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It’s the winter months that creates this fine line of keeping warm and staying indoors versus the need to get out and capture the beauty of winter.  Strangely enough, I have ventured out but not into the depth of the places I really want to go.

My whole desire to be based in this beautiful part of New Zealand, Central Otago, was to get the best of all seasons.  But for me, the autumn passed too quickly and the camera stayed inside.  That’s because I had a new job and needed to get my house unpacked and sorted before I do anything else.  Work got in the way too and the drive from Cromwell to Queenstown each day teased me with stunning autumnal colours.  The leaves are gone and now it’s winter.  The hills are now capped with snow, and again I’m teased with stunning sunset scenes providing beautiful layers of colour and reflections over Lake Hayes as I drive home.  But I don’t have time to stop given the other people in my car who couldn’t care less.  These are excuses, I know.  If I really want it, I’d stop and capture it.

Getting out is a matter of choosing the right window for weather and hoping that falls on the weekend.  As I write this blog, I know it’s the darkest period for a new moon and I really have a desire to capture a nice new astro time-lapse sometime soon.  Sadly, it’s not going the way I want it.  I also need a 4WD vehicle to get to some places that can’t actually get to.  The good thing is that I’m now starting to find a few photographer friends here.

The banner image above is a time segment image compiled from a time-lapse I did last year in Auckland.  It was made with slices from a number of frames across an 800 frame night to day shoot that featured in my award-winning time-lapse Daily Grind.  Special thanks to Mikey MacKinven who made it for me.  Check out Mikey’s site here.  Not only does he do graphic design, but he’s a well respected photographer.  The time segment image has been made with the aim of using it on my new business card which showcases what I do – time-lapse.

Having a great business card is something a photographer needs to have.  While I don’t go through many, they are good to hand out when on a shoot or meeting people and getting them to look at my website or social media channels.  Speaking of my website, I have received some great feedback from a number of people about how professional it looks and I’m really pleased about that.

Lastly, here’s a few recent scenes you might want to view.  Thanks for reading my blog if ventured down this far.

Queenstown had a decent dump of snow down to around 200m. I knew I had to get out and capture it while the conditions…

Posted by Stephen Patience Photography on Friday, 15 June 2018

I’ve been in Central Otago nearly 2 months and finally found some time to get out and into the landscape. This long…

Posted by Stephen Patience Photography on Sunday, 3 June 2018

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I scanned my Facebook feed as you do occasionally, and then !  I saw a post by Drew Geraci here in New Zealand who was filming out in Fiordland.  Who is he you might ask.

Drew is based in Washington DC and a time-lapse photographer renown for creating the opening time-lapse sequences in the popular American TV series House of Cards.  He’s a brand ambassador for time-lapse and camera gear namely Kessler Crane, Manfrotto and Sony. He’s also the Lord Commander for his company, District 7 Media.   He has a string of Vimeo Staff Picks and a collective 8000 Facebook and Vimeo followers.

I messaged Drew and asked if he’d meet up in Queenstown with his number 1 Kiwi fan.  He was more than happy to give his time.  Woohoo !  We teamed up at Starbucks and talked about time lapse, Trump, and the beauty of New Zealand.  I was encouraged when Drew took the time to view my website and Vimeo channel and complimented me on my work.  He threw in a few tips too, one being a new axis for filming with a perspective push. This entails using Manfrotto’s Magic Arm – something I have yet to explore and invest in.

Drew is coming to New Zealand again soon and there’s a promise we’ll do a shoot together here in Central Otago.

Here’s a picture of the two of us in Queenstown Mall and another of Drew’s experience at trying a time-lapse in Fiordland when a bus load of tourists came into frame. Don’t you just love his facial expression !

I had the absolute pleasure to meet up and chat with one of the world’s leading time-lapse photographers, Drew Geraci of…

Posted by Stephen Patience on Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Nothing like 30+ Chinese tourists pulling up to your shooting location and then promptly scatter like sheep in your shot! Hahaha.

