NZICESCAPES IMAGES

Photo Adventure

West Coast in winter

Farmland with native totara trees with sunset on winter mountains, Butler Ranges of Southern Alps near Whataroa, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Farmland with native totara trees with sunset on winter mountains, Butler Ranges of Southern Alps near Whataroa, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

I know, it can be hard to leave warm parts of the world, especially northern hemisphere, to make a holiday trip to the opposite side of the globe to New Zealand, where winter is in a full swing. Of course, those skiing enthusiasts are always looking forward to this part of the year, anywhere, but apart of those snow lovers, it may take rather not so ordinary holiday folk, to visit New Zealand in winter.
And I have to say, these guys know what they’re doing. The accommodation rates are much more budget friendly, roads are empty, in a cafe you get your coffee right away without queuing but most importantly, for us, photographers, the scenery doesn’t get any better than in winter time…on the West Coast in particular. All with comfortable hours for our sunrises and sunsets, as an extra bonus.
The long spine of the Southern Alps has a beautiful snow cover reaching into much lower altitudes then in summer and on the West Coast, these mountains are so close to you, that they’re in your viewfinder almost from everywhere.
And that’s one of the reasons, why one of my photography tours is scheduled for this time of the year. Photographing on the West Coast in winter is spectacular with opportunities behind every corner, since those white mountains enhance the landscapes everywhere around us.

This image was made just a few meters from my gallery in Whataroa during sunset and shows the farmland with native totara trees and white Southern Alps glowing in background. For more images from this part of West Coast please visit my stock gallery Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Thank you.


No other place I’d rather be…

Alpen glow of twilight over Southern Alps with Mt. Tasman and Aoraki, Mt. Cook from Three Mile beach near Okarito, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Alpen glow of twilight over Southern Alps with Mt. Tasman and Aoraki, Mt. Cook from Three Mile beach near Okarito, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Can’t help myself not to make another post on wetlands in New Zealand. Our wetlands, on the West Coast of the South Island in particular, are very special not only for their support of hugely diverse range of birds species, many other animals and plants but simply because they’re just incredibly photogenic.
This photograph demonstrates how important it is to know your location, to know what’s possible to occur.
One of those occurrences in the case of this lagoon is, that it can get blocked after some severe storms. It stops it’s usual cycle of draining and filling up in accordance with the tide, and forms wonderful lake creating an opportunity for some beautiful reflections of the surrounding environment and nearby Southern Alps.
Of course, one has to be patient or lucky to be at the spot on a calm evening like in this image and be aiming for the winter when the mountains put up its best display.
I’ve been at this lagoon so many times but can only remember being there twice or three times over the years, when the lagoon was full and blocked like this.
Remarkable fact is, that from lagoons in this area to the foothills of the Southern Alps, it can be as little as 10-15 km.

These lagoons are also part of Westland Tai Poutini National Park – UNESCO World Heritage, and you can find more images from this location under the following link Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Thank you.


Golden Hour

Golden hour of dawn on Aoraki Mount Cook 3,724m with Tasman River, Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand, NZ

Golden hour of dawn on Aoraki Mount Cook 3,724m with Tasman River, Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand, NZ

There is a good reason we call some particular times of the day “the golden hour”.
Well, for me, it’s more like “the golden 20minutes” – before sunset or after sunrise, like in this image, when the light can dress up the landscape into a wonderful golden glow. Depending on the atmospheric conditions, this glow can range from very subtle hues to quite strong golden colour cast, lending the landscape a regal quality.
Just like in this photograph of the highest New Zealand mountain Aoraki Mount Cook 3,724m.

In this image, I wanted to show the beautiful golden light on the east face of Aoraki, which was making the mountain stand out in the landscape. However, that wouldn’t be possible with wide angle lens therefore a longer lens was needed to be used to capture this panorama. One frame wouldn’t be enough either so the only option was to take 3 horizontal frames and composite them together to make this final frame. To give this image the depth, I used the Tasman River with its colourful reflections as a foreground anchor.

This is also one of the locations on my premium 15 days tour – 6 National Parks Sojourn, where we photograph.
For more info on these tours and workshops, please visit our website page PHOTO TOURS.

Thank you.


Beaten views are sometimes worth it!

