New Zealand has been a dream for me for many years , shortly after graduating from Glasgow my intention had been to move to NZ but for various reasons its taken me 30 years to finally get here. The flights and timezone travels are a bummer and it took me 5 days to get into synch with NZ time . First impressions were it reminded me of a cross between Scotland and Montana, big plains with distant mountains as well as windy roads typical of Scotlands W Coast. I was based in Wanaka and its a magnet for adventure sports enthusiasts and professionals alike as well as many creatives that work in the outdoors. I was also shooting some images for TrebleCone ski resort for various social media things , nothing serious , just images as and when we got something good. Now my skiing is average so I was also keen to try and improve my technique, skiing for me is a bit of a love /hate type thing , I need it to access the mountains quickly but the learning curve seems long and steep
The weather is typically Scottish , being a maritime weather system, there are days of rain even though the area is in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps and in Summer is almost a desert. But the various storms rolling in gave some great light and atmospherics in the mountains
Milford Sound is a place I had seen images of and was psyched to get out there , its also in the top 10 wettest places on the planet so was no surprise that it was raining most of the time. I was told the best time to go is right after a storm when all the waterfalls are cascading down from all the surrounding mountains, I didn’t get it after a storm , just in a constant drizzle/rain
The road out to Milford Sound is worthy of taking a few days over and really exploring all the nooks and crannies along the way, one of the best bits for me was The Chasm , a deep gorge with tropical type rain forest all around.
I was staying in a small town called Luggate , about 10 mins outside of Wanaka with a cool bunch of boarders and skiers and the view from the back garden was pretty stunning , sunrise into the front room as well as watching clearing storms on the mountains
and of course lake Wanaka itself is surrounded by breathtaking views. I don’t tend to do too much landscape as its not really my main thing , though I don’t think in photography you can compartmentalise areas as every image has an element of many different disciplines to make a successful image and my adventure sports imagery has an element of Landscape within it.
So far , I haven’t photographed ‘ The Wanaka Tree’ yet. If I can get the conditions I have in mind for the image then I might take a pic but here’s a different tree thats also in Wanaka but not ‘The Tree’