Posted by Drew Geraci on Thursday, 19 April 2018

This month, I sold the above image which will feature in a Colliers International marketing brochure for the sale of a prominent Wellington building in the central business district. This image is from one of my time-lapse sequences and regarded by me as a hero shot from my collection. For that reason alone, I needed to be sure it sold for an appropriate price with strict conditions for use. I say that because the agreement was about to be unwittingly breached. I’m glad I got that resolved before I released the link to the high res file !

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It needs to be stated that I cannot live alone on the income I make with my photography.  The advice from my father is not to give up my day job, and that’s good advice.

My desire however is that sometime in future, closer to my retirement maybe, I can be reliant on the income I might generate from doing time-lapse.  But that requires establishing myself some more.

In the meantime, I shall continue in my role working in the area of transportation which helps to pay the mortgage and update my gear.  Specialising in transportation photography is something I intend to develop further.  Helping me with getting that exposure was the image below.  It was selected as the winning image for the Transportation Group New Zealand website.  To be honest, I don’t think the competition was widely promoted and the prize meant your image would be immortalised on their homepage.  That’s all very good, but something in recognition would be nice, and I got that. A small prize.

The image here is one from a time-lapse I shot from the bonnet of my car using a GoPro.  It was taken just on sunset while driving on the Wellington Urban Motorway with the line office buildings reflecting the pink clouds in the sky.  I like the leading lines which draw your eye to the centre of the frame which is in focus. I also like it because the emphasis is on movement.  You can see the actual image in my Transport portfolio and in the header above. I can see why they chose it.

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Nearly two years ago, I was asked to come to Waitomo and shoot a time-lapse in a glow worm cave. For whatever reason, I pushed that out, probably because I felt I had too much on and it was long drive to get there. Early this year however, I was asked again to do the same and how much it might cost to make a time-lapse. The timing was right and the money was a motivator. I had a commissioned job. It was pleasure to be invited to the Footwhistle Cave and to shoot the time-lapse which you can below.

There were a few challenges once I got on location for my set up. In cramped and wet conditions in the cave, I quickly realised having set most of my gear up that I had forgotten to include a shutter release cable. It’s an essential piece of my kit and without, I cannot do the time-lapse. Frustrated, I instead used another intervalometer that would do the job instead.

All was not lost. I did manage to shoot two sequences that are worthwhile. I especially like the opening scene looking towards the bush canopy which transitions from day to night when the glow worms light up. I was impressed with what I got, as was my client.  Be sure to listen to the natural sounds which I have edited into the short clip.

It was a real pleasure to be commissioned to shoot some time-lapse for the team at the Footwhistle Cave near Waitomo,…

Posted by Stephen Patience Photography on Friday, 23 February 2018

Not only did the year get off to a great start with glow worm time-lapse, but my blog had been selected in the Top 20 Time Lapse Photography Blogs on the web.  See the award directly above.  This of course comes on top of the accolades I received last year. Already the year is off to a good start !

Something I have been planning for a while is a move from Wellington to Central Otago, New Zealand. That’s become a reality for me now as I prepare for a big move south. While my photography income does not sustain a revenue flow to keep my mortgage afloat or put new camera gadgets in my gear cupboard, I will have a lot more new opportunities for my time-lapse photography.  I often travel to this part of country but now I don’t need to.  I’ll be living in Cromwell with only a few hours travel to Fiordland, Mt Cook region, Catlins and the stunning area of Central Otago itself.  You might see a few more of my pictures on TVNZ weather competing against other photographers in region.

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It needs to be stated that I cannot live alone on the income I make with my photography.  The advice from my father is not to give up my day job, and that’s good advice.

My desire however is that sometime in future, closer to my retirement maybe, I can be reliant on the income I might generate from doing time-lapse.  But that requires establishing myself some more.

In the meantime, I shall continue in my role working in the area of transportation which helps to pay the mortgage and update my gear.  Specialising in transportation photography is something I intend to develop further.  Helping me with getting that exposure was the image below.  It was selected as the winning image for the Transportation Group New Zealand website.  To be honest, I don’t think the competition was widely promoted and the prize meant your image would be immortalised on their homepage.  That’s all very good, but something in recognition would be nice, and I got that. A small prize.

