Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

A stunning collection of poems from one of New Zealand’s most respected writers.

David Eggleton wrote of Marshall’s poetry in the New Zealand Listener that, ‘Above all, the poems are redolent of the South Island – all wild winds and dry hills, sleepy summer afternoons, the shimmer of light on lakes, snow like whitewash on the Alps.’ In addition his poetry captures the voice and perspective of the South Island, whether it is contemplating family or friends, love or mortality, the local landscape or further afield, through place or time.

This collection brings together Marshall’s most powerful poetry from his previous three collections with many more recent works. They are complemented by photographs taken by his friend and fellow Mainlander Grahame Sydney.

Views From The South

Owen Marshall


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

This is a hardcover, coffee table book which is a collection of poems from one of New Zealand’s best writers.  They all celebrate the South Island and are handily arranged in four groups – Nature and Place, Family and Friends, History and Art, and Heart and Mind.

The poems are about big life moments – birth death, war – as well as the ordinary moments – meeting again the girl you liked years ago.  ‘Blowing Up Frogs With A Straw’ lists the many ways the poem’s speaker experimented with killing animals as a child, though not anymore.

Having experienced no suffering of
my own, I dished it out with gusto.
and now I wince to step upon a snail.

As a born and bred Aucklander, I found the prologue poem hysterical – ‘South Island Prayer’ begins with God / Don’t let me die in Auckland.

The stunning photography is by Grahame Sydney, a longtime mate of Owen Marshall and fellow South Islander.  The photos often complement the poem – like the full page photo of a tree covered in wet snow facing the sparse poem ‘The Big Snow’.  I wish the photos had identifying text though – it would have been nice to be able to pinpoint the snowy mountain’s location or identify the gorgeous beach.

This is a thoughtful and delightful book, with well crafted poems and beautiful photography.

What’s your vision of New Zealand?

An inner-city street in the rain, a campervan under a clear and starry night sky, a high-octane sport or a traffic jam of sheep? This book collects a range of personal views of Aotearoa from photographers, both amateur and professional, along with their thoughts on what makes New Zealand.

When Nikon invited the photographic community to build an image map of the nation online (at there was an amazing response and many creative and inspiring photographs were posted. This collection offers a range of those that truly say I AM NEW ZEALAND.

All royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

I Am New Zealand

Aotearoa through many eyes

Random House New Zealand

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

Nikon invited the photographic community to do an image map of New Zealand.   A diverse group contributed, from a range of ordinary people – including an 11-year-old working on a therapeutic art project and a 15-year-old with a passion for mountain biking – through to photographers with decades of experience. Locals and tourists, enthusiastic amateurs and fully professional photographers made use of the technical equipment and skills at their disposal to produce amazing shots.

The book is arranged geographically starting with Te Paki and ending at Nugget Point. Each page is a sumptuous photo representing a place. Some are landscapes, some are macro’s of flora and fauna and some are beautiful moody studies; some with people and some not.

This is New Zealand.

New Zealand: Untouched Landscapes is a fresh and strikingly beautiful collection of landscape photographs that have been captured throughout the country by professional photographer, Petr Hlavacek. From our most iconic locations to harder-to-access and protected areas, New Zealand: Untouched Landscapes presents the pristine and diverse landscapes of this country, often from a new perspective.

Petr’s photography is motivated by the opportunity to promote greater public awareness of our fragile landscapes, a landscape he is passionate about protecting. Petr Hlavacek is an important new talent among New Zealand landscape photographers.

New Zealand: Untouched Landscapes

Petr Hlavacek

Potton & Burton

Supplied by Potton & Burton

Reviewed by Keith and Jacqui Smith

I think we’ve all seen those coffee table books full of pretty pictures of places in New Zealand; souvenir shops and airport bookstores specialise in them. At first glance this might seem to be more of the same, but although it does fill that niche, it is much, much more. Our first reaction on opening the book was “Wow!” And there was more “wow” on page after page. You may take it that we were impressed.

This is a book of New Zealand landscapes; some relatively familiar, some more remote, all pristine, magnificent, and full of untouched beauty. Some are positively primeval – the Lake Wahapo kahikatea forest at sunrise struck me as practically Jurassic, only somewhat lacking in dinosaurs. All are photographed with consummate skill – believe you me, we can only wonder at the effort it took to get just the right shot at the right moment. You may think that landscape photography is easy – and it’s true that getting a good landscape with a decent camera isn’t that hard – but getting shots of this quality is not at all simple. We had to admire the skill and patience involved.

I have only a couple of small quibbles. It was only when I came to write this review that I realised that the book has no page numbers, which is understandable on double-page spreads, but when the photos do not extend to the edges, page numbers could be useful to help find that kahikatea forest I was talking about! And I would have liked just a little more text in places, explaining the landscapes to those of us who like our geology. But otherwise, this is a beautiful work of art, far from just another souvenir picture book.