On both a professional and personal level, the past 12 months has been engaging, challenging and rewarding, all of which I’m grateful for. Running workshops across several countries and locations as well as being a husband, father and son has left little room for sitting idle (which is probably how I work best). I’ve been very fortunate to have shared many memorable moments alongside fabulous people on my tours as well as continuing some work with Tourism clients and brands along the way.
This year, I probably shot the least amount of photo’s since picking up a camera, however I feel that the time I made to create for myself has revealed a development and growth in my art. I’ve certainly become more critical about the images I make and share, resulting in some time spent alone in the wilderness to pursue the unknown, as well as extra effort being made to look at familiar locations (and the world) a little differently.
Looking ahead, the calendar for 2017 is near complete, with 90% of my workshop positions full and also the expectant arrival of my daughter in February. As my love for photography and the joy it brings burns brighter than ever before, I also hope to be able to further explore my passion for the wilderness as well as continually evolve and grow as a landscape photographer.
Having some time to breathe, I’ve managed to finally process a back log of images that I’ve captured the second half of this year. I’ve purposely taken my time on these because they are all images that mean something to me personally and I also feel are some of my best. Below are just some of my favourites from my new collection, along with a few short descriptions of each. I feel these are the types of images that come the closest to capturing the work I wish to continue to create, a moment in time that was not just visually pleasing but also that made me feel something inside. Along with these, I’ve also added some personal favourites from the year.
To view all of my latest work, please visit my ‘new work’ gallery page here.
Captured during my ‘Ultimate New Zealand’ workshop in September, the face of Mitre Peak briefly emerges from the ever-so-familiar cloud in one of earths wettest locations, Milford Sound New Zealand.
After looking at maps for months, I decided on this remote lake and surrounding mountains in the wilderness of New Zealand for a solo exhibition. Just a few hours before being dropped into the area by chopper, I had to make the tough decision to bring my pick up date forward due to a newly developing low front that was coming in from the south, bringing with it a week of solid rain. Although slightly discouraged, I was optimistic about the upcoming days and the unforeseen opportunities that still awaited. Completely alone and many, many miles from civilisation, I immediately felt a deep connection with the land around me unlike ever before. Upon being dropped off, as the hum of the chopper finally faded, I was greeted by the sound of water diving from a nearby mountain. No map could have prepared me for how pristine and rugged the area was, something that certainly made traversing more difficult yet equally rewarding. Being here, I was finally able to put aside any prior ideas and just let the place speak to me and see where I was led.
Coming across this small river, I decided to follow it in the hopes of it opening up toward the mountains. The surrounding marsh was wet and muddy but finally after a couple of kilometres I made it to some higher ground where I was greeted to a grand view that literally stopped me in my tracks. It was here, beside the flowing water that I set up camp. I knew this time of year the sun was aligned between the mountains but of course the cloud cover would determine if I would see any light at all. On my final night the sunset was greyed out and it rained through the night. I had envisioned this shot in my mind and it truly was the one type of image I’d hoped to take away from here. Needless to say, I was at the mercy of the elements. as always. The following morning I’ll never forget those first few moments shortly after awakening, peering from my tent and seeing the faintest of openings far out on the horizon. I knew what was about to unfold. I’ve never had an experience like this but it’s changed me and my love and respect for wilderness and the preservation of these areas. This is the direction my work will move in.
One of the most enjoyable mornings I’ve had behind the camera, playing cat and mouse with Icelands notorious raging sea in order to get this shot. Needless to say, I walked back to the car barefoot and wet from the chest down.
Field Of Dreams
Afternoon sun beams down on an abundance of lupins in the New Zealand landscape. Wandering through here was dreamy, with the air actually smelling sweet like candy.
All is not lost
The single most moving experience I’ve had in nature. I really don’t know what to say about this moment, I think I’ll keep it short to avoid coming across as pretentious. Although surrounded by chaos, howling wind, rain and consuming darkness, I felt entirely at peace during this shoot. Accepting what I cannot control, humbled by the relentless forces that remind me of my place in this world. A warm glow appeared followed by a full bow stretching across the horizon. Mid way through my exposure darkness became light with the first bolt from the sky, the second following within the next minute. A graceful reminder and assurance to keep chasing, pursuing and desiring the presence of something much greater than I.
Cradle Mountain is notorious for play peek-a-boo with the cloud. On this particular afternoon, that suited me just fine.
Captured during my Canadian Rockies photography workshop, this incredible light suddenly erupted across the sky, creating for a brief moment one of the most beautiful sights my eyes have seen.
Above & Below
Frozen shards frame the face of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Mt Cook, in the Hooker Lake.
I’d had this idea in mind for almost two years, ever since my first visit to the Laurel Hill sugar pine forest. Snowfall here has reduced over the years but 2016 saw a couple of large storms roll through. On this particular morning I’d set up this composition and was waiting for a flurry of snow to drop again. After about 15 minutes and watching the light flicker in and out I was close to moving on and then for a mere 2-3 seconds everything came together.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to do so. You can view the rest of my new work over here. If you have any questions at all about the settings and techniques I use to create my images, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. I appreciate your support this year, to all those you joined one of my tours, purchased a print or even just follow along on social media. THANK YOU.