I shot Gareth Morgan for you

June 15th, 2016 § 3 comments - add yours

Plenty of folks would get in line to shoot Gareth Morgan I’m sure, but it’s not that easy - I can attest.

Gareth Morgan is a man of many interests, passions and opinions, whose strong desire to get good things done can certainly polarise - take his cat control views (which have gone global) for instance.

Gareth Morgan and 'Plan B' - face mask and snorkel. There is no Plan B with climate change. On melting ice, Antarctica. ©Rob Suisted, for NZ Geographic

Gareth Morgan and 'Plan B' - face mask and snorkel. There is no Plan B with climate change. On melting ice, Antarctica. ©Rob Suisted, for NZ Geographic

So I was certainly keen when NZ Geographic Magazine commissioned me shoot Gareth for a portrait profile piece.  Serendipity intervened again, as I discovered that we were to be on the same ship in Antarctica the following month.

Gareth Morgan is a strong climate change campaigner and author of a book on the subject, so a bit of creative dreaming arrived at a strong metaphorical image to capture the man’s character and one of his important messages.

This was my 17th trip to Antarctica. I drive boats and lecture, as a break from professional photography.  So, we took a boat on Xmas day, out into flat water behind Plenneau Island, borrowed a face mask and snorkel, and dropped Gareth off on the best piece of ice we could find to represent the melting ice of climate change.  The casual holding of the face mask and snorkel in normal business attire was designed to represent the foolish notion that many people carry, vis, that we have a ‘plan B’ somewhere for climate change. Plan B isn’t an option - just as a facemask isn’t here.

I’m proud of the result - strong metaphorical frame that captures Gareth Morgan in a striking way - no trickery, no post production work - simple.  BUT check out the pile of comments on Gareth Morgan’s facebook page.  It’s galling when some people, from the comfort of their home, suggest a great photo must be ’photo-shopped’.  *Cough* - THAT photo is the combination of skills learnt over a long time as a professional photographer, planning, a good creative process, and qualifications and experience operating boats on over 20 polar expeditions! Everyone is a cynic, a critic, or blimin both…

Rob Suisted polar guiding and boat driving

Rob Suisted polar guiding and boat driving

Anyway, here’s the NZ Geographic Magazine article the image was used in: Out in the Cold.  And Gareth was a bloody good sort, keenly signing up to the idea, and willingly being marooned on a small ice floe while we (I and his family) drifted off without him, in the frozen middle of nowhere. Shot with a Pentax 645Z and DFA25mm lens.

Canon Media Award success! Best Portrait 2015

June 3rd, 2015 § 1 comment - add yours

Travelled to Auckland for a great evening with New Zealand’s finest news media folk, at the 2015 Canon Media Awards, held at Sky City.  I entered the best photographic portrait category,…and won.

Happy photographer! Best published portrait in media - 2015

Happy photographer! Best published portrait in media - 2015

Entry to awards is limited to published work in newspapers or magazines, and there was stiff competition amongst working professional photographers.  The image (below) that won was commissioned and published by New Zealand Geographic Magazine.  The back story to it’s creation has been written up.  Thanks to Canon New Zealand for sponsoring this huge event.

Bryce Johnson portrait, NZ Fish and Game Council CEO

Best Portrait winner - 2015 Canon Media Awards: Bryce Johnson portrait, NZ Fish and Game Council CEO. By Rob Suisted, for New Zealand Geographic Magazine

Runner up, Photographer of the Year 2014 awards

November 4th, 2014 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Following on from the Major book award by our Molesworth Station Book, I’m very proud to say that Molesworth Station images taken while filming the Book have just won runner up in the NZ Geographic Magazine, NZ Photographer of the Year awards. molesworth_pix_wpoty2014

For a look at a large selection of Molesworth Station photos, go here. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these images on high quality canvas art prints, then check this out.

I’d like to thank New Zealand Geographic Magazine for running this great award, and to their sponsors for supporting it.

Shooting a Clean River Advocate. A Tough Assignment.

July 28th, 2014 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

New Zealand Geographic Magazine had me do another editorial portrait; Bryce Johnson was the subject of their regular feature ‘Profile’.

UPDATE: 23 May 2015: WE DID IT! Photo won it’s category in the 2015 Canon Media Awards! We’re very proud about that! Big thanks to NZ Geographic Magazine, and Canon New Zealand.

UPDATE: May 2015: This photo is 1 of 3 FINALISTs in the prestigous Canon Media Awards for 2015. Cross your fingers!

My job was to communicate Bryce’s varied roles in one image.  This was a formidable task as CEO of the NZ Fish and Game Council his is a complex and varied role.  Primarily, Fish and Game is a statutory organisation concerned with the rights of anglers and hunters, and advocating for improving habitat.

