Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Part 4 GANGNAM Style: Visiting North & South Korea 2014

October 23rd, 2014 at 8:59 am by Kokila Patel

By John Stringer

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This trip we had two opportunities to visit North Korea, once over the border, and once through one of the tunnels (now closed, obviously) dug by NK to invade South Korea. It’s important to understand that North & South Korea are buffered by a DMZ – De-Militarised Zone. It’s a narrow strip of no mans land full of mines and fences. There was no peace treaty signed by the two Koreas so technically they are still ‘at war.’ The North vs South fences do not abutt eachother, there’s a wide fenced off neutral zone inbetween. This helps relieve tensions and fatal incidents (more of which later). This area converges together at the famous Joint Security (JSA) Demilitarised Zone which I’ll post on tomorrow.

It is vital to bring a passport or you cannot visit. It’s an early start for us, and at the Incheon subway station en route to Seoul where we’ll catch a bus, it transpires more than one of our party has forgotten to bring theirs. So Male50Something is dispatched at a trot back to the hotel to open various rooms, and safes, and recover missing passports.

Walking through the bus at Seoul, the passports are assiduously checked by serious-minded soldiers. They pause and check your photo against your mug, peering into your face for inherent terrorism. I pull my best ambivalent pacifist look. Anyone without a passport is taken from the bus. Serious stuff.

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The first view of North Korea is across the Han River where it runs into the Yellow Sea. The shoreline is heavily fenced with watchtowers at regular intervals, which makes you feel you are inside a camp. It runs for miles and miles closing off this watery weak spot along the border. You can see this barrier in the left hand corner of this photo returning from the DMZ, which is an exhausting place, zonking out two of our party.

The first bus stop is Imjingak Tourist Park, at Paju, Gyeonggi-do, which bares several scars from the Korean War. It’s the closest borderland to the DMZ and is the hub from which you get to grips with North Korea at the Dora Observatory, Dora Station and the 3rdTunnel.

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This is Imjingak

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Imjingak Park was built so that refugees from North Korea could face the home of their ancestors and pay homage. There’s a viewing platform offering a glimpse of North Korea and it’s also home to the Freedom Bridge, built in 1953 to bring 12,773 prisoners across. You can also see the bullet-ridden train that once ran the railway between North and South Korea. There’s a huge Tibetan-like Freedom Bell. The S.Koreans are deeply committed to peace and unification and have thoughtful memorials and displays like this “Peace Wall” throughout the Imjingak leisure park.

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This interesting artwork is made of rocks collected from different battlefields in 64 nations. It’s a memorial to the futility of war. That’s actually North Korea DMZ behind the wall memorial.

From Imjingak we take the bus to the Dora Observatory and military base. This features a wide walled balcony from which we can observe North Korea across the DMZ.  There is a yellow line, across which you cannot take photos (so you cannot shoot North Korea, and we are advised to strictly follow this protocol). Looking out through the observation binoculars I can see a North Korean man working some rice fields. It is very quiet, no vehicles moving people or activity.  We are told many of the buildings are actually fake (iemovie props).  They can tell this, as the windows do not match the supposed floor laterals.

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But perhaps the highlight at Dora is one of the many North Korea tunnels discovered at this location. No photos are allowed. Before you go in, there is a small museum and we are briefed on how the tunnels were discovered, and why they were made.  There are several interesting artifacts. The wall plaque below shows the discovery.  They are so deep, almost 80m they are very difficult to locate.  Soldiers go in and listen, just like WWI.

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We don hard hats and are taken in to Tunnel 3.  It is 400m long and 76m deep, one of 4 found so far, dug by the North Koreans to attack Seoul from their side

(see map at top). It’s fascinating and eerie. It slopes down and is a long walk.  Quite hard for tall people, as it is Korean size and at 5 ft10” I have to stoop the whole way while walking which is hard work. Try 400m at a crouch.  You totally need the hard had, as the sound of dozens intermittently bashing against the exposed irregular rock ceiling echoes down the narrow corridor cut through solid rock.

It’s quite claustrophobic, so don’t go in if you are in any way anxious.  The walls and ceiling are a rusty coloured rock.  At the very end, we can see drilled holes where explosives were laid by the North Koreans, but most of the tunnel was hand cut. The termination is now a series of concrete chambers.  These sit three deep as bulwarks and one is filled with water.  Our end has an open window in the casement so you can see in for security purposes.

