An autumn visit to the southern Lakes area through the Mackenzie and Central Otago districts has almost become a holy pilgrimage for many an enthusiastic landscape photographer, a journey for cleansing the soul, washing away the last of sticky heat of summer, preparing oneself for the clean crisp cold of the winter ahead.
Being in a less than friendly mood I wasn’t warming to the idea of being surrounded by other photographers on mass, fighting for a good spot to drop the shutter.
Why such a bad mood???? Well it was due to having to miss out on what would have been my 19 Red Stag rutting season in a row. This autumn I would be shooting lakes and ponds, golden Poplars and Willow trees with my camera instead of wild eyed Red Stags with my trusty 7.mm. I was not going to subject myself to the ever expanding and very bewildering shutter bug herd that migrates to the major southern attractions Wanaka, Glenorchy and Queenstown each autumn.
Thank goodness there are so many beautiful lakes and vitas in the area that one can easily find a fairly quiet spot to practice ones art in relative peace. So this year was to be a celebration of the lesser known places instead of those more patronized.
Twizel would have to be one of the most underrated and less visited photographic locations in the area.
Besides Lake Pukaki and Tekapo a plethora of smaller lakes witch include Wairepo Arm, Lake Ruataniwha and further north in Tekapo, Lake McGregor and Alexandrina make excellent subjects.
If seclusion is what one pines for, Arrowtown in late April would not be the place to be, hundreds of frenetic snappers descend on the little central Otago settlement late each April, lining the roadside into town, each hustling for the perfect sun lit spot much like Salmon fishers along a river bank when a fresh invites the Salmon to fight the current and make that final fatal journey upstream.
Was it worthwhile for me to give up my beloved Stags for a season ,well I did enjoy myself and those Stags will keep and grow bigger given another season, roll on next year…… yes sir .