We get lots of interesting image requests.
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.
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?
March 25th, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
Things have been really busy since returning from Antarctica; I’ve been a little remiss on updates amongst the exciting jobs.
I’m working on three new books at the moment. One book is on a well known high country station which I’m really enjoying. I had another visit last week and again met great people, great scenery and it was nice to photograph hard working people in dusty dry conditions; hard on photo gear, but good atmosphere. Here’s an image that evokes one of the mornings with the stockmen.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the Bush’s of Bush’s Honey, Blenheim. They’ve been beekeepers since 1916, and are very nice folks - I’ll be buying their honey from Moore Wilson’s from now on. They put me in a bee suit to take some photos of working their hives. They’ve developed their craft without the use of smoke to calm the bees, necessary in a very high fire hazard zone in the high country. Fine for them, but I soon discovered that bees (when there are millions of angry ones) are experts at exploiting weaknesses. If I put my camera too close to my eyes they could sting through the veil mesh, and after 2 hours their tally was 4 stings to my face. No probs at the time, all part of this job. But, a day later I was feeling very sorry for myself. An extremely swollen face was testament to the poor lymphatic drainage abilities of our faces; I was the elephant man incarnate and scaring small children and some adults. I was unrecognisable! I’d post a photo here, but seriously it’s not good for PR. Thankfully the swelling has pretty much left now after a week, and I found out that if I was allergic to bees I wouldn’t be here to write this. It was surprisingly extreme photography, very exciting with hundreds of bees smashing into the body aand face mesh, while trying to take photos. I now understand why the Bush’s take safety so seriously. Thanks for the amazing experience guys - and the honey sandwiches!
I’ve also been working up the Whanganui River, with a spot of walking, jetboating and canoeing with Bridge to Nowhere tours. A great place somewhat off the beaten track, and some great images. A highlight was calling into the old convent at Jerusalum near Pipiriki early one morning. Such a peaceful place with sun forcing through the river fog on a windless morning, surrounded by trees groaning under the weight of ripening fruit. A little paradise.
Some nice news this week. My book Majestic New Zealand just won runner up in the Whitcoulls pictorial book of the year awards at the Travcom conference. Simon Mcmanus (VP at Travcom) kindly let me know that the judges said it was very close to judge. So, I’m proud about that, and grateful to Travcom and Whitcoulls. The book is available signed via my website bookstore and here’s a short youtube clip of the book. Sorry about the music, but I’m a photographer….
February 28th, 2011 § 3 comments - add yours
Commissioned commercial photography is something I really enjoy. It’s time to make a dedicated website for the commissioned side of my photography business. I’ve been privileged to work with some top clients, on some truly challenging and great jobs around New Zealand over the years. This new website showcases some of that work and touts for more.
I’ve worked across an immensely diverse suite of photographic projects: from remote aerial filming, Antarctica & the Arctic, editorial photographic work for magazines and books, portraits (corporate or candid), travel photography, working with animals and children, and even filmed emotions.
Experience has taught that the only constant in photography is uncertainty (every job is unique and different) and that drawing from a diverse range of experience and ‘tricks of the trade’ while adding in fresh ideas is the key to figuring out and excelling at the next photographic challenge. I love it and will be doing more alongside my Nature’s Pic Images business.
I’d love to get your feedback on version 1.0, or hear any bright ideas you have to make it better. Thanks.
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:
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 > > >
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?
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?
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.
December 16th, 2010 § 2 comments - add yours
I just had the opportunity to photograph some remarkable animals. Kaimanawa wild horses can polarise people. They made me think.
I was a professional conservation manager before I was a professional photographer. I am well aware of the issues with these introduced animals living in an environment of high conservation values, such as these horses. This issue touched me years ago as minute taker for one of the advisory meetings on mustering the horses back in the 1990’s when scientists and managers nutted out the operational plan to manage their numbers. I’ve also studied zoology, and animal behaviour is a huge interest area given my photography. I’ve never gone out of my way for horses, and really haven’t had much to do with them.
Why am I explaining you this? Well, my recent experience was a surprise. I discovered a spirited animal with interesting behavioural traits I hadn’t expected. The horse, domesticed by man over thousands of years, again returning to a wild state & rebuilding its wild traits. I discovered a huge difference between domesticated horses, and those that run free.
