Twilight, Lake Hayes, New Zealand

Tree branches at twilight reflected in the waters of Lake Hayes near Arrowtown, New Zealand.

New Zealand is a beautiful country. It’s an adventure playground with loads of fantastic locations for landscape photography.

I’ve visited the South Island on three occasions, the first time way back in the days of film while I was working at Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd.

The second trip was with a friend who travelled to Queenstown for a convention. I tagged along, took him on a few excursions and found sometime for my own photography explorations.

On my most recent trip I travelled alone which meant I was able to dedicate the entire trip to photography, which is why I prefer to travel on my own.

That and the fact that you're much more likely to interact with folks you meet along the way. I love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

A pair of ducks, moving in for a closer look, on Lake Hayes near Arrowtown, New Zealand.

A Spectacular Picture Postcard Location

One of my first explorations was to Arrowtown, a village not far from Queenstown. Just before you reach Arrowtown you pass by Lake Hayes, a pristine lake in a particularly scenic location.

Next time I visit New Zealand I'II going to hike around the entire lake.

Ducks, Lake Hayes, Otago, New Zealand

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Quiet And Stillness On Lake Hayes

I made the photo at the very top of this post in the fading twilight. I just love the cool blue color of twilight. It produces a melancholy mood well suited to the quiet, contemplative stillness at that time of day.

The photo is not so much about tree branches and water, but about composition.

Color and line are key elements in composition and I was careful to position the camera so that the lines of the overhanging branches joined with reflections on the surface of the lake.

I’ve long been interested in the concept of as above, so below and that concept was in my mind while making this photo.

I experimented with the look of the image, over several different frames, by altering the point of focus and changing the depth of field so that:

  • the tree branches were in focus, as you see above

  • the reflections were in focus

  • the whole image was in focus

Overview Lake Hayes, New Zealand

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Making Something Out Of Nothing

At the end of the day the above version produced the strongest mood. It’s a simple image and is a good example of the approach that underpins much of my photography.

After all, it’s not everyday that you’re photographing subject matter as impressive as the following:

icebergs under the midnight sun 

children in India

architecture in Paris

Most times it’s not so much what you photograph, but how and why you go about your photography that’s important.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru