Wilderkids of New Zealand

There's something about the wilderness that is very nostalgic for me. I spent my early childhood growing up in the remote hills of Northland, New Zealand.  My parents fully embraced the DIY and sustainable living ethos during that time; tending to their own small piece of land and building their own home. We had chickens and goats and our land backed onto a river surrounded by native bush. Making tree huts with bailing twine and punga fronds, rock hopping along river beds and collecting wild black berries were all normal after-school activities. I have very fond memories of exploring the natural world that was around me.

Though my lifestyle, as a adult is quite different from that of my childhood, I want to make sure I savor the adventures I have with my own family (however occasional they may be), and intentionally provide opportunities for my children to enjoy the natural world around them.



I was recently asked to write a guest blog post on the subject "Top tips for Landscape Photography" for a bicycle tour website. I used to spend a lot of time photographing awesome locations within my work in the film industry. And though I don't get into the wilderness as much as I'd like to these days, I do LOVE an opportunity for an adventure.

...My writing assignment resulted in the following ramblings...

Golden hour at Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand

Golden hour at Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand

1. Composition - Rule of threes.
The traditional rule of composing or framing a balanced photograph is to divide your frame into 3 even segments vertically and horizontally and then to compose your subject (or landscape) within this… This is a good rule to master and then you can break the rule as much as you want, but if you’re looking for a nicely balanced shot then place your horizon line on the upper or lower third to make more emphasis on either the land or the sky. Some cameras have these guide lines as an option for framing in the menu of the camera (otherwise just use your eye and guess). Similarly with the vertical divisions, you can place land marks centrally or off to the left or right side of frame using thirds also.

2. Aperture - How much is in focus.
If you have an SLR or a camera which allows you to change the aperture (known as F stop) then you can can control how much of the picture is in focus (depth of field). A large number like F16 will give you a larger depth of field so your foreground and background are both in focus which is good for landscape photography.

3. Lighting - The golden hour.
The golden hour refers to the first hour of light in the day and the last hour of light in the day. If you can photograph at sunrise or sunset, you’ll be sure to capture some natural beauty. The hour (or 2) leading up to sunset is a gorgeous time of day to photograph; this is when you can capture those golden tones on the landscape, long shadows, sun flare, calmer waters, changing dramatic colours in the sky. If you have the time to stick around, capture a number of shots in a sequence to show the change in light as the sun fades.

4. Take another look...
As well as the epic open landscape shots… Look for the points of difference in a scene to personalise your capture...people or structures in the landscape, seasonal trees, water reflections, cloud formations and the way the light interacts with the scene. Look for little things that will spark your memory of your experience in the landscape when you look back on your photos. ENJOY the process. - Alice Veysey

Thanks to http://www.envydesign.co.nz/ for the writing assignment : )

- See more at: http://www.cyclingtours.com.au/blog/entry/top-tips-for-landscape-photography