The portrait needed to capture that variety. I wanted to focus on his advocacy for anglers and freshwater quality for all of us, but also how his day can stretch from political halls of the The Beehive, to the bank of a river.  Here’s what I got:

Bryce Johnson portrait, NZ Fish and Game Council

The shot was fairly complex, it required a wide angle underwater photo to catch the habitat around Bryce and called for a balanced mix of underwater strobe, above water flash and ambient natural light.  I used a slave trigger that fired the topside flash whenever the underwater camera strobe fired - one underwater strobe lighting Bryce’s legs, one flash pointing upward towards the softbox flash, and natural light toned down to give a sombre background to delineate Bryce’s from.

Behind the scenes of Bryce Johnson portrait for NZ Geographic Magazine

The biggest problems we had were a suitable…


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.

Antarctica in one photo only

January 25th, 2011 § 6 comments - add yours

How do you sum up Antarctica with one photo?  Tough?  Impossible?

I’ve done over 15 expeditions to the Ross Sea, Adelie Coast and Antarctic Peninsula, but took my first photo last week that nearly captures the essence of Antarctica for me.  Here it is:

Crabeater seals in Antarctic iceberg graveyard. Booth Island

Crabeater seals in Antarctic iceberg graveyard. Booth Island

I had about 30 minutes to myself amongst an area of stranded icebergs.  The sky was heavy with no wind.  Magic starts to happen. I had to find it.  Slowly I weaved my zodiac boat amongst … > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

An inspiring woman and inspiring photo job

December 20th, 2010 § 2 comments - add yours

Bianca Edwards doesn’t do things by halves.  But her back was broken in halves.  Her story is as remarkable as her attitude.  Several weeks ago I shot the New Zealand Geographic Magazine article on ‘Happiness’.  Bianca was part of this story.  I enjoyed meeting her, and thoroughly enjoyed working together on an image that captured her remarkable spirit.  On the drive back to the office, my assistant Aliscia Young spoke about the inspiration we’d both experienced.   Let me tell you about it.

Bianca was a top athlete, competing in multi-sport events, and while training, was hit from behind by a van at 100km/h.  Her back was shattered and she was lucky to survive.  What followed is a remarkable recovery led by determination, optimism and, I think above all, the unwillingness to be a victim to her situation.  The article by Dave Hansford focuses on how Bianca was able to readjust her expectations; from expecting to win events, to making simple steps, like wiggling a toe.  A trait that some research suggests is key to being happy.

So, knowing this, how do you approach a photo shoot that gives dignity to the subject, captures their spirit, and avoids creating another cliched photo of a disabled person toiling against obstacles? 

Discussing angles on the phone with Bianca was a joy - full of ideas and keen to give it her best, we threw around ideas about the things that were important to her - fitness, swimming, study, Ducatis…  Motorcycle riding was key, especially with her friends and fellow Ducati owners Carla and Fiona (friends like this that Bianca rates in her recovery) .  Hang on….from not being able to walk, to riding big motorcycles?!  The angle fast became clear.  But, how to shoot a portrait that captured this story? 

Carla, Rob, Bianca & Fiona. The Ducati women of the Wairarapa.

After the shoot. Carla, Rob, Bianca & Fiona. The Ducati women of the Wairarapa.

Bianca’s story in the happiness article for me is one of ‘freedom’ - freedom of movement, but also freedom of mind.  So, it was important that we had a very dynamic image to portray freedom. We tried to accomplish this with an open face helmet, but the freedom died.  With considerable care we took this without the helmet.  I think we caught Bianca’s spirit in the image below. What do you think?

Bianca Edwards and her Ducati, with Fiona and Carla

Bianca Edwards and her Ducati, with Fiona and Carla

TECHNICAL SPECS: We pottered very slowing along with a 1/8th sec shutter with ND filter, while using my aerial photography gyro stabiliser to maintain sharpness but achieve a blurred movement.  I super-clamped and magic armed 3 strobes to the back of the vehicle, and shot from the rear hatch.  Canon 1dsMk3, 16-35mm, ND filter, 3 canon flashes, Kenro gyro.

Capturing Happiness

December 8th, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours

Just had a week shooting an article on ‘Happiness‘ for the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of New Zealand Geographic Magazine

A bit outside my normal beat, but despite initial trials and tribulations, it became a most satisfying and challenging week.  Meeting, filming and spending time with such a varied group of people interested in happiness, really made me happy.  Not surprising really - from a buddhist monk to a philosopher, brain researcher and even an athlete who has learnt to walk again and now shes rides ducatis for fun, it was very inspiring.  I hope my images do them all justice.  Rob Suisted filming at monastery for happiness articleHere’s a hint of what’s coming. And here’s another teaser from NZ Geographic http://twitpic.com/3bf5ed.  Have a look out when the next issue arrives, and let me know what you think. I’ll be writing more on this subject. All the best, Rob

Dominion Post Cover

March 29th, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours

We just got this, this morning, great to see Rob’s image of Meridan Energy’s West Wind wind turbines image on the cover of the Dominion Post.

