These days, the thought of setting out on a trip without a camera seems almost unthinkable. Young and old, highly-skilled or completely amateur, we all love snapping photos of what we see along the way. But travel photography in New Zealand really offers visitors some of the most varied and unique climates and cultures to shoot. For keen photographer, booking your trip with a professional photographer/guide is highly recommended.
This vast range of ecosystems and activities is usually the first thing to strike people about the island. While larger countries have many of the same features, it is hard to find a place where moving from glaciers to the beach to semi-tropical settings requires so little travel. For the photographer, this means focusing on a few things and bringing equipment for that purpose to avoid lugging around a million different pieces.
Taking photos of people should not be too much cause for concern. New Zealanders are known for their laid-back attitudes and will usually welcome a quick photo. However, as with anywhere else, it never hurts to ask first, especially if you sense that something possibly sensitive is taking place.
Sporting events, of the traditional or the more extreme variety, are a great place to avoid such worries. People at these events are typically having a good time and will not mind being included. This is even more true if you are actually participating, which gives you an insider’s view on the action (and allows you to get closer as well).
Hiking attracts many visitors, and rightly so. Trekking through the mountains and valleys for a day or for a few weeks opens up access to the natural beauty of the island. It also gives you a chance to meet fellow hikers on the way. However, as the weather can turn unpredictably on some of the trails, do not forget to properly store your equipment so it does not get damaged. Also, remember that spots on the larger trails often fill up quickly, so book your place in advance. If you do not manage to get a spot, ask the locals about trails that international visitors overlook, which can also be quite beautiful.
Along with the activity, take the season of your visit into consideration. If you like winter sports, you should book your trip from around June to August. However, some find these months a little gray and dark, which does not always make for the best photos of other events. If that is the case, try waiting until the summer, from December to February.
Don’t worry if you left something at home on accident. Equipment can be bought or leased in the larger cities or in towns frequented by tourists. But shops tend to close a little early, so don’t put your shopping off. Also, if you plan on wandering out in the countryside, you may not be able to find repair shops or parts, especially if you have a lot of technical equipment. Get it done in town before you head out.
The density and variety of activities and natural settings that attract so many visitors are the same things that make travel photography in New Zealand so appealing, too. You can find yourself snapping photos of boats in the harbor one day and making your way across a glacier the next. Come prepared to take a continent’s worth of stunning photos in this small island nation.
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