NZICESCAPES IMAGES

Posts tagged “coastal

Whanganui Inlet on West Coast of New Zealand

Pastel colours of sunset over Whanganui Inlet on west coast with alpine vegetation, Nelson Region, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Pastel colours of sunset over Whanganui Inlet on west coast with alpine vegetation, Nelson Region, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

There are many things that I like about this area; total lack of people is one of them.
Apart from a few farming vehicles, it will still surprise you when you meet with another freedom traveller heading towards you on this wonderfully narrow, dusty road.
Another nice thing is a beautiful silence. More often than not, in coastal areas you can hear boats’ engines reeving up but very seldom here…only birds echo through the air. But the main thing I’d like to point out here is my favourite one – it’s all about native bush here.
Not like in the Marlborough Sounds where sadly, as far as you can see, there is always a pine grove in a view, spoiling these beautiful Sounds. Luckily some great work is being done to eradicate this trees from these hills where they don’t belong.
In Whanganui however, no pines at all. You’re surrounded only by native coastal forest just like what it was hundreds of years ago. …and that’s something we must treasure dearly.

Pastel colours of sunset over Whanganui Inlet on west coast with alpine vegetation, Nelson Region, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Thank you and Enjoy!


West Coast kayaking Magic!

Sunset scene with kayak in Okarito Lagoon, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

Sunset scene with kayak in Okarito Lagoon, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

When we, photographers, set our minds on one image it’s all too easy to forget about what’s happening around us. We have this magical scene in front of us, the light is changing fast, the heart is pumping with excitement so no wonder it can slip from our minds that there may be another magic happening behind our backs. In my case, I can get too concentrated on my photograph in front of me, that I don’t pay enough attention to what’s happening behind me…but I’ve learned this lesson number of times and am now much more careful not to miss an opportunity for some other photograph then to what I set my mind on.

Saying that though, I still do think that concentration on making a photograph you came for should be priority, as I’ve also experienced this in a hard way, that if we want too much, we often end up with average, missing on the best moment on the intended image.

This photograph of kayak perfectly reflecting in sheets of gold light on a still Okarito Lagoon on the West Coast in New Zealand is a perfect example of an opportunity when you got your main frame in a bag and are hungry for more!

Kayak reflecting in Okarito Lagoon at sunset, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Photograph ©Petr Hlavacek – nzicescapes.com


Coastal scenery from Okarito Lagoon in New Zealand

Pastel colours of twilight over Southern Alps with Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman from Okarito Lagoon, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

Pastel colours of twilight over Southern Alps with Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman from Okarito Lagoon, Westland National Park, West Coast, World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

It’s hard to describe my feelings when I’m at pristine places like Okarito on the West Coast in New Zealand with its surrounding lagoons, wetlands and wild beaches. Without wanting to be too sentimental, I just can’t help it to say that my heart is always up my throat, filled with joy how beautiful this place is.
Regardless of the time of the day, you always can make a wonderful photograph in Okarito. For me though, my time I love to photograph is when the sun is near the horizon and the light orchestrates its play around you. Once the sun dips below horizon, the air fills up with pastel hues of pinks and purples, contrast balances out, remoteness with silence all around makes me feel this place belongs just to me….and it’s then, when photographs like this can be made.

Dusk at Okarito Lagoon with views of the Southern Alps on horizon, West Coast, Westland National Park, World Heritage Area, South Westland, New Zealand

Thank you for checking in and Enjoy!

Image ©Petr Hlavacek – nzicescapes.com


Winter in Milford Sound in Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound with Mitre Peak with dramatic skies before sunset, Fiordland National Park, Southland, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Milford Sound with Mitre Peak with dramatic skies before sunset, Fiordland National Park, Southland, World Heritage Area, New Zealand

Last week I got back home from my winter trip to Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound Fiordland in New Zealand and what a wonderful trip it was!

I visited many locations, the iconic ones as well as number of new spots, which I scouted out on my last visit over a year ago.

Although the rain pinned me down for few days, I couldn’t wish for better weather, really. Well, I say “pinned down” but the rain didn’t stop me from exploring for new spots I might use on my next visit.
The other advantage of the incoming rain, next to doing other useful photography things such as location scouting, is that there is always great cloudy sky to be photographed before you get drenched…and when there is some wonderful backdrop as well, and there is no shortage of them in Milford Sound, it seems like a perfect recipe for a nice photograph.

Mitre Peak in Milford Sound with sun rays penetrating the sky, Fiordland National Park, Southland, New Zealand

Thanks for checking in and Enjoy!

Image ©Petr Hlavacek – nzicescapes.com


Photographing on Banks Peninsula

Rolling mist over hills of Banks Peninsula at sunset, Canterbury, New Zealand

Rolling mist over hills of Banks Peninsula at sunset, Canterbury, New Zealand

It’s interesting what pressure can produce.