Have a look at the image below and for more information about Rob’s helicopter shoot also check out Aliscia Young’s guest post as an assistant on the shoot.

Dominion Post cover 29 March 2010 by Rob Suisted> > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Titahi Bay fire last night, impressive but sad spectacle

February 22nd, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours

Came upon this scene last night. Very frightening for home owners evactuated on Gloaming Hill, Titahi Bay. A big loss for conservation too as the fire took out a huge area of regenerating forest in the Conservation area. The fire had the potential to sweep up a final hill into the residential area in the high winds.

Titahi Bay Fire 21 Feb 2010, ©Rob Suisted, www.naturespic.comClick to see the full panorama image detail.  Gloaming Hill far left, yachts moored in Porirua Harbour centre, and lights of Plimmerton far right.  1.5km fire front at one stage.  Teen charged with arson this morning.

UPDATE: Wellington’s DomPost newspaper has just licensed this image to run across a page tomorrow (23 Feb 2010).  Keep an eye out.

Antarctica. Your Fois Gras is OUT. What to do?

January 27th, 2010 § 5 comments - add yours

Now for something completely different….. Antarctica does funny things to people. Executive Chef Lothar Greiner is no exception.

Executive Chef Lothar Greiner on ice

I snapped this shot after a formal portrait session on the sea ice edge near Mawson’s Historic Hut in Antarctica.  An Adelie penguin was running between the both of us and it only took one glance to do the obvious.  With a twinkle in…  > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

A nice welcome home to NZ…

October 15th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Saw the new arrivals hall inside NZ Customs, at Auckland International Airport, when I got back. I’d supplied a special shot made of 10 high resolution digital files merged to make a very large photograph.  To see a shot of mine welcoming us over the threshold onto NZ soil is a great feeling.

Arrivals Hall, Auckland International Airport

NZ Customs got a bit excited when they saw me taking photos in this area, but I’d already asked, and they joined me with a nice compliment. The shot represents ‘Aotearoa - the land of the long white cloud’. > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

New Zealand Sealion graces the cover…

October 2nd, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We’ve another really nice cover with my photo to show off today.

New Zealand Sea lion F&B Calendar 2010 by Rob Suisted
New Zealand Sea lion F&B Calendar 2010 by Rob Suisted

New Zealand has the rarest Sea lion breeding on our shores.  In my previous conservation career I was the national marine mammal advisor to the NZ government….. > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Wonderful Whitebait

August 12th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

With Whitebait season due to start in New Zealand on the 15th August, we thought we would share some of the wonderful photos in the collection that highlight the beauty of this popular local delicacy…..

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Watching the seasons ’round - summer to winter photos

June 22nd, 2009 § 2 comments - add yours

Had a challenging, but fun, photo job last week in Rotorua with the rare native New Zealand Falcon (really exciting photos coming very soon! Sneak peek below). While there I managed to shoot down twice to a great spot on the Waikato River where I’d shot during summer, as I thought comparision photos would be very interesting. I couldn’t wait to prepare them alongside each other, and share them with you. So, here they are - a nice little study of interest I think. Nice when a simpy idea comes off like that:

Waikato River, Summer season

Waikato River, Summer season

Waikato River, Winter season

Waikato River, Winter season

The last shot below was taken in -3 degree celsius frost. While it’s hard to see here, there was a tremendous hoar frost forming on the trees from the freezing fog along the river. Not as epic as our Central Otago hoar frosts, but always stunning to see. I’ll have a few waikato hoar frost shots up in my library in a few weeks….MORE…
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Very rare creepy-crawlies. Mentoring a young photog for NZ Geo Magazine

June 15th, 2009 § 13 comments - add yours

‘We’d like you to mentor a ‘Young Gun’ photographer’ was James Frankham’s request from New Zealand Geographic Magazine.  The ‘Young Gun’ was Spiderman Bryce - a keen young chap from Hamilton who has a penchant for bugs, especially big spiders. Bryce was super keen, and while spiders are not one of my fav critters, I’m always up for an interesting challenge, giving  back to a good cause and something different.

Cook Strait Giant Weta female climbing onto Bryce's hand (Deinacrida rugosa, Stenopelmatidae). Endemic endangered New Zealand insect. Wetapunga. Island gigantism

Cook Strait Giant Weta female climbing onto Bryce's hand (Deinacrida rugosa, Stenopelmatidae). Endemic endangered New Zealand insect. Wetapunga. Island gigantism

NZ Geo magazine have just started a programme where they pair promising photographers with seasoned pros (not sure what my seasoning is yet though). We chose to take Bryce to Mana Island, a Scientific Reserve that is an island sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s rarest animals and plants. Currently Mana is being restored to a pest free island status, which means that the lack of introduced predators gives the local fauna a chance to recover - especially the giant weta and lizards. Kindly supported by the Department of Conservation (DOC), we were collected in the DOC boat and whisked across to Mana Island from Paremata.

