Photographing Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand

A view over Lake Wakatipu towards Queenstown on the south island of New Zealand.

Lake Wakatipu on the South Island of New Zealand is a wondrous location. It's a big lake offering many photography opportunities both from the shoreline and from numerous outlooks around the lake.

The above photo was made on a cool, overcast day in August. That's winter in the southern hemisphere.

Dramatic Sky, Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand

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A Great Lens That I Loved To Use

I brought to New Zealand what was then a new Nikon camera kit. It included the amazing Nikon D800e camera and the sensational Nikon 14-24mm f2.8G ED lens.

That lens was a blast to use and I had a whole lot of fun with it. What a shame I dropped the lens, on my birthday no less. It now sits on a shelf because of the prohibitive cost involved in repairing it.

I'm incredible careful with my camera gear but, on this occasion, it was exhaustion that caused my usually steady grip to fail while changing lenses.

Artificially illuminated trees and a night sky over Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand.

How To Use A Wide-Angle Lens

When using a wide-angle lens the trick is to move in close and ensure your composition includes interesting subject matter in the foreground.

Imagine what the photo at the top of this post would have been without that big old rock. There would have been water, distant mountains and clouds. Just not enough to sustain interest.

Under such circumstances it's important to use composition to maximize the success of your photos.

In this case it's the shape of the rock and its size (perceived, not actual), in relation to the distant hills, that's important.

A rock is a rock and so much more, if you take my meaning.

A large rock sits like a silent sentinel on the shore of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The same is true for this photo of large rock on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. I made this image at 14 mm kneeling down about 1 meter away from the rock.

The exceptionally wide 14 mm focal length allowed me to fit in a particular wide angle of view.

Likewise, photographing from such a close distance to the rock ensured that it would appear nice and big in the frame.

Sunset, Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand

Make Better Photos - Now!


My advice when making photos with a wide angle lens is to get in close to an area of interest and compose your photo in a way that relates or contrasts that element with other areas within the scene.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru