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!
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
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.
“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.
Autumn, 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.
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.’
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.
From the top of Shortland Street, 1913, Auckland, by Robert Walrond. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (A.018201).
Photograph by Yusri Salleh, National Geographic Your Shot
In May 2015, Your Shot member Yusri Salleh took his “first photo adventure,” a ten-day trip to New Zealand, where he captured this image of the famed lone tree of Lake Wanaka.
Setting the scene required some consideration. “When we arrived at the planned location, there were almost 30 photographers there!” writes Salleh. “The fog was too thick and the color was dull.
A black-and-white image was the best option for the situation.
I wanted the image to be moody, quietly [mysterious], and different.
by Olaf Priol
The Lamington, Australia’s famed dessert, was actually invented in New Zealand and originally named a “Wellington”, according to new research published by the University of Auckland.
Fresh analysis of a collection of 19th-century watercolours by the New Zealand landscape artist JR Smythe, shows that in one portrait, “Summer Pantry” dated 1888, a partially eaten Lamington cake is clearly visible on the counter of a cottage overlooking Wellington Harbor.
The first known reference to a Lamington before this was a recipe published in 1902 in the Queensland Country Life newspaper.
Historians had believed the Lamington was named after Lord Lamington who served as governor of Queensland between 1896-1901.
But experts at the University of Auckland have examined archives which show records of a visit Lamington undertook to Wellington in 1895, before beginning in his tenure as Queensland governor.
According to a New Zealand Herald news report of the visit, Lamington was “much taken with the local sweets provided him by local bakers A.R. Levin.”
Among those sweets, the article states, was a “Wellington – a double sponge dessert, dressed in shavings of coconut intended to imitate the snow capped mountains of New Zealand.”
Dr Arun Silva of the centre for academic knowledge, excellence and study at the University of Auckland, said the news clipping and Smythe watercolour made it “inconceivable” that the Lamington was an Australian invention.
“What we have here is conclusive evidence that the Lamington cake was in fact a product of New Zealand.
The documentation of Lamington’s visit and the pictorial evidence in the watercolour prove it without a doubt.
“I wouldn’t exactly say it was a rewriting of history, more a realisation that our culinary past is much more entangled than we’d previously believed,” Silva said.
Silva, an expert in food history, said the dramatic discovery was likely to blow debate around whether it was Australia or New Zealand who invented the Pavlova “out of the sky”.
via Lamington invented in New Zealand, new research proves ‘beyond doubt’ | World news | theguardian.com.
New Zealand’s first sheep were set ashore by Captain James Cook in 1773.
At their peak in 1982, there were twenty-two sheep for every person in New Zealand.
Nowadays, the numbers have fallen by two thirds and are now estimated at just over seven sheep per person.
Photograph: Nick Easton/BBC