Last several days I spent photographing Banks Peninsula near Christchurch. I wasn’t alone as I had a pleasure to drive peninsula’s roads and run the hills with one of the best polar – mountain photographer, not only in New Zealand but worldwide, Colin Monteath.
We had a great fun scouting places and looking for new spots to photograph.

Anyways; on one of the evenings, waiting for the sunset at a previously scouted location, the clouds kept hanging on and on and on, so we faced a decision – either to risk that the clouds open up the valley below or not, returning home empty handed.

As the situation erred on the side of clouds sticking around for the night, we quickly decided to move on and hurried to find re-placing frame for the photograph we could make.
It didn’t look very good and we were becoming reconciled that it’s going to be a dry evening but after some running around we came across this magical frame. It was just for a short moment but well worth the rush.

I love the beautifully soft hues of colours reflected from the sky in the rolling mist, as the sun sets on the West Coast.
Suddenly it felt like in Tuskany….

This photograph of Rolling mist over hills of Banks Peninsula at sunset, Canterbury, New Zealand is not online yet, but feel free to check our other images from similar locations under this link.

Photo: ©Petr Hlavacek – www.nzicescapes.com

Thank you and Enjoy!


Kaikoura Coastline

Pastel colours of dawn on rocky shores of Kaikoura coastline with Seaward Kaikouras mountains in background, Kaikoura, Marlborough Region, South Island, East Coast, New Zealand

Pastel colours of dawn on rocky shores of Kaikoura coastline with Seaward Kaikouras mountains in background, Kaikoura, Marlborough Region, South Island, East Coast, New Zealand

Kaikoura in New Zealand is world wide known for its incredibly rich marine wildlife. People from all over the world come to see this abundance of life of the sea Kaikoura has on offer, but it’s not only marine species which draw the crowds here, it’s also very picturesque, rocky coastline with abruptly rising ranges of Seaward Kaikouras mountains, dominating the background of most photographs from this area… and just like in this photo, as well.

The northern side of Kaikoura Peninsula offers an amazing array of limestone rock formations, from smooth rock platforms to very sharp, jugged rocks, all serving as great anchoring foregrounds for any photograph.
I discovered this location the evening before and visualised how this scene would look like in pre-dawn light. In my mind, I saw these wonderful pastel colours and by long exposure smoothed off sea with only razor sharp, jugged rocks sticking out.. I couldn’t wait to come back the following morning!

Pastel colours of dawn on rocky shores of Kaikoura coastline with Seaward Kaikouras mountains in background, Kaikoura, Marlborough Region, South Island, East Coast, New Zealand


New Stock Images from Golden Bay and Mt. Cook NP!

Stock Images from Golden Bay, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand

Stock Images from Golden Bay, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand

It’s been a while since my last images release last September, yes, time passes by fast, and I wasn’t wasting my time.

Rather, it was the opposite. I spent quite some time on the road chasing the light and visiting many new places, as well as going back to those favourite ones.

New locations in magnificent Mt. Cook National Park has been visited, stunning beach of Totaranui, Wharariki and much, much more fell a target of my camera…and then, long days were spent in office processing and uploading all those image files onto our stock site.

As a result, you can now found several hundreds of new photos added and spread throughout galleries on our website and where they are now all available for licensing.

To view samples of these new images showcasing coastal areas of Golden Bay on top of the South Island, as well as new locations in Mt. Cook National Park and Abel Tasman National Parks , plus much more, please visit our image gallery New Stock Coastal and Mountains Images from Totaranui, Wharariki, West Coast, Mt. Cook and Abel Tasman NP .

All Photos: ©Petr Hlavacek – www.nzicescapes.com

Thank you and Enjoy!


New photos from Catlins, Otago Peninsula, Moeraki Boulders

Images from Southland

Stock Images from Catlins, Dunedin, Otago Peninsula and Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve visited Southland of New Zealand.
After acquiring our new 36MPix camera, it wasn’t too hard to make a decision that now is a right time to go and re-visit this “on the southerly edge” part of South Island. And what a trip it was!

I spend one week in the area, catching up with places like Waipapa and Slope Points with its sea lions and lighthouse, Curio Bay and petrified forest, Nugget Point, through to Otago Peninsula and up to ever popular Moeraki Boulders. These were the main targets of my trip but there was a lot and lot of photography in between. Luckily, all main locations are not too far apart so I didn’t have to spend that much time on long distance transfers…but still, I clocked up a few kilometers.

This corner of New Zealand lies in a kinda shadow of other popular places but it certainly doesn’t deserve that. It’s absolutely beautiful and as always with New Zealand scenery – totally different…and how much I love that!!! Therefore, if you consider holidaying in South Island of New Zealand, make sure you pay visit to the southern most part of mainland, by the Antarctic weather lashed – The Southland. You won’t be disappointed.

