Running workshops certainly doesn’t leave much room for personal creativity, so after a big year I was incredibly eager to escape the crowds and familiar places in exchange for somewhere off the grid. Last month I pursued this desire and spent some time solo in the remote wilderness of New Zealand, after gazing at maps for months. I didn’t want to over think the trip or have any pre conceived photographic ideas, but instead just let the place speak to me.
Reaching my destination, it was overwhelming how exceedingly beautiful and ‘raw’ the area was, much more rugged and lush than I could have predicted. Although this did indeed inhibit some of my planned routes (due to intensely thick beech forest), I found it humbling and an avenue that led me to explore other compositional possibilities, which was just what I was after. This image was captured on my first sunrise here as I attempted to climb one of the smaller peaks. My progress was slowed by clambering up boulders through waist, to chest-high scrub (something I had certainly not planned for). In typical Fiordland fashion, rain began to move in from the south west so I swallowed my pride and headed back down before I was engulfed in rain cloud for several hours.

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