New Zealand Nothofagus beech forest no more

January 23rd, 2014 § 2 comments - add yours

Our New Zealand Nothofagus beech trees have vanished! Just before Xmas been, a major taxonomic revision of Southern Beech Trees quietly occured that sees Nothofagus vanish from our shores, to be replaced by Fuscospora and Lophozonia. Nothofagus is no more in New Zealand.

New Zealand Beech Tree leaf comparison, by Rob Suisted

New Zealand Beech Tree leaf side by side comparison, Red, Hard, Silver, Black & Mountain Beech

Red Beech was Nothofagus fusca, now: Fuscospora fusca, Hard Beech was Nothofagus truncata, now: Fuscospora truncata, Silver Beech was Nothofagus menzeseii, now: Lophozonia menziesii,  Black Beech was Nothofagus solandri var. solandri, now: Fuscospora solandri, Mountain Beech was Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides, now: Fuscospora cliffortioides.  It’s going to take a bit to get the new names rolling from the tongue.

While we’re on the subject of our beautiful Southern Beeches, I took a photo that shows just how colourful these trees get.  This was taken near the top of the 4×4 Porika Road track in Nelson Lakes National Park and shows both new growth leaf colour and beech mast flowering:

Colourful New Zealand Red and Silver Beech Tree forest

Colourful New Zealand Red and Silver Beech Tree forest

Of interest is that this year is a ‘Mast’ year for our beech forest.

Black Beech tree flowers

Black Beech tree flowers

Masting is a breeding strategy that sees a species breed only once every few years, and then all individuals breed in unison, when conditions are favourable.  Our beech forests are into it now.

The forest will soon have an abundance of food for seed eaters, but this has a major unfortunate side effect… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

New photo murals just in

January 13th, 2014 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We’ve been working with Kai Hawkins on some interesting projects lately.  Firstly we completed the new Blenheim i-SITE visitor centre, and today we got photos of new bus shelters we’ve supplied some luscious large high quality images for great looking murals.  Take a look:Marlborough Sounds

Molesworth Station

Marlborough Bus Shelter murals

Check out some of the other 2500 Marlborough images we have available online.

New Zealand postage stamps by Rob Suisted

September 26th, 2013 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Rob’s proudly done 18 postage stamps now with New Zealand Post.  Here are the latest three:

stamps-by-rob-suisted_tNew Zealand Post page.

Wildlife of New Zealand book, by Rob Suisted

September 18th, 2013 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Wildlife of New Zealand is the fifth book by Rob Suisted in a series with New Holland Publishers NZ that has just been released and should be in good book shops around NZ.

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Wildlife of New Zealand, by Rob Suisted. 80 pages, soft cover, Sept 2013. New Holland Publishers New Zealand. ISBN: 978 1 86966 400 8

Molesworth Station Book launch

September 10th, 2013 § 2 comments - add yours

After a 3 year gestation, our Molesworth Station Book is done - one of the most satisfying book projects so far.

Molesworth Station Book cover

Harry Broad is the author, and I’ve produced the photos. It’s been an incredible adventure.

Here’s an interesting behind the scenes video I shot while filming the unique Robinson Saddle muster (caution; it contains hardwork, a greenhorn learning to ride, some skinny dipping, some adventure, and a few laughs. But, mostly it contains spectacular scenery and a rare glimpse into a unique high-country lifestyle and job):

The full story of this Robinson Muster is also written up with some photos.

Check out some Rob’s favourite Molesworth Station images collected over 3 years.

Special thanks to Landcorp Farming Ltd, Department of Conservation, the managers of Molesworth (Jim and Tracey Ward), Craig Potton Publishing, everyone who has featured in the book, and especially the many people who worked hard for us to make the project successful.  Thank you.

Radio New Zealand NationalJust had an enjoyable Radio New Zealand interview with Harry Broad and Kathryn Ryan. You can listen here to Harry share some wonderful stories he’s uncovered through his research (I never get sick Harry’s colourful telling), and I attempt using words to explain my visual portrayal of the Station and experiences.