You can see small samples right above but for more and larger previews, please visit coastal gallery on our site or use the following link –

Coastal photos from Catlins, Dunedin, Otago Peninsula, Moeraki Boulders and much more.

All photos: ©Petr Hlavacek – www.nzicescapes.com

Thank you and Enjoy!


Petrified Forest at Curio Bay

Fossilized tree trunk at Curio Bay, Southland, New Zealand

Fossilized tree trunk at Curio Bay after sunset, Southland, New Zealand

It is quite hard to imagine that this place once used to be a thriving forest.
Until about 180 million years ago when New Zealand was still part of a super continent Gondwana. Massive event of sheet flooding caused by, at that time nearby live volcanoes, flooded the area and almost instantly turned the forest into stone. Stone turning must have happened relatively quickly, in matter of months, as the trees didn’t have time to decay. Thanks to silica minerals not only trees but also ferns were preserved for us to wonder over.

This is a significant coastal location not only for New Zealand but also internationally, as these types of fossilized forests are very rare.

I had this location in my mind for quite some time, as I wanted to get some new photographs of this interesting place so it was for sure that Curio Bay gets included into my Southland trip. I spend a couple of nights her, exploring around and managed to make a few images.

I have quite few interesting frames from here actually, but it was the mood and gloominess of this night photograph which I like and decided to make a post of it.

I hope you’ll like it as well!

Taken with Nikon D800E and Nikkor 16-35 f4 lens.

Photo: ©Petr Hlavacek – www.nzicescapes.com

This image is not online yet, but you can find more of other coastal imagery in our gallery Coastal photos of New Zealand

Thank you and Enjoy!


Wild West Coastline!

Sunset and limestone formation in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

Sunset and limestone formation in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

During past several months I’ve been making regular-ish trips to one of the popular coastal locations on West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand, to famous Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, in Paparoa National Park.
These amazing, “pancake layered” limestone formations were created some 30 million years ago. Formed from dead marine creatures and plants about 2 km below the surface, immense water pressure transformed these marine fragments into hard and soft layers, which were then by tectonic activity lifted above sea level. The weather elements have been doing the rest – shaping these rocks into wonderful limestone formations.

Last week I got back from my last trip, for a while at least, and what a trip that was.
I was able to reach some secret but dangerous spots but I wouldn’t recommend to follow this, especially if you don’t know the area and potential hazards… and this goes to this image in particular.
The constant danger of unpredictable waves and falling rocks kept me alerted at all times and my senses were all over me. I waited away from this place for the right moment to come and gave myself only a couple of minutes for the shot before I backed off to the safe side.

I’ve had this photograph on my mind for a long time. I kept coming back to see variety of light on this spot during last 12 months and it was so tantalizing that I couldn’t resist this evening. My waiting was over as all the elements I was after came spectacularly together – amazing light hitting right place, out of this world limestone formations and shapes with drama of incoming tide.

I couldn’t have been happier!

This image is not online yet but for more and similar coastal images from New Zealand, please visit our photo stock gallery Coastal Stock Images from West Coast of New Zealand

Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

Nikon D800E with Nikkor 16-35 lens


Arrival of Nikon D800e!

From the Sea to the Mountains

From the Sea to the Mountains, Westland NP, New Zealand

Having ordered this camera immediately after its official announcement, I’ve been impatiently awaiting when this camera hits NZ shores. By the time it eventually did, the whole world already knew about its superior qualities…and it certainly didn’t make my waiting easy….

Therefore when it did eventually arrived, I was buzzing.
Full of high expectations and with excitement boiling, I went, actually literally run, to one of my close to my heart places to get my first shots with my new work horse.
I deliberately choose this location since I have many other similar images from there and I would be able to compare and see the difference.

I won’t be walking around a hot pot and will cut straight to the case;
the results I’ve got from this camera are, simply said, phenomenal.

Immediately from a first look, the tonal range and its smoothness is eye catching. Obviously, you won’t be able to see it from this post but on my EIZO monitor, file looks amazing. Can’t wait to print it out!
Next to the detail; I have image taken from exactly the same spot with my previous D300 and with Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 glass so I’m able to compare very accurately. I did expected an improvement as one would with such a big pixel difference but again – the result just blown me away. Every stem of the sand dune grass, yellow flower of gorse or any leaf, twig etc you see in the image is well defined, sharp and crisp – resolved in every detail by D800e massive resolution that you truly feel like being there.
D300 image file doesn’t look bad if you don’t put it anywhere near to this as it can’t stand the comparison in any way… in the fine detail I mentioned above D300 file looks in many places mushy…simply lacking pixels…. the tonal range and its smoothness can’t be matched by D300 file for obvious reasons as well…
Don’t get me wrong though; I loved my previous D300 and its results but technology just moves ahead….luckily often in our favour so we can afford tools like this brilliant Nikon D800e. I’m so thrilled to be working with it and be able now to deliver files which could wrap ones apartment around and around…
On this note – this image is a stitch of 6 files resulting in output file size of 700 MB and native 155cm x 62cm @300 dpi!!! Yes 300dpi…now, how great would that look on your wall…:)
Enjoy!


