Queenstown and Publications

What an interesting few weeks. My main computer crashed so my work flow pretty much went to crap, I’m playing catch up now and getting back on to a lot of things. I have made the journey down to Queenstown and will be based here for a while. I have been busy shooting portraits the last few days and  I’m pretty happy with the way everything went. I will post something for you on my next blog. In the meantime here are a few other images from lately.

Every year I take my car across on the Cook Strait ferry to the South Island. It’s always a stunning drive and this time we had a few truck loads of cows coming across with us as they made their way to new homes on South Island farms for the start of the new farming year for dairy farmers. Pretty iconic really – cows in a boat on a rough crossing to the south.

I’m always thinking of new ways to create images that are eye catching. I’m also trying to find models that are willing to try out my whacky ideas.

The idea here was to simply pour a heap of milk over Heath’s head and shoot some close up portraits with a ring flash. Left – Heath about to pour some milk – the milk was really really cold and gave him icecream head aches each time. I felt bad but it was so freaking funny I couldn’t stop laughing the whole shoot.

There has been quite a few publications hit the shelves in the last few weeks with a bunch of work that I have done over the last few months. Below is a sneak peak, but you should really go pick up a copy. There isn’t anything better than seeing it on paper.

Soggy Bones, an Australian mag did an interview with me and profiled my work over ten pages. Super happy to get my work profiled. Go grab a copy or if you cant find one it should be free through this link shortly.

Also the second issue of Transfer for the season has hit the shelf. They have done a great job once again and this one comes with the GO SEEK movie DVD produced by Ben Ryan. I spent a lot of time with the Reason Films crew this last year and shot a bunch with them in the US. I have a 14 page photo essay in this issue from my journeys over around Minnesota and Silverton.

So I have a load of work on over the next three weeks and I’m really excited about all the new projects going on. I will do my best to do regular posts when I can. . Don’t forget to click on the Transfer link up further and vote for NZ in the poll. See you out there.

Portraiture and Flying High

RC Helicopters and a new desire to take amazing portraits – that is what has been driving me lately. I have recently returned from America after spending three and a half months shooting snowy adventures up and down the country. It was an amazing journey but I’m always a little burnt out after sleeping in over crowded motel rooms, 14 hour days shooting in the snow and driving for what seems like an eternity across the country.

Our last journey across the U.S was to a small mining town called Silverton, Colorado.  Dragon has a cabin deep in the mountain not far from the township. I took this time exposure of our cabin as the stars rolled over. Look out for the story and decent photographs in the next Transfer issue

My usual day-to-day life right now is a bit different. I get up, make a coffee, drink it, make another coffee, send out emails then seem to go into some kind of trance looking through amazing portraits from other professionals. Its been really inspiring me to capture people in their very different lives. I think you can really tell a lot about someone and the way they have lived by a portrait if it is composed correctly. I have a lot of ideas and it’s going to be something I spend a lot more time on. Get in contact if you’re keen to work with me on getting great portraits. I’m looking for motivated people to test my new ring flash on.

I took this shot of Jye on a trip we did to Minnesota in the States, steam billowing of his back after a hard night out hitting rails in the freezing temperatures. I can’t post any banger portraits as they’re tied up in editorial right now. They will be in print shortly.

But before I turn into some kind of over-enthusiastic portrait photographer nerd (pretty much am anyway) I’m also working on aerial film and photography. I now have a second larger RC heli that I built upwards from a 2 mm nut over a very time consuming week, and have now got a small hi def 1080p camera attached. I’m only in the testing stages and still have a lot more work before I can get a steady image with no vibration, as well as improving my flying skills.  But its looking like I will be using it for some work in the coming months.

The new 600 I built beside my 500. I’m really looking forward to getting some decent quality footage with this.

New Zealand Snowboarder has hit the shelf. I shot the cover with Nick Brown across the road from our base in Tahoe. I shot it with the intention of framing it for a cover format and the masthead background was the perfect feature. I’m pretty happy the way it came out.

Transfer #6 has also hit the shelf and they keep impressing, with 145 pages with content from all over the place. Check out the article on Round Hill that we did last winter. We really got the perfect New Zealand conditions that day.

I have made a few changes to the website, making it easier to navigate, a larger format, and made changes to the galleries, so please have a bit of a look around.

On the Search

Hi All, I’m still busy doing snow projects right now. It is coming to an end though. I’m in Tahoe and it’s really warming up. We have had highs of around 18 C the last few days. It does feel good to get some sun on my face, go for a shred at NorthStar and have a few beers on the deck at the end of a day. I can feel the summer rolling around the corner.

It’s been warm and the snow is melting away. I shot this drop with a macro - Nick Brown chilling on his sled through the droplet.

We went searching deep in Washington after the good zones and found some amazing stuff but the weather just didn’t let up for us and it was hard to be productive. We are expecting snow in Tahoe in a few days and it might be one of the last chances to get those perfect conditions.