It is a very interesting experience, and technically, we cross over in to North Korea through this violating tunnel, now sealed with concrete bunker rooms. Maps show us the several tunnels attempted by the North (like Hamas into Palestine) through which North Korea intended to amass thousands of troops for a surprise invasion to take Seoul.

So this is quite serious stuff. The South Koreans are consequently very vigilant and continually listening and probing for tunnels.

Next time: The famous Joint Security (JSA) Demilitarised Zone. A really scary place.

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GANGNAM Style: Visiting North & South Korea 2014 Part 3

October 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by Kokila Patel

By John Stringer

Koreans have a high work ethic and everyone works in Korea, from young to old. This may be because they have a much leaner welfare system than New Zealand [insert ACT policy quotes here]. You see few beggars and bums on the streets of Korea and lots of ancient grandparents minding family shops.

Which brings me to the bowing.  Korea is structured with social customs that EVERYONE honours.  A senior person is always deferred to (which had implications for Korean aircraft safety and protocols and prompted changes to inflight cockpit systems across all airlines. Co-pilots and junior staff had to be trained to question senior pilot decisions). For example, a younger person will always nod and use both hands to an older person, and serve them food or a drink, never in reverse.  An older person would only use one hand to reciprocate to a younger person, etc. This creates widespread respect and social cohesion between the generations, something we completely lack in urban NZ.

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Note the tiny cart underneath which will be pushed by an elderly person.

As an example of the work ethic, there appears to be a civil recycling system in the city, whereby businesses put all their clean rubbish outside, and an army of people come with little push trailers to collect it up. No sooner is it out, than it’s gone. I saw one man unpacking a fridge for his shop, and an elderly woman standing there waiting for the box. The army of collectors take it to numerous small back alley sorting yards on every other block, discretely tucked out of sight, where they sort it all by hand, and obviously sell the material.

We saw this in operation in a back alley self tour we took through the catacombs of Incheon to see what the city was really like for ordinary people. This process cuts down the need for rubbish trucks in the streets, which would be problematic. (Actually, a bus became cast down a sloping alley close to our hotel. Pretty funny observing the extrication). For the load you can see pictured, a person would receive a few dollars. These workers are often elderly people, perhaps without sons or daughters to support them. It’s a win-win system focused on people and their need to work and support themselves, keep the streets freer of trucks etc., and distributes recyclables locally. Again, an evolved social efficiency. Despite this, Incheon still has a litter problem.

Generally Korea is pretty clean and tidy, but quite badly littered in big public spaces (I guess just because there are so many people). But you do observe constant street sweeping with Harry Potter brooms by random people and shop owners.

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We saw only two ‘street people’ the whole time we were here. I think this is because Koreans are prepared to work and are less lazy than some Kiwis. I met this man in a Methodist Park dedicated to John Wesley and gave him some money. He was most appreciative and humble. None of the demanding attitude I meet quite often among NZ homeless persons who have a sense of entitlement.

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Prices and currency comparisons are easy in Korea. It’s Won 000s to the NZ $1, so $50,000 Won is $50 NZ Kiwis. Easy peasy when shopping and comparing. It’ll cost you about $20 for a full night out, drinks incl. which because of the number of restaurants, is much cheaper than in NZ.

I tried these silk worm bug casings (below). They are actually very nice. Also, periwinkle type shells – suck out the cooked thingy inside. Also very nice.

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Incheon is full of tall pack-‘em-in-sardine-style apartment buildings, and we noticed they are numbered 101 etc.  This helped us not to get lost, until we did, and then realised EVERY apartment skyscraper on every lock is numbered 101, 102 etc. So, that didn’t help. Despite a lot of utilitarian Soviet-style residential stacks, Incheon has some welcome modern architecture. I also like how the Koreans take a little time and not much expense, to paint the underbelly of their over bridges, so life at street level is a little more pleasant than Soviet concrete. A good idea for Christchurch. Such a simple inexpensive idea.

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Like London and NY, Incheon and Seoul are, by necessity, cities of subways. This is something Len Brown is attempting, but it’s simply too expensive for New Zealand. The subways are easily negotiated in a different language, are efficient, and very clean. But note your routes and take smart phone pics of your relevant stations.  You also need to talk to someone about the fare cards, how to top ‘em up at the machines, otherwise you’ll get marooned inside the labyrinths.  Best to travel in a pair or more, so you can hand back an access barrier card if your partner’s barrier pass has expired.  Problematic for us a few times.