Once more from Punakaiki!

Beautiful limestone pools at sunset in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

Beautiful limestone pools at sunset in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

As I’ve been processing new images for our next upload, which happened last week, I just can’t go by and not to share with you one more frame from Punakaiki coast.

It is also from the area of limestone pools I photographed after the sun went down.
On my first visit, I pre-visualized all these pools playing with colours as the sun goes down so you can easily imagine how excited I was now when I saw all those coloured reflections around me when shooting time came.

With my camera solid on the tripod and mirror locked up, I decided to leave polarizing filter on as I wanted to get both versions – with colourful skies reflecting in water and without reflections, showing the shapes and forms hidden under the water.
Here I’m posting image without polarizer working. Image gained interesting contrast of nice colder blue hues from the sky reflecting in the pool to the warm tones of twilight colours.

You can see polarized version of the same frame on our site by visiting STOCK gallery “NEW IMAGES”.

Thank you and Enjoy!


Limestone pools in Punakaiki

Seewed in limestone pool at sunset in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand

Seewed in limestone pool at sunset in Punakaiki, Paparoa National Park, West Coast, New Zealand


Just a few days ago I came back from my another trip in Paparoa National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand.
On my last, mostly scouting visit, I found several locations I’ve been eager to photograph. The amazing limestone formations can stir your imagination quite well.
I had this frame in my head for quite some time so I waited for the right conditions of the right tide with some clouds and colour in the sky.
This beautiful pool with green seaweed in it together with an amazing ornamentation on the rock’s surface suggested for this beautiful photograph. Using ND Gradual filters was necessary to balance out bright skies against dark foreground and, to let the greens of seaweed shine.
Needless to say, there is much more awaiting to be captured, and my pre-visualization of other frames can’t stop.
That means I’m already planing my next trip to this location to be very soon.

I’m thrilled with this capture and I hope you’ll like it too!
Cheers and Enjoy!


Abel Tasman Coastal Track – part 2

Golden beach in Totaranui on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track - Abel Tasman NP, Nelson Region, New Zealand

Golden beach in Totaranui on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track - Abel Tasman NP, Nelson Region, New Zealand


Linking up with last post from Watering Cove on Abel Tasman Coastal Track, this post is from well known and visited grounds of Totaranui. Stunning beach of this place has been a draw card for kiwi families for decades and it’s no wonder. The seclusion of this area at the northern part of the Abel Tasman Track with great camping facilities makes it quite a special place. Pristine waters, rock formations to explore and golden sand of the beach… it’s a heaven….

If you find yourself walking this track, this beach offers you amazing relax for your weary legs and you just need to make sure, that you book your place in Totaranui for more then one night to make most of this fantastic location! There is a whole lot to Enjoy!

P.S. It’s a pure coincidence but if you’re heading that way now, we might bump into each other, as we’re heading that way too, right now!!!


…still on the Hollyford!

Looking into Hollyford Valley with sunset at Martins Bay on Hollyford Track - Fiordland NP, Southland, New Zealand

Looking into Hollyford Valley with sunset at Martins Bay on Hollyford Track - Fiordland NP, Southland, New Zealand

Back on track through the glacial U-shaped Hollyford Valley… After 4 days of hiking through the ancient rainforest of northern parts of Fiordland NP, Martins Bay is reached.
This place is just magic…it’s all yours here as you share the place only with NZ Fur Seals and rare Fiordland Crested Penguins, to whom this is their home.
I spend on the Holyford Track 12 days and I have met only 1 other person during this time (after 4 days of hiking) – its absolute “soul washing” and healing experience in solitude!
But Martins Bay also has an exciting past – Due to its location and over 100 years back, Martins Bay seemed very compelling and suitable to establish one of the gateways into the Southland. There was an attempt to colonize this area where ships and boats would be able to enter deeper into the Hollyford Valley following Hollyford river and Lake McKerrow. The harsh conditions of this rough environment however proved the vision not so great as thought and the plans for development were abandoned.
And I reckon it was a great decision so this area can continue to be one of the jewels of Fiordland where one can only be privileged to watch the sunset do its magic!


Tectonics and formation of the Southern Alps

New Zealand sits on the famous “Ring of Fire”, which is one of the reasons for its astounding natural diversity and why this country has some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world – The Southern Alps, dominating the South Island along its West Coast and only a few km at places from the Tasman Sea. But it is also the reason why this magnificent country is very prone to the earthquakes.

The Earth’s crust is made of (more…)