Tag Archives: Photography

been | World Press Photo Exhibition 2018

The World Press Photo Exhibition is currently showing in Auckland’s CBD, and travelling curator Yi Wen Hsia has accompanied this very special collection of photography. The exhibit has a running theme encapsulating current political, social and socio-economic commentary, and is quite fearless in it’s mission. Simultaneously it feels like a very intimate collection, and all the works communicate together in unity and harmony, intensifying the effect.
A large portion of the work on display touches on some very real, confronting subject matter. Simultaneously, you’ll find yourself walking through the exhibit in awe, much of it captivating and beautiful in it’s simplicity.
I’d highly recommend taking up the opportunity to see this exhibition in person while it’s still here in Auckland – it’s a worthwhile event, which will likely leave the viewer a changed person.
Smith & Caughey’s Building
Level 6, 253-261 Queen Street
 30 June – 29 July 2018
 $15 Weekdays/ $20 Weekends; $10 students with valid ID
Mon – Wed     9.30am – 6.30pm
Thur – Fri        9.30am – 9.00pm
Sat                    10.00am – 6.00pm
Sun                   10.30am – 5.30pm
Rotary Club of Auckland are proudly bringing this fantastic exhibition to Auckland. All profits
going towards their supported charities. 

NZFW 2017 | From rookie to runway ready

Lyle Adams has always been creative; doing everything from drawing to making and designing.  It wasn’t until he picked up a camera that he actually considered himself a creative.  For him, the camera services as the halfway point to quenching his creative thirst.  However, he struggles to label himself as a photographer.

Born in South Africa, Lyle emigrated to New Zealand 8 years ago with his family and recently became a citizen. He studied at Unitec Institute of Technology, receiving a Bachelor in Design and Visual Arts / Photography & Media Arts.

As a photographer, he’s still on a journey to find his signature style. For his fashion and beauty photography, he always looks for a connection.

“I want the model to be immersed in the process; to get lost in the tone and style of the shoot. I encourage the models to do what they want according to the ideas I give them in the beginning.”

This year, Lyle joined the mac+mae crew as one of our official photographers covering New Zealand Fashion Week.  While our more seasoned crew prepped him, the week that unfolded was still a new experience.    

mac+mae crew, Sin-Mae Chung & Christine Mansford

“My first New Zealand Fashion week was awesome.  I met so many cool people and learnt so many things; overall it was a cool experience.

“For the most part it went well, although at some points I felt like I was part of a herd of sheep being shoved into a pen.”

Photo pit at Katherine Victoria

As one of our main photographers, it was Lyle’s job to ensure we had maximum coverage across the week.

“I was invited to many shows and I had the option of ‘photographer in the pit’ or seated.  While you can’t beat the ‘pit view’, I must admit I wanted the backstage pass.  I saw so many interesting shots other photographers were able to get.  Maybe next year.”

For Lyle, some of the best moments from across the week was meeting the plethora of characters outside the venue.

Photographer, Aki Ang

“I loved meeting people outside and doing some street style shots.  You see these bloggers, models and photographers online with tens of thousands of followers and assume they’re unapproachable, but most/all of them are down-to-earth, friendly and easy to talk to.

“There was a moment in the photographers pit where I put down my camera and just absorbed the atmosphere that is NZ Fashion Week.”

Mercedes-Benz presents Zambesi

Lyle photographed over 14 shows across the week and his favourites were Zambesi and Andrea Moore.

Andrea Moore

“I loved photographing Zambesi and Andrea Moore because of the atmosphere they created with their lighting props.  Another show that stood out was the Graduate show, some of the designs were detailed, unusual and interesting.

The Graduate Show

It was clear pretty early on in the week that our rookie photographer was more than runway ready, but hindsight is a powerful thing, and there were some lessons learned.


“With the power of hindsight, I wish I didn’t try to go to all the shows and end up with thousands of images each day then try to edit/process them.  Eventually some shows started to blend and look the same, while the ones I missed were the interesting/different ones.”

