Top Ten Photos of 2015 #1 La Perouse Glacier

Solo Adventurer
Solo Adventurer

This is my friend Jane Morris tackling some of New Zealand’s steepest crevassed terrain on the La Perouse Glacier, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. I stopped briefly to harvest some water from a dripping icicle and continued to shoot the impressive surroundings with a perfectly placed model moving with ease and grace.

I was glad to have the right camera with me on this adventure but it was on this trip that I decided to switch to full frame mirrorless cameras. I miss some of the features and feel of my Canon 5D mk ii, but the Sony A7 series is continuing to astound me, and I do not miss the weight.

That’s it from me for this series. Here’s to a fresh and exciting New Year wherever you are. May all your dreams and aspirations come true.

Top ten Photos of 2015 #2 Tasman Glacier

The Hand of Time
The Hand of Time

This image inspires me to ponder more than any other. I stumbled across this mummified hand midway along the Tasman Glacier and immediately thought, someone out there knows this person. This hand belonged to a young climber who was avalanched near Tasman Saddle hut more than 41 years earlier, and never recovered. He was buried under enough snow and debris to be encapsulated until his body was transported to a lower altitude to be revealed to me, almost 10 km from where he perished.

It still makes me wonder about the 19 year old climber, his life cut short and the darker side to mountaineering.

 

Top ten Photos of 2015 #3 St Kilda Rd

St Kilda Road
St Kilda Road

Capturing Melbourne from the rooftops at dawn has been challenging and rewarding. On this particular morning on St Kilda Rd I thought there was nothing to see, but I applied what I knew anyway and took a few shots. The moral of this story is to never underestimate the power of the blue hour when you have street lights, headlights and leading lines.

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #5 Engagement Party

Engagement Party
Engagement Party

These friends were busy posing for Sonia’s engagement party when I asked if she could show me the ring. That was when the real magic occurred and I captured as relaxed an image as I could wish for. In the original image the bride-to-be can be seen in full, but the whole perspective shifted when I cropped it this way. It’s my personal preference although I did supply both versions in the final selection.

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #6 Maori Warrior Lady

Warrior Lady
Warrior Lady

Sharlene, the Maori Warrior Lady, is a catalyst in my view. I immediately wanted to take a photo of her but was intimidated until I came to realize how warm and softly spoken she is. I recently read a quote that said something along the lines of, ‘it’s better to be a warrior in the garden than a gardener in a war.’ Well, the wisdom of those words most definitely apply to Sharlene. She flipped my initial judgement on its head and I now know I’d want her on my side in times of trouble.

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #7 Happiest in Nature

Happy Christmas wherever you are in the world.

If you’ve just tuned in, here’s an update on what’s going on:

The end of another year has come and it’s time for reflection. As I browse my contribution to photography this year, I take note on what has happened from my viewpoint, what inspires me, how I view the world and how this worldview has changed. Change, after all, is inevitable. So I thought I’d share with you my favourites from the last 12 months.

Violet in the field
Violet in the field

This image was chosen for its balance and simplicity. I feel that the subject and the landscape work exceptionally well together and are more than the sum of their parts. Violet is happiest in nature and needed no instruction on where to stand and what to do.

Since the arrival of my first-born I have focused much of my photography attention on her and taken a step back from adventuring, so not including a favourite of her would be neglectful of me as a parent.

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #8 Melbourne Panorama

Melbourne Panorama
Melbourne Panorama

When clouds and landscapes meet there is always a place for interesting photography. Fifty Three floors up, I had a superlative view of the city to the north. The occasional glimpse of sun created light splashes on the concrete and canyons of the city to create this favourite Melbourne Panorama

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #9 Photographers Pit

Bass Man
Bass Man

Catching performers in their element has long been a favourite but only occasional pursuit of mine. When I attend gigs I like to listen and take in the complete experience from that perspective. I discovered that all three of Karnivool’s Melbourne shows were sold out but I was determined to see them.  I tried persistently and eventually convinced the band management to allow me into the photographers’ pit. It was my first experience of the ‘three song’ rule first hand – shoot the band before the third song is over, then go and mingle.

Here, Jon Stockman and Mark Hosking are fully in the groove.

Top Ten Photos of 2015 #10 Tasman Glacier Panorama

The end of another year has come and it’s time for reflection. As I browse my contribution to photography this year, I take note on what has happened from my viewpoint, what inspires me, how I view the world and how this worldview has changed. Change, after all, is inevitable.

Most of my year has been spent in or around Melbourne, Australia with just a couple of extended trips to New Zealand. I was once an action, adventure and landscape photographer but I’ve adapted to my surroundings (as we humans do) and developed a much bigger appreciation for shooting people, events, and cityscapes. I never realized how much I could enjoy someone else’s big event from behind the lens.

I noticed that many of my favourites are in black and white. There’s just something special and timeless about the finish of black and white that works much better.

Counting down to 2016 I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite shots every day for the next ten days.

 

Tasman Panorama
Tasman Glacier Panorama

The mood of the day is captured in this black and white Tasman Glacier Panorama and the Main Divide in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. A cloudy start to the day meant plenty of drama in the sky. There was very little colour in this image so the transition to black and white was easy. The Minarets and the glaciers on its flanks take centre stage.

Video collage

Here’s a video collage of some of my guiding and climbing exploits. I feel that Guiding and Photography go hand in hand. They constantly challenge me and the rewards for the effort can often be huge.

 

Check out this footage.

For further information on guiding services, go to FirstLightGuiding.com