An Eye for an Eye

Sunday, September 21, 2014 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 19:  Queenstown to Paradise
Perusing a tourism booklet about activities in the Queenstown area Friday, we came across an offering called a photo safari led by professional photographers in the area.  After a bit of negotiation we booked a Sunday afternoon tutorial event with Mike Langford, a native Kiwi who has spent more than thirty years as a travel photographer.

Mike picked us up at our hotel at noon and took us to paradise.  Actually, he drove us to Paradise, a rural settlement on the Dart River just north of Glenorchy, which we visited yesterday.  Paradise was used as a filming location for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where it represented Parth Galen and parts of Lothlórien, specifically the area which the Fellowship first enters.  Scenes for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian were also filmed in this magical area.

Our first stop was a beech forest, heavily draped in moss, which was featured in the Narnia movies.  Mike provided digital SLR cameras for us to use and taught us how to look at a scene and find the subject and the light.

A South Island robin came visiting and shared one of the muffins Mike had brought for afternoon tea.  The little bird was so willing to pose and be near us, we asked if Mike had him on retainer.

Further along the unpaved road, we came to a spot where Mt. Nexus was posing perfectly, so we stopped for some photo ops there.

Then the Cosmos Range came into view and wanted to be photographed.  With Mike's guidance, we learned how to make this snow-covered peak more visible in a photograph by shooting in monochrome and increasing the contrast.

The final lesson location was at a small stream.  Here we learned how changing settings on the camera completely redefined the image we produced, even with the camera aimed at the exact same spot.
Our photo safari turned out to be a great experience, and we may have actually developed the confidence to purchase a DSLR when we return home.  Tomorrow we leave Queenstown and head north on our way to the west coast of the South Island.

Daily Stats:
  • Started in Queenstown, ended in Queenstown
  • Mileage - 93     (Trip total:  13,654)
  • Weather - 31°to  51°, sunny to partly cloudy
  • Lessons learned - immeasurable
  • Frolicking lambs - 24