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

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

Are you giving something back? It’s the juice of life

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.

eb01I took along my polar outfit and… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

South Pole and North Pole. Being bi-polar is a 50 year plan. Inspiration to me

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, South Pole

Robert Swan, South Pole

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 Swan's final message to us

Robert Swan's final message to us

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 > > >

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