Books are expected in book shops from the 16th September 2013. Find it on the Craig Potton Publishing Website: Molesworth; Stories from New Zealand’s largest high-country station. Harry Broad with photographs by Rob Suisted. Craig Potton Publishing, Hardback with jacket, 250 x 310 mm, 192 pages, plus map insert. ISBN 9781877517167. September 2013.

We’ve put together a special collection of 68 high quality canvas photo art prints, for home or the office, from the Molesworth Station book here:
Molesworth Station canvas photo art prints

Why the new Bain murder evidence is unsafe, I’ll prove it

June 27th, 2013 § 10 comments - add yours

TV3’s 3rd Degree show last night said they have ‘new’ evidence proving Robin Bain was the murderer, from tiny marks on 20 year old photos. I’m a professional photographer, and once an A grade competitive target shooter (full bore and .22), so I took an interest in the ‘new’ photographic evidence.

I think what was portrayed was VERY UNSAFE and doesn’t offer a ’slam dunk’ to the case as claimed by some. I looked into it and can easily show the new evidence does not prove anything. I’ll show you why:

Original evidence. Note shadow direction, high contrast, sharpened image

Original evidence. Note shadow direction, high contrast, sharpened image

This was taken on film, printed to paper, scanned and presented here. It’s high contrast, has been through various reproductions already, was a crop of the original frame, and looks to have been sharpened to maximise it’s contents (this is a problem as I’ll explain).

I looked at my own hand and immediately saw I had two marks, which turned out to be exactly the same size as my .22 rimfire magazine. Hmm, interesting. I grabbed my iPhone and here is my quick shot taken on the couch during the programme:

my first snap with my phone on the couch watching the 'new' evidence

my first snap with my phone on the couch watching the 'new' evidence. Wow, I have two natural fold lines EXACTLY the same width of a .22 magazine too. Getting itneresting.

NOW I’m interested! How can it be so easy with a quick photo of someone else’s thumb (mine), get immediately into the ballpark of the new evidence? OK, let’s try with my Canon 1DsMk3 and 24-70 lens, and try to roughly copy the lighting (note the shadow direction - it will give very good relief to any folds or imperfections on Robin Bain’s skin from that side angle). Here’s the first go (quite difficult with camera angles and only 2 hands):

Raw file as shot

Raw file as shot

I then had a go at upping contrast,…

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Molesworth Station Book Cover Unveiled

June 24th, 2013 § 2 comments - add yours

MOLESWORTH STATION, stories from New Zealand’s largest high country station, has been a 2 1/2 year journey with author Harry Broad, attempting to create a book that does Molesworth Station justice.  At 500,000 acres the station is bigger than Stewart Island, and contains one of NZ’s biggest cattle herds.  Here’s the first glimpse of the cover of the book, due for September release.
Molesworth Station Book cover

The name of Molesworth has huge national recognition, not only because it is our largest high-country station, but also because of the remarkable story of how, from the early 1940s, the legendary manager Bill Chisholm rebuilt a ruined landscape and turned it into a flourishing and profitable farm. Molesworth covers an area greater than Stewart Island, and is in every sense a working farm, home to one of the country’s largest cattle herds… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Blenheim gets a new Information Centre - using our photos

May 24th, 2013 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

I supplied many images to outfit the Blenheim Information Centre, and recently got the chance to view the final result.

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It’s always great to work on a project that uses images that make you proud, and this is one of them.

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Pop in if you’re passing through Blenheim - it’s a great building with nice interior and exterior design.

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Images were from my wide Marlborough District collection.  We do a lot of large image installations like this. For example, you’ll see my images used in Auckland and Christchurch International Airports.

New Zealand native geckos

March 14th, 2013 § 4 comments - add yours

A few frames from a recent photoshoot of one of our rare native geckos - this one is a Lewis Pass Green Gecko (Naultinus tuberculatus); a real cutie licking his eyeball

Lewis Pass Green Gecko (Naultinus tuberculatus)

Lewis Pass Green Gecko (Naultinus tuberculatus)

I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph many of our New Zealand lizards, have a browse.