The image here is one from a time-lapse I shot from the bonnet of my car using a GoPro.  It was taken just on sunset while driving on the Wellington Urban Motorway with the line office buildings reflecting the pink clouds in the sky.  I like the leading lines which draw your eye to the centre of the frame which is in focus. I also like it because the emphasis is on movement.  You can see the actual image in my Transport portfolio and in the header above. I can see why they chose it.

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Nearly two years ago, I was asked to come to Waitomo and shoot a time-lapse in a glow worm cave. For whatever reason, I pushed that out, probably because I felt I had too much on and it was long drive to get there. Early this year however, I was asked again to do the same and how much it might cost to make a time-lapse. The timing was right and the money was a motivator. I had a commissioned job. It was pleasure to be invited to the Footwhistle Cave and to shoot the time-lapse which you can below.

There were a few challenges once I got on location for my set up. In cramped and wet conditions in the cave, I quickly realised having set most of my gear up that I had forgotten to include a shutter release cable. It’s an essential piece of my kit and without, I cannot do the time-lapse. Frustrated, I instead used another intervalometer that would do the job instead.

All was not lost. I did manage to shoot two sequences that are worthwhile. I especially like the opening scene looking towards the bush canopy which transitions from day to night when the glow worms light up. I was impressed with what I got, as was my client.  Be sure to listen to the natural sounds which I have edited into the short clip.

It was a real pleasure to be commissioned to shoot some time-lapse for the team at the Footwhistle Cave near Waitomo,…

Posted by Stephen Patience Photography on Friday, 23 February 2018

Not only did the year get off to a great start with glow worm time-lapse, but my blog had been selected in the Top 20 Time Lapse Photography Blogs on the web.  See the award directly above.  This of course comes on top of the accolades I received last year. Already the year is off to a good start !

Something I have been planning for a while is a move from Wellington to Central Otago, New Zealand. That’s become a reality for me now as I prepare for a big move south. While my photography income does not sustain a revenue flow to keep my mortgage afloat or put new camera gadgets in my gear cupboard, I will have a lot more new opportunities for my time-lapse photography.  I often travel to this part of country but now I don’t need to.  I’ll be living in Cromwell with only a few hours travel to Fiordland, Mt Cook region, Catlins and the stunning area of Central Otago itself.  You might see a few more of my pictures on TVNZ weather competing against other photographers in region.

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I started this year with a project I have been wanting to complete for some time – a show reel.  I have been making time-lapse ever since this style of photography became popular.  That has allowed me enough footage to pull together a show reel.  It was made with the intention of being used as a ‘splash video’ on my homepage.  Its aim was to inspire and showcases the breadth of my work and the technical understanding needed to create time-lapse.  In less than a minute, you will see 27 clips flash by, some of which include my very best.  It’s a little glitchy I know, but it is considered a modern production show reel and this appeals to me.  I particularly like the tags in each segment which reinforce the message to compliment the visuals.  You can see it below – I hope you like it.  The show reel was made using a custom Adobe After Effects template.

Time-lapse showreel - Vimeo

On the same post-production theme, the clip above on the right shows a side-by-side comparison of a scene where I swapped out the night sky.  Close to three years ago, I made my Mainland time-lapse after a month of travelling around the South Island of New Zealand.  One area where many people want to shoot is Castle Hill in Canterbury.  I got there late in the afternoon looking for the rock arch I had seen a number of year ago.  Having found it, I shot the scene on a slider looking up at the sky, moving from left to right under the arch.  Unfortunately, there was some light pollution under the clouds which I really did not want.  In the weeks to follow, I painstakingly used masks in Adobe After Effects to cut in a new Milky Way scene I shot earlier.  I made a small movie showing the scene before and after result.  I made sure it looked real by testing it with others and I was pleased with the finished result.  I cannot recall how many hours I put into it, but it was huge.