Snowy peaks peering through the clouds in the misty Stevens Pass, Washington State.

Going deeper, Greg Roebuck on the search in some of Washington’s deepest.

Nick Hyne got an iPhone snap of me playing with my macro, we found these birds that are a lot smaller than the last ones that were game to grab food out of my hand.

This is the shot I got with the macro.

My camera bag dusted in snow on a freezing pavement. It can be quite a painful process shooting at 2am in -20 C but I still love getting the results. It’s fair to say that I’m pretty excited to get back into shooting other genres in some warmer climates though. I would like to be shooting more modelling this year.

Ben Ryan, the filmer-producer of the new Aus/NZ snowboard movie (Go Seek) in action. I have worked alongside Bugs a lot over the last three years. He is a pretty talented guy behind the camera and his productions speak for themselves.

I’m a Travelling Man

I have been up and down the country twice now. There has been a lot of time spent in planes and cars. It went something like this Minnesota-Reno-Salt Lake City-Jackson Hole, back to Salt Lake City- Reno then off to Seattle and now I’m at Baker. What a journey!

Here are a few images from the windows I have had to peer out of along the way.

De icing the plane in Minnesota so we can get flying

Jackson Hole was a pretty cool place. It’s a really country place with lots of cowboys, country music and no tax. Apparently you don’t have to declare how much you earn there. It’s in the richest state in America, Wyoming. The people all seem to love New Zealanders as well - everyone was so nice.

There was a lot of pow, and dry. We had some fun shredding in the gloomy weather.

We stopped into Mike Parillo and Travis Rice’s gallery/work place. They had some very impressive work in there and a very nice working set up.

Then it was back to SLC for a few nights and a quick hike up the good only Grizzly Gulch. I spent a lot of time up Grizzly back in 06/07 and it definitely brought back some memories.

Mark A getting a little turn in as we head back down to the car.

We finally made it to Seattle after a 14 hour drive from Reno.  It seems to always rain here. This is what you see most mornings when you warm up the car. Cold and wet, it kind of reminds me of the weather at home in the winter.

We have been to some really nice zones but the snow has been wet and heavy. We haven’t had a dry snow day here yet. It’s made it hard.

The birds are really cool. They are super friendly and will grab food right out of your hand. They made our day after getting stuck on the sled in the gluggy snow.

America

I flew in to San Fran about two weeks ago now. It’s been action packed since I landed. First we headed up to Santa Cruz for a few days. Rob M’s parents live up there and we stayed at their place right around the corner from Pebble Beach. It’s a pretty amazing place, plenty of money around. Everyone lives on a golf course.  We watched the end of a golf tournament before heading back down the coast towards San Fran for surf.

Then it was off to Minnesota for me the following morning for ten days. There we have been shooting full time and getting it done. Now I have just arrived at a motel in Reno and have had a chance to post a few behind the scene snaps etc. from along the way.

Left-Ferret filming Rob surf on the coast . Right-The final hole at Pebble Beach. This place lives for golf. Everyone is golf crazy and the courses are in amazing condition

Did some portraits while in the town of golf. We had some amazing props.

I’m working on a portrait series of all the people I meet. This is one of Ferret. I have a new addiction of taking close up portraits.

Then off on the rail trip. We visited this rail last year but had to come back for another play.

Jake McCarthy came for some rail action

UPS docking

Another behind the scenes setting up for a shoot.

late night break in -20C  Minnesota. So so cold

It’s always in the back of my mind when I’m on the road. I hope everyone is coping with the earthquake and I wish everyone the best who has been affected by this. People over here have all heard about it and every time they hear a Kiwi accent they send their wishes out.

Wedding Season

It’s that time of the year, the wedding season. My brother has just got married. So the last few weeks have been crazy. I came back to home to help with getting the wedding ready before heading to Minnesota, USA to shoot a story then on to other trips that I’m sure I’ll be posting up here at some stage.  I never realized how much is involved in preparing a wedding and this wedding wasn’t really a small one.

First us groomsmen had to get some seafood for the caterers - good excuse to get away from all the fuss on land as well. So we spent a bit of time out there the first week back, getting tuna, crayfish and paua.

The Tuna we got, good in noodles with a bit of chili sauce or in Sushi.

This is Bear Island, on the other side is where all the crayfish are.

Got me a goodie

Heading out to pick up the cray pots as the first light comes up.

Plenty of meat on this guy - you need a lot when you have to feed 160 people.

Bit of lunch out on the boat before heading in.

We got a helli flight in from the beach to my parents’ house before getting a flight to the wedding venue just up the road. I was one of the groomsmen so couldn’t muck around with my camera too much but managed to take a few snaps before we arrived at the wedding.

The Groomsman’s flying in from he beach, its go time. This is when there were a few nerves starting to gather

This is the venue. Mike Toogood, Annabel’s father has a stunning place just out of Havelock North. It was the perfect place for my brother Rowan and Annabel his new wife to get married.

