Country Calendar Book – a 50th Anniversary project finished

December 16th, 2016 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

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

 

Large murals – Quality NZ Natural Imagery for the relaxation effect

September 13th, 2016 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Research shows natural images, especially nature landscapes, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and increase feelings of well being in people.

Our need to connect with nature is inherent in us (Rob gave a talk about this recently at the Environmental Defence Society’s annual summit – video linked below).

Our health industry clients recognise this, and we’ve worked with them to bring NZ nature scenes to people who need the benefit of nature in their facilities.

The Auckland DHB have just used around 30 of our natural landscape images to produce super graphics for wards and treatment rooms, the feedback has been great:

New Auckland Hospital murals, by Rob Suisted

New Auckland Hospital murals, by Rob Suisted

The Waikato DHB have also recognised the healing value of nature photography, and several of Rob’s images are now in use in their radiation treatment rooms, link below

Waikato Hospital murals by Rob Suisted

Waikato Hospital murals by Rob Suisted

We specialise in professionally stitched panoramas for large graphic reproduction, which maintain integrity and quality when reproduced as large murals. We invest in quality equipment that provides better quality files than you’ll get from most places, for large reproductions. Drop us a line if you’re planning a stunning big mural. See some more of our murals here.

You can take that from us, or take it from the Waikato DHB newsroom…..

On the wall in front of you is a huge photo of a New Zealand forest, with majestic tall-trunked trees so real you feel your mind can go for a walk among them. The feature wall photographs are a beautiful forest scene by Rob Suisted, award winning New Zealand photographer”.

And here’s Rob’s opening address to the EDS Wild Places conference, talking about wilderness, the importance to the human condition, and some great NZ images. Grab a coffee and take a look:

Rob Suisted, Photographer from Environmental Defence Society on Vimeo.

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.

NZ National Fieldays – the Big Pictures

May 27th, 2016 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

NZ National Fieldays is the largest annual farming and agricultural trade show in New Zealand, and maybe the Southern Hemisphere.

Every year at Mystery Creek, Waikato, hosts over 1000 exhibitors and around 120,000 pairs of boots over a 4 day event (and presumably, the occasional dedicated pair of heels).

It has a rich history and tradition for over 45 years now (http://www.fieldays.co.nz/factandhistory ), and prizes are awarded to the best exhibitions.  We have a strong connection supplying large high quality image files to exhibitors.

Word is getting around that we have a great selection of rural photography, especially since the release of Rob’s 17th book ,the official 50th Anniversary of Country Calendar and the award winning Molesworth Station book, and that we carry a huge collection of panorama files for murals.

Westpac Bank lined their marquee with 3 massive panoramas that were stitched together beautifully, totaling 41 metres of murals:

Fieldays 41m mural by Rob Suisted

We worked with some notable stands in 2016, including a 25m x 2.4 metre single image for Husqvarna (a 6Gb image file!)… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

The most beautiful Kauri tree in the land

November 25th, 2015 § 5 comments - add yours

NZ Post commissioned me to shoot the covers of the NZ Stamp Collection (an annual book containing all the year’s new postage stamps) again this year.  The theme is ‘Take a Closer Look’, and follows on from the previous 3 covers we’ve done together. This year Kauri Trees were our focus.

The most beautiful Kauri Tree (Agathis australis) in NZ

The most beautiful Kauri Tree (Agathis australis) in NZ

I was fortunate that last year I was taken to a very beautiful Kauri Tree, by a remarkable man called Kevin Prime.  I was commissioned to shot his portrait for a book project, and wanted to photograph this humble man against the might of the majestic Kauri.  Kevin knew just the tree and he introduced me to it.  A minute after we arrived, in the peace of the calm forest, a quiet whirling sound started up, and got louder.  What was it? Suddenly the tree’s seeds started landing on my head and shoulders.  It’s had cast it’s seeds out onto us.  The hair stood up on my arm as Kevin said how auspicious this was.

So when NZ Post wanted a kauri for their annual stamp collection book, I knew exactly which tree I wanted to showcase to the nation.  Never before have I seen such a distinctive bark pattern on a Kauri Tree.  The hammered texture of this one is very striking, and almost appears as an embossed surface on the book box set.