One of my goals this year is to try and use more storytelling in the way I shoot my time-lapse.  Story-telling itself has become increasingly popular and a buzzword used by creative types.  But do many of us know how to tell a story using clips and sequences?  I don’t think so.  It’s not as simple as you might think.  Too many people jump into time-lapse with the thought of doing something “cool” but without thinking of how these sequences might be used to enhance a more significant story.  A good time-lapse needs to be something more than an eclectic mix of scenes thrown together with a bit music.  Watch this space.

Lastly, I wanted to touch briefly on my latest gadget.  Having a drone means we as pilots are susceptible to GPS failures and fly-away incidents.  I want to avoid this tragedy and researched the technology to help find it, just in case this type of event occurred.  There are GPS trackers with SIM cards out there and they are fine if you’re in range of a cellular network, but often, I am not.  So what I found was the ‘Marco Polo’. A small radio transmitter that sends a signal up to 2 miles (3.2 kms) to a handheld monitor that constantly searches and indicates how close the drone might be through the transmitter’s strength.  The device was initially used to track a lost pet. So far, my fields tests have work well !  I just hope I never have to use it.  Thanks for reading !

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Nearly two years ago, I was asked to come to Waitomo and shoot a time-lapse in a glow worm cave. For whatever reason, I pushed that out, probably because I felt I had too much on and it was long drive to get there. Early this year however, I was asked again to do the same and how much it might cost to make a time-lapse. The timing was right and the money was a motivator. I had a commissioned job. It was pleasure to be invited to the Footwhistle Cave and to shoot the time-lapse which you can below.

There were a few challenges once I got on location for my set up. In cramped and wet conditions in the cave, I quickly realised having set most of my gear up that I had forgotten to include a shutter release cable. It’s an essential piece of my kit and without, I cannot do the time-lapse. Frustrated, I instead used another intervalometer that would do the job instead.

All was not lost. I did manage to shoot two sequences that are worthwhile. I especially like the opening scene looking towards the bush canopy which transitions from day to night when the glow worms light up. I was impressed with what I got, as was my client.  Be sure to listen to the natural sounds which I have edited into the short clip.

It was a real pleasure to be commissioned to shoot some time-lapse for the team at the Footwhistle Cave near Waitomo,…

Posted by Stephen Patience Photography on Friday, 23 February 2018

Not only did the year get off to a great start with glow worm time-lapse, but my blog had been selected in the Top 20 Time Lapse Photography Blogs on the web.  See the award directly above.  This of course comes on top of the accolades I received last year. Already the year is off to a good start !

Something I have been planning for a while is a move from Wellington to Central Otago, New Zealand. That’s become a reality for me now as I prepare for a big move south. While my photography income does not sustain a revenue flow to keep my mortgage afloat or put new camera gadgets in my gear cupboard, I will have a lot more new opportunities for my time-lapse photography.  I often travel to this part of country but now I don’t need to.  I’ll be living in Cromwell with only a few hours travel to Fiordland, Mt Cook region, Catlins and the stunning area of Central Otago itself.  You might see a few more of my pictures on TVNZ weather competing against other photographers in region.

Read Full Article
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I started this year with a project I have been wanting to complete for some time – a show reel.  I have been making time-lapse ever since this style of photography became popular.  That has allowed me enough footage to pull together a show reel.  It was made with the intention of being used as a ‘splash video’ on my homepage.  Its aim was to inspire and showcases the breadth of my work and the technical understanding needed to create time-lapse.  In less than a minute, you will see 27 clips flash by, some of which include my very best.  It’s a little glitchy I know, but it is considered a modern production show reel and this appeals to me.  I particularly like the tags in each segment which reinforce the message to compliment the visuals.  You can see it below – I hope you like it.  The show reel was made using a custom Adobe After Effects template.

Time-lapse showreel - Vimeo

On the same post-production theme, the clip above on the right shows a side-by-side comparison of a scene where I swapped out the night sky.  Close to three years ago, I made my Mainland time-lapse after a month of travelling around the South Island of New Zealand.  One area where many people want to shoot is Castle Hill in Canterbury.  I got there late in the afternoon looking for the rock arch I had seen a number of year ago.  Having found it, I shot the scene on a slider looking up at the sky, moving from left to right under the arch.  Unfortunately, there was some light pollution under the clouds which I really did not want.  In the weeks to follow, I painstakingly used masks in Adobe After Effects to cut in a new Milky Way scene I shot earlier.  I made a small movie showing the scene before and after result.  I made sure it looked real by testing it with others and I was pleased with the finished result.  I cannot recall how many hours I put into it, but it was huge.