Following a subway ride to Seoul it is a long bus ride to the North Korean border and the DMZ.  The pickup is a large square in Seoul, and while we were there, there were large memorials to the horrific ferry tragedy a few days earlier.  The outpouring of concern and care was very moving, and Koreans perhaps engage with such issues as much for the humanity as ‘correcting’ Korean mana, apologising and restoring balance.  For example, I went over and spoke to some police officers, but they did not want to be photographed with the ferry memorials in the background.

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The border with North Korea is scary.  This pic sets the tone.  More next time as we cross the border….

 

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Part 2. GANGNAM Style: Visiting North & South Korea 2014

October 20th, 2014 at 9:00 am by Kokila Patel

By John Stringer

As mentioned last time… 

“Hilarimouse Engerish abounds.” Not wishing to be superior or disparaging but it is humorous seeing Engerish featuring so prominently across South Korea, such as the brightly neon-lit SODOMIA Hotel on Rodeo Street or the Queen’s Room. And it’s near cousins…

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 But at least there is “happymoney.”
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Hauling in to Incheon International Airportfrom Christchurch, the first thing I noticed was how QUIET everyone disgorging from the plane into the Incheon cattle yards are.  A large hall full of sardines, and EVERYONE is silent, respectful.  This seemed very unusual to me.  In European or American contexts, people would be chatting and talking. Not here. It appears to be a public mindset I suspect a survival instinct in a society so full of people.
I really like Incheon airport.  It is spacious, well-lit, caters to people, and has won several awards.  The architecture is spectacular. Public sculpture is very modern in South Korea.  Although, there are glitches.  This gigantic phallus on the main drag outside the airport.  “Sou Korea..velly fertile?” They even light it at night. Ahem.
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ongdo Central Park is worth visiting.  It has the distinctive “Tri-Bowl” building. It supposedly represents the “sky (airport),” “sea (port),” and “land (metropolitan traffic network)” but I just see inverted Columbia space shuttle booster rockets.
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Then of course, there is this (below) [not photoshopped].  “Sou’ Korean boys… velly good flow.”
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Korean food is flavourable and delicious; the style is to go to open air BBQs where the staff roast different meats in front of you and you wrap it in various vegetables and edible leaves with your fingers. A common drink is Soju (“burned liquor”) which is like Saki. Korean food is balanced with good fresh vegetables. Cost-wise Korea is about the same as NZ but eating out is a bit cheaper because they have the populace to drive down establishment costs, something we should consider in NZ (ie try some Immigration).
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Being rather high up, and from Christchurch, we were perturbed to find this small wooden box in the closet in case of fire. I guess you climb inside it? Inside was a tinfoil fire blanket and a thin rope that you tie to a hook on the wall by the window that doesn’t open. We spent about 20 minutes each trying to open the window at various stages of our stay, which is set ajar. Merely a hope of saving yourself as you burn to death. We never did work out how the box would help. Maybe just tentatively reassuring and ticking a hotel insurance box.  Everything inside was completely useless.

Part of our visit was for a wedding. One of my new relatives is Eun Yee Un who collected us and was a marvelous host, but knows not a shred of English, or us Korean. Yet we communicated well and thoroughly enjoyed eachothers company all week.  Lots of smiling and nodding and laughing, universal human language.  Koreans are most generous.

Next time…off to North Korea.

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GANGNAM Style: Visiting North & South Korea 2014. Part 1

October 17th, 2014 at 11:00 am by Kokila Patel

By John Stringer

My eldest son lives and works in South Korea, and recently we got an opportunity to visit there as well as North Korea. Despite being well-travelled it was actually my first visit to Asia so I jumped at the chance (North Korea fascinates and appalls me). So, swinging in both wives and two Off Springs, it afforded an occasion to post some reflections by Kiwis and an American in our party of five on ‘Megasia’ in the style of DPF’s yak haul up to Base Camp earlier this year. The Marathon Runner followed me to parliament, so here’s some reverse serendipidy in the spirit of Political Hack (not Yak) Travel Blogginess.

We used Incheon as base camp (Incheon is kind of a whole separate city suburb of Seoul, with its own International airport). Here is a typical street scene.