The word ‘broken in’ refers to spirit I feel. I saw colts and stallions galloping kilometres across open tussock to challenge each other, and then race back. I saw stallions protecting their herd, and a mare cautiously introducing her new foal to her herd. I saw piles of horse poo stacked high as a territory or social marking. But, beyond all I saw spirit. Of course, I’m in two minds - I’m into conservation, but I can also see the other side of the argument to retain some of these animals; to have a wild animal running free - for their spirit but also ours as humans. A quandary alright; one that touches on our conservation ethic, but also strums spirited chords deep within our psyche. Both have value.
I went to photograph horses. I found a lot more.
I’m pleased to make my favourite image from the day available as a high quality canvas print. He’s really fired up and full of himself, and the flowing mane and glare in his eyes says it all.
Thank you to Peter Cosgrove for his generous gift of time and hospitality to make this trip possible. What is your view about these animals?
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. Here’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
November 22nd, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours
We’re very pleased to annouce the launch of a quality canvas photo print range by Rob Suisted. It’s been a huge task selecting prints we’d be proud to see on peoples’ walls.
With Christmas shopping underway, we wanted to make these great gifts available as soon as possible. We also hope that people will just enjoy browsing amongst beautiful images from around New Zealand. We’d love for you to pay a visit and give as any feedback or improvements you feel warranted (we’ve had some great ones so far). Visit: www.RobSuistedonCanvas.co.nz.
October 29th, 2010 § 9 comments - add yours
Recently I helped judge the New Zealand Geographic Magazine Photographer of the Year awards with Andris Apse, Arno Gasteiger & James Frankham. Some interesting things stood out, but one in particular really surprised.
I’d guess 50% of images submitted in the landscape / scenic section had overly heavy use of HDR (high dynamic range) or some other overworked tonal mapping technique. For me it’s becoming the ‘graduated tobacco coloured sunset filter’ of the 80’s; obviously fake, overblown and often used pointlessly. It knocked how I felt about current landscape photography for a number of reasons…
Nature blesses us with remarkable beauty. We should seek to be good enough to do her justice in a photo. Sure, it can be tough dealing with the light she gives us, but we should rise to the challenge and learn how to capture it with strong technique and novel ideas when you’re out in the field, and then maybe touch it up with a light hand back home on the computer. We learnt good field skills before digital was invented.
Now it seems many just bracket shots, run them through an HDR program, wiggle a few sliders and output a terribly… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
September 20th, 2010 § 3 comments - add yours
UPDATE 29 Oct: WE WON our section! …… We’ve become a finalist in the 2010 Magazine Cover awards! I worked with New Zealand Geographic Magazine to create a special image to showcase our threatened New Zealand Falcon.
I’m very proud of the image and how NZ Geographic treated it. Obviously other people agree and of course, I’d love it to win the title. If you agree it would be great to get your vote here: http://www.themaggies.co.nz/vote-now/ (and there’s a $5 discount incentive on subscriptions). Fingers crossed.
August 9th, 2010 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
Michael Kerrisk contacted us for a cover photo for his new book. He’s very smart, and he’s a Kiwi doing good stuff in a far off land. Naturally we thought it great to have iconic kiwi image gracing his book cover and pitched a fresh fern koru image.
Michael loved the idea, in terms of what the koru represented, the clean fresh NZ link, and the obvious fractals pattern association (you’ll need a big brain to understand that apparently).
So here it is - a NZ connection to a new book on Linux Programming. Judging by the spine, she’s a tome and a half.
Congratulations Michael. It was a pleasure to help add the finishing touches of the New Zealand connection.
Want to see more stock photos of New Zealand fern korus?
August 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
A couple of weeks back I spoke to Evan’s Bay Pre Shool. Not my normal speaking audience, but it turned out to be a rich experience. I got more than I bargined for. The clincher was when Courtney said that “the kids often played at what you do for a job”. It keeps giving; the kids just delivered me a thank you card. Thanks to you all; I now have it hanging in my office.
|Have a read about my visit here. It’s got a couple of cute photos and I wrote about why it was such a nice morning.|
The kids ran their own photo competition and are proud of the results. Here’s a nice comment.
August 2nd, 2010 § 2 comments - add yours
I’m judging the NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year Photo Competition, alongside Andris Apse and Arno Gasteiger.
