The rising fog as a storm clears in Fiordland creating an amazing spectacle.

You can see why New Zealand so quickly and easily became not only the visual background for the epic Lord of the Rings movies, but literally BECAME Middle Earth itself.  Although JR Tolkein never visited this country in his lifetime, he must have had exactly our kind of wild and impressive landscapes in mind when he first imagined Middle Earth. Though who could have dreamed that one of the youngest nations on earth would so truly BECOME the literal and physical home of the greatest fantasy… READ MORE >

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It’s not every day my job resembles a top secret James Bond 007 assignment.  But when Nikon Global asked me to undertake a photo shoot using their brand new, yet to be released, Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens things certainly started to look that way.  At the time there were only two of these lenses in existence, the one winging its way to me and another sent to a top portrait photographer in the UK.  Upon receiving the lens (hand delivered to me at… READ MORE >

Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland, Rotorua

Wai-O-Tapu (Maori for “Sacred Waters”) is an 18 sq km geothermal park in Rotorua, New Zealand and one of the region’s most iconic tourist attractions. In June of this year I spent a morning at this incredible location where I wanted to use my drone to capture aerial footage of the famous Champagne Pool. Frequently photographed from land due to its vibrant and colourful waters, I was aiming to get a birds eye view of this unique geographic feature. The name “Champagne Pool” is derived from… READ MORE >

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It’s no secret that I travel a lot for work, and from the number and variety of locations I have been fortunate to visit it’s hard to pick a firm favourite.  But it’s also no secret that if asked, the wilds of Alaska are always somewhere at the top of that list.  I’m not sure what it is about this incredible destination – the largest yet most sparsely populated of the US States and yet a world apart in so many ways – but something about… READ MORE >

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For nearly ten years Chris has been trying to get me to join him on one of his trips to the US. For some reason I am always dragging my feet and coming up with excuses, most of which are based on the winter temperatures involved as he is usually over there for ski shoots. This year was no different, Chris was scheduled to be at Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia followed by a quick stop in Colorado. As always the temperatures were in their extremes… READ MORE >

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Imagine what it feels like to fly… Shooting still images from an aerial perspective certainly isn’t a new thing, I’ve stopped counting the number of times I’ve been in a helicopter for commercial clients and other photography projects.  However shooting aerials in a slightly more creative way, or in locations a little trickier than can be achieved from a plane or a helicopter, has always interested me.  In fact for the last twenty-five years I’ve had my fair share of fun strapping cameras onto various aerial… READ MORE >

Chris McLennan Leaping Lion

Late 2014 I was once again travelling to Africa where I would be leading a photographic group on mobile tented safari in Botswana, Southern Africa’s most prestigious wildlife destinations. Although it had been a busy year and I wasn’t looking forward to another long plane ride, once you’ve been “bitten” by the safari bug it’s hard to stay away. As Ernest Hemingway famously said “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy”…  Cheesy though it sounds, alongside Alaska,… READ MORE >

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Although I’ve been fortunate to have worked in over 45 different countries with my photography, both the Arctic and Antarctica are very much still on my wish list.  Up until August that is, when I got to cross one of those off! Technically I had already been within the Arctic Circle a number of times during previous shoots in Alaska.  But this time we were heading north by boat – the M/S Stockholm polar expedition vessel to be exact – and we were going to get… READ MORE >

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So far it’s been a busy year with commercial shoots in the South Island, US, China, Norway, Botswana, Fiji and Alaska.  But while at home briefly between projects earlier this year I had the privilege of presenting to a few different groups within New Zealand’s very enthusiastic photographic community.  One of the questions I always get asked is “how did you become a travel photographer” – or more often worded by the younger members of the audience “how can I become a travel photographer”?  (Watch this… READ MORE >

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Each year – together with Wildlight Safaris – I lead a photographic safari through Botswana where we witness and photograph a myriad of wildlife across a number of different regions, from the Chobe River to the Okavango Delta.  On last year’s trip I wanted to take a little extra time after the safari to explore Africa just a little bit further.  So after waving goodbye to our safari guests, together with Dean Fitzpatrick I headed off on the long road trip towards our destination; Damara Land… READ MORE >

SUP with reef sharks in the crystal clear waters of Moorea, French Polynesia

Some of my favourite images are those that I have pre-visualised beforehand.  No doubt there is something fun and exciting about turning up somewhere and seeing and photographing the unexpected, but being able to create an image that I already have in my head is even more of a thrill for me.  Especially when it comes out as great as this one. Paddle boarding is a huge sport that is taking off around the world and I am a keen fan myself.  Ever since getting my… READ MORE >

23B Sarah Todd Lane, Waimauku 0812, Auckland, New Zealand   P +64 9 411 9561 F +64 9 411 9562   info@cmphoto.co.nz