Common Gecko licking eyeball while hanging off branch hunting at night (Hoplodactylus maculatus, Gekkonidae)

Party trick. A common Gecko licking its eyeball while hanging off branch hunting at night (Hoplodactylus maculatus, Gekkonidae)

We spent the day checking out Brown Teal, Kakarikiand other creatures (not to mention the volunteer creatures planting trees for DOC) on the before the rain arrived. Sue and Frank, the DOC Rangers on Mana, were very accommodating, pointing us in the right direction to find species and things of interest. Frank took us to a known spot to look for McGregor’s Skink, one of the rarest Skinks in the world. Our luck was in, finding several of these beautiful lizards as the rain set in proper….. MORE…
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Windy Wellington is a blast

May 25th, 2009 § 3 comments - add yours

Just loving looking out the office window at the horizontal rain flying past (STILL!). 
Loving the Wellington weather
Southerly still blasting, and feels like it will never end.  Best thing however… is when you can take your out of town visitors to the Wellington South Coast and scare the living daylights out of them as you watch the planes taking off and landing!

Here’s a few past images of storms hitting Wellington to make you wish you were here.

Walking along wild coast

Walking along wild coast

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Proudly promoting New Zealand made products

May 13th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Rob created some new shots featuring New Zealand made products for a project we’re doing for a well known overseas travel guidebook. 

The photograph was put together in the studio and our purpose was to showcase a variety of natural goods grown in New Zealand such as Manuka Honey, quality olive oil, wine and cheeses, paua shell, merino and possum wool, greenstone/poumanu etc

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Searching 4 Seasons from your armchair!!

May 5th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Do you feel it? That sense of impending gloom as we say goodbye to autumn and plunge headfirst into winter.  Are you longing for some small reminder of Summer to get you through?

Don’t worry we have the solution, so just sit back and relax and take a seasonal tour through the Nature’s Pic Images website.  We have a great keyword search available on the website, which provides a really simple and effective way of finding images related to a specific theme, for example SUMMER ….. > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Golden shots of the grape harvest!

April 22nd, 2009 § 2 comments - add yours

We have just uploaded some glorious shots taken during the grape harvest in the Wairarapa last weekend.

Harvest time

Harvest time

Harvest time

Harvest time

Grapes harvested

Harvest time

It was one of those gorgeous autumnal days where the air was still and the sun shone, and the creative photographic juices started to flow….

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Cheeky little Kea gets a postcard!!

April 21st, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We just love this photo of a cheeky little Kea investigating

What's for lunch?

What's for lunch?

a tramper’s pack, and are delighted that it has earned itself a place in postcard history. Craig Potton Postcards has added this image to its high quality range of postcards and we couldn’t be more pleased.

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Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you!

April 9th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We hope you all enjoyed a well deserved break over the Easter holidays.    Autumn in New Zealand is such a beautiful time, especially in the South with the leaves turning golden, and first snow on the mountains. Rob took this photo of Mount Cook/Aoraki by Lake Pukaki last year.  Awesome!!!

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Don’t forget you can request a quote or order images via the website or by email to photos@naturespic.com at any time, and we will make sure this is followed up as soon as possible. > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

Mind the sandflies Rob!!!

April 3rd, 2009 § 1 comment - add yours

I suspect Rob knows that I am a bit of a townie!! Before he left for his latest adventure he handed me the transcript of the diary of Mr A Sutherland, well known in hunting circles for his “early exploratory trips and hunting of the Wapiti herds of the Fiordland area” in the earlier part of the 20th century.

Alpine Tarn above the Glaisnock River Valley

Alpine Tarn above the Glaisnock River Valley

Reading this definately gave me a greater insight into the harsh terrain Rob is currently transversing!

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So, what’s this blog all about?

March 20th, 2009 § 0 comments, Add the 1st



As you can see we have joined the world of blogging, and we hope you will enjoy reading our posts.  Not only will be be showcasing some of our favorite images, we will share with you some exceptional examples of how Rob’s images are used by clients.

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Poor baby penguin - realites of life in the freezer…

March 18th, 2009 § 2 comments - add yours

Had a top season in Antarctica this year, visiting the Peninsula side from Argentina for the first time instead of the Ross Sea. As usual I saw some great spectacles, so as I process shots from the many taken I’ll upload a few here with a short story. This one is the tale of the poor Gentoo Penguin chick whose parent wasn’t the sharpest penguin parent. A Skua collected and killed it, before a great skua fight with terrific flight skills. The camera just happened to be handy…. Read on to see the rest….Skuas fighting over dead chick

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