Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: more from Lake Wakatipu

with 34 comments

For me as a photographer, Lake Wakatipu was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.

What I’d seen on February 21, 2017, hardly seemed like enough, so two days later we again drove north from Queenstown along the eastern shore of the lake for more looking and more picture-taking. Today’s six photographs were among them. The landscape views show you that the clouds and rain from two days earlier had completely gone away.

The close-ups reveal details in the interesting rocks that lie along the shore in abundance.

And oh, those New Zealand ferns.

And did I mention the rocks?

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2018 at 4:28 AM

34 Responses

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  1. Perfection.


    February 24, 2018 at 5:31 AM

    • That’s more than can be said of the vehicle in which you visited Glenorchy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 11:23 AM

      • Ah so true. I haven’t ever seen the lake looking as beautiful as it is in your photos.


        February 24, 2018 at 5:35 PM

        • They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s how I beheld Lake Wakatipu.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 24, 2018 at 8:43 PM

  2. This is beautiful and breathtaking. I like all of them. #5 has a 3D feeling to it with a composition that is really pleasing, with foliage on the foreground. The rocks seem like beautiful sculptures made by nature.


    February 24, 2018 at 7:46 AM

    • I’m glad you get a 3D feeling from the fifth picture. I imagine that comes, as you said, from having such a prominent foreground subject played off against the lake and mountains beyond. I took lots of pictures of the rocks, and no doubt you would have too. Let’s hope you get to visit there someday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 11:28 AM

  3. The reflections and the textures are superb, and the lakeside view is so pure looking. I can almost smell the fresh air. How do the lakes compare between here and the Canadian Rockies?


    February 24, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    • I’m glad you can smell the fresh air without getting molested by the sandflies that had come out on that second foray along the shore. Two days earlier we hadn’t been bothered at all.

      Picturesque lakes abound in both countries. We saw our share of them in each. Plenty of other lakes escaped us in both regions, so I’m hesitant to generalize. Based on what we saw, Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, Emerald Lake, and Bow Lake had more-vivid colors than any of the lakes we saw in New Zealand. To balance that, I’ll add that New Zealand has great ocean colors.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 11:42 AM

  4. Beautiful photos! That is indeed a very photogenic place!


    February 24, 2018 at 9:06 AM

    • If you plan to do any world traveling, I highly recommend New Zealand, for the reasons shown in these pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 11:43 AM

  5. Is it layers of marble in schist or gneiss? I know very little geology, but certainly makes an interesting pattern, and looks like a record of a lot of stress!
    You’re the word maven, so you probably knew this, but I looked up schist, expecting it to be a German word, and found it’s Greek, and vice-versa for gneiss

    Robert Parker

    February 24, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    • There you’ve got me. I plead guilty to ignorance of geology. You’re right that I do better when it comes to words—I ought to, after decades of studying language. You’re also right that schist has a German look and sound to it. Two clues to its actual Greekness, as well as to the underlying meaning of ‘split,’ are the related schism and schizo-. Gneiss, in contrast, is legitimately German.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 12:34 PM

  6. Stunning images, Steve. The water is like glass, I think I’d have to stuff a few of those lovely rocks in my pockets! I’ll have to make note to take clothes with deep pockets, and carry a big purse in New Zealand!


    February 24, 2018 at 2:05 PM

    • Yes, especially in the first photograph, the water does look glassy. That’s a big part of the appeal.

      We brought a few stones back from both New Zealand trips but restricted the sizes to keep down the weight. If you filled a big purse you might not easily lift it, and even if you could, you might not want to pay for excess baggage weight on the flight back.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 4:36 PM

      • I lift 40 and 50 lb feed bags all week… but I might have to build up to running that through several airports! Maybe I’ll just enjoy photos of the rocks instead.


        February 24, 2018 at 4:52 PM

        • I guess I should have expected that that would be part of “day by day the farm girl way.” You could still bring back some rocks, and the rest would go weightlessly on a memory card or hard drive.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 24, 2018 at 5:03 PM

  7. Very impressive!


    February 24, 2018 at 5:02 PM

  8. You and I enjoy so much the same kinds of things … though you take MUCH better pics than I do!
    Did you see the woman in the last photo? (Turn your head to the left.) Looks to me like a bust of a female figure.

    Jenny Meadows

    February 24, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    • Glad to hear you enjoy the same kinds of things. In the last photograph I saw (and still see) some sort of simian skull viewed from its left side. I imagine things in the other two closeups as well but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to influence people.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2018 at 8:40 PM

      • When I go out to the Boulder Bank here in Nelson/Atawhai, I see all kinds of figures in the rocks: emoticons, yin yang figures, faces of people and animals.

        Jenny Meadows

        February 24, 2018 at 8:45 PM

        • I had to look that up, not having heard of it:


          We spent a night in Nelson after crossing over on the ferry from the North Island that afternoon.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 24, 2018 at 8:59 PM

          • Then you passed right by Boulder Bank Drive, just at the eastern edge of Atawhai, where we live. If you arrived during the day, you would have seen an estuary to your right, and a line of brown stones separating the bay from the original shoreline. Unfortunately, if you arrived at night, you would have missed it.
            The best time to go is at low tide, when you can see lots of creatures in the tidepools on the bay side.

            Jenny Meadows

            February 25, 2018 at 5:12 AM

            • I just found Boulder Bank Drive on Google Maps. We did indeed pass right by there. One more thing not seen in such a scenic country.

              Steve Schwartzman

              February 25, 2018 at 7:27 AM

              • Next time you visit, let me know and I’ll give you a tour. Likely I’ll see even more amazing things through your eyes/lens.

                Jenny Meadows

                February 25, 2018 at 3:25 PM

                • Thanks. If we ever pass that way again, you’ve got a deal.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 25, 2018 at 3:30 PM

                • Deal!

                  Jenny Meadows

                  February 25, 2018 at 3:39 PM

  9. really stunning.


    February 24, 2018 at 7:34 PM

  10. The second and final photos amused me because of what I saw in them: in the second, an elephant’s eye, and in the last, an artist’s palette. See the thumbhole? But of the closeups, it’s the one with the veining that most intrigued me, with its almost-parallelogram and really pretty white veins.

    The clarity of the water always appeals, but the ferns, water, and mountains are something special. The way you’ve composed the image, with the tops of the ferns interlaced with the reflection of the mountains, is perfect.


    February 25, 2018 at 6:44 AM

    • Where you saw an elephant’s eye, I saw a fish’s head. I’d already seen an elephant’s eye on the first trip:


      Now that you suggest an artist’s palette I can see it, but a strangely shaped palette it would be, suitable for a strange artist.

      In the closeup with the white veins, I imagined leaning bamboo stalks.

      The ferns on the lakeshore were a good find; they made for a picture unlike any other I took on the trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 25, 2018 at 7:41 AM

  11. Super pictures Steve .. crystal clear water. And those ferns are so photogenic 🙂


    February 28, 2018 at 12:42 AM

    • The ferns were an unexpected bonus; they let me set off the lake in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
      I forget whether you’ve been to Lake Wakatipu.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2018 at 9:18 AM

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