My Wave – Looking For Creative Options When Photographing Nature

Abstract Wave Image Moeraki Beach, Otago New Zealand

Abstract Wave Image Moeraki Beach, Otago New Zealand


I don’t usually give away photo advice – nobody seems to ask for it – and I don’t know if I can articulate the advice that I want to give. Photography for me is a mindset combined with some craft – it is golf with a camera.

At the recent Queenstown Photowalk #qtphotowalk +Scott Kennedy remarked to me that if 25 people are pointing their cameras one way – he will be pointing his the other.

I consider this to be great creative advice, although I apply it metaphorically, rather than literally.

I think that there is a lot to be learned by shooting the really popular photographic scenes – they are a fantastic creative benchmark.

Once you find that you can shoot the big popular scenes as well as your photographic heroes have (euphemistically called emulation – it is actually copying) it is time to move on with your skill set.

After a while you will actually find yourself copying yourself – that gets quite de-motivating. That’s when it is time to :

  • Look within the scene
  • Look behind the scene
  • Twist the scene
  • Mess with the scene
  • Walk away from the scene
  • Find a new scene

The real lesson is to not follow the herd.

This image was made pre-Christmas. I was tired and on a sales trip and my day had ended at the incredibly photogenic Moeraki Boulders

I was feeling completely demotivated towards re-shooting the boulders so I drove 2 minutes down the road to another beach and spent an inspirational hour taking nothing but shots of dark waves and dark clouds. It was awesome.


Cheers – Todd

+Chase Jarvis writes fantastic posts on his blog about creativity – as most of you will be well aware. If not put him in your reading list.

Sunrise Portobello Harbour - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand

Room A Thousand Years Wide

Sunrise Portobello Harbour - Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand

Sunrise Over Portobello Village - Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

This image was made just down the road from my old crib in Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula.

I was going to entitle this post Cellulite Skies but for some reason the Soundgarden song title seemed more inspired :-)

Nikon D2x 

Nikkor 12-24mm

Singh-ray 3 stop grad


These days I would probably dispense with the grad filter and blend a couple of exposures in a situation such as this where the ridgelines are so complex and the range of tonality so deep.


Cheers – Todd


The Power Of Reflection

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This is not another of my ‘psycho-babble’ photographic-mindset posts dedicated to the virtues of navel gazing and cosmic contemplation.  It is instead a quick discussion of the power of a reflection in landscape photography. The idea for this post came … Continue reading


How To Make Great Landscape Images Part ii – You Gotta Show Some ‘Flex’

Sunrise Mt Taranaki / Egmont, New Zealand, a photo by Todd Sisson (nee Crimson Kiwi) on Flickr. I have just posted this image to my Flickr account. This is another good example of the key principle that I blathered on … Continue reading


How To Make Great Landscape Photos Part i

This gallery contains 2 photos.

So how do you make great landscape photos? Unfortunately you don’t. My (unofficial) mantra is as follows: nature photographers don’t make great photos – nature does. Not everyone would agree with this, I know, but in my experience every single one … Continue reading