The Last New Zealand Post

Queenstown Harbor from Helicopter

Queenstown Harbor from Helicopter

On January 3rd 2014, I set out with my friend Ron Rosenstock in the midst of a severe winter blizzard, that shut down the airport, to travel to New Zealand. Not knowing what to expect I traveled in mystery. I left knowing that I would photograph for 2 whole weeks, and that was enough.

The trip is over, I am back home, I’ve returned  having visited a beautiful country with stories to tell and pictures to show. It was worth it, a lifetime experience.

I made some wonderful images. But, you decide for yourself, check out the gallery!

 

 

 

 

Queenstown Stories

Submerged Trees

So a Hobbit walked into a bar…. No.

There were three guys at the Prancing Pony and one disappeared…. No.

Or how about a walk among the Ents? If you are not following me then you didn’t see The Lord of the Rings, which has blessed this country with an everlasting fame. Today I looked up and saw the place where Isengarten was mythically located. But right behind that beautiful forest was a river and there were these sunken trees, you see… Never mind.

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You’d Never Know….

Trees and Mountains-3

It was New Zealand.

It’s just another beautiful place. I’m starting day 9 of a 15 day trip and I am noticing that my thoughts are more about being here than being home. It happened yesterday as I realized my mind was more focused on my surroundings than on my inner world. The inner world is quiet now, the outer world is bigger, brighter and more sparkly than before.

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To See

Flight1

I don’t know how to describe the feeling of low flight through incredible landscape and to see what is possible through the eyes of an infrared camera, it really is just so different. On Thursday I had the privilege of being invited to take a 50 minute flight though in the Mt. Cook area of South Island, New Zealand. Because of the IR effect, you can see through haze for miles.

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Eternity

Ocean Rock

I don’t think I can say much more than the title of this post. When I arrived at Maukatia Bay Beach, with it’s black sands and ancient stones, I just couldn’t imagine how long this must have been here. It was the eternity that held my interest as I watched the surf roll in and out, on and on, forever.

New Zealand and the Volcanoes

EruptionsIt’s no secret that much of this area is an active volcano zone which is part of the “ring of fire” throughout Asia. New Zealand is more active than people think. Today’s visit to Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of the world’s newest geothermal systems, active for just around 100 years. The rich colors which permeate the surface come from different ores, fungus and algae which thrive on the hot springs and salts.

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The Story of Maori

The Spirit of Ngatoroirangi

The Spirit of Ngatoroirangi

What you are looking at is a pattern the size of a man, formed in the soil of the volcanic geyser field I came across today in my travels.

The earliest Maori stories speak of a man named Ngatoroirangi, a tohunga (high priest) who guided the Te Arawa canoe to the land from Hawaiki, the ancestral homeland of Maori. Anxious to explore, he travelled east from Maketu, down the coast until he reached what is now known as the Tarawera River. Naming it Te Awa-o-te-atua, he turned inland and followed it upstream until he reached Ruawahia, the central peak of Mount Tarawera. Here he had a remarkable experience.

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A Quiet Place, A Good Start

NZ ChurchI sometimes wonder why I start my trips with a visit to a church. I am not religious in that regard. I find they are always beautiful spaces and it always feels good to walk into any religious center and just feel the vibe. Mosques, Temples, Synagogues and forests work equally well.

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Gone!

 

Boston Blizzard-3Like escaping just as the police break in to raid the joint, I made it out of Boston the morning of January 3rd, after the worst blizzard of the year unfolded it’s fury on the entire east coast.

Some would think I was lucky, blessed even as my friend Ron and I snuck away before the blizzard noticed we were gone.

That day 4000 flights were cancelled, the airport was “supposed to” be closed until noon. Thousands of people were stranded. Yet, Ron and I made our way to the United gate and checked in to a flight, on time, unaffected by the rest of the world around us.

Is this the Twilight Zone, where we slip through a portal; a rip in reality to get on a flight leaving with it’s final destination 1/2 way around the globe? Maybe a wormhole to New Zealand while the rest of the world struggled under the weight of a nasty blizzard? From 9 below zero to seventy two degrees, trapped in transport for 25 hours, arriving finally was completely uneventful.

But here we are. land of the Kiwi. First stop; Auckland New Zealand and a cheap hotel good enough for a shower and a meal before the touring begins.

Even as I write this short but 1st entry into what I hope will be a tale of travels that lasts several weeks, I think of all I left back home and I miss my sweetheart and my daughter already.

3 Seconds of Screaming Winds, Rain, Ice and Ocean

3 Seconds of Screaming Winds, Rain, Ice and Ocean

Before you go all PC on me, know that I mean it. Used the right way, a photograph with the “right” neutral density filter makes me quiver. It goes beyond a photograph, it’s actually a time lapse event all in one frame. It’s arrested sensations frozen in megapixels, oogled by many or just a few. Yes, you could say that I kind of like long exposures but that’s an understatement, I really love crafting images which compress time.

There’s 3 basic types of Neutral Density (ND) filters and you need to know the difference between them, so you can use them properly….  Read the rest of this entry »

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