NZ Post's The NZ Collection, annual stamp book covers by Rob Suisted

NZ Post's The NZ Collection, annual stamp book covers by Rob Suisted

If you’d like to see more of this beautful tree, or get a closer look at the distinctive bark patterning, have a look at our Kauri Tree photo collection.

Pentax 645z – 9 months of 51MP big pixel goodness in NZ

June 18th, 2015 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

About nine months back in invested in a Ricoh Pentax 645z camera body, and purchased nearly every medium format lens available (from super wide 25mm (approx 19mm in 35mm equiv.) to 400mm tele) for this wonderful new camera. I thought it was time to talk about the joy I’m getting from the amazing output quality I’m seeing.

Pentax 645z used by Rob Suisted for last 9 months

I used to shoot medium format film cameras up to 6 x 9 colour transparencies.  Shooting 35mm full frame digital is great, but when Ricoh Pentax brought out this camera I felt it was time to jump up.  Sure, Canon has recently unveiled 50MP 35mm camera bodies, but to be honest, they won’t come close to the performance of this.  The file sizes might be comparable, but the pixel size with the Canon is so small now, that the quality of output will be miserable in comparison.  Check out the photo below for a large copy (which is 1/10th the size of the original by the way) – click on it and make sure you’re viewing at 100%.  As you see, there’s no shadow detail.  Infact, I’m finding I can shoot the Pentax 645z at 3200 ISO and the files are better than the best Canon 400 ISO files I’ve seen.  It’s just luscious to shoot with and I still marvel at the results every day.

Incredible image quality - click for full screen view - make sure you have 100% viewing

Incredible image quality - click for full screen view - make sure you have 100% viewing

It’s been a big investment in equipment, but as we specialise in very large reproductions (especially doing a lot of giant murals for clients) and have always aimed for the best quality output.  It’s why we also maintain a top of the line Hasselblad Imacon Scanner for sucking the best out of our back collection of quality transparencies.  The feedbck we’ve had from clients is very rewarding.

Pentax 645z in action. Rob Suisted, Kaimanawa Forest Park

Pentax 645z in action. Rob Suisted, Kaimanawa Forest Park

Snail Back Story to todays News Story

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

Today’s news carried an article on my photography work on the NZ Stamp annual, NZ postage stamps, and the NZ bank notes just annouced. Full story here.

Wellington photographer Rob Suisted, whose work features on stamps and on the newly designed New Zealand banknotes.

Wellington photographer Rob Suisted, whose work features on stamps and on the newly designed New Zealand banknotes.

The article by Dave Crampton mentioned I’ve done previous NZ Post annual stamp book covers, so here’s some of the back story to those covers.

NZ Post annual stamp book covers by Rob Suisted, urging us to take a closer look at our native fauna

NZ Post annual stamp book covers by Rob Suisted, urging us to take a closer look at our native fauna

I’ve worked with Nicky Dyer of Strategy Design in Wellington on these for several years now.  The 2012 cover used one of my favourite images, and the last couple of covers have been very interesting.  2013 cover involved filming rare NZ native geckos on a black background which involved an afternoon wrangling this cute little joker.  2014 proved to be much tougher.

Nicky called me and said they’d like to do a stunning cover focussing on our rare and little known giant carnivorous land snails, Powelliphanta.  Jeepers I thought, it’s winter and they’re not going to be very mobile in the cold.  Always up for a challenge I accepted.

The job involved setting up a makeshift macro studio in the back of my jeep, talking to snail experts, before heading across on the interisland ferry for a few days.  Of course that night turned very cold, meaning that snails would not be active.  Luckily I’d managed to get out at dusk and spend a few hours searching for snails.  It took about an hour to find my first, and several others shortly after.  I was fortunate as overnight a good dusting of snow meant searching become impossible.

