• New Zealand | Photographing Middle Earth | Trailer

    This is the trailer for my new upcoming web series on landscape photography travelling around the south island of New Zealand. For two weeks I journeyed this beautiful island, photographing some of the most amazing landscapes. Mountains, glacial lakes, rugged hiking trails and I even stop by and photograph some of the Lord of the Rings movie locations. Stay tuned for an awesome adventure.

    New Zealand
    Click on the pic to go straight to the video ūüôā
  • Photographing Iceland – Skogafoss Waterfall Iceland

    After arriving in Iceland and just having a few hours sleep, I get up early before the sunrise and venture out to find the famous Skogafoss Waterfall.  What I found just blew my mind!

     

    Check it out now on my YouTube channel.  Just click the pic below to go straight to the video.

     

    Skogafoss

  • Photographing Iceland – The Adventure Begins …

    And so the adventure begins!

     

    My YouTube channel is up and running and my new series Photographing Iceland has been completed and ready to share!

     

    In this video I will travel from Brisbane Australia to London United Kingdom on the first leg of my journey to Iceland. It also gives you a little background on myself and what I do. Thanks for watching and stay tuned for many more videos to come.

     

    Click the pic below to go straight to the video ūüôā

     

    Iceland

  • Hooker Valley Track – New Zealand

    For so many years I have wanted to hike along the Hooker Valley Track in New Zealand. ¬†I was fortunate enough recently to make my dream come true. ¬†In April this year, on a perfect Autumn day, my wife and I set out to do the 8 km (5 mile) 4 hour round trek to the base of Mount Cook and Hooker Lake via the Hooker Valley Track and let me tell you … it was SPECTACULAR!

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    Mount Cook Road heading towards the Hooker Valley Track past Lake Pukaki.

     

    It was everything I dreamt it would be.  Besides the jaw dropping alpine scenery, I was also witness to avalanches (from a distance),  flowing streams, suspension bridges, wildlife, icebergs (yes, icebergs!) and of course seeing Mount Cook up close is something else.

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    You’ll find the trails on the Hooker Valley Track are well maintained. Just love that view!

     

    I chose to travel light in terms of camera equipment.  I took my Nikon D800 and Sony RX100 Mark 3 and a smaller lighter tripod.  This paid off in the end because I have gone on much longer hikes with a full camera kit and lenses.  At the end of those hikes my legs felt like jelly, on this hike I felt really good and still energetic at the end.

     

    Hooker-Valley-Track
    From every angle, every view point, the landscape is just stunning.

     

    Hooker Valley
    Beautiful suspension bridges along the Hooker Valley Track. They’re bouncy and fun!

     

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    The Stocking Stream Shelter is at about the three quarter way mark into the Hooker Valley Track.

     

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    Mount Cook and the surrounding mountains reflect into the Alpine Tarn. Taken with my Nikon D800 and 14-24mm lens.

     

    Here are some tips regarding the Hooker Valley Track. ¬†Firstly, make sure you take some food and water. ¬†Just snacks would be enough to get you by. ¬†I took a large Gatorade, a pre made sandwich, nut bar and packet of chips. ¬†I found that more than enough to keep me rolling along. ¬†Secondly, make sure you have sunscreen and a good quality brand insect repellent, especially in the early morning or late evening. ¬†Thirdly, DON’T RUSH, I was moving along at a pretty fast pace going in on the track and I wish I would have walked slower because you come to the end soon enough at Hooker Lake.

     

    Hooker-Valley-Track
    Nice place to stop for a rest and bite to eat don’t you think?

     

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    Icebergs float in Hooker Lake at the base of Mount Cook on the Hooker Valley Track.

     

    I would describe the hike somewhere between easy to moderate. ¬†Let me put it this way, I saw 70 something year old people with walking canes passing me going back towards the main campsite, so my immediate thoughts of what lay before me fitness wise were instantly relieved. ¬†I had trained for months beforehand, but in the end I didn’t really need it. ¬†What you will notice is the hike in is a bit harder than the hike out due to the ever so slight upwards grade to the base of Mount Cook and Hooker Lake.

     

     

    Hooker Valley Track
    Long exposure shot with 10 stop ND filter, a stream flows off Hooker Lake. Mount Cook in the distance.

     

    Have you been to the Hooker Valley Track? ¬†Perhaps you’re thinking of doing it soon? ¬†If so, I’d love to hear from you and your experience in the comments below. ¬†Please feel free to say hello.

     

    For more photos and adventures please follow my Instagram account @adrianalfordphotography or check¬†out my Facebook page – Adrian Alford Photography. ¬†Thanks for reading ūüôā

     

    Hooker Valley Track – dream accomplished.

