Country Calendar Book – a 50th Anniversary project finished

December 16th, 2016 § 0

NZ’s Country Calendar TV show is the 2nd oldest TV programme in the world after Coro Street.

It was an honour to be commissioned to photograph the official 50th anniversary book to commemorate the milestone for TVNZ. It’s been a full on 6 month photographic journey, twice around NZ, poking my nose into so many interesting stories, and meeting lots of passionate interesting people around NZ. Country CalendarBook Rob Suisted

Firstly, if you haven’t got a copy of this iconic book, get yourself along to my publisher and order a copy – you won’t be disappointed. I’m very proud of the quality of the photos created to tell each of 15 stories, and Matt Philp’s writing style is brilliant at capturing the tales.  Here are a few favourites from the many images

The job wasn’t easy – turning up to live with complete strangers 24/7 for up to a week, while seeking their confidence to document their stories and poke a camera into their lives. It was stressful for them and me, but without exception everyone was incredibly hospitable and obliging which allowed me to tease out their stories and capture it within 8-10 frames.

Each image had to earn it’s spot, and often illustrate at least 2 concepts. Such as the photo below, it needed to be a portrait, talk of wetland restoration and Stu’s Kaitiaki role and his love of whitebaiting. It took some doing: Stu Muir runs a dairy farm, but is passionate about wetland restoration in the Waikato River Delta.  This is what I came up with:Stu Muir, wetland restoration. Photo by Rob SuistedAnd here’s how it was done – 2 days of planning/executing, screening water flow, and a lot of time coaxing shy whitebait within 50mm of my wide angle lens (the little guys take fright at their reflections and the tiniest vibration), while trying to hold a punt in the current (with 10mm free board), and keep the good natured Stu Muir from getting too bored. It was a success and a frame I’m proud of.Rob Suisted filming whitebait for Country Calendar Book


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