New books and an enjoyable radio interview

October 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Just had my 10th and 11th books hit the book shops; very satisfying to see them arrive.flowers-landmarks-of-nz_t

Thoroughly enjoyed a RadioLive interview with Graeme Hill.  Have a listen here for why Triffids were mentioned in the interview about NZ flowers, why NZ flowers are mostly white in colour, and the parasitic native orchid that gets its life from sucking it out of other plants:

CLICK to listen to interview with Rob Suisted

CLICK to listen to interview with Rob Suisted

Some other promotion included: The Press Christchurch Oct-1-2012, Stuff Website, Yahoo, GardensNZ, MindFood Magazine

Molesworth Muster video finished. Behind the scenes photo assignment

June 14th, 2012 § 12 comments - add yours

Filming the Molesworth Station Book video. A blog post explaining the adventure is here. Have a read, then watch this (Caution: it contains hard work, adventure, some skinny dipping, some excitement, a lost dog that gets found in the end, and a great watch):

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

> > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Molesworth Station Muster - A unique photo assignment adventure!

June 11th, 2012 § 25 comments - add yours

“You should come on the May autumn muster to Lake McRae.” said Jim Ward, Manager of Molesworth high country Station.

What an invitation; for those that know Molesworth Station you’ll understand the significance of such an invite! For those that know Lake McRae (see map at bottom), many will regard this as a holy land of sorts. To join in on the annual cattle muster to push 400 cattle over the Inland Kaikoura Ranges to their traditional winter pastures is epic. Not only is it regarded as one of the highest cattle musters in the world (at over 1400m/4700ft), but it’s also one of the most remote seldom visited spots in New Zealand. With three stockmen & horses involved, and small backcountry hut, it’s also a very few lucky folks that have ever participated in this 100 year tradition. More folks have climbed Everest than been here. This is not a commercial trip, but a unique rare opportunity to join the stockmen on part of their annual work programme in the high country.

“Would love to Jim, thanks” was my response, adding “I’m a bit of a green horn on a horse though. “Don’t worry, there are horses that don’t like people too” Jim shot back as I was leaving. I just hope I’m not given one of those horses I thought. This is the story of the amazing adventure, including learning to ride, that followed (youtube video of trip now available, so have a read of this & then click here to view the short vid to get a real feeling for the place)…

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

For the last 18 months I’ve been working on a book about this historic high country station with Harry Broad. Lance McCaskill wrote a seminal book about the first 50 years of Molesworth history. We’re bringing the history of this fascinating iconic high country run up to date. It’s New Zealand’s largest farm at 500,000 acres and sits nestled amongst mountain ranges between Blenheim, Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura.

Back at my office in Wellington, Nina, my Business Manager, was excited. She’d grown up with horses and rode professionally back in Sweden. On weekends she trains riders and horses. You will be fine, I’ll teach you she said.

My horse riding crash course on Red. Photo & teaching by Nina Tötterman

Learning: my horse riding crash course on Red. Photo & teaching by Nina Tötterman

So started a wonderful bi weekly programme designed to advance me from newbie to competent horse rider in less than a month, but most importantly to toughen up my softer spots. Each Tuesday and Thursday we shut the office at noon, headed for Wainuiomata and climbed on horses. My third lesson as cantering bareback. They pushed me hard to learn on the crash course but I’m very grateful now. Luckily I apparently picked things up fast, learning I think more about animal behaviour and psychology than staying on Red, Ray, or Teddy, the three boys I learnt to ride on. Bruce and Kelly’s property in Wainuiomata had a great variety of steep hills and trails to explore between flat work. Things started to arch and hurt in places you’d normally only see with a mirror; apparently a sign you’re doing it right. Weird that.

Nina, my Bus. Mgr & horse whisperer controlling an over excited high performance F1 hot blooded 'Shaka'

Nina, my Bus. Mgr & horse whisperer controlling an over excited high performance F1 hot blooded 'Shaka'

One Sunday night the phone went; it’s Jim. “Can you get down tomorrow? We’re bringing it forward due to weather”. I hurriedly finished my GST tax return, a quick pack and assemblage of equipment and I was on the ferry heading for the South Island.