Freezing cold, rare snail hunting

Freezing cold, rare snail hunting

These unique snails require warmth to be active, and luckily with the sunny day, and black surfaces, it was enough to coax one out of it’s shell despite the cold air temperature.  It did take about 4 hours though (mostly moving on the spot to warm my feet), and I got some stunning and unique portraits to do these giants proper justice.  The textures, colours and form are beautiful and I enjoy looking at them.

New Zealand Hochstetter's giant landsnail (Powelliphanta hochstetteri). Threatened NZ native terrestrial mollusc

New Zealand Hochstetter's giant landsnail (Powelliphanta hochstetteri). Threatened NZ native terrestrial mollusc

Have a look at more photos of these rare carnivorous giant landsnails (Powelliphanta sp.).  For a closer look at the new New Zealand bank notes, check this out.

Very proud to have photos on all our bank notes!

November 20th, 2014 § 6 comments - add yours

The Reserve Bank announced new designs for the New Zealand bank notes today.

I’ve been keeping a big secret for months – my photographs appear on all of them.  I’m very proud about it, as you can imagine, to have you carrying my work in your wallets and purses.  Click on the image for a closer look:

New Zealand bank notes redesigned from Rob Suisted photos

New Zealand bank notes redesigned from Rob Suisted photos

UPDATE: News article about the use of my images on the new currency bank notes, and NZ post stamp annual book cover.

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.

2015 Calendars already

September 17th, 2014 § 1 comment - add yours

First of our 2015 calendar creations have arrived.  Here are 13 different titles we’ve done with John Sands New Zealand – part of a 17 year relationship we’ve had creating quality New Zealand calendars together. robsuisted-calendars-for-2015-john-sands_w You’ll find them in most book shops, post offices, supermarkets throughout New Zealand.   We never get tired of seeing them together, hot off the press.

Hospital ward designed with patient care in mind. The power of pure NZ imagery

September 15th, 2014 § 1 comment - add yours

Auckland City Hospital’s Motutapu Ward, the new Northern Region Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, is using over 20 of our large murals.

The stunning facility has been co-designed with patients and has a range of unique features which have set a new standard in patient centred care. Former leukaemia patient and fundraising ambassador, Molly Rowlandson, says the new ward has exceeded all her expectations. ADHB press release

Rob Suisted murals in Auckland Hospital Haemotology and Bone Marrow transplant ward, ADHB

Relaxing NZ flax wetland reflections ©Rob Suisted - www.naturespic.com

More research is showing that quality images of nature are important to our well being, and important in our lives. We enjoyed working with Klein (Architects of Specialised Environments) to get the best images – not only in subject, but in size and proportions to get the best quality reproduction.

Rob Suisted murals in Auckland Hospital Haemotology and Bone Marrow transplant ward, ADHB

Coromandel sunset ©Rob Suisted - www.naturespic.com

There are three aspects for quality large reproductions: 1) Orignal image size before interpolation – i.e. the more pixels from the camera the better!, 2) reproduction size, how big is your mural going to be, and 3) viewing distance – how far is the view from the print? Viewing distance is often much neglected in consideration. E.g. a phone photo will work for a billboard size reproduction if the viewing distance is 100 metres away, but on a wall at a close viewing distance it will fail badily. If the print is viewed from a few metres then there is no substitute for professional files

Rob Suisted mural in Auckland Hospital ADHB 1

Clarence River high country ©Rob Suisted - www.naturespic.com

We work really hard to provide image files that can go large, with close viewing distances. In fact, we’ve just invested in the new Pentax 645Z camera and full set of lenses, a camera of 51 megapixels per image. Professionally stitched image panoramas will make amongst the best image files for murals available anywhere.

Several other large mural projects we’re been involved with here.

New photo murals just in

January 13th, 2014 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

We’ve been working with Kai Hawkins on some interesting projects lately.  Firstly we completed the new Blenheim i-SITE visitor centre, and today we got photos of new bus shelters we’ve supplied some luscious large high quality images for great looking murals.  Take a look:Marlborough Sounds

Molesworth Station

Marlborough Bus Shelter murals

Check out some of the other 2500 Marlborough images we have available online.

