It’s been a while since I posted here on my blog (and other websites too). I’ve been quite busy lately and I cannot wait to get out again to do some shooting. As of now it looks like new images will not follow until April, but in the meantime I do have some older ones for you…

After our trip to Iceland in September and a few busy months (thanks to my job), I felt ready again to leave on a photography related trip in February. I was looking forward to visiting South America – don’t worry, not Patagonia again – but due to some unforeseen circumstances we had to cancel our trip in the last minute. It took me some time to come up with new ideas, but after considering many options I found a great alternative: the Himalayas. If everything goes as planned, I will be visiting India to do some trekking in March and April. Until then I’m hoping to be able to drive around Europe a bit. After all, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out to shoot and I’m quite keen on spending time away from cities.

Enough of that. I’m actually not here to bore you with updates about my life and you’re probably not here to get bored. So here we go – today I’ll take you all the way back to where my photography started: New Zealand. Three years ago I left home to go on a eight week trip to Australia and New Zealand. This was the first time that I went on the road for such a long time, and it also marked the beginning of the progress that transformed me into the passionate traveller and photographer I am today.

The image below was taken almost exactly three years ago during that trip. I was quite hyped about photography back then and brought home thousands of shots, a few of which still reside amongst my favourites. When I came home I felt accomplished and quite satisfied. For the first time I had felt the dedication and passion that ever since then kept me pushing my limits and helped my photography to evolve both technically and artistically.

Aoraki/Mount Cook at sunrise

Apricot Sunrise

Compared to my recent images, “Apricot Sunrise” was relatively easy to capture. I set up the tripod on a picknick table next to our campervan. No hiking or sleeping in a tent involved – I just had to set my alarm. Although I’m a big fan of adventures (see “Dawn of the Apocalypse”, “Last Moments of Light” or “Icy Blues”), I can’t deny that photography doesn’t necessary need to feel uncomfortable to yield great results. “Apricot Sunrise” also shows, that using expensive and professional equipment is by no means a requirement for creating beautiful images (sometimes it may be a plus though). I have to admit, I’m a sucker for owning the latest gear. But when I was going through my image archive looking for possible candidates formy blog I realized that the biggest improvements in my photography came from experience and vision rather than from camera-gear upgrades.

Check the equipment list below and you’ll see that for “Apricot Sunrise” I used a beginner’s set of DSLR gear. Of course – that’s what I was: a BEGINNER. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you could improve your photography solely by buying an unnecessarily expensive and feature-crammed high-end kit. Make sure to reach the limits of your current equipment before. If you’re not sure whether you’re ready, try to make a list of the significant advantages of a specific new piece of gear AND how those could improve your photography. Struggling to name more than 2-3 points?? Better stay with what you’ve got right now…

New Zealand

Canon EOS 400D/Digital Rebel XTi
Sigma AF 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG ASP @ 70mm
ISO 100, f/8, 8 seconds
Lee 0.6 Soft GND
Manfrotto MKC3-H01 Tripod

14. Feburary 2010