Soft colours of twilight over Southern Alps with two highest peaks in New Zealand, Aoraki, Mt. Cook 3724m (right) and Mt. Tasman 3497m (left) and Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Soft colours of twilight over Southern Alps with two highest peaks in New Zealand, Aoraki, Mt. Cook 3724m (right) and Mt. Tasman 3497m (left) and Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

In a pursue of my images, I try to find new places, locations unknown and not photographed by others to create a new, fresh and appealing frame. It’s not only for the sake of novelty though, rather, to make me happy and excited with new vistas, new discoveries.
Sometimes, however, there are places which demand our high respect, making us to ditch our egos, because of just what they are. One of those spots is a popular lookout from the Okarito Trig, offering spectacular views toward the majestic Southern Alps. And sometimes, all it takes to create a wonderful photograph is to be there in the right time of the day and play it simple. Like in this example, when I took advantage of those gorgeous, soft pastel hues cast over the landscape by the ending of the day. And of course, when pretty, lenticular clouds hung around for a minute, that’s when the image speaks up.
These would be, arguably the most expansive vistas over the Southern Alps, encompassing a few hundreds of km of rangers laid out right in front of you in 180 degree span.
2 highest peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps with leafy shaped Mount Tasman on right 3,497m with highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook 3,724m right next to it on right. Franz Josef Glacier is just visible below them.
Thank you.


Finding Your Market

Probably more often then not, it’s easier to create a high quality product, art work in this matter, but the hard part comes in finding your clients for it.
In today’s world overloaded with choices and possibilities, finding your market becomes harder and harder and takes a lot of work, perseverance, honesty and time to succeed…and I definitely can’t say, we’re there, yet.
After decades of dreaming and focusing, years of planning, in September 2015, we softly opened the doors to our first “brick and mortar” private Fine Art Photographic Gallery in Whataroa, on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand. Located just on the border of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park / UNESCO World Heritage Area, the public grand opening of Petr Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa, West Coast, NZ followed in March 2016.

Petr Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa, West Coast, NZ

Petr Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa, West Coast, NZ


We created our gallery with a different concept though, as we chose to avoid the bigger foot traffic one can get in towns and cities. Instead, and to differentiate from masses, we chose to create this unique concept I refer to as, “a destination gallery”, focusing on a distinguished visitor, rather then quantity. This is not a new concept though, there are many galleries around the world established like this, but here in New Zealand, I suspect, our gallery might be one of two or three in the country.
The biggest benefits of this luxury concept are that visitors, especially those who wish to stay “under radar”, can have an intimate private gallery viewing without interruption, with me, as an author, at hand anytime.
The biggest challenge, however, remains how to ensure our visibility to these visitors, just the same as any luxury boutique resort or B&B tucked away from main touristy areas are facing.

Twilight at Gillespies Beach with moon rising over Fox Glacier and next to Mt. Tasman (left) 3497m and Mt. Cook (right) 3724m, two highest New Zealand mountains, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Twilight at Gillespies Beach with moon rising over Fox Glacier and next to Mt. Tasman (left) 3497m and Mt. Cook (right) 3724m, two highest New Zealand mountains, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

New Zealand is a small country in the furthest corner of the Planet but it’s strength and beauty lies exactly in this reality, being tucked away from the rest of the world, being this exclusive location. And it is this fact, which I think is in today’s globalised world highly appreciated and desired.
One of the channels distinguished visitors wanting to experience New Zealand is via private agencies, which are able to custom tailor, deliver and satisfy any exclusive wishes their clients may have.

I’m thrilled to announce that Petr Hlavacek Gallery fitted with its format, high quality and uniqueness to “Black Label Experience”.
“Black Label” is New Zealand’s premier luxury travel agency, enabling a discerning visitor an exclusive, luxury experience in visiting New Zealand; and we’re delighted to embark with Black Label on a very exciting journey ahead.
With our gallery’s unique, secluded setting, we provide Black Label’s distinguished clientele privacy and exclusive experience in intimate gallery viewing, along with private, custom tailored itineraries of exclusive photography tours or workshops.

Petr Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa, West Coast, NZ

Petr Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa, West Coast, NZ

The secret behind Black Label Experience is “The Secret Black Book”. This is a valued compilation of trusted individuals and providers of unique and exclusive experiences, and with whom Black Label can collaborate with to exceed their valued, high end, VIP clients’ expectations.

As excited as we are, so pleased was Black Label with our connections, that its managing director Tania Stoyanof wrote a blog about it.

This is the BLOG about our link with Black Label.

Smoothwater River near Jackson Bay at dawn, South Westland, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Smoothwater River near Jackson Bay at dawn, South Westland, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

One can only imagine our delight to be included in this exclusive list of “The Secret Black Book”.