New Zealand postage stamps by Rob Suisted

September 26th, 2013 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

Rob’s proudly done 18 postage stamps now with New Zealand Post.  Here are the latest three:

stamps-by-rob-suisted_tNew Zealand Post page.

Blenheim gets a new Information Centre – using our photos

May 24th, 2013 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

I supplied many images to outfit the Blenheim Information Centre, and recently got the chance to view the final result.

blenheim-visitors-centre-0006_w

It’s always great to work on a project that uses images that make you proud, and this is one of them.

blenheim-visitors-centre-0004_w

Pop in if you’re passing through Blenheim – it’s a great building with nice interior and exterior design.

blenheim-visitors-centre-0002_w

Images were from my wide Marlborough District collection.  We do a lot of large image installations and murals like this. For example, you’ll see my images used in Auckland and Christchurch International Airports.

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.

Molesworth Station Muster – A unique photo assignment adventure!

June 11th, 2012 § 28 comments - add yours

“You should come on the May autumn muster to Lake McRae.” said Jim Ward, Manager of Molesworth high country Station.

What an invitation; for those that know Molesworth Station you’ll understand the significance of such an invite! For those that know Lake McRae (see map at bottom), many will regard this as a holy land of sorts. To join in on the annual cattle muster to push 400 cattle over the Inland Kaikoura Ranges to their traditional winter pastures is epic. Not only is it regarded as one of the highest cattle musters in the world (at over 1400m/4700ft), but it’s also one of the most remote seldom visited spots in New Zealand. With three stockmen & horses involved, and small backcountry hut, it’s also a very few lucky folks that have ever participated in this 100 year tradition. More folks have climbed Everest than been here. This is not a commercial trip, but a unique rare opportunity to join the stockmen on part of their annual work programme in the high country.

“Would love to Jim, thanks” was my response, adding “I’m a bit of a green horn on a horse though. “Don’t worry, there are horses that don’t like people too” Jim shot back as I was leaving. I just hope I’m not given one of those horses I thought. This is the story of the amazing adventure, including learning to ride, that followed (youtube video of trip now available, so have a read of this & then click here to view the short vid to get a real feeling for the place)…

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

Molesworth Station Muster team on Robinson Saddle

For the last 18 months I’ve been working on a book about this historic high country station with Harry Broad. Lance McCaskill wrote a seminal book about the first 50 years of Molesworth history. We’re bringing the history of this fascinating iconic high country run up to date. It’s New Zealand’s largest farm at 500,000 acres and sits nestled amongst mountain ranges between Blenheim, Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura.

Back at my office in Wellington, Nina, my Business Manager, was excited. She’d grown up with horses and rode professionally back in Sweden. On weekends she trains riders and horses. You will be fine, I’ll teach you she said.

My horse riding crash course on Red. Photo & teaching by Nina Tötterman

Learning: my horse riding crash course on Red. Photo & teaching by Nina Tötterman

So started a wonderful bi weekly programme designed to advance me from newbie to competent horse rider in less than a month, but most importantly to toughen up my softer spots. Each Tuesday and Thursday we shut the office at noon, headed for Wainuiomata and climbed on horses. My third lesson as cantering bareback. They pushed me hard to learn on the crash course but I’m very grateful now. Luckily I apparently picked things up fast, learning I think more about animal behaviour and psychology than staying on Red, Ray, or Teddy, the three boys I learnt to ride on. Bruce and Kelly’s property in Wainuiomata had a great variety of steep hills and trails to explore between flat work. Things started to arch and hurt in places you’d normally only see with a mirror; apparently a sign you’re doing it right. Weird that.

Nina, my Bus. Mgr & horse whisperer controlling an over excited high performance F1 hot blooded 'Shaka'

Nina, my Bus. Mgr & horse whisperer controlling an over excited high performance F1 hot blooded 'Shaka'

One Sunday night the phone went; it’s Jim. “Can you get down tomorrow? We’re bringing it forward due to weather”. I hurriedly finished my GST tax return, a quick pack and assemblage of equipment and I was on the ferry heading for the South Island.

