New Zealand: Looking Back
When you tell someone you’re a photographer, the inevitable followup question is “What do you photograph?” If you answer weddings, or advertisements, or fashion, it’s pretty straightforward, well understood, and the conversation moves on. But when I say “travel,” there are always more questions. Most people jump straight to nature, assuming I basically just photograph lots of landscapes and the occasional animal. Rarely does anybody mention architecture, and food is never brought up. The fact is that one of things I love most about doing travel photography is the same thing I love about travel itself. There’s variety. None of us merely travels to see a pretty landscape and go home. No, we with wanderlust travel to experience the culture, meet the people, eat the food, get up for sunrise and stay out til it’s dark, look under the rocks, discover the weird stuff, and find all of the surprising, unexpected things and explore them, and those are all of things I photograph, because it takes all of them together to create a true sense of place.
A fun result of the ability to cover such a wide range of subjects is that with each new trip, I can choose a location of the world that is more or less likely to be weighted in a particular subject matter. When I’m tired of shooting ruined temples in Thailand, I head to New Zealand. When I’ve had just about all the waterfalls and rolling green hills I can handle, I might hop over to the cities and villages of Spain, and if I’m really in the mood to just do portrait after portrait of interesting people, maybe I’ll stop off in India (hopefully coming very soon). Each place in this world I might travel to is full of life and color in one way or another, and I’ve always been bored shooting the same subjects over and over. Travel photography allows me to explore the rich fabric of a place without getting bored. So while certainly, yes, New Zealand did afford plenty of opportunities for nature and landscapes, there were also countless chances to look a bit deeper. To find the weird artists, meet the locals, jump into the ocean, and explore Maori culture. If you’ve read my last few blog posts, you’ve already seen some of my favorites from this trip. But of course each of those posts had a theme, whereas here the theme is more of a general remembering of the country as a whole. See if you get a better sense of place from perusing a greater variety of subjects.