Monday, November 05, 2012

New Zealand: How I met NZ photographer?

Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain is located 12km from Wanaka town. It's recommended by NZFrenzy, my trusty NZ travel guidebook. Since I did not have a car, I had to rely on tramper shuttle big time and it wasn't cheap. Most of the time there's only 1 or 2 companies in the area that monopoly the business. Return trip to Rocky Mountain would cost me NZD40 and with that fare, I could travel to Queenstown already. I went to the trailhead though Wanaka Alpine ConnecXions and conjured up courage to hitchhike again after my first successful attempt in Arthurs Pass.

After done with my hike at around noon, I walked to Mt Aspiring road and put my thumb up. Lucky me, a van stopped. The driver, clad in green macpac tee, came down and cleared the rubbish on the passenger seat. I hopped on and tried to be chatty. His name is Thierry Huet and he's just done paragliding at Treble Cone. He is from France and years ago he had a choice between Switzerland and New Zealand and eventually he chose Wanaka to settle down and works as a ski instructor in winter. Amazingly, he is also a photographer. He had his 2012 calendar for sale with lovely shots of Wanaka. Winter mountain shots in Treble Cone, Lone tree at Roys Bay, Rob Roy Glacier, Rippon Vineyard etc. One particular Wanaka lone tree picture with red background taken at dusk really caught my eyes. I wanted to buy the calendar but thinking that it's going to add on weight to me backpack and I had a long journey to go, I gave a second thought. Before ending my trip in NZ, I tried to look for the calendar in Queenstown but too bad I couldn't find it. Else, I will be having both Wanaka and Queenstown calendars hanging in my office cubicle already. I really admire him and think that he is one of those rare know-how-to-live people I met in my life.

I spent around a week in Queenstown before leaving NZ. That's the last leg of my NZ trip. Initially I planned to go to Arrowtown, join the Lord of The Rings tour to Paradise and Glenorchy and squeeze my time to tramp Routeburn Great Walk. But in the end I just spent my time chilling in Queenstown, listening to Mathias the Piano Man (I know where he keeps his piano) and spent those budget on good food. I was in Patagonia a couple of times drinking their hot chocolate and eating ice cream. This was all due to the unpredictable weather that week. The sky was gloomy for whole week. Rain, shine, rain, shine, back and forth. It even snowed at 1000m level on the night before I left.

New Zealand's Queenstown 2012 Calendar by Jason Law
New Zealand's Queenstown 2012 Calendar by Jason Law

On Saturday morning, I was on my way to Patagonia again and walked past Arts and Crafts Market. Jason Law photography stall caught my attention because I subscribed to his facebook photography page long time ago. He was away that time to get a coffee. I proceeded to Patagonia to online and had my hot chocolate. After some time, it started to drizzle and getting windy. From the glassy window, I could see sellers at the market packed their stuffs and left. He was still there and he was like 'the last one standing'. Astonished by his spirit, I walked up and bought 2 calendars from him. One as a souvenir for my friend and another for myself. I always thought that he's Asian due to his surname Law. Actually he's a kiwi. He put up a note saying if you have questions about photography, he is willing to share his knowledge. Rain's coming, it's not a good time to talk. Lol.

Landscape photographer has to walk the off-beaten path to look for hidden location, endure extreme weather sometimes and wait for the moment to capture golden shots. Please extend your support to their hard work if you ever meet them.



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