Entries are open now, there’s $6000 and a bit of fame up for grabs, and entry is free & online. No excuses not to enter. Closing date for entries 10pm, Tuesday 21st September, 2010. Get into it. Hopefully I’ll be viewing your work soon! Good luck.
July 26th, 2010 § 3 comments - add yours
It’s that time already - calendars for 2011 are starting to appear in shops. It seems earlier and earlier each year.
Every year we work with many publishers, designers, companies and printers to create a large range of quality calendars. Retail calendar have just started hitting shops, and samples are arriving (it seems to get early each year). Here are a few just in, with one that we particularly like below:
|We particularly like the NZ Panorama title. It was developed with John Sands based on the large collection of quality New Zealand panorama stock photos that Rob has created over the last few years. It’s a large calendar, and with metallic embossing on the front it looks great.|
|Have a closer look. These should be appearing in stores mid August.|
For your info, we have a massive collection of images perfect for NZ calendar production. The calendars above are publically available in stores, but we also create numerous specific in house titles directly with companies, such as banks, insurance companies, supermarkets, consultancies etc. Please contact us if you have a calendar project in mind; they are a great full year promotional tool.
July 8th, 2010 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
This just in from Wilderness Magazine. Nice to be recognised by these folks. Thank you.
June 23rd, 2010 § 5 comments - add yours
“The only way to divine happiness is by helping others” is a saying I heard years ago.
Last week I was asked to talk at a pre-school. My initial thought was that I didn’t have time to prepare and do it, and anyway, being used to speaking to adults, what would 3-4 year olds get out of it?
Courtney from Evan’s Bay Preschool said, “these kids love playing at what you do for a job - they’d love you to visit”. I remembered the saying above and reconsidered; and was very pleased I did.
I took along my polar outfit and… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
June 1st, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours
I shared dinner with the first man to walk to the South Pole and the North Pole last week! Robert Swan is a remarkable man in many ways. I want to share a bit about him, his 50 year project and what this meeting meant to me. I can’t believe my luck.
Robert Swan walked to the South Pole in 1986. At 33, he walked to the North Pole (1989). He’s earned a spot in history alongside the heroic explorers of old, becoming the first man to walk to both poles. Incredible. He doesn’t do things by halves, and he’s taken on some Herculean tasks since.
Robert Swan was in Wellington last week and I was invited to a small dinner. Robert gave a pre-dinner slideshow that set the scene for an inspiring evening, and touched many chords for all of us. For me, having been to both polar regions, having some idea of how epic his walks were, and being a student of polar heroic history, it was a big treat sharing his tales, elbow to elbow, at the dinner table.
Robert was inspired by Antarctica and the heroic explorers when he was 11. He dodged Oxford Uni (much to his father’s chagrin) and in his twenties decided to raise $5,000,000 for an expedition, bought a ship, convinced 25 volunteers to give up 3 years, and set sail to Antarctica, to walk to The Pole. It took him 5 years to get 1000 sponsors and enough money, before setting sail in 1984 - meeting Capt. Scott’s last surviving expedition member Bill Burton in Lyttelton. He tracked down original sponsors of Capt Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910-1913 expedition, e.g. Shell Oil supplied petrol to Captain Scott and again supported Robert’s attempt. It’s worth mentioning that Robert had never even been camping at this stage!
The short story is that he walked to the South Pole in 70 days without radios but, upon arrival, discovered that… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
April 21st, 2010 § 5 comments - add yours
This month I gave a speech at the Photographic Society national conference. I chose to talk about how photography can add to an exceptional life.
Partly I talked about how I’ve learnt that serendipity is a very important index to monitor in life and business. True to form a nice bit of coincidence appeared while researching my speech. It’s this that I want to tell you about, and why I’ve found it so vital to have.
My speech was titled: ‘Shooting from the Heart - seeking an exceptional life via photography’. Of course, photography is my income, but it pays me richly in many better ways; I’ve been lucky to meet some amazing people, wildlife, visit some special places, and share great experiences so far in my life. The ‘juice of life’ is what I call it now, and it’s something that should ideally be enjoyed and sought in a pure sense, not driven by necessity or ego.
I’ve found that the more I try to discover this in a pure sense, without selfish interest, the more serendipity or coincidence appears. It might sound a bit flaky or woolly perhaps, but I can assure you that there is a sensible reason for it, and here in lies what I have learnt so far, and wish to share.