For more information about Black Label and Petr Hlavacek Gallery, please email us at: info@nzicescapes.com


Winter Photo Tour in New Zealand

Sunset over Main Divide with Centennial Hut perched on ridge in centre atop of Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, West Coast, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Sunset over Main Divide with Centennial Hut perched on ridge in centre atop of Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, West Coast, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Throughout the year, we have several itineraries of our photo workshops and tours but we were thinking about adding one more special winter version to our selection.
This new itinerary is almost identical with our 15 day South Island tour but we added a new, super location to it – one night will be spent in the high altitude mountaineering hut in The Southern Alps of the South Island in New Zealand.

The hut sits atop of the Franz Josef or Fox Glaciers, (depending on weather conditions we chose the best option), and we will have our private, professional mountaineering guide to guide us in this spectacular environment.
This combination will enable us to fully concentrate on photography, capturing images from areas usually accessible only to the skilled mountaineers. The scenery is going to be utterly breathtaking with 360 views and vistas reaching far into the Tasman Sea on horizon. We’ll be photographing spectacular West Coast sunset over the Tasman Sea from around 2800m above sea level, right under the Main Alpine Divide, as well as the sun rising from behind the following morning.

This adventure is scheduled for the 4 August until 18 August 2016 and I can’t wait to taking you into some of the most spectacular location on our planet.

For the full itinerary, please visit our website – nzicescapes.com

Beautiful pastel colours of sunset above Franz Josef Glacier photographed from Centennial Hut with Tasman Sea visible on horizon. Tusk Rocks in foreground, Chamberlin Snowfield right, Agassiz Glacier left, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Beautiful pastel colours of sunset above Franz Josef Glacier photographed from Centennial Hut with Tasman Sea visible on horizon. Tusk Rocks in foreground, Chamberlin Snowfield right, Agassiz Glacier left, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Deep crevasses in upper parts of Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Deep crevasses in upper parts of Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Views down Franz Josef Glacier from above Centenial Hut with Tasman Sea in distance, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ

Views down Franz Josef Glacier from above Centenial Hut with Tasman Sea in distance, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand, NZ


Photo Workshops and Tours in New Zealand

Last 12 months has been very busy for us. We’ve completed several photography workshops and tours, guiding our clients through some of the most remote and wild locations New Zealand has on offer.
Generally, we offer 4 pre-organized itineraries but often, we build individually One on One plans for our clients to suit their schedules. Our trips vary in duration but 15 days South Island Sojourn trip, where we visit 6 National Parks of New Zealand in its South Island, seems to be the most popular option. We travel comfortably in 4WD vehicles, aiming to photograph every sunrise and sunset if the weather permits us. The weather can play bit of a role here in New Zealand so be prepared for some dramatic lighting conditions which is exactly what a great photograph needs.
New Zealand is extremely scenic and has proven million times to be one of the best, with great photography locations packed corner of the planet. UNESCO World Heritage Status assigned to large and expansive parts of the South Island certainly confirms that…and we spend most of our times on our trips in exactly these places. So if your feet are getting a bit itchy and camera dusty, perhaps it’s a good time to pull out a map and start exploring. For more informations on our photography tours and workshops, don’t hesitate visiting our website – nzicescapes.com

Below, please enjoy few photographs and snaps of our clients on locations we visit.
Thank you and we look forward to welcoming some of you on one of our photography adventure.

Sunrise at Lake Matheson with reflections of Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Sunrise at Lake Matheson with reflections of Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman, Westland National Park, West Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Icebergs and ice debris on Hooker Lake with reflections of Aoraki Mount Cook sunrise, Aoraki Mtount Cook National Park, Mackenzie Country, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Sun falling behind horizon of the Tasman Sea. Watched from overnight Milford Sound boat cruise in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Sun falling behind horizon of the Tasman Sea. Watched from overnight Milford Sound boat cruise in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Native rainforest and tree ferns on the West Coast in Oparara Valley near Karamea, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

Native rainforest and tree ferns on the West Coast in Oparara Valley near Karamea, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand

Looking towards Humboldt Mountains and Mount Aspiring National Park near Glenorchy, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Looking towards Humboldt Mountains and Mount Aspiring National Park near Glenorchy, UNESCO World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Deep green-blue colours of Hokitika River Gorge, South Westland, New Zealand

Deep green-blue colours of Hokitika River Gorge, South Westland, New Zealand

Kahikatea forest in fog at sunrise at Lake Wahapo, West Coast, Westland National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

Kahikatea forest in fog at sunrise at Lake Wahapo, West Coast, Westland National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

Thank you and Enjoy!