Iceland In New Zealand?

November 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photographed on Middlehurst Station, New Zealand. 
Phase One XF, IQ180 back, f11 @ 1/60 second, ISO 35

When Tony Hewitt and I returned from the north end of the South Island of New Zealand earlier this year, we really felt we'd discovered a gem of a location. It's Middlehurst Station up in the NZ High Country and there are parts of it that really reminded us of Iceland.

Okay, so it's not Iceland exactly in that it doesn't have giant waterfalls and huge glaciers, but the mountains have that Icelandic ruggedness about them, that feeling you've been dropped into a Tolkien landscape. It's exactly that 'feeling' I've tried to embed in the landscape image up above.

At the end of Autumn, although the trees have lost their leaves, the branches retain strong colour and so what you see in the photo is quite close to reality, as long as you drop the exposure. Adding to the drama are the black rocks behind the trees which lift the colours even more. This is one of my favourite shots from our trip this year and while I know Tony isn't quite as enamoured with it, I think this will be a keeper for me.

But does it work as well without the figure? Have a look below. 

Over the years, I've added figures into a variety of landscapes, from Venice to Patagonia, Turkey to Papua New Guinea. I think it creates a question, gives viewers another reason to look at the photograph, to ponder its meaning. If any!

Middlehurst Station is huge and access is restricted, but we have two workshops going there next year. You can check them out on the Better Photography website - Adventures in New Zealand and Middlehurst Art Photography Workshop


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