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Obviously the first thing that strikes you in Asia, is it is very busy. Incheon is also very young; lots of twittering yooths and fashionable androgenous lovelies. Young Koreans ape western fashions, hairstyles and looks to-the-max. There are actually seminars and forums on how to ‘look more western.’ This tends to result in boys looking like girls, and vice versa, or like Justin Bieber (who is neither), but I understand that is actually desirable today. Gender is so passé and nineties. Queue the 2014 man/woman Labour nominee for Whangarei Kelly Ellis, or the opening monologue of the Capaldi Dr Who [Strax on the ambivalence of gender].

I suppose this is symptomatic of living in a massive culture where conformity is everything. Contrary to western prejudice, all Asians do not look the same; that is just ignorant. My son can tell Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and Malaysians apart. They are also very competitive, as much as Aussie and Kiwis are (who do look the same).

Breakfast with my wives at the posh hotel (Benikea Incheon Royal Hotel, I know, sounds posh, aye?) and I’m hit immediately by the courtesy and customer service orientation (not a sexuality) of all Koreans. But Engerish is still a problem.

“Serial” instead of cereal at breakfast written in perfect calligraphic penmanship and slotted in to a golden holder amid the virgin white napkins. This (inevitably) prompted a polite English Teacher “see me” guidance and correction on a napkin handed respectfully to the Consiergé so-as not to embarrass. Can’t help myself.

Hilarimouse Engerish abounds. Not wishing to be superior or disparaging…[Tune in for Part 2 soon].

Below: Something odd for breakfast. When traveling I am adventurous (more on that later). These actually turned out to be lychees, so not so weird after all.
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Monday Motivator – Koh Russei Serenity

May 19th, 2014 at 11:13 am by Richard Hume

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Koh Russei Serenity, Koh Russei Island, Cambodia

Cambodia is an amazing country to visit and offers just so much to the traveller looking for a little more than the ‘usual’ – if you have been there you will know what I mean. One thing I didn’t expect was the amazing set of islands off the coast of Sihanoukville.

Located in the Gulf Of Thailand several kilometers of the mainland Koh Russei Island was a lovely place to spend a few days. Each evening I would make the short trek across the island through a forest and past a military base to this stunning and deserted beach to capture the sunset.

Click on the image for a larger view of this photograph.

Cheers

Richard [richardhume.com]

YouTube: Timeless – A Panoramic Journey

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Monday Motivator – Scenic Highway 163

January 13th, 2014 at 9:39 am by Richard Hume

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Scenic Highway 163, Monument Valley, USA

I love visiting the USA and am always blown away by the amazing photo opportunities this incredible country offers.

If you have ever been to Monument Valley then you will know how immense this landscape is. This photograph was taken early one morning along Sate Highway 163 as I looked for an alternative view of the famous spires.

Click on the image for a larger view of this photograph.

Free Wallpaper – Desktop or iPad

You can download it as a free Desktop Wallpaper HERE  – Last weeks photo ‘Delicate Arch’ is also available – please share with your friends.

Cheers

Richard [richardhume.com]

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Monday Motivator – Delicate Arch

January 6th, 2014 at 9:35 am by Richard Hume

Monday Motivator 8

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah, USA

A very happy 2014 to you all. I hope like me you have got out and about in the last few weeks either locally or overseas. I have hit some beaches in Northland and have some new photographs to look forward to seeing. I always get my motivation by planning my  next photographic trip, so for me I am just putting some final touches to a South Island trip which I think is going to be really special.

Being that today is the first day back to work for many a little motivation may be in order – I selected this photo simply because it is an awe inspiring location.

Click on the image for a larger view of this photograph.

We are doing some maintenance on the website this week so this photograph will be available as a wallpaper download next week.

Cheers

Richard [richardhume.com]

 

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Weekly Wallpaper | Mount Egmont / Taranaki From Wai-iti Beach

December 12th, 2013 at 2:27 pm by Todd Sisson
Mount Egmont at sunset, Waiiti Beach, Taranaki, New Zealand - stock photo, canvas, fine art print

Mount Taranaki / Egmont at sunset. Viewed from Waiiti Beach, Taranaki. New Zealand landscape photography by Sarah Sisson

My four week winning streak with posting Wednesday Wallpapers on an actual Wednesday came to a grinding halt yesterday due to flaky internet service all day.  The frustration was well worth it though –  as van-loads of embattled Chorus technicians were hooking up the new fibre cabinet down the road – our rural ADSL speeds have more than doubled overnight!