I arrived late evening, got a bit of gear organised, hit the hay around midnight, to be up a 4.30am for breakfast with Jim & Tracey and the three stockmen that I’d be riding with for the next 3 days, Andy McLachlan, Cory Hollister and Tom O’Sullivan. Nine months before I’d met these guys on their first week on Station as they learnt horse shoeing from visiting farriers so they could look after their horses in the remote out stations through the year (a skill we’d rely on later…

> > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Flying high image

April 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Nice to be involved with the Department of Conservation / Air New Zealand joint venture partnership announcement.

Had one of my photos used as a giant backdrop to the Prime Minister of New Zealand’s announcement speech Friday night.  A large mid air panorama photo (big enough to be printed 7m x 3m) taken hanging out the door at 5000ft. For health and safety reasons the sexy black AirNZ plane filled with very rare bird and animals was added later…(yes, that’s a Kiwi in the cockpit).  Here’s the media for it on Stuff.

7m x 3m wide banner used as background to Prime Minister's announcement of the new relationship

7m x 3m wide banner used as background to Prime Minister's announcement of the new relationship

More stunning Milford Sound, New Zealand images here if you’re after a bit of eye candy from an amazing place - just a tonic if you’re at your desk we think.

FLYING GREEN: Prime Minister John Key and Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe have confirmed a three-year commercial partnership between the national carrier and the Department of Conservation. Photo by HAMISH COLEMAN-ROSS/Fairfax NZ

FLYING GREEN: Prime Minister John Key and Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe have confirmed a three-year commercial partnership between the national carrier and the Department of Conservation. Photo by HAMISH COLEMAN-ROSS/Fairfax NZ

Another newspaper interview

January 13th, 2012 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Interviewed by the Hutt News:

Click to read the interview with photographer Rob Suisted
Click to read the interview with photographer Rob Suisted

The Monk photo mentioned is here, and some Molesworth Station work here.

A photo compliment committed to skin!

December 16th, 2011 § 4 comments - add yours

Some things stand out in my working photographic career; but having a photo tattooed onto skin, as a living memorial, has to be a remarkable compliment.

NZ Falcon photo tattoo

Nick Johns contacted me for permission to use a photo as a memorial to his brother.  Some things cross boundaries, and this does for me - creating an image someone feels is good enough to permanently etch onto their body in honour of someone they have lost, is very humbling. New Zealand falcon photograph

Nick wanted to tell everyone that his brother died as a consequence of drug addiction. ” We are all addicted to something in this life.  But the trouble with drugs for the addict is they progress, as Tim did from the so called harmless drugs, Marijuana etc to eventually the hard drugs, in Tim’s case Methamphetamine.  The only good thing to come out of this, is it has shown the next generation in our families how drugs will destroy lives. It destroyed their awesome Uncle Tim whom they all loved so very much.”

Thank you Nick for wanting to share this, and for creating a very humbling experience for me, from what is a very sad experience and loss for you.  We’d both love to hear your comments if you’d like to post any here.

You can learn more about how the image was originally captured for the cover of NZ Geographic Magazine, and how it was also used by a church with a great sense of humour.  There are more photos of this remarkable species, the New Zealand Falcon, here, and we’ve created a special quality canvas print.  Further, we selected it to be used as preface to Majestic New Zealand book because it’s a special shot that captures the essence of a remarkable but endangered creature.

Freezing my proverbials off for a spectacular experience

September 28th, 2011 § 5 comments - add yours

So the buggers put me on the cover, freezing my bits off.  I can’t be too upset, testing a new outer shell garment for Swazi Apparel can lead to trouble when you push the limits, but you’re going to get an experience out of it too.  Here’s the shot, a quick story behind a beaut experience.

