Hobbiton.

BAhbCVsHOgZmSSJIdXBsb2Fkcy9wbGFjZV9pbWFnZXMvY2Q2ZDllMDhlMzYxODk4YjliXzgyODI3ODYzOTZfODI1ODQyY2JiZF9iLmpwZwY6BkVUWwg6BnA6CnRodW1iSSIKOTgweD4GOwZUWwc7BzoKc3RyaXBbCTsHOgxjb252ZXJ0SSIQLXF1YWxpdHkgOTEGOwZUMAEven before it was retrofitted with several Hobbit Holes to play the part of Hobbiton in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of the classic Tolkien book series, this sheep farm seemed like a perfect stand-in for the famous fictional “Shire,” home of hobbits everywhere.
Indeed, its natural likeness is undoubtedly the reason Jackson and his producers chose the location – with the only other qualification being that it’s located in New Zealand, unofficial real-life location of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
The farm is still an active sheep farm, but visitors can tour the area used for the set.
Most of the Hobbit Holes are fenced off and you can’t enter them, but one is specifically designed for visitors to enter and explore. Tour guides are employed to explain where in the movies each area appears – Bag End is a highlight, along with The Green Dragon, a whimsical old-world pub.
In fact, The Green Dragon is now open for business and at the end of the tour you can have a drink there.
The set is very detailed and the hobbit holes are purposely made to look as though they have been there for years, complete with details like fake moss and many other small touches.
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The tree at Bag End is a fake tree intended to preserve the area’s appearance as it was in the film, even though the one featured in The Lord of the Rings was real.
The film version was actually cut down and placed there for the movie.
It died by the time they decided to film The Hobbit, so a fake tree with hand-painted leaves sits in its place, an exact replica of the original.
The gorgeous location makes it easy to see why this was chosen for The Shire.

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The farm is in the middle of the countryside, still seemingly hidden from the modern world.
A GPS is helpful in locating it, since there aren’t really any signs directing you where to go.
via Hobbiton | Atlas Obscura.

Church of the Good Shepherd.

Photo by Ross Pichler
I wanted to shoot the famous Church of the Good Shepherd in New Zealand from a different viewpoint.
I chose this vantage point from across Lake Tekapo, which offered a nice reflection of the church and mountains.
Source: Readers’ travel photography competition: August winners – in pictures | Travel | The Guardian

“Below In the Cave of the Glow Worms.”

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by Shaun Jeffers
Something quite special dwells beneath the surface of New Zealand and these images prove that the country is just as beautiful below ground as it is above!
The Waitomo area is famous for it’s limestone caves and within these caves are one of the most magical insects in the world, the glowworm.
Glow worms emit a phosphorescent glow that light up the cave and create a surreal environment.
Over the past year I have been back and forth to Waitomo’s Ruakuri Cave to master the art of photographing these magnificent little creatures – it’s been quite the experience!
When the headlamps are out and all you can see are the glowworms, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into James Cameron’s Avatar Pandora, it’s just unreal!

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Photographing glow worms is very similar to shooting the night sky, however the exposure time can be much longer.
These images in particular range between 30 seconds and 6 minutes exposures.
To achieve the shots, it required me to submerge myself and my tripod in cold water for up to 6-8 hours a day – it was totally worth it!
More info: shaunjeffersphotography.com
Source: Glow Worms Turn New Zealand Cave Into Starry Night And I Spent Past Year Photographing It | Bored Panda

The Te Papa Autochromes.

Lissa Mitchell, Curator of Historical Documentary Photography at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, explores the work of three photographers creating autochromes in early 20th-century New Zealand.
16182365701_323be5dca5_c“Cleopatra” in Domain Cricket Ground, 1914, Auckland, by Robert Walrond. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (A.018196).
Announcements of the Lumiére brothers’ autochrome process were reported widely in New Zealand newspapers during late 1907 and early 1908. The process was described as a dream come true for photographers longing to discover a way of making photographs in a process that was able to represent natural colours.
However, while the process was eagerly anticipated and widely discussed it has remained a minor footnote in histories of photography related to New Zealand.
Like the earlier daguerreotype and ambrotype, autochromes are unique, one off photographs which produce an image directly onto a glass plate rather than a negative, an aspect which no doubt appealed to amateur photographers with artistic aspirations.
16183442402_61b6c218cf_hAutumn, 1915, Auckland, by Robert Walrond. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (A.018208).
In early 1908, Wellington photographer Elizabeth Greenwood gave a reporter from the Dominion newspaper a first-hand demonstration of the process.1 Greenwood exposed two plates – one a portrait of a group of girls and the other a still life – giving the reporter the chance to compare the resulting plates with the real subjects in the studio.
The portrait plate was exposed for 30 seconds with the only favourable result being the brilliant reproduction of a blue dress worn by one of the subjects. Meanwhile Greenwood exposed the second plate of a still life scene for three and half minutes resulting in a plate the reporter described as more brilliant than the actual scene – rich in colour and detail including in the shadows.
However, it wasn’t long before the inadequacies of the autochrome process for widespread commercial use was raised. In May 1908, in response to rumours in Auckland, the city’s Star newspaper printed an advertisement in which a monetary reward was offered to the person able to produce a colour print on paper using a process that could be of commercial value.
According to the advertiser someone in the city was claiming to have done ‘what the cleverest scientific men in Europe have so far failed to do, that is, to produce Photographic Prints in Natural Colours.’2 The advertiser, G. F. Jenkinson, stressed he was not interested in ‘an autochrome transparency upon glass, which are now fairly common and of no value except as lantern slides.
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From the top of Shortland Street, 1913, Auckland, by Robert Walrond. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (A.018201).

via Autochromes from the Te Papa collection | The Public Domain Review.

“Guardians of Lake Wakatipu”.

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Photo by Brad Grove.
Trees stand like guardians at the top of Lake Wakatipu on New Zealand’s South Island.
Says Brad Grove, a member of our Your Shot community: “I first discovered these trees by the Glenorchy jetty back in April 2011 and had never really been happy with my efforts to shoot them.”
Grove achieved this HDR image in June 2012, after approaching the trees from a different direction.
“It was minus 4 [degrees Celsius] on a very cold morning, and the sun had just broken the horizon behind me,” he says. “The composition fell into place, and I took seven exposures hoping I had enough data to produce the image I could see in my head.”

Source: Photo of the Day: Best Pictures of September 2013, Gallery – National Geographic

“Night Sky.”

lighthouse2-58013ae2a525f__880by Jake Scott-
We are Jake and Jo – astrophotographers based in Queenstown, New Zealand who spent Winter photographing the night sky in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.
We are passionate about shooting the stars and often stay out till dawn in freezing temperatures to make the most of a clear night.

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On our adventures we have managed to capture meteors, the Aurora Australis, zodiacal light, air glow, satellites, shooting stars and of course the milky way.

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We are constantly trying to find new locations and planning our next adventure – we never thought that we could become obsessed with chasing the stars!
More info: Facebook
See more images via We Spent Winter In New Zealand Photographing The Incredible Night Sky | Bored Panda