Okay, before I can tell the story of our great Southern Photo Safari, a few introductions are in order. Our little gang of Photourists had a very complimentary mix of picture-making skills.
First, TV host extraordinaire Jules Lund. Aussies will need no introduction to this guy but for everyone else, he's a cool customer who gets to travel the world fronting the "Getaway" travel show, and a bunch of other shows that either involve him dressing up, down or in something flameproof. Jules is an excellent photographer with the ability to see great shots anywhere. He brought a Canon 7D along for the ride and used it to great effect.
That's director Anna Thomas also in the picture. You might remember Anna as a "Fair Go" reporter. Nowadays, as well as attending Les Mills Boot Camp classes, raising a couple of kids and giving orders to an NZ Army major, Anna directs commercial TV and webcast projects like this. Personally, I have nothing nice to say about the woman until she destroys the photos taken of me sleeping in the rear of the crew vehicle. Small, easily concealed point-and-shoot cameras were made for guerilla photogs like Anna. She has an indefatiguable sense of humour and an alarming coffee addiction, but that comes with the job, y'know?
Neerav Bhatt, Sydney-based travel and technology blogger. Loves kiwi chocolate, but that's a one-way street. Actually when Neerav mixes chocolate with air travel, it becomes a two-way street where bystanders need to watch for oncoming traffic. The trip was an excellent opportunity for Neerav to test a slew of products in the ever-changing Kiwi weather last week, including a gore-tex jacket, his new Canon s90 and a Sony Walkman A NWZA845B with built-in Digital Noise-Cancelling but what really got him excited was the 400mm lens kindly on loan to us from Canon Australia.
Camilla Lundbak, winner of the Canon 100% photography competition. Camilla is an exponent of the impressionistic style of photography, using motion blur or pans and zooms in camera rather than with post-production effects. Nowadays Camilla works for the NZ Treasury but her poise and gazelle-like ability to jump are clues to her former life as a dancer. Did you know Denmark has one of the oldest ballet companies in the world? I didn't. Canon had lent us their new 550 D for Camilla, which she found comfortably similar to her beloved 500 D which is just as well.
At the pace we all had to pack, unpack, re-pack for another mode of transport, walk, shoot, eat and generally experience the natural wonders and hospitality of the southern South Island, there was little time for reading camera manuals.
And that's just the way I like it.
Our sponsor, client and road manager for this trip, Tourism Dunedin's Heather Mollins has just about made her exclusive selections from my record of the trip. Once that's done, I'll begin to tell the story in pictures. Heather coined the phrase Photourism on our epic journey and it's a damn fine one. Expect to hear a lot more of it. If we have our way, our efforts will encourage you to become a photourist yourself!