Creative professionals know that creativity comes from an open still mind. A mind that contains stress or fears becomes closed and creativity suffers. Same with opportunity, same with serendipity. I think that we all have similar portions of coincidence in our lives, but an open mind simply sees more of it. I have the confidence now to use serendipity as a powerful defacto indicator that my mind is more open, and therefore probably more receptive to opportunity and creativity. Make sense? Watch out for it and tell me what you think. Does it happen to you also? I’m very keen to know more.
A nice piece of historical serendipity to share
By happy coincidence, while researching my speech, I discovered a little bit more about an ancestor Laura Jane Suisted (1840 - 1903), and an unexpectedly fascinating link between us that spans the globe, and a century, appeared…… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
April 1st, 2010 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
Image Researcher!? We’ve worked with Caroline over the years - first crossing paths when she worked for the Guinness World Records when she needed an NZ photo, and now with her living in Wellington we’ve recently worked on the new Zealandia displays. Last week, while sitting enjoying a coffee on the deck here at Nature’s Pic Images we were discussing ‘Image Researching’ with Caroline, and felt the world needed to know of her work & unique profession. So, here’s a guest post from Caroline Thomas, Image Researcher Extraordinaire….
Love it or hate it; think it’s a waste of money or money well spent, the new Visitor Centre at Zealandia cannot be ignored. I spent a couple of hours at the Centre the other day, getting a preview of the exhibition as a result of the small contribution I made, through my job, to its creation.
The job I do could politely be described as ‘niche’; people often look at me nonplussed when I tell them what I do. ‘That’s a job?’, they think and, often, say.
When I first arrived in New Zealand to live, I was uncertain that I would be able to continue to work in the mysterious profession that I had been practising for several years in London. What is this esoteric activity you may ask? I work as a freelance image researcher, sourcing appropriate images for publication in books, newspapers and exhibitions. One of my more memorable contracts was for Guinness World Records where there was always a chance of meeting some extraordinary characters (pictures of the world’s most tattooed man anyone?) (ROB: Whoa, did you introduce him to your Mum Caroline!?). And one of the least memorable? How do you fancy spending all day seeking sufficiently interesting pictures of “nuts and bolts” for an educational textbook.
In the expectation that New Zealand was simply too sparsely populated to sustain a …
> > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
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.
March 25th, 2010 § 5 comments - add yours
Please welcome our guest blogger Aliscia Young, who had a chance to join Rob on a helicopter photo shoot over the Marlborough Sounds. Aliscia is a very talented New Zealand documentary photographer specialising in nature and fashion photography, and has a BDes Hons 2008 from Massey University. Rob was interviewed by Aliscia during her study and has watched her work develop. There was an opportunity for Aliscia to join Rob on a commerical aerial film shoot for Tourism New Zealand. Here are Aliscia’s thoughts…
Check out some of her work below. She has exhibited at 5 Stories High Gallery, Wellington and if you’d like to see more of Aliscia’s work or get in touch, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for the kind words Aliscia!
The other day Rob invited me to join him to photograph from a helicopter around the top of the South Island. The night before we set out Rob said, “forgot to ask if you’re okay with flying. Doors will be off and it’ll be up and down and all over the place…good fun.” Thank goodness I don’t experience flying sickness, I thought to myself… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >
March 12th, 2010 § 1 comment - add yours
New Zealand Geographic featured a nice article about Rob’s TankCam, otherwise known as RoboCam (nice touch guys!). If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look of the Fairy terns shoot please check out the article here and Rob’s video here.
Let us know what you think, it’s always great to hear your feedback!
March 2nd, 2010 § 0 comments, Add the 1st
Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry had the classic ‘encounter’ with a frustrated male Kakapo bird which has since become gold on YouTube. 1.7 million views last count (see video below).
I came across old photos of my own encounter with a friskly Kakapo recently. The famous person around at the time was Don Merton (famous enough), but unfortunately there was no video camera. Fame and glory were not to be this time, so you’ll have to make do with this image:
Remarkable experiences. Conflicting demands. How to make the most of them & life?
I’m lucky in my life, and work, to see and experience some remarkable things. The trick is not to take this for granted. It’s easier said than done when the object of the experience usually must be shot with camera. There are fundamentally opposing demands here and I want to explain a solution I’ve found to this problem….
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.
Click 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.