I arrived late evening, got a bit of gear organised, hit the hay around midnight, to be up a 4.30am for breakfast with Jim & Tracey and the three stockmen that I’d be riding with for the next 3 days, Andy McLachlan, Cory Hollister and Tom O’Sullivan. Nine months before I’d met these guys on their first week on Station as they learnt horse shoeing from visiting farriers so they could look after their horses in the remote out stations through the year (a skill we’d rely on later…

> > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

A photo compliment committed to skin!

December 16th, 2011 § 4 comments - add yours

Some things stand out in my working photographic career; but having a photo tattooed onto skin, as a living memorial, has to be a remarkable compliment.

NZ Falcon photo tattoo

Nick Johns contacted me for permission to use a photo as a memorial to his brother.  Some things cross boundaries, and this does for me – creating an image someone feels is good enough to permanently etch onto their body in honour of someone they have lost, is very humbling. New Zealand falcon photograph

Nick wanted to tell everyone that his brother died as a consequence of drug addiction. ” We are all addicted to something in this life.  But the trouble with drugs for the addict is they progress, as Tim did from the so called harmless drugs, Marijuana etc to eventually the hard drugs, in Tim’s case Methamphetamine.  The only good thing to come out of this, is it has shown the next generation in our families how drugs will destroy lives. It destroyed their awesome Uncle Tim whom they all loved so very much.”

Thank you Nick for wanting to share this, and for creating a very humbling experience for me, from what is a very sad experience and loss for you.  We’d both love to hear your comments if you’d like to post any here.

You can learn more about how the image was originally captured for the cover of NZ Geographic Magazine, and how it was also used by a church with a great sense of humour.  There are more photos of this remarkable species, the New Zealand Falcon, here, and we’ve created a special quality canvas print.  Further, we selected it to be used as preface to Majestic New Zealand book because it’s a special shot that captures the essence of a remarkable but endangered creature.

Seasons revolving. Contrasts of Molesworth Station

September 15th, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

I’ve been photographing a book about Molesworth Station; New Zealand’s largest station at 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres!).

 The dramatic changes in landscapes, colours and seasons are imperceptible to our human time scale.  I’ve just compared 3 photos taken 5 months apart and watched the richness of colour fade out to a stark reality of a barren winter landscape.  Beautiful.

Molesworth Station seasonal contrast. Click to enlarge

Molesworth Station seasonal contrast. Click to enlarge

So, merged, the top two look great:

Awatere River at the Muller - lush autumn to stark winter

 

Looking forward to the spring colour flush…

2012 calendar season showcasing Rob’s work

September 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments, Add the 1st

That time of year when our calendar publishers unveil there collections.  Here are a few dedicated Rob Suisted titles and covers you’ll see in all great stores around New Zealand:

2012-rob-suisted-calendars_t

This year would be one of the best looking line ups of retail products we’ve done.  Rob is very happy with the quality – they look really good. The New Zealand Panorama title is especially delicious – full of his heartfelt favourite panorama images.

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.

New Zealand calendar season starting already

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:

2011 calendars by Rob Suisted, a selection so far

2011 calendars by Rob Suisted, a selection so far

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.
 2011 New Zealand Panorama calendar by Rob Suisted Have a closer look. These should be appearing in stores mid August.  2011 New Zealand Panorama calendar back by Rob Suisted

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.

‘Rob’oCam – The art of spying on birds

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!

New Zealand Geographic RoboCam article

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Helicopters and cameras behind the scenes in Fiordland, wow

February 8th, 2010 § 11 comments - add yours

I’m doing a lot of commercial helicopter photo work at the moment, mainly for Tourism New Zealand. I want to take you along behind the scenes in Fiordland New Zealand, on a job I just got home from.  Spectacular!  Things don’t go as forecast so it’s an interesting day with some interesting sights and some interesting blokes. You have to watch this:

The day started in a run of perfect weather, but mysteriously a thick layer of fog/cloud filled Fiordland making filming tough for myself (stills photog) and the HD Cineflex video helicopter team to operate. What happens next?

You’ll see a lot of the equipment we use, several helicopters, and… > > > Continue reading : full post + comments > > >

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 > > >

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