Katherine Victoria

You can check out Lyle’s NZ Fashion Week photos for mac+mae on our Facebook page and to check out his other work, visit his website.

heard | On the road with the HuaweiP10NZ

I have a phone that is over four years old, it’s not an artifact obviously, but it’s pretty darn close. I don’t have fancy features like finger print scanning, lightning speed charge, mobile pay, hand gesture controls, 4K recording and more. In truth, I don’t fancy these features, but don’t get me wrong, all the extras add to the user experience and I’m sure it will add to mine. But the thing I am looking for, the thing that will sway me into handing over my money is a phone with a great camera and image capturing capabilities. And here is where the new Huawei P10 comes in.

I’ve been captured, given a device and released. Now with a new phone that posses extraordinary hardware and software features, I am left wondering what I should do with it. How do I feel with all this power in my hands? Like this…

A representation of Sin-Mae with advanced technology – via GIPHY


I managed to take a few pictures with the wide aperture features, beauty mode and manual focus. I was impressed to find the manual/pro controls, tracking features and voice command. Below are some pictures I took with the phone.


Wide Aperature Enabled – f 1.4


Wide Aperature Enabled – f 2

Many people may like the Wide Aperture Feature, by enabling it you bring up a scroll bar of f 0.95 ~ f 16. I did notice that the the phone did confuse some of the foreground image as the background and blurred parts of it. It happened on the lowest aperture and the highest, I am unsure whether that is a software issue but I think with some practice I will see less of it happening.


Wide Aperture Enabled – f 0.95

I found any number below a f 2 on the wide aperture feature to be harsh and artificial looking in some pictures. Some objects in focus may have gaps and an outline of clear background then a harsh edging of blur.


I noticed this happening even on the Huawei P10 Plus used at the official launch. This was on selfie mode layered with Bokeh effect, but once again, I need more practice with it.


Portrait Mode – Artistic Effect Disabled


Portrait Mode – Artistic Effect Enabled

There is this funky quick button on portrait mode that makes photos a little more dramatic. Above I tested it on sand to see how the artistic effect plays on the image.


Wide Aperture Enabled – f 0.95

While using the lowest aperture I found that some angles gave me more of a naturalistic picture. Places with a lot going on in the background makes it harder for the software to blur properly. So far I find the feature works really well with closeups and a single leading line away from the subject.


Pro Mode – manual focus (length)  3.95 , 1/200, f 2.2

You can’t go wrong with the pro feature, this is great for anyone who knows a bit of photography and wants a bit more control. There is no artificial blurring or wide aperture effect in this feature, well I couldn’t find one yet. But the lowest aperture on the hardware is f 2.2, good enough for most occasions and in my opinion better than any applied blur effect.


Standard Picture Taking Mode – Auto, f 2.2

If you just want something that is a point a shoot but has great capabilities when it comes to low light situations, then this phone can easily do that. I find pictures taken with the Huawei P10 give me clean crispy images which I can easily edit without loosing a lot of quality on apps like Snap Seed.

This is only a quick review into the images I’ve captured so far. To fully test out the capabilities, I’ll be taking it with me on a roadtrip from Auckland to Wellington in the next few days.  Follow us on Instagram to see what I get up to!



DocEdge 17 | This Air is a Material

New Zealand | 2016 | 49 min | English | Becky Nunes

Ann Shelton, originally from Timaru, is one of New Zealands foremost female photojournalists; Her hyper-real large-scale works blur the lines between documentary and fine art photography, and have received international acclaim.

‘This Air is a Material’ provides wondeful insight into Ann Shelton’s vast bodies of work, with input from other industry professionals (artists, writers, etc.) whom provide further observations (some full of wisdom) in regards to her work. Driven by Becky Nunes (Photographer and Director), ‘This Air is a Material’ pays close attention to many finer details, and delves into Shelton’s work thoroughly, notably the historical and conceptual importance of said work.

Relevant to any creative – especially those in New Zealand – I would highly reccomend this for your DocEdge 17 shortlist.








The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

been | Remix Magazine Spring Launch

Let me just say: Remix, Spark and HTC should throw parties together more often.

