Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Road Trip!

Cardrona Valley Road

I love the little opportunities road trips bring. Having enjoyed the Warbirds over Wanaka event over Easter, I hit the road with the team from Destination Content for a mixed video and stills shoot. Our client was New Zealand Venison and the job involved visiting and shooting on some farms in the Wanaka district.

James and Holly                  _MG_6327.jpg

First was Criffel Station, owned by Gerry Bell. It's in a beautiful spot just over the road from Wanaka airport and the hill paddocks have a great view of the Wanaka basin.

NZ falcon

Driving up to one of these paddocks, I spotted a New Zealand falcon sitting out in the rain. It's a bird I've been wanting a decent shot of for ages, so hopped out of the vehicle, shot, stepped forward, shot, stepped forward, until I was right on top of it for a fairly decent portrait. Bonus!

NZ Falcon                  NZ Falcon

The low light meant I was close to wide open at 400mm on the Canon 7D, so the pics aren't as super sharp as I'd like, but I'll take 'em.

NZ Falcon

After Criffel station we moved on to Minaret station near the head of lake Wanaka. The station has no road access, so one of the owners, Jonathan Wallis was good enough to fetch us in his boat. We got some good footage of antlered stags running around with hinds in the paddocks there. Frame grab from the video below.


I also managed to snap some shots of our Production Assistant Holly in the afternoon light. Next time I need a female model I know who to ask. The camera loves her.

Holly at Minaret Station

Holly at Minaret Station

Next day we headed up the Cardrona valley road over to Queenstown to get a bit more variety in our farmed deer shots. Central Otago is stunning in Autumn and there's no better place to see that than the Cardrona valley.

Cardrona Valley

Along the way, my Destination Content co-director and CEO James Hacon stopped to get a picture of the monster truck he'd driven over Easter. James is an off-road driving fan. He says as soon as Destination Content has the budget for vehicles, we're going to get some Landrover Defenders. I'd actually be tempted to get the big bus. Great off-road trip vehicle for shoots.

James and the School Bully                         James forages

We also stopped to pick fruit from some roadside apple trees. That and eating roadkill while on assignment is how we keep our costs to the client nice and low.


We found some more deer paddocks (and hay bales) on the Crown Range road - New Zealand's highest sealed road, and James even managed to demonstrate he has a good eye and get a pretty decent picture of me in action before we headed down to Queenstown for a spot of lunch before heading back home to Dunedin. All in all, a pretty productive trip, with some great bonus shots. You just never know what's going to present itself on a road trip.

Clive Copeman

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