mervfrench PHOTOGRAPHY


New Zealand …. a few thoughts.

Posted by mervfrench on April 2, 2010

Two weeks down and two to go, but not all in NZ.

This is my seventh visit to NZ ( my wifes family are here ) but this time I’m seeing it from more of a photographic sense I think.

We arrived in Queenstown two weeks ago after an all night flight from Perth via Auckland and Christchurch. Hired a car and found accommodation and then had the day looking around and about. We crashed at 9.30 that night 36hrs without sleep, had the best nights sleep for ages. Woke up next morning and found that Queenstown had had one of the biggest thunder and lightning storms for 25yrs and I slept through the lot…bugger.

Queentown is called the adventure capital and that is an apt discription. If they can get anything that floats and preferably with a large motor on it down any sort of a river at high speed , they do it. Tie a rope around your leg and push you off any bridge or platform over a cliff or river and its done, great place for a beer and a meal , and ski season will be full on soon, thats when it goes off.

We are  down in Invercargill staying at the inlaws. I’ve been out and about getting some shots but can’t get to all the well known or iconic places I suppose as we spend quite a bit of time visiting relations for morning tea , lunch, afternoon tea , dinner, you name it, they’re all farmers so it’s not to bad. Its hard to shoot much when travelling with a few others in the car as they soon get tired of stopping and waiting for me to set up and take shots , so I try and get out by myself when I can.

The weather has been fairly good,bit cold at times and it rains a lot in Southland, but the grass is green, very green !!!    Fiordland was forecast to get 250mm of rain last night, and thats not a misprint. Any sort of red  sunsets and sunrises are almost non existent so far but one good thing is the sun doesn’t come up till 7.45am so no 4.30 starts.

Monday we head to Auckland for a few days then over to Cairns and Pt Douglas for a wedding then home sometime after that.

A couple of observations.

+  Petrol is $1.80  diesal is $1.15  ????

+ Bluff oysters are $52 doz in Queenstown restaurants

+ Beer and wine is sold in supermarkets and deli’s.

+ Sheep are still everywhere.

+ Mutton pies are everywhere. ( so are Mrs Macs )

+ Advertising is banned on TV and radio on Good Friday and

Christmas day.  ( how good is that }

+   New Zealand is close to home for Aussies , its cheap to get here , it

it’s easy to get around, it has fantastic scenery to photograph and

most of them speak english. 🙂  If your thinking of somewhere to go ,

you can’t go wrong here.

+ There are no Photographic Galleries ( I’ve seen one ) but Art

Galleries are everywhere, all towns have at least two or three. The

photo images in cafes and souvenir shops  are very average and

nowhere near  Fletcher standard, I think even mine could get a

place on the walls.

Hope you all have a great Easter break.

15 Responses to “New Zealand …. a few thoughts.”

  1. hodgy1 said

    Sounds like you should send Helen back home after Port douglas and head back to NZ and set up that gallery you keep talking about. Not sure She would agree with the idea and if you did suggest it you might end with a one way ticket back home on the next flight out of town I reckon. haha.

    • mervfrench said

      Aren’t you giving the van a practise run over Easter?

      One way ticket back to here would nearly do me.

      • Just do it.

        No need for van practice, it’s a mad panic now to get the new canopy set up and ready to go. Sold the other rig last weekend so all is going to plan nicely. Only three weeks to go. yahoo.

  2. mattinman said

    Sounds like the UK! Are the shops open 7 days a week?

  3. We are off to NZ on 6 May, our second visit. It’s a photographer’s dream, I think. I am going to a landscape workshop at Kinloch at the head of Lake Wakatipu as the highlight of the trip – have you been up there?

    The petrol/diesel price is how it used to be here, diesel is less processed and so should be cheaper. Australian petrol sellers realised all the recreational diesel drivers were not aware of this and jacked the price up.

    Look forward to seeing shots.

  4. mervfrench said

    Matt, opening hours vary but a lot of supermarkets are open 7-10 7 days but not general shops.

    The workshop at Kinloch sounds good photog , Lake Wakatipu is quite a piece of water thats for sure , plenty to shot around Kinloch and Glenorchy.

  5. So, when’s the NZ gallery opening Merv? 🙂

  6. Donelle said

    Sounds like your having a nice time Merv, enjoy Cairns and Port Douglas!! I would love to live in Cairns, so pretty and the frangipanis grow like a dream over there!!! lol

  7. antonioranieri said

    Hey Merv the South Island of New Zealand is awesome especially for a landscape photographer!! Good to see your out & about!! have fun

  8. muzz said

    Hey Merv, never found a quokka with a baby in the pouch so I guess that means you win! I wouldn’t sweat the shooting on the move – I’m pretty sure Christian has done some of his best work leaning out the window of the car. Looking forward to seeing your efforts when you return.

  9. Stakky said

    sounds awesome Merv, make a sheep compilation sometime! Mt Cook by night is the best shooting location i’ve been to.

    NZ’s best photographer (or thereabouts) is Andrias Apse, who is a very Fletcher-style panoramic photographer. There’s also Craig Potton, who has about 4 galleries and 23 books. Both still use film.

  10. Christian said

    Merv, thanks for the tip, I am moving to NZ and opening a gallery. I have a few sheep shots that will work!

    Enjoy the rest of the trip, we miss you mate!

  11. wayte27 said

    Hey Merv man, Andris Apse has some impressive work. My parents just returned from a month long trip and got me his latest NZ landscape book/album.
    Cant wait to see your posts cheers Adrian

  12. Hey Merv Man, welcome back. Tegan and myself are heading to Northam on the weekend to do a balloon flight. Just wondering if you will be around, and I’m also going to try and catch up with Hodgy as well. Let me know if you’s will be around.

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