Postcard From New Zealand – Doubtful Sound

In News & Stuff, Travel by David18 Comments

Doubtful Sound, South Island, New Zealand

A quick one tonight to say hello before heading to bed. We spent the last two days kayaking Doubtful Sound and had a spectacular time. Doubtful Sound is a fjord, not an actual sound, and is full of all the corresponding majesty and drama. Simply spectacular. I strapped my 5D and Aquatech housing to the top of the kayak and spent a little time playing in the water (the really, really cold water!), and learning. Shooting in the water is a  whole other ballgame, but I can see much more of this in my future. So much fun. Can’t wait to get in the water in Jamaica. A couple more days to go in NZ, hoping to make some photographs at Morekai boulders, then homeward bound.

Michael Frye is the next author to be published by Craft & Vision, and his book Light & Land, Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom will be out in about 24 hours from now. Michael’s a good teacher and knows his stuff and even if you’ve got no desire to shoot landscapes, the Lightroom stuff is worth a read. I just wrote a book on the whole Lightroom thing and Michael taught me a thing or two. And the photographs are gorgeous. Stay tuned.


  1. Oh you’ll be so close (yet so far away)! Wish you had more time in the Garden City- we could have taken you & Mr H to my husband’s favorite coffee place by the beach!! Maybe next time. 🙂
    We’ve enjoyed seeing all the beautiful images. Have a safe flight home.

  2. Author

    Mervin – Focus was tough, actually. I shot this around f/9.0 to keep some depth and accomodate if I screwed up, but essentially I put the thing on autofocus and tried my best to track with the kayak. Most of the time I nailed it, sometimes the camera got confused. Manual would be ideal for more static shots, but this needed something more dynamic. It’s a big hit and miss, to be honest, but as this was my first shot at it, I’m learning as I go. 🙂

    Amryl, thanks so much for the invite. We will be pulling into Christchurch tomorrow but between dinner with an old friend and returning the RV, i think our time is spoken for. But thanks so much for the offer.

  3. Great photo, totally a different perspective! Btw, should you drop by in Christchurch, drop me an email and we can get a cup of tea or coffee if you prefer…

  4. I really like the perspective on this shot. There is just one thing that I keep asking myself though. How easy was it to focus for this shot? Did autofocus were easily enough or did you have to manually focus for this shot?

  5. Love the composition on this – there’s a lot to admire about the shot – The landscape, the lines, the contrast, and the people are all interesting!

  6. Author

    Thanks, folks. This was a simple over/under shot. I was in the water, in a wetsuit and PFD (life-vest), and the camera was safe and dry in an Aquatech housing. A little cumbersome and there are some things you can control and others you can’t access, but with a little practice I can see this being an interesting point of view from which to photograph river activities, water sports, etc.

  7. Doubtfull sound, is a great place, please send more pictures from there, when i was on a kayak trip 2 years ago, did not bring my camera for fear of losing it in the water (happened twice while canoe and am not so rich) so i have no pictures, just awesome memories…
    Moeraki boulders i found were not super interesting,
    right behind though…
    but yes, have lunch and/or dinner at Fleur’s, we spent 30 minutes there watching a sea lion fighting off an otter for the scraps thrown in the water by the chef…
    So many beautifull places on the coast and you are leaving so soon???

  8. Very nice split picture, how you have liked the aquatech housing so far. I have been planning to change my ikelite housing for some better? More interested of the ergonomics of it(I know, just more technical stuff) 🙂

  9. hmm, as far as i understand English / lol- i am not so good in technical expressions/ i think u madfe this picture under the water….. but still upper part of the image looks like done above water! ???? Are u a magician?? oh yes- u are, it explains everything :

  10. hmm, as far as i understand English / lol- i am not so good in technical expressions/ i think u madfe this picture under the water….. but still upper part of the image looks like done above water! ???? Are u a magician?? oh yes- u are, it explains everything 😛

  11. Wow-awesome shot! See, you are “just learning” to shoot under water shots, and that’s what you come up with. You make it look easy! Looking forward to future posts! 🙂

  12. Whoa! Dude, did you really just do that with that photograph? That’s deeply cool!

    Would I be correct in assuming you were actually in the water for this, or were you hanging the housing over the edge of the kayak, praying for a decent composition that worked?

  13. Great image! Looks like you’re having fun. Let’s see a photo of the biggest sandfly bite you got! Pesky little things. Hope the rest of the trip goes well. Take care.

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