One word came to my mind as I arrived at the Remix Spring Launch Party: WOW. From the moment I walked through the door at #SparkPark, I was greeted by a beautiful flower wall. Everyone posed for photos before falling even further down the rabbit hole. Photos of Anna Paquin and high fashion from Remix Magazine’s Spring Edition, New Zealand Heroes, graced the walls before I saw the true star of the evening: the installations. Spring was definitely alive and blooming. I was entranced by scenes of greenery intermingled with Spark ATMs and selfie trees. The trees, adorned with photographs of guests, were the perfect addition to the evening. Everything was utterly “Instagramable”.


An even more perfect addition to the evening was the musical acts. Keeping to the theme of Remix’s Spring Edition, New Zealand Heroes, Kiwi music acts Dan Aux, Tali and members of Shapeshifter Sam Trevethick and PDiggs, kept the night going. Smooth sounds filled the room for the entire evening. People perused the Shed 10 dance floor, which was separated from the excitement of the installations. They bobbed gently with the music whilst sipping away at their Rekorderligs and Steinlarger Pure’s, generously provided by the sponsors.


Food trucks were stationed at either end of the dance floor. Options of soft shell tacos from Mexi Kai and sliders with fries from The Roaming Dive kept mouths full and stomachs happy. The Hӧpt station, aptly placed by the Mexican Food Truck, was available to those who had early mornings at work the next day. DSC_7614

Sophisticated fashion set the social standard. A pop up photo shoot showed off the latest designs from some of New Zealand’s hottest fashion icons. Girls with flower headbands and boys with patterned shirts were scattered around the room, all a beautiful blend of colour. Indie folk singer Benny Tipene and Step Dave actor Jono Kenyon kept it cool in casuals. The men fit seamlessly into the crowd, happily taking photos with fans.


All in all, the #SparkPark party was the picture-perfect tribute to the Spring issue. I can’t wait to see what Remix has in store for their next launch! The Spring issue of Remix Magazine, New Zealand Heroes, is on stands now. Check out cover star Anna Paquin and other home grown heroes including Karen Walker, Ladyhawke, Jon Toogood, Kimbra and Ashleigh Good.


 The Remix Spring issue is in-stores now.

heard | The Artist Dinner

The Artists Dinner is back with another fine selection of New Zealand artists selling limited and selected works.
On Thursday 26th June 2014 the following artists will be creating a unique opportunity for aspiring artists, art lovers and culturalists to purchase original art from their studios for the art lover to begin or add to their collection.

On the night each artist will be selling 20 signed works inspired by ANIMALS for $40 each. In addition to this the artists will have hand-picked works available.

WHEN 5:30–8:00pm, Thursday 26th July. WHERE The Golden Dawn, 134 Ponsonby Road, Auckland.

ON SALE Treasures selected from the artists’ studios and a limited number of prints for $40 each, signed by the artists, inspired by ANIMALS and printed by Fine Art printer The Print Room.

 Flox imageFlox – www.flox.co.nz

fionaFiona Pardington – www.fionapardington.blogspot.co.nz

LiamLiam Gerrard – www.liamgerrardart.com

michaelMichael Kennedy – www.malangeo.com

StephenStephen Langdon – www.stephenlangdonphoto.com


THE EVENT In-tune with tales from turn of the century Paris – where artists paid for their dinners by sketching on table napkins, The Artists Dinner aims to re-integrate fine art back into the daily cultural fix of local society. All artists will be present on the night. All welcome. Bring cash. Child friendly.


ANIMALS-banners 2.0_543x252px

Press enquires libby@theartistsdinner.com
Artist enquiries aimee@theartistsdinner.com


artist dinner
The Artists Dinner is made possible by:
The Print Room – www.printroom.co, Elam the 90’s and The Golden Dawn

interviewed | National Geographic Photojournalist Paul Nicklen

Intrepid photojournalist Paul Nicklen is bringing National Geographic Live to the Aotea Centre in Auckland for one night only to share some of his most thrilling adventures under the ice and his passion for polar conservation with his show Into the Icy Realms: On Assignment with Paul Nicklen.

