In July 2019 I spent a week in Te Anau photographing the magnificent landscapes of Fiordland.
This was a very important experience for me as over the 12 years I have been a photographer, I have been influenced by two very talented exponents who operate at opposing ends of the scale. At the pragmatic end is Mark Gray of Australia who is the epitome of planning, patience & precision & at the spiritual end is New Zealander Tony Bridge who is very much in tune with his Maori heritage & the rhythms of natural phenomena.
In recent years, I have been more exposed to Mark’s precision – researching shoots, carefully selecting compositions, waiting for light & usually working from a tripod. With Tony in Fiordland, my photography became more instinctive – responding to the vistas as they appeared & shooting hand-held.
A number of the images displayed in this collection were shot through the windows of a helicopter or from the moving deck of a boat. There was little time to consider & compose but I felt the urge to respond to the sheer magnitude of the landforms, the interactions between them & the tremendous energy on display.
Most photographers shoot in the RAW format which necessitates all files being processed with editing software. I do not attempt to produce visual records, e.g. ‘I was there & here is a record of it’. Rather, ‘I was in this place & I personally saw it like this’. So, my approach is more impressionistic than realistic & it asks viewers to look at subjects in the way they may not have done before. To achieve this, I have employed computer techniques to add ‘painterly’ & ‘textural’ elements to the photograph. This may well be considered more ‘digital art’ than straight photography, but is a growing trend.
I remain in awe of Fiordland, it’s complexity, it’s ever-changing rhythms & it’s powerful energy. I have seen things that few others have been privileged enough to see & I feel an obligation to share those perspectives in the hope that others can better appreciate the natural beauty around us.