Today’s image was made by Sarah during our caravan delivery trip, last school holidays and I am posting this as a ‘reminder-to-self’ that the world will keep turning when school breaks up tomorrow ;-)

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

This image is now available as a limited edition Canvas Print Framed Print | Fine Art Photographic Print.

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [website]  [Blog]

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Sunset From Punakaiki, West Coast

December 4th, 2013 at 9:25 am by Todd Sisson
Punakaiki Beach at Sunset, West Coast, South Island. Beautiful New Zealand landscape pictures by Todd Sisson.

Punakaiki Beach at Sunset, West Coast, South Island. New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

This week’s wallpaper was made during the middle of ‘winter’ over on the West Coast – it was barely worth wearing a jersey.  This balminess was quickly remedied with an 8 hour drive back to Central Otago ;-)

There’s a little story about the making of this shot on the blog, including details of my questionable child-minding skills…

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

This image is now available as a limited edition Canvas Print Framed Print | Fine Art Photographic Print.

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [website]  [Blog]

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Crown Range View, Queenstown NZ

November 27th, 2013 at 11:31 am by Todd Sisson
Late Afternoon, Crown Range Road, Queenstown, New Zealand - stock photo, canvas, fine art print

Late afternoon scenic view from the Crown Range saddle. Queenstown, New Zealand. Landscape photography by Sarah Sisson.

This week’s wallpaper was made, by Sarah, earlier this month during a workshop in Queenstown.

You can read a little more about it over on the blog, including shooting data (for any tech-heads or out there)

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

This image is now available as a limited edition Canvas Print Framed Print | Fine Art Photographic Print 

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [website]  [Blog]

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Sunrise At Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes

November 20th, 2013 at 7:14 am by Todd Sisson
First light plays out on Mount Robert - viewed from the jetty at Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes.  New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

First light plays out on Mount Robert – viewed from the jetty at Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes. New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

I love this spot.*

I grew up in Nelson and I recall many fun visits to Lake Rotoiti with family, schools and scouts over the years – I even learned to ski up at Mount Robert, before  global warming (cue flamefest) left it looking like this in mid winter…

This image was made the day after my Grandfather’s funeral back in August, adding another layer to my catalog of Lake Rotoiti memories.

Cheers – Todd

*the sandflies suck – those I don’t love…

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The image can also be found on our website as a limited edition print.

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [website]  [Blog]

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Spectacular Sunset Over Lake Pukaki

November 13th, 2013 at 1:36 pm by Todd Sisson
spectacular sunset and lenticular cloud formation over Lake Pukaki Mackenzie basin, south canterbury new zealand

We are on the road at present were blessed to witness this incredible sunset and lenticular cloud formation over Lake Pukaki last Saturday Night. Mackenzie Country, South Island New Zealand.  Photography By Todd Sisson

Yup – I’m back….

Apologies for the no-shows over the past month or so, the task of building our new website has proven significantly more taxing than expected – it feels as if we carved the thing out of granite (using our foreheads as chisels).

But the good news is that a bigger, better, faster site is now up and live (seemingly, after more budget and deadline blow-outs than a US defence force project).  Feel free to check it out – we even have a working blog (with real posts on it ;-)

As to the photo – this is one of dozens of killer  images that Sarah & I are collecting on a very productive one week road trip in Canterbury.  Check out Sarah’s (superior) version of this scene here.

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz]  [Blog]

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Wednesday Wallpaper | West Coast Sunset

September 4th, 2013 at 10:01 am by Todd Sisson
dramatic clouds and pounding surf at Sunset over the Tasman Sea, from Gentle Annie Beach, West Coast.  New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

Sunset over the Tasman Sea, from Gentle Annie Beach, West Coast. New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

This is an image from a road trip we did with the kids two weeks ago to Nelson and the West Coast. The wheels fell off somewhat (figuratively) with a death in the family occuring and a whole lot of re-planning required – hence my absence once again.