     

    Hooker Valley Track

     

  • Day 10 Queenstown

    Today, very sadly is my last day here in beautiful Queenstown.¬† What a memorable trip!¬† I have some of the most incredible shots from around the south island.¬† I can’t wait to get home and do a bit of post producing on them and load them to this website.

     

    This morning began early for me.¬† I was up before dawn and headed to Coronet Peak (a mountain 15 mins from Queenstown).¬† From here I shot some amazing star shots with the glow of Queenstown below.¬† I used the magic Nikon 14-24mm lens and to say I’m happy with the shots I got is an understatement.¬† I then shot sunrise shots including panoramas with The Remarkables in them.

     

    I then had breakfast at a cute little caf√© in Arrowtown.¬† I love Arrowtown, if you’re ever visiting here in Queenstown it’s worth the drive out to experience it, make sure you visit the bakery ūüėČ

     

    It was then back to Queenstown where I did some experimenting with my GoPro (photos and timelapse videos) and threw on the monster Nikon 80–400mm lens on the D800 and got some wildlife shots.

     

    This trip will go down as one of the best I’ve ever had.¬† I’ve seen mother nature in all her glory, easily some of the most spectacular mountain scenery ever and of course I was engaged to my beautiful soul mate Kristy.¬† Life is so good!¬† Get out there and make the most it.¬† As Ferris Bueller said, “blink and you might just miss it.”

     

    Take care, and until next time.

     

    Coronet

     

     

  • Day 9 Queenstown

    Glorious sunrise this morning.  Incredible colours of pink and purple as the sun came up over The Remarkables.

     

    Well after getting engaged yesterday and a long night of celebrating I took it easy today and just cruised around the Queenstown area itself with the camera.

     

    I mostly took shots over in the botanic gardens area and did a lot with the GoPro today in terms of time lapse videos.  Look forward to putting them together when I get home.

     

    Finished the day off with casual cruise on the TSS Earnslaw (a 100 year old steam ship) across Lake Wakatipu with my new fiancé.  Perfect end to another wonderful day here.

     

    Last day tomorrow.  So sad to be leaving but will make the absolute most of my last day shooting.

     

    Sunrise

     

     

  • Day 7 Queenstown

    Well, it had to happen and today was the day.  Snow!  Yes, I awoke to beautiful snow showers sprinkling across Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.  The whole of the town took on this magical glow.  I live in a tropical climate so experiencing snow for me is special.

     

    After a huge breakfast I headed out to Arrowtown, about 20 minutes away from Queenstown.¬† Here¬†I found early settler houses and a main street filled with incredible character.¬† There’s the old Chinese settlement from the gold rush days, with huts so small you¬†WOULD hit a cat if you did swing it!¬† Goodness knows how they survived in those tiny huts during the snow of winter.¬† They made for some great photos in the snow.

     

    In the evening I went to Queenstown’s botanical gardens and got some terrific shots around a water fountain that changed colour.

     

    I love Queenstown so much.¬† There’s something about it I connect with so well.¬† Maybe it’s the mixture of adventure and beautiful scenery?¬† All I know is I feel like I’m home when here.

     

    I think it’s time for a delicious Patagonia’s hot chocolate.¬† See you all tomorrow ūüôā

     

    Queenstown Gardens

     

     

  • Day 1 Cook Islands

    Taakoka IslandAfter a long flight and arriving at 1am in Rarotunga, it was relieving to get to my accom at Muri Beach.  Given the late hour, I could not resist to go down to the waters edge in front of my bungalow.  I looked up to see the milky way in a bright cloudless night sky over the silhouette of a small island out in the lagoon.  Pricelsss moment.

     

    Upon waking I discovered an oasis lagoon with water so blue it was like someone had tipped coloured dye into the water.  I have been blessed with beautiful weather today to get my initial shots around the Muri Beach area.  Remote lttle islands lay within the lagoon so I grabbed a kayak and paddled out to do a recky for some potential shots on one of the islands.  Found some great spots.

     

    Once again luck was upon me and a group of young local children had a sailing regatta in the lagoon.  Their miniature sailing boats were too cute, and boy could they go!  Got some wonderful shots as they raced around the lagoon.

     

    Such a magnificent first day and I still have all week to enjoy.  Am really looking forward to it.

    Sunrise and sunset shots again tomorrow.  Have found some nice locations to shoot from.

    I also have a new best friend in a little cat who follows me around everywhere getting under my feet hence her nickname CIC.  Short for Cook Islands Cat.