At just 4 years of age, his family moved to Northern Baffin Island, Canada, where they lived within a tiny Inuit community of only 200 people. There, his love for the Arctic and Antarctica developed. He was able to see firsthand how interconnected ecosystems are and the evolution of climate change.

“In the next hundred years, scientists project that we’re going to lose half the species on the planet. That’s devastating. If we can’t save these species, can we save ourselves?”

Originally a biologist, although it was rewarding to bring back valuable scientific data from the field, Nicklen found himself dissatisfied at the way the story from the data was being communicated. “And I thought, if I can just become a photojournalist and get a job with National Geographic magazine, I can bridge the gap between the important scientific work that’s being done and the public.” People weren’t reacting to the science, but they would react to a visual portrayal of the science–the data brought to life with vivid images.

“Not just identification images but they have to be close, personal, powerful, intimate–very intimate–images shot at super wide-angle lenses. You’re not just looking at a leopard seal, you’re in the mouth of a leopard seal.” Indeed, his tale of an encounter with a female leopard seal that tried for days to feed him penguins has become the story he is most famous for since his well-received appearance as a guest speaker for TED2011.

Photo by Paul Nicklen: A curious leopard seal

Because of his background as a biologist, Nicklen found himself doing more scientific articles for National Geographic, until one day when he asked his editors to let him do an emotional plea to the readers. He admits they “were all a little bit nervous” about doing a piece that strayed from the unbiased middle line of hardcore journalism. However, they were pleasantly surprised when a survey revealed that the article had received the highest readership score in 14 years at National Geographic. “At that point it validated what I needed to do as a journalist. It was okay to do these sort of emotionally driven pieces if I’m going to get people to care.”

Nicklen is certainly doing just that, having received over 20 international awards for his photography. These include awards from World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from his alma mater the University of Victoria and the first Biogems Visionary Award from the National Resources Defence Council.

After receiving first prize for nature stories in 2010 from World Press Photo, Nicklen felt he needed to go even further. “So, what I’ve done now is I’ve launched an organisation called SeaLegacy.org, and it’s very simple. It’s using the power of photography and visual storytelling to connect people back to the oceans.” SeaLegacy is now aligned with The Humpty Dumpty Institute, a charity whose mission is to put the pieces back together by fostering dialogue between the United Nations, US Congress, universities, the financial community and the artistic community. This also involves participation in their Global Creative Forum, a star-studded event aimed at advancing US foreign policies by building bridges between the United Nations and the Hollywood entertainment industry.

95% of the big pelagic fish are gone already. Only 1% of the ocean is protected…after a while, the numbers all blur together and lose whatever effect they had. Nicklen aims to overcome this by creating “an emotional connection to the things that we’re losing in the ocean.” He goes to extreme lengths to do so, frequently pushing his body to hypothermia and putting himself within mere feet of large marine creatures. Although he would never claim to be fearless, it’s just a normal day in the icy office for Paul Nicklen. “Everyone always likes to talk about the risks that I take, but I don’t see it as risk. I see it as my job,” he states with conviction.

Photo by Paul Nicklen: a polar bear from Svalbard investigates his cabin

Perhaps the best representation of the disconnect between what people think they know and the actual state of the environment is what Nicklen terms “the Thin Blue Line”. The oceans may appear pristine on the surface, however, “all you have to do is lower your mask about 3 inches…all of a sudden you’re looking at coral bleaching, you’re looking at ocean acidification, you’re looking at the loss of species. You’re seeing the effects that we’re having on the oceans.” In many areas of the world the human footprint is just becoming too big to hide. He vividly recalls walking on the beaches of Mexico just last week where giant sea turtles were digging their nests. “They were creating huge piles of plastic on either side of their nests that they were moving because the beaches were so full of plastic. You couldn’t walk without stepping on plastic.”