Freezing my proverbials off, Mt Taranaki winter

Freezing my proverbials off, Mt Taranaki winter

I set off with Bia Boucinhas (a Brasilian friend training as a mountain/Antarctic guide in NZ) to climb Mount Taranaki and get some winter photos.  Davey Hughes of Swazi had stuffed a newly designed goretex lightweight ‘Narwhal’ anorak into my hand and told me to test it the day before.  Of course I’d said.  Little did I know what a testing it, and we, were going to get.  The day had been fine as we set off to climb to Syme Hut on Fanthams Peak for the night, before climbing Mt Taranaki the following day.  As is often the case here, the weather changes very fast despite the best weather forecasting, and sure enough we were pushing through cloud and wind by the half way mark.

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Approaching the summit of Fatham’s Peak we were hit by hurricane strength winds and a freezing southerly which made it very hard to stand up.  Visibility dropped to 3 metres making it very hard to find the white ice covered hut in a total white out where visibility was 2-3 metres.  Things were getting serious at this point as our core body temperatures were plummeting fast in the… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Seasons revolving. Contrasts of Molesworth Station

September 15th, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

I’ve been photographing a book about Molesworth Station; New Zealand’s largest station at 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres!).

 The dramatic changes in landscapes, colours and seasons are imperceptible to our human time scale.  I’ve just compared 3 photos taken 5 months apart and watched the richness of colour fade out to a stark reality of a barren winter landscape.  Beautiful.

Molesworth Station seasonal contrast. Click to enlarge

Molesworth Station seasonal contrast. Click to enlarge

So, merged, the top two look great:

Awatere River at the Muller - lush autumn to stark winter

 

Looking forward to the spring colour flush…

Good Morning TV, 12th Sept 2011 interview

September 9th, 2011 § 2 comments - add yours

Rob Suisted was interviewed again by Sarah Bradley on Good Morning TVNZ, yesterday morning.

Click to view

Click to view the interview

Rob Suisted's new book titles due any day - New Zealand Birds book, and National Parks BookHe was talking about his 8th & 9th books just released.  Let us know how you think the interview went.  All the best.

2012 calendar season showcasing Rob’s work

September 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

That time of year when our calendar publishers unveil there collections.  Here are a few dedicated Rob Suisted titles and covers you’ll see in all great stores around New Zealand:

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This year would be one of the best looking line ups of retail products we’ve done.  Rob is very happy with the quality - they look really good. The New Zealand Panorama title is especially delicious - full of his heartfelt favourite panorama images.

Dominion Post interview with Rob Suisted

August 29th, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Cameron Williamson, travel editor of the DomPost, kindly did this interview about Rob Suisted and his 9th new book release

Click here to read the PDF of the interview with Rob

Click above to read the PDF of the interview with Rob

Free casual photo walk then breakfast with Rob Suisted. Wellington, 10th Sept

August 18th, 2011 § 2 comments - add yours

Rob Suisted has photo guided from Pole to Pole, and a few places in between.  He’s never done it locally. 

He’s offering a casual, free, photo walk on the Wellington south coast on the morning of Saturday 10th Sept, followed by a group breakfast.

It’s great meeting new people, and sharing creative inspiration and knowledge. Coming into spring is a great time to get motivated!  Click here to read about it

It’s limited in numbers, so register your interest now. Pass it on.

Wellingtons wild south coast

Wellington's wild south coast

Rob Suisted photo guiding, Greenland, Arctic. Join us in Wellington

Rob Suisted photo guiding, Greenland, Arctic. Join us in Wellington

New books and a great photo competition

August 17th, 2011 § 3 comments - add yours

Just got advance copies of my eigth and ninth books arrive.  Smaller softcover titles this time.  Especially like the Mount Ngauruhoe cover; Beaut. You should see these in shops in the next week or two.

Rob Suisted's new book titles due any day - New Zealand Birds book, and National Parks Book

Rob Suisted's new book titles due any day - Birds of New Zealand book, and National Parks of New Zealand Book. New Holland Publishers.

Also - I’m judging the NZ Geographic Magazine Photographer of the Year awards again in 2011.  Make sure you get your entries in by 14 September 2011 here

Of human bloodshed and fascinating photo jobs

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

I love most the unexpected nature of photography.

