Speed and beauty, NZ falcon shoot up close

July 5th, 2009 § 16 comments - add yours

It was a privilege to work with the rare and little know native New Zealand Falcon this month… New Zealand Geographic Magazine were running a feature on the rare NZ falcon, but didn’t yet have the wow shot to sell the story, so asked if I’d have a crack at it. Knowing that these birds are amongst the fastest on earth, very cryptic, and not particularly large meant that a challenge lay ahead.  I love a tough assignment that pushes thinking beyond the norm; the satisfaction of success is very sweet.  Here is part of the result:

New Zealand Geographic Magazine Cover this month

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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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