Reaching for the Heavens

The fog obscures the foothills of the valley floor, the mountains reach for the heavens.  


Another early morning put us high atop Xianggong Mountain looking into the valley. With fog and mist predicted, we hit the bus at 0330 in hopes of getting ahead of the game. Arriving just as the gates opened, we were treated to several hundred fellow photographers all racing to the top platform for the best of the best views. All of us, less one, ended up at the lower viewing platform. With fewer people, this proved to be just the right spot for the morning. In no time flat, the area was elbow to elbow with photographers worming their way into every available inch of open space, all in hopes of capturing an award-winning photograph. Where no space existed, they made space. How funny to watch everything going on.


 H6D50c, HCD35-90mm @ 60mm, ISO 100, 1/750 sec at f/8.0

Li River, near Guilin, China

China has long been on my bucket list. I knew that the mysterious country would surprise me; however, I must say that my first shoot of the day blew my socks off. We were up at 0315 for a 0400 departure.  On the water while still dark, I could begin to see the shapes of the mountains in the background coming to life. I was happy just shooting mountains if nothing else, but we were positioned for the elder fishermen who once worked the river for a living. With fish in the river now depleted, making a living by fishing has become impossible. However, after earning a living in the cities, several of the elder fishermen have returned to the river to model for the tourists, giving us a sense of what it was like in years gone by.


Li River, near Guilin, China

Hasselblad H6D50c, ISO 800, HCD 35-90mm @ 50mm, f/5.6 at 1/180 sec hand held.

Wanaka Tree

Known as the “lone tree of lake Wanaka,” it is stated to be one of the most photographed trees throughout New Zealand. Once you can find it, this willow is found at the foothills of Mount Aspiring National Park, a World Heritage Site, acting as a doorway into even more of the astounding landscapes that represent the South Island.

The discovery of gold in the 1860's inspired a rush of interest to the Wanaka area. Later, as the gold dwindled away, high country farming became the primary reason that kept employment alive. In 2017, tourism is the new gold - an endeavor which requires the environment to remain picture perfect.

Shooting details: Hasselblad H6D50c, 35mm HCD @65mm, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/180 sec, hand held.  Last shot of the morning at this location.

#wanakatree #hasselblad #muenchworkshops #travelphotography #newzealand

Braided Rivers of New Zealand

While flying doors off with The Helicopter Line, based from Mount Cook, I had the pilot orbit around the outlet of the Tasman River before it dumps into Tasman Lake. We did a series of orbits, dropping 500 feet each rotation. This varied altitude approach presented us with numerous opportunities to photograph the river at different angles as the sun began to hit the river bed.

This was the last of three flights for our workshop and everyone was thrilled with their results. Talk about ending on a high.

Shooting details: Hasselblad H6D50c, 50mm, ISO 800, f/4.8 at 1/500 sec, center weighted average.

#Hasselblad #Muenchworkshops #aerialphotography #randyhannaphotography