Yesterday Garry Glynn contacted me to photograph a family heirloom piece. Other photographers he’d contacted weren’t interested; I assume it being a small paying private job. I had a hunch that there was something more interesting about it, took it on, and luckily I was proved right.

89 year old Garry arrived and delivered to my hand a small simple heavy brass drinking cup similar to many I’d used in India. Nothing special except it had engraving around the outside. It carried a story that I’m still thinking about today; a story of history and horrific human bloodshed.

From the Battle of Mahajapore. Scroll down for result

From the Battle of Mahajapore. Scroll down for result

Turns out Garry’s relative (Col Sgt J. Barry, 39th Dorestshire Regiment) was present at the Battle of Maharajpore, India, on the 29th December 1843. He was lucky to make it. 5000 people did not make it that day! In a nutshell, Central and Northern India had fallen to British forces in 1818, but Marathas in Gwalior saw the failed British campaign in Afghanistan as opportunity to regain independence. The battle ensued. It’s believed that nearly 800 Bristish soldiers and 3-4000 Marathans were killed; an unbelievable slaughter of human beings in one day. The significance of this event for the British is remembered with the Gwalior Star campaign medal.

Garry is passing this family ‘war trophy’ or heirloom down to the next generation and wanted a photo showing all the cup’s text to give to his relatives. My job was to attempt that. Given the circular object with concave face, and the highly reflective nature of the surface, the job wasn’t straightforward. But I love a challenge, and I reckon it could be done.

First up was to prepare the vessel. A good polish brought out a good shine, and a closely held candle flame sooted the surface up nicely, and another shine left a little soot in the engraving. Next was figuring out how to light the face of the vessel with even light. No problems there, get an Elinchrom studio light out and pop on a softbox, but trouble is that you can’t get a camera in there without interrupting the clean lighting. I tried a couple of tilt shift lenses attempting to shoot off the central axis, but this just distorted too much. Then I figured the concave front face would let me lower the softbox and shoot over the top without breaking the clean reflection - great.

Camera shooting over studio flash and softbox

Camera shooting over studio flash and softbox

Once a nice even light was sorted, next was to carefully rotate the vessel and photograph ovelapping images. Another lens base proved to be the perfect stage.

Photo slices ready to be worked up

Photo slices ready to be worked up

I ran this through a panorama stitching programme and gave it a clean up. Garry just called around today and seems very happy with the result:

The final result

The final result

But I’ve been thinking about the cup since: what horrors and good times it has witnessed, and what route it has taken to arrive in my hands? Garry tells me that a number of ‘retired’ seasoned British soldiers were offered land in New Zealand in exchange for being willing to fight in the NZ land wars if necessary. They become known as ‘The Fencibles’, and this is the route in which the cup arrived in NZ.

I also found this gritty, stiff upper lip, description of the battle by Henry Man. It’s a short honest read that gives you an appreciation of how gnastly that day must have been. Please take a moment to read it if you can.

So, all in all, a photo job that paid for itself in not only in dollar terms, but that was also rich in knowledge, experience, and technical challenge.

The things you see when you don’t have a (net) gun

June 30th, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We get lots of interesting image requests.

Today we had one for birds spreading their wings. Hoping the designer knows their subject….or there might be more than Kiwis flying….flying-kiwi-rob-suisted_w

Small seedlings made my day with flower photos

April 15th, 2011 § 1 comment - add yours

My day was brightened with an email from room 12 of Marina View school in Auckland.  They wrote explaining they were studying artists, and this week for photography were using my photography as inspiration.  They sent me some of their work, and today proudly gave me permission to share some of their photos. 

The pupils are year 3, which means in NZ they’re 7 year olds.  I’m impressed.  Thanks Room 12, and thanks for recognising me. 

Photos from Marina School Room 12

 My favourite is the palm fronds because it has a really nice strong design, but I think you’ve all done very well.  Keep up the great efforts.  Who knows, I might just see you out and about photographing nature one day?

Thanks, Rob