Richy, one of the groomsman making sure everything looks tidy before the final flight

My Mum helping my brother get ready before we fly in. He’s not looking too nervous in this one

The final touch.

Australia

After a good rest from my surgery I couldn’t sit around any longer.  I decided I would do a trip over to Sydney to meet up with some friends for New Years, get a bit of sun and visit Russell Holt (editor of Transfer mag) to get a bit more insight into the mags production and help out a bit on the edit for the latest issue. Here are a few snaps from my trip over and the last few days.

I watch rain drops bead along the window on the way to catch my flight. It was kind of nice as I knew I was going to be in the heat as soon as I landed at the other end.

Air New Zealand, they have always been good to me. I had a problem with my passport on the way out and missed my flight. They had no problem giving me a new flight for no extra charge.

Thats the way we’re heading, out of here.

Popped the jandals on, all ready for the Sydney heat.

I have spent a lot of time in transit over the last few years. After a while everything becomes a bit of a blurry, like the countless trains going past as I wait.

Heath got a black eye but you should see the other guy.

Nothing better than some fish and chips on the beach as the sun goes down.

Happy New Year. I hope you’re having a great break wherever your are and have lots of new adventures planned for 2011.

Spring, Surgery and RC Choppers

I haven’t been posting over the last 8 weeks as I finally arranged for my shoulder to be fixed, which required a full reconstruction, so I have been out of action since the Fox Glacier trip. I’m well on my way to recovery now and have had plenty of time to get the brain ticking again with new ideas. I have definitely had a few of those nights where there is so much going through your head you just can’t sleep. That seems to be the time when you come up with the best new ideas.

I have also had time to just relax up north and enjoy some boat time, a bit of wine tasting and just chill out before I get back into things.

I went out with some friends for a bit of clay bird shooting. This is Bouch getting the shot. He won the comp.

Also spent some time around Lake Taupo trying to get a few trout – no love yet though.

We did have some nice still days out there though.  There are some amazing little bays tucked away on the western side of the lake – white sand and your own little private escape.

We also found out about this little spot in the middle of nowhere. It’s a thermal stream that just runs through the bush. Such an amazing spot - I will definitely be going there more in the future, way nicer than the hot pools and it’s free.

There is nothing nicer than biking around the Hawke’sBay for a bit of wine tasting as well.

I have also purchased an RC chopper.  I want to eventually get a slightly larger one and mount my 5D m2 to a stabilizing rig on the base. But these machines are not easy to fly and you need to have a lot of time in the air before being confident to put expensive equipment on board. I want to get GPS rigged up eventually so it can fly while I control the camera. This technology has been around for a while now but could be used for so much more in my industry and can keep the cost down for aerial photography/film. I hope to have it all rigged up and ready to use by the start of the New Zealand winter.

Fox Glacier

I haven’t got anything too exciting to post this week.  I did my last trip of the winter up to the Fox Glacier. Its scenery and the whole experience was better than I thought it would be, which doesn’t happen very often. You usually get over excited and then disappointed so you can imagine how amazing this place was.

I can’t post any of my work from that trip until it has been published so haven’t got a lot to show but luckily Stef Z also brought his camera up and he was happy for me to post a few on my blog. Thanks Stef.

I enjoying the last of the sunset outside the cabin before shooting some night scapes.

I cut down my kit a lot, left anything I thought wasn’t necessary behind, and I still had way too much to lug around. We would walk for hours on end with snow shoes on and carrying climbing equipment like ice axe, crampons, harnesses on top of all the usual equipment. I definately got a work out.

Coming in to land after two nights up in the wilderness. The chopper guys were really good and gave us a chance to get some great shots, still shooting or filming as we come in to land. I was pumped on the flight obviously.

And the flight home.

And here is the last episode of Diaries Down Under, documenting our trip.

I have now done the drive up north to my Hawkes Bay base for a bit of down time, and some space to learn a few new things I want to focus on. Hopefully there will be some new big things to come.

Portraits and the Battle

My last efforts to finish everything before I leave Queenstown have barely all come together but I have made it. Nothing worse than rushing a job - it never comes out the same. I try to always leave plenty of time.

Here are a few portraits that I took for a friend who is putting together a website and starting a company. I’m starting to get the whole portrait/model shooting down better and learning more refined techniques in Photoshop. I’m always looking for more of this work so give me a shout if you are interested and like what I’m doing.

It’s not easy to get a natural look, especially with a model who hasn’t had a lot of experience. I know as soon as someone starts filming or taking stills of me I just freeze up. It’s a strange thing.

We have also had a photo battle on this last week, it was a bit different to your usual snowboarding photoshoot, but a lot of fun. I don’t want to give too much away until the article comes out but it was NZ vs AUS so we kept it pretty rural.

Behind the scenes

Some of the farmer props.

I thought I would post some snaps of my recent editorial that has come out as well. The Minnesota article came out in NZ Aus Snowboarder magazine and there are also a few pages from my feature in the hard cover of Transfer.