One of my goals this year is to try and use more storytelling in the way I shoot my time-lapse.  Story-telling itself has become increasingly popular and a buzzword used by creative types.  But do many of us know how to tell a story using clips and sequences?  I don’t think so.  It’s not as simple as you might think.  Too many people jump into time-lapse with the thought of doing something “cool” but without thinking of how these sequences might be used to enhance a more significant story.  A good time-lapse needs to be something more than an eclectic mix of scenes thrown together with a bit music.  Watch this space.

Lastly, I wanted to touch briefly on my latest gadget.  Having a drone means we as pilots are susceptible to GPS failures and fly-away incidents.  I want to avoid this tragedy and researched the technology to help find it, just in case this type of event occurred.  There are GPS trackers with SIM cards out there and they are fine if you’re in range of a cellular network, but often, I am not.  So what I found was the ‘Marco Polo’. A small radio transmitter that sends a signal up to 2 miles (3.2 kms) to a handheld monitor that constantly searches and indicates how close the drone might be through the transmitter’s strength.  The device was initially used to track a lost pet. So far, my fields tests have work well !  I just hope I never have to use it.  Thanks for reading !

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This year has been an outstanding one for me.  The greatest achievement for me has come having been awarded the Panasonic Lumix 2017 New Zealand Geographic Photographer of The Year for time-lapse.  It is the culmination of dedication, planning, and a lot of hard work.  In some instances, it was spending whatever it costs just to get the shot with the sole aim of submitting my absolute best work.  The awards night was special for me – it was my birthday and I could not have asked for a better present.

The New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious of all photo competitions we have in New Zealand.  “The exhibition is the work of the very best eyes in the country” says publisher, James Frankham.  Some 3500 entries were received.  Each year, the entries increase and the standard of work gets better and better.  For me, that means lifting my game and striving to do something more than last time.  The competition is tough.  One thing is for sure, you can never predict what the judges are thinking.  Time-lapse photographers constantly strive to do something different thereby setting the new benchmark.  Not only with the camera and scene, but more so now in post production which involves enormous amounts of time in front of the computer.

The exhibition this year was something very special.  Lifting the game to another level, the work is on show at the Auckland Museum until Sunday 25 February.  Images are displayed on back-lit panels to reveal every stunning detail which really makes them ‘pop’.  The dimly lit gallery shows the colour depth making this a first for the homegrown exhibition.  All the time-lapses are stunningly displayed on 75-inch ultra high definition televisions which shows so much detail.  It’s a bit like the awesome footage you see on the display TVs in the electronics showroom.

For the past two years, Wellington, the city where I live, has been overlooked as a venue to show the work of the country’s best photographers.  I will be working hard with Wellington City Council and New Zealand Geographic to get this to the creative capital in 2018.  Anyway, congratulations to all the finalists and my fellow time-lapsers.  Here’s a slideshow from the awards night at the Auckland Museum.

My bragging rights extend to another time-lapse achievement this year, which I’m also proud of.  I was fortunate to be selected as a finalist in the time-lapse category of the Photo Nightscape Awards, an international astrophotography competition hosted in France.  What is also working well for me in 2017 has been the selling of my stock time-lapse footage having only started this a year ago.  It’s always gratifying to check my email inbox and notice that a clip has just been sold.  Some clips have sold more than once which gives me an indication of what footage is popular or in demand.

Lastly, a further achievement for me this year had been setting up this website to make my time-lapse work more prominent.  There will be a few more functionality tweaks as time permits.  I reckon this site is better than it has ever been.  What do you think ?  Your feedback is always welcome.

Thanks for visiting !  Come back throughout 2018 to be informed of upcoming projects.

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