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.

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.

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