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Atacama's Valleys

This weekend, I’m sharing a few more highlights of the Atacama Desert. First, some aerial photos of the Death Valley, followed by an incredible sunset at the Amphitheatre in the Moon Valley. The Atacama is one of the most unusual landscapes I have ever photographed, and I would have loved to spend longer there to capture more of its arresting beauty. I hope to be back there again some day soon!

Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache and Surroundings

The blog has had to take a bit of a hiatus lately, but will be back up and running every Saturday for the next few months.

This weekend I am sharing some of my favourite images of the incredible Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache we photographed at the Atacama Desert. I hope you enjoy these images of spectacular hidden lagoons and alien moon-like landscapes.

Laguna Colorada and Termas de Polques

Our final stops in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve were Laguna Colorada and Termas de Polque. Both spots amazed us with their scenery and provided yet another opportunity to see wild flamingoes.

Both these locations provided excellent opportunities for flying the drone and getting some aerial images, although we did keep it quite high so we didn’t interfere with the wildlife.

Here are some images from both land and air of these two locations, our last stop in Bolivia before we headed to Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Siloli Desert Highlights

The Siloli Desert is a wonderfully dramatic landscape. It seemed almost surreal to walk through its vast planes and occasionally encounter a completely new and colourful scenery. One of my favourite spots was the Sol de la Mañana Geyser, which is a magical sight from both the land and the air.

Here are some of my photos, featuring the Salvador Dalí Desert, the geyser, and the Montaña de Siete Colores (seven-coloured mountain).

A Sunset to Remember

Although I expected a much more dramatic sunset, our evening in Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia was nevertheless surprisingly pretty. The low clouds resulted in a pastel coloured sunset unlike anything I had ever seen before. The mirrored effect on the ground caused by a thin layer of rain added to the surreal landscape of the salt flats.

I only wish I had spent more time there to capture a variety of sunsets, as the merged land and sky makes for some truly spectacular scenery. Here are some of my favourite images from that evening.

If you are interested in travelling to the Bolivian salt flats as a photographer, make sure you check out our guide on Two Dusty Lenses to help you plan your trip.

An Expanse of White

Following on from La Paz, the Bolivian adventure followed onto the Uyuni Salt Flats. We had sunny and dry weather when we arrived, resulting in an otherwordly infinite white landscape as far as the eye could see in every direction.

This was an incredible destination and if you’d like to learn more and plan your own trip to Uyuni, I recommend that you check out our travel guide for photographers over at Two Dusty Lenses, which reveals all the best tips for an unforgettable trip to Bolivia.

But before you head on over and start booking your flights, I hope you enjoy the photo selection below!

Walking on the Moon

I recently had a chance to explore Bolivia for the very first time. The first stop of the trip was the capital of La Paz. In between several rainy days, we squeezed in a lucky visit to Valle de la Luna under a blue sky. This was a great place to explore a completely alien landscape from both the ground and from the air, with aerial photography.

Here are some of my favourite images from this location. I will be posting more selected photographs from the rest of the trip - including the famous Uyuni Salt Flats and the Atacama Desert - over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more!

Cathedral Cove

The next stop on the Coromandel roadtrip was the incredible Cathedral Cove. The winding walk down to the beach surrounded by rolling hills and lush farmland, and fantastic 360 degree views. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, providing excellent photographic opportunities both from the ground and from the sky.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, this was a truly spectacular location, even on a cloudy afternoon...

Snowy Countryside

Following a snowy morning in Lake Tekapo, our short South Island roadtrip ended with a long drive back to Christhurch through the countryside. We stopped several times along the way to photograph the snow-covered pastures.

Over the next few months I will be returning to New Caledonia and spending two weeks in St Andrews, in Scotland. More photos coming soon!

Snow at Lake Tekapo

The next day at Lake Tekapo proved to be a lucky one: we woke up at 5am to find that the town was covered in deep, fluffy snow. We headed out before sunrise to catch The Church of the Good Shepherd in the snow, and captured some aerial photography in the surrounding area.

The change of weather was a pleasant surprise. Over the span of three days, we had a beautiful purple sunset, followed by an almost-clear starry sky, and a snowy morning.

Mount Cook National Park

Our visit to Mount Cook National Park was an unlucky one, as the weather changed dramatically from the previous day and Mount Cook was nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, the views from the Hooker Valley Track and Tasman Glacier Walk were still breathtaking.

Here are some of my favourite images from a very cloudy day at Mount Cook.

Return to Arthur's Pass

After working with the kea at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve earlier this year, I had the chance to take a short roadtrip through some nearby locations in the South Island of New Zealand.

The first stop was a return visit to Arthur's Pass National Park, where we photographed the fantastic landscapes and encountered some wild kea.

Here are some of my favourite images of our day at Arthur's Pass.

Te Waihou Walkway

On the way back up from Tongaporutu, we stayed in Hamilton. We visited the Te Waihou Walkway. Never before had I seen such a brightly coloured green and blue landscape. The luscious forest, cut by the river with one of the purest waters in New Zealand, was a surreal sight.

The aerial images really showcase the beauty of this location which, understandably, is sacred to the Maori people.

Tongaporutu: Three Sisters and Elephant Rock

Tongaporutu was one of the highlights of our North Island roadtrip. Although Elephant Rock was destroyed prior to our visit, the rock formations were still absolutely spectacular.

We visited on two separate evenings for sunset, and the light was always soft and golden. It was surprising to have the beach all to ourselves on one occasion, suggesting this is a very underappreciated location in the North Island.

Here are only a few of my favourite images of this location, some of which were taken from a drone.

New Plymouth

New Plymouth is the home of the famous Mount Taranaki. On a clear day, it can be seen from most parts of the city. We decided to make the short hike up from Lake Mangamahoe, where we could photograph it from the land and air.

That evening, we also went to the Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park, which happens every Summer between December and February. It's a really lovely walk around the small park, which is completely transformed at night by all the colourful lights.

The Lighthouses of Wairarapa

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We drove down from Napier to the vinyard region of Wairarapa. We stayed from Masterton, from which we explored the neighbouring towns such as Greytown and Martinborough.

As most other vinyard regions, this was a place with fantastic landscapes and incredible food. It was a nice relaxing place to spend the New Years'.

One of the highlights of this region are the beaches and rugged coastline.

We visited two lighthouses in Wairarapa, Castlepoint Lighthouse and Cape Palliser. Here are my favourite images of these two locations, both from land and from air.

Te Mata Peak Sunsets

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Te Mata Peak is one of the landscape highlights of the Napier region. This was our next stop on our North Island roadtrip. We spent two sunsets at this location, which was truly spectacular and especially interesting for aerial photography.

Below are some of my favourite images from this location - I'll let the images speak for themselves!

Taupo: Maori Rocks and Waipunga Falls

The next morning following on from our visit to Huka Falls, we took a cruise to Lake Taupo, to see the Maori Rock Carvings by the water. The water was an amazing clear emerald colour, shining in the bright sunlight.

We then started making our way down to Napier, stopping by the Waipunga Falls on the way. These falls are just off a side road, with no signage, but really worth the visit.

Below are a few of my favourite images of these two locations.

Kuirau Park

Rotorua was the first stop on our North Island Roadtrip. Although the whole city is spectacular and surrounded by incredible sites of geothermal activity, there was one place that stood out as being vastly underrated.

Kuirau Park lies at the heart of the city, and offers incredible photographic opportunities less than a 10 minute drive from anywhere in central Rotorua.

Unusually for Rotorua, this is an area over which drones can be flown. The aerial view of the park is nothing short of spectacular.

Below are some of my favourite images from this location. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!