In contrast, Nicklen is full of praise for New Zealand, calling it “an example of what’s being done right in the world of conservation.” Although, the past 2 years have seen New Zealand’s government deal heavy blows to our carefully cultivated “clean, green” image. This includes New Zealand being the only country to vote against extending protection to our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin at the world’s largest conservation summit in September 2012, the government’s reluctance to re-commit to the Kyoto Protocol and a highly controversial law passed under urgency earlier this year banning protestors deemed to be interfering with oil exploration vessels. However, he remains steadfastly optimistic about the ability of the few to do a great amount of good. “You have a right to have a voice in Antarctica…Just a small country can have a huge voice, and I think New Zealanders need to step up and say this is in our backyard.”

Nicklen admits he is conscious of sounding too much like a radical environmentalist and turning people off, but his burning passion for marine conservation is all too apparent. One event in particular is currently stoking the flames. “Why does Russia get to have the one voice that can shut down a marine protected area, you know? It should be a democracy.” He is referring to the failed meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to implement proposals for marine protected areas in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean because, out of 24 countries, a single nation said no. The proposals were meant for the Ross Sea, often called “the last ocean” because it is one of the only untouched marine ecosystems left on the planet.

The benefit of marine protected areas to all species, including humans, is something he puts significant emphasis on. Nicklen has just worked on a small one of 10 square kilometers in Cabo Pulmo, which the fishermen themselves fought for. “There’s so much breeding going on that the spill out over the barriers of this breeding area is where the fishermen now just fish and patrol, and they’re getting more catch than they’ve ever had because it’s producing so much life. When you dive in there, it’s just like diving in an aquarium where it’s just so full of life you can’t believe that a place like that still exists. I mean, nature is very resilient, but you have to protect it. You have to create little pockets of marine protected areas.”

Photo by Paul Nicklen: penguins under the ice

As for the climate change skeptics, Nicklen says he does not get upset anymore. “The people with the biggest opinions [refuting climate change] are the people with no education,” he says dismissively. “The best scientists in the world will say that of course climate change is real…I can take solace in knowing that what I’m doing is the right path. And everywhere I go and everywhere I talk about it, people are becoming more and more receptive. Obama started to talk about it at his inauguration speech. He’s now saying, ‘Screw you, Republicans. It’s real and we’re now taking action for the environment’. It gives me little glimmers of hope that we’re headed in the right direction.”

In fact, a recent bipartisan poll shows that three-quarters of young voters in the United States find views that reject the science behind climate change “ignorant, out of touch or crazy”, which may pose an obstacle for Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate, over half of whom deny climate change exists.

Despite the knowledge of climate change, the level of global apathy exhibited towards taking any action to combat it never ceases to amaze Nicklen, although he can understand it on a certain level. “In some ways, I don’t want to have to deal with this. We have all these problems in life…Also, now I’m supposed to worry about polar bears? And even though people know this, they’re not altering their behaviour. It’s like we’re sort of quietly turning a blind eye to what’s disappearing around us. What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to motivate politicians. I’m trying to motivate lawmakers. I’m trying to use my visuals to sway the public. I’m trying to get people to care…When I meet a climate change naysayer, I say ‘give me your data’, because I don’t want to have to care about this. If it’s a natural cycle and it’s going to start cooling tomorrow and polar bears are going to be fine, then, great! I’ll go do something else for a job…Even National Geographic, I’m embarrassed to say, even though we’ve lost 95% of the bluefin tuna in the ocean, National Geographic has a TV show called Wicked Tuna: the last of the big bluefin tuna hunters. I find that extremely discouraging.”

If Paul Nicklen is ever discouraged, one could never tell. An emotive, intelligent speaker and a talented wildlife photographer, he advocates tirelessly in the name of environmental conservation.

“We are going to lose a lot of species, but, for myself, on my deathbed, I need to know that I did everything that I could.”


Into the Icy Realms: On Assignment with Paul Nicklen is showing at the Aotea Centre on 29 July, 6.30pm.

Watch Paul Nicklen speak at TED2011

Visit his website

Check out SeaLegacy

Keep up with him on twitter