New Zealand Road Trip | Queenstown

Queenstown, the self-described adrenaline capital of the world, is a bustling alpine village. My aunt and I thoroughly enjoyed our steam-ship trip across the lake aboard the HMS Earnslaw for an incredible meal and sheep shearing demonstration. 

The next morning I woke early for a sunrise shoot in Glenorchy, up and around the lake. As light slowly washed over the surrounding mountains, I realized that a sunrise photograph of the Remarkables range of mountains was unlikely to happen. Low clouds veiled more than half of the surrounding mountain ranges. 

As I pulled into Glenorchy, an unknown peak came into view, wreathed in pink light, and completely halo-ed in cloud.

Then it was gone. 

What intrigues me most about photography as an art form, and about the photographers and artists I admire most, is the appreciation and cultivation of presence. 

While some go in search of "the shot" like big game hunters, I appreciate those art-makers that make directly out of a sense of appreciation and presence-in-time that will never repeat itself. Instead of attempting to freeze time, it appreciates its constant turnover. 

It's a quieter endeavor, and perhaps less dramatic, but to me, infinitely more rewarding to attempt. The photograph (or missed photograph) becomes an act of gratitude and appreciation for being in that place, in that time. 

The docks around Glenorchy and Queenstown provided some small wonders to appreciate in light of the clouds, and afterwards my aunt and I explored an old mining town and managed to find my one-sought-after souvenir—a New Zealand-made wool cable-knit sweater!