" us.

Most of the current snow that was about fell south of Wanaka or to the east, however on Sat. Roger and I did a sortie to see what was on offer "light" wise, and we found ourselves at West Wanaka at the mouth of the Matukituki river...

Since my last post I've been doing some "Ansell Adams" reading, and he's said that landscape photography is the most demanding discipline of all. This surprised me, coming from one so "acknowledged' in this field, but it also has to be said that to create competent works is a lot easier when you understand your subject, and this includes in all seasons, to the point that nothing "phases" you be it deep snow, sub zero temps., searing shimmering heat, or high winds.

The Matukituki river with the mountains just to the east of Treble Cone in the background...

My son Dougal has totally grown up in this landscape, whereas I was a bit more urban when I was age nine, when he wrote this thoughtful work...


The melody of the chirping song birds surrounds me
Along with a sweet warm breeze.
A glassy dew tickles my feet
as I sit here
taking in everything around me.
By Dougal

It therefore maybe no accident that when he does pick up a camera he takes shots like this one taken from the bow of the yacht Elwing in Acheron Passage, Dusky Sound in 2005, his composition can be stunning...

... and on this note, we're both off next weekend on another "Elwing" adventure to Preservation and Chalky Inlets [near Puysegur Point] in Fiordland. You can see lots of my shots here in this web site I built for them... more >>
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