Anyway, we are back into ‘normal’ life this week and busy at work trying to finish the new website that we started building 2 years ago…

Cheers – Todd

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Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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‘Weekly’ Wallpaper | Sunset Silhouette From Somewhere Southern

August 8th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by Todd Sisson
Photo of Row of pine trees silhouetted against vibrant sunset clouds. Rangitata Valley, Canterbury NZ.

A vivid Nor’ west sunset silhouettes a pine shelter belt somewhere in Canterbury New Zealand.  Photography by Todd Sisson

 

This is another image pulled from our new photography eBook  Living Landscapes which, I am relieved to report, is selling well and garnering some great reviews now that it is out in the wild.

I have been writing some regular ‘how to’ posts over at the publisher’s website that may interest the photographers amongst you:

I think DPF has been reading this stuff somewhere – his travel photography is getting quite impressive, I’ll have to up my game!

See you next week.

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Sunrise over Moeraki Boulders

July 24th, 2013 at 12:17 pm by Todd Sisson
Cover image of landscape photography book Living Landscapes - Sunrise over Moeraki, North Otago New Zealand. Landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

Sunrise at Moeraki boulders, North Otago New Zealand. Landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

The cover shot for our new photography guide Living Landscapes, which went on sale today – check it out if you are interested in learning all of our nifty tricks and secrets ;-)

This image is one of a series of interesting shots that I managed to capture one very productive morning at Moeraki – I wish all of my 5AM starts worked out this well….  The wave motion is not photoshop jiggery-pokery, it  is a 2 second long exposure made while the waves were receding (wet and frozen feet are a must for seascape photography).

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Weekly Wallpaper | Two Thumb Range & Rangitata River

July 18th, 2013 at 11:14 am by Todd Sisson
Sunbeams over the Two Thumb range, Rangitata valley. Canterbury New Zealand.  Landscape photography by Todd Sisson

Sunbeams over the Two Thumb range, Rangitata valley. Canterbury New Zealand. Landscape photography by Todd Sisson

I was super tempted to post another Milford image today – just to stir the pot on the tunnel news.  However, I am away on holiday and didn’t relish the prospect of  playing the role of  ‘burning sphincter through which a partially digested enviro-flamefest passed’ on a sunny winter’s day :-)  David has dutifully kicked off the debate over here though.

This image is another recent discovery from the archives that I used in our upcoming ebook (which will hit the e-shelves next Tuesday). Sorry about the PC-desktop unfriendly format, but I like this one a lot and just felt like sharing it.

Cheers – Todd

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | The Road to Mount Cook, Autumn

July 10th, 2013 at 1:34 pm by Todd Sisson
Aoraki / Mount Cook from Peter's Lookout in Autumn, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand - stock photo, canvas, fine art print

Mount Cook and SH 80 to the Hermitage – from Peter’s lookout. New Zealand landscape photography by Sarah Sisson.

I really should post one of my images again soon, but I keep finding nice ones by Sarah during my travels through the archive.

The beauty of this image is that up-and-coming landscapers like @Beautox and @FredInTheGrass can’t replicate it – some wandering greeny task-force have bowled the infestation of wilding larches that give this scene its Nordic Autumnal vibe….

Cheers – Todd

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Whale Bay

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:28 pm by Todd Sisson
Summer time view of Whale Bay, Tutukaka Coast, North Island. New Zealand photography by Sarah Sisson.

Summertime view of Whale Bay, Tutukaka Coast, North Island. New Zealand photography by Sarah Sisson.

Yet again I find myself drawn to another warm beach image….

The landscape photography eBook that has consumed my life for the past month is now in the hands of the designer and should be hitting the ‘shelves’ late this month.

In more uncharacteristically collaborative news – Sarah & I will be instructing at the first of celebrity HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff’s New Zealand Photo Adventures in late October (don’t hate me @Beautox! ;-).  Check out the details – not cheap, but certainly a world class experience.

Cheers – Todd

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

Canvas Prints

This image is available on the website, – I have also just loaded last week’s Cathedral Cove image .

Thanks for your support!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Cathedral Cove Sunrise, Coromandel

June 19th, 2013 at 11:31 am by Todd Sisson
Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand.  Landscape photography by Sarah Sisson

Sunrise through the cave at Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand. Landscape photography by Sarah Sisson

This beautiful scene was beautifully captured by Sarah during our very productive visit to Cathedral Cove last December.  A little warm beach action would not go amiss at present – I tells ya!

