The guy behind the lens

My photo

I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 


Monday, August 16, 2010

Photo of the "Week" - August 1 - 15

Greetings friends, I am back from  my 10 day backpacking trip to the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico with my students. The trip was a great success as both the students and the  weather were best described as "sunny". While being  gone, I was curious as to which of my images would garner the most views. The  winner for this "week" is from my trip to New Zealand last  July.

This image I call "Kaikoura Sunrise". It was taken on the last day of my 2 week photo tour of the South Island of NZ. The fishing village of Kaikoura is a couple  hours north of Christchurch on the NE coast of the island. In my experience, the town is best known for two things. First it is the place to go to see sperm whales. I had the chance to see and photograph them  one morning as we motored out to the Kaikoura Trench (depth > 3000 feet) to watch the whales surface and then dive back to the depth to search out their favorite prey, giant squid. The other thing Kaikoura is known for is the "lobster" industry which catches and packages these "crayfish" (the local name) for consumption in the finer restaurants throughout Asia. Unlike the Maine lobsters many Americans are familiar with, these are generally larger version of the Spiny or Rock lobster often seen in warmer Caribbean waters.

Luckily for me, the winter weather in NZ was wonderfully crisp and clear that week and this last morning in NZ was no exception. We staked out a spot on shore that showed promise the previous  morning and we we not disappointed as the early rays of the dawn really lit up the cloud bank and brought out brilliant oranges as well as creating a rich tapestry of texture on the underside of the clouds that were part of the "Northwest Arch" - a ridge of high pressure that was pushing the clouds with urgency from the NW to the SE. As is often the case with sunrises and sunsets, the explosion of color was short lived, but once captured it can be enjoyed forever. After an amazing tour of the South Island, this was a fitting farewell to  one of my favorite places on Earth.

For any of you who may be interested in taking a similar trip to New Zealand I have to put in a plug for my guide, Phillip Bartlett who runs Capture New Zealand Photography Tours. He is a consummate gentleman who made every detail of the trip relaxing and enjoyable. From the important things like having  food & lodging squared away and knowing THE spots to get  great shots to the details of opening every ( and I mean EVERY!) door  for me, Phillip was as professional a guide as I could have hoped for. His website is Capture New Zealand Photography Tours The video on his front page  features myself and  fellow photographer Josh (from Australia) - I'm the one in the red fleece.

Cheers till next time!


Hope said...

a very dramatic capture.. love those clouds and intense color. your trip sounds wonderful.

John S. Mead said...

Thanks Hope! It was an amazing trip which went way beyond my expectations. The sunsets & sunrises were among the best I have seen anywhere in the world.