New Zealand
Aotearoa (The Land of the Long White Cloud)


Flying to Milford Sound

New Zealand is gorgeous!  Strikingly beautiful.  Definitely worth a visit!  How fitting to have the Maori name, Aotearoa, or “Land of the Long White Cloud.”  That’s because you’ll notice the dramatic clouds in many of my photos that were taken there…a great ingredient for landscape photography!

I’m going to do my best to show a few examples of what we encountered on our recent visit to New Zealand.  Unbelievable scenery, extremely friendly people, interesting cities, great food, and adventures of every variety and level.
Above is a photo of the top of the impressive mountain range as we flew to Milford Sound (actually, a fjord).  Lookin’ good in black and white, I believe.  And I’ll try to have a photo or two of the stunning Milford Sound in subsequent blog posts about New Zealand.


Piha Beach, North Island, During a Storm

Judy and I were led to this beach by Gayle and Russ…our family who are living in New Zealand now (part of the impetus for moving this trip up the bucket list!!).  They told us that this beach was extremely dangerous, though it is a favorite spot for adventurous surfers.  When we were there, we were fortunate (in a way!) to run into a storm which provided a nice recipe for photos!  And, yes, my camera and lens got very wet, but they can take a little bit of water!!
I saw this pair walking on the beach and waited as they walked into an interesting composition.


Aoraki Mount Cook Panorama

A stitched panorama of Aoraki Mount Cook.  What an amazing scene we saw as we drove away…had to stop the car and take this photo from the road.  While we had stayed there, we took a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier and got to walk around a bit on the snow.


Maori Warrior

Iconic image of a Maori warrior.  They used this facial expression to ward off or intimidate invaders or strangers.  I get it.  They also do a traditional Maori dance called a “haka” which adds to the atmosphere.  The Maori tribes arrived in New Zealand several hundred years before the Europeans.


Rotorua Museum in the Government Gardens

Imagine…we were just walking through the Government Gardens in Rotorua and came across this fantastic landscape scene.  Perfect timing and ingredients…early evening, tranquil night, and dramatic blue clouds (to add a little more interest to the scene).  As it turns out, this is the Rotorua Museum, but it  is currently closed for repairs.


On the Harbor, in Queenstown

Many of you know I like to get people into my photos.  Strangers included.  This was taken as we walked to the harbor for dinner one night in Queenstown.  This guy was sitting on the ledge, smoking, and I simply stopped to take a composition with him in the foreground.  I took three exposures before this one, but he wasn’t looking at me in the others.  I guess he gave in…or wondered what I was up to!


Perhaps He Missed His Flight

This was, eh, weird.  It’s the cockpit of a jet…just the cockpit.  Located in Christchurch (the largest city in the South Island), in Hagley Park and adjacent to Christ’s College.  It’s a beautiful park and impressive “English Styled” school with this airplane right there…though you may be able to see the sign that the cockpit was closed at this time.  Anyways, this guy was sitting there and he didn’t seem to care that I was taking a photo.  I imagine he knew he was in it since I was so close to him.  I rattled off a few frames and picked this one where he’s smoking and NOT looking at me.

Thanks for joining me on this blog.  And, be sure to click the light blue hyperlinks throughout the text for more explanations!
More New Zealand photos coming soon!  I have so many.  Plus, follow the other social media sites (below) for more images!

Kia Ora!

Thanks for stopping by!
Stephen M. Levin
Facebook – @stephenmlevinphotography

Twitter – @stephen_levin
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SML Photography