I’ve been chained to my computer for the past month (largely unconnected to the web) in order to write a behemoth ebook on the art of landscape photography.  It is off  for editing and design at present and should be back in the next few weeks – I’ll keep you posted….

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Morning Mist, South Westland

June 5th, 2013 at 9:24 am by Todd Sisson
Early morning mist near Fox Glacier.  West Coast, South Island New Zealand.  Photography by Todd Sisson.

Early morning mist near Fox Glacier. West Coast, South Island New Zealand. Photography by Todd Sisson.

Morning mist and mellowness is the tone of today’s wallpaper. This was made somewhere on the Fox Glacier flats, near Lake Matheson – if you look closely, the Southern Alps are visible in the top right.

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Mitre Peak Mirror Reflection – Milford Sound

May 15th, 2013 at 10:21 am by Todd Sisson
Mirror reflection of Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park. South Island, New Zealand.  Photography by Todd Sisson

Mirror reflection of Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park. South Island, New Zealand. Photography by Todd Sisson

It’s Wednesday Wallpaper / (Fortnightly Foto?) time again.

This week we return to Fiordland for a majestic morning view of Mitre Peak & Milford Sound.

Apologies for the gratuitous use of alliteration…

Cheers – Todd

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:   Password = wwp

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Rainbow over Ben Ohau Range

April 17th, 2013 at 12:22 pm by Todd Sisson
Intense rainbow &  red sunrise colour, over Ben Ohau range, Mackenzie basin NZ.

Rainbow at dawn, over the Ben Ohau Range, Mckenzie Country. New Zealand landscape photography by Sarah Sisson.

This stunning rainbow was captured by Sarah near the turnoff to Mount Cook Village several years ago. Such moments of natural beauty are all too rare (and fleeting).

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:  Please note the new, shorter, Password = wwp

This image is available as a greeting card here.

See you next week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Autumn Vineyard, Clyde, Central Otago

March 27th, 2013 at 10:01 am by Todd Sisson
Sunrise over a vineyard near harvest, between Alexandra and Clyde, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand.

Autumnal sunrise over McArthur Ridge pinot noir vineyard. Clyde, Central Otago. New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

 

I fear that we may not be seeing too much of this juicy colour in 2013 – most of the trees seem to be kicking it in early after a summer of interminable thirst.  Speaking of slaking one’s thirst – I understand that the pinot noir from this vineyard is pretty good value (according to someone who knows about these things).

Have a great Easter break – see you on the other side…

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:  Please note the new, shorter, Password = wwp

This image is up as a canvas print here and available for licencing here.

See you next week – and thanks for all the great comments last week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Wednesday Wallpaper | Lake Rotoma

March 20th, 2013 at 12:08 pm by Todd Sisson
Summer evening fishing on the jetty at Lake Rotoma.  New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

Summer evening fishing on the jetty at Lake Rotoma. New Zealand landscape photography by Todd Sisson.

A change of scene from all of last week’s mountainous drama-filled glory.  I made this image while taking my little guy, Jack, out for a spot of fishing in January – if you look hard  you can see his camo-clad figure at the end of the wharf.  We caught nothing, but we made a significant blood donation to the local sandfly population.

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You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:  Please note the new, shorter, Password = wwp

This image is up as a canvas print here and available for licencing here.

See you next week – and thanks for all the great comments last week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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Weekly Wallpaper | Evening Light Southern Alps, Rangitata Valley

March 14th, 2013 at 2:46 pm by Todd Sisson
Spectacular sunset light, Southern Alps. Road to Mesopotamia Station, Rangitata Valley. Canterbury NZ

Evening light near Mesopotamia station, Rangitata Valley Canterbury. Photography by Todd Sisson

Did you see how I did that?  Adjusting this week’s post title to ‘Weekly’ in order to deftly wallpaper over my Wednesday tardiness, all the while retaining my beloved ‘W’ alliteration….

This image was made many moons ago and I have had a bit of fun playing in Adobe Lightroom to enhance the drama in the scene.

Thanks to Davidinnz for pointing out that I was directing you to our website development site over the past few weeks – I have moved a pile of wallpapers to the correct gallery now – sorry about that!

Free Wallpaper Download

You may download the large version of today’s image from this link:  Please note the new, shorter, Password = wwp

See you next week – and thanks for all the great comments last week!

Cheers – Todd [www.sisson.co.nz] 

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