I’m sitting in my hotel room on the last night of my visit. The rain has started to pelt down outside and I’m content to sit by the heater. It’s now officially over – although the alarm is set to check the skies for one last potential sunrise. In celebration I’ve flopped on the couch and downed a bottle of Rippon Sauvignon Blanc along with various eats. Exhausted, ready to go home and not wanting to leave.

Today was my last day. I’m back on Queenstown and soon to be on a flight back home. I’m both relieved and sad at the same time. It’s been an amazing week and a lot more work than I originally anticipated. I have absolutely loved my time away to shoot, and shall be making it at least an annual event, if not more frequent. There is nothing like the freedom to explore whatever you want, without having to satisfy (and inevitably disappoint) a companion who doesn’t share the same kind of dereliction for photography. I need a holiday away with the Frenchie, and we’ll get to that, although she’s off wandering Paris at the moment so it’s not all bad news for her!

Despite this, I’ve missed having another photographer in toe to discuss and motivate and provide general companionship. If there is one thing my brief crossed paths with another landscaper in Wanaka proved, it’s that the presence of other like-minds can help open up new perspectives and paths to inspiration and motivation.

Much like yesterday, today was a lazy enough day. A sleep in followed by a late breakfast and wander around Arrowtown in an last ditch effort to capture some of the amazing colours that Autumn brings to this part of the world. Such a reputation is one of the main reasons I came at this time of year, but I’ve really struggled to take anything worth posting that shows it off.

It’s amazing to walk or drive through. Brown and gold are everywhere. In the trees and on the ground. As you look around, a slight gust of wind unsettles more of the leaves and they seem to fall in a continuous stream, like Autumn coloured snow. I put the camera away for a large part of today and just took a stroll along the river. The whole place is almost cinematic and my inability to capture it in a way that I can be proud of is both frustrating and a source of motivation to return and figure the puzzle out. Perhaps I need to bring a posse.

To sign the whole event off, I drive up to the Coronet Peak skifield to get a birds-eye view over the whole Wakatipu basin. I’m early, so I sit there for two hours, taking the odd photo but mostly just enjoying the view and contemplating life.

A storm is starting to roll in hard and the sunset is quite unspectacular. Perched up on my peak, there is a little rain, but not much. Difficult weather to make something interesting out of. I try to create something with a little more vintage feel (below), but again, it’s nothing to write home about. I come down with nothing I’m really happy with, but that’s not the point. It was nice for a time to just sit and watch the change in colour and light, rather than try and shoot it. I’m glad it wasn’t picture perfect. Life isn’t that easy and figuring out how to create more interesting work requires a lot of effort. It’s hard. It should be hard.

Average "Vintage" Shot of The Remarkables

It’s been a long week, and I’ve got a bit of work ahead of me to edit some of these shots up once I get back to a decent computer, but I’m excited to see what I’ve got. This little MacBook is almost so average for editing on that it’s like shooting film. Have to wait until I can get it “processed!”.

I’ve learnt a lot over this past week, but mostly, I’ve learnt that I want to do better, and to do that, I need to spend more time shooting; time just like this.

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