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Life on film


Four Canterbury photographers have been recognised in the prestigious NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year competition. ‘A Year in Aotearoa’ is currently on display at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland, but Metropol has selected four of the six winning photos from, locals, Toby Dickson, Struan Purdie, Alden Williams and Nathan Secker to share here.

 

Three months after the Christchurch mosque shootings, a remembrance event was held at Hillmorton High School for the victims of the terrorist attack.

Alden Williams, finalist Society and Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large male sperm whale rests on the surface of the ocean while two dusky dolphins investigate his head in Kaikōura.

Toby Dickson, finalist Aerial

 

 

 

 

 

The mirror-still waters of Lake Lyndon captured with a wakeboarder braving the near-freezing water.

Struan Purdie, finalist Aerial

 

 

 

 

Early morning light breaks through the Christchurch fog on a midwinter’s day, captured from the Port Hills.

Alden Williams, finalist Landscape

 

 

 


 

Capturing the beauty of life: MadLove Photography & Design


Visual artist Ross Davidson says it was due to a period spent living in Japan that his fascination with Asian cultures and art began. “Japan is a big influence on my work. It’s a very rich and visual culture – their positivity, connectedness and whole respect they have for each other; I felt very connected to it.”

 

After completing his university studies in business, and working for three years in marketing, Ross studied visual art then, with his passion for graphics ignited, went on to study graphic design at the NZ College of Art and Design. He has been a freelance graphic designer for 20 years now.

His artworks have appeared in galleries, nationally and internationally, and, in 2016, Ross launched his Instagram blog, publishing his photographs on a daily basis, which he continues to publish to this day.

Ross likens his vivid variations on one single photo as warming up the visual part of his brain. “There’s lots of experimentation before deciding which one really resonates.”

Of his block and stripe artworks, Ross says he enjoys the different colour-play combinations. “I like them to have a life of their own. There’s so much more possibility in the digital art form.”

Ross takes his camera out and about every day, capturing beautiful images of city, coastal and rural life. “My mission is to make the world a more loving place and to show that positive, constructive communication is a way of achieving sustainable relationships.”

Visit www.madlove.co.nz or Instagram www.instagram.com/rgdmadlove.

 

Ross Davidson

 


 

Expert photography workshops


Multi award-winning photographer Scott Fowler first picked up a camera at age six – and for the next 50 years he has barely put it down.

 

 

After being successful in a number of international photography competitions in 2008, people began asking Scott for his expert advice, so he started running one-day workshops from home.

Today, Scott is sharing his passion and creativity with budding photographers all over the country and overseas – and many of them are going on to win international accolades themselves. “I encourage my students to enter internationally and they do very well.”

From portrait classes and one-on-one lessons to six-day workshops in stunning Central Otago settings or 14-day photography tours in Samoa, part of his teaching is around full immersion. “When you’re practising something 24 hours a day and totally immersing yourself in the subject without any distractions from the outside world, it really accelerates your learning.”

Scott is also a sought-after commercial and wedding photographer, as well as an accredited judge with the Photographic Society of New Zealand and an online instructor for the Photographic Society of America.

His storyteller’s imagination and love of surreal imagery keeps his students coming back for more. “I will always go the extra distance for you to get the right shot. I tell all my new students that the time it takes for you to get the right shot is the time it takes, so go at your own speed.”

Visit www.scottfowlerworkshops.com for more information.

 


 

A global odyssey


It was a “life is too short” moment that led a photographer from Loburn on a journey to meet the people who have lived on earth the longest.

 

 

Last year, Katherine Williams of Tandem Photography travelled to some of the world’s most interesting crevices, which culminated in her winning New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Nikon Photographer of the Year 2019.
After a back injury that kept her out of the action for 10 months, she realised that saying “we’ll do it in three years’ time” just meant continual postponement.

Katherine committed to take her husband and business partner Neil – also an award-winning photographer – and her two daughters, on an educational worldwide odyssey. The goal was to capture the essence of her chosen photographic subjects – centenarians. Deciding on the ambitious project came after one of those unexplainable eureka moments. “I knew it was something I just had to do.”

The creative couple refinanced to fund the trip. “But it wasn’t until literally the week before leaving that everything came together including renting our home out to make it possible.”

 

 

One of the first stops was the lush jungle of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where the family slept on bamboo slats with no mattress or pillow, the patter of piglets and roosters outside – and the odd snake wriggling across the path. The seven-month journey then traversed the likes of Japan, Alaska, Cuba, Costa Rica, Croatia, Mexico and Montenegro, and the less-trodden paths of USA, Italy, France and the Greece Isles.

“I was confident my daughters would learn immeasurably more about life, not by just having conversations about different cultures, but by walking amongst them. The only way was to show them, not just tell. I wanted to empower my children – completely and utterly – with an appreciation of experience and basic street smarts. Nothing beats that immersion.”

She enlisted locals as interpreters to help her extract the stories behind the well-lived faces. “These people all had something special to share,” she says. “It’s not just a life story engraved into their facial lines, but their surroundings I capture to tell the story too – inviting a peek into their environment.”

 

 

Katherine has curiosity and deep empathy for the people she photographs. “One of the common threads for the reason of their longevity was tenacity for life, the ability to ride the storms – those hardships, trials and tribulations.”
Dramatic landscapes, such as daunting mountains tumbling into frothy seas, didn’t escape her lens either.

On harnessing courage to embark on an adventure, Katherine says, “You need the fortitude to jump in head first, then back that up without needing to know every detail. It will just fall into place.”

Back home, an enchanted heritage building in Ferry Road houses the studio for wedding and portrait photography. However, for her evolving creative project, Katherine is looking for more centenarians of different nationalities to immortalise in a website, book and exhibition.

“Some of my subjects have already died, so it will be in honour of them and their families. It’s nowhere near complete yet – but I’m comfortable with it being a slow project.”

www.katherinewilliams.co.nz

 


 

Capturing memories: Jack ‘n’ Jill Portraits


Providing a unique, fun and rewarding way for organisations to raise funds, Jack ‘n’ Jill Portraits Ltd has been bringing joy to thousands of families across the country for more than 20 years.

 

 

From preschools, kindergartens and primary schools to sports clubs, Scouts and other groups – the company offers an easy-to-organise event service – and an affordable, stress-free way for families to get high quality professional portraits taken.

Gemma Foulds, owner of Jack ‘n’ Jill Portraits Canterbury, has a strong background working for charities and more than 10 years of experience as a photographer. Specialising in children and family photography, she also offers private photo sessions in her Christchurch studio.

Gemma is truly passionate about what she does. “Jack ‘n’ Jill gives organisations needing to raise funds the ability to do so – whether it’s for new equipment they need, or for charity. It’s also a great way to connect groups and communities, while offering parents a chance to update their family photos and capture cool moments with their children.”

New Zealand’s number one fundraising portrait company, Jack ‘n’ Jill Portraits also offers a range of frames and photo gift products, which make ideal presents for grandparents, friends and family. Gemma says working with children makes every day a joy. “I love their honesty, innocence, laughter and playfulness. They are just so candid with what they offer and I love capturing that.”

For more information, visit www.jnjcanterbury.co.nz or phone Gemma on 022 646 8107.