Fire and Ice: Astrophotographers show New Zealand at its most spectacular

Fire and Ice: 
Astrophotographers show New Zealand at its most spectacular

Photo: Facebook/SouthofHome

As if the landscape of New Zealand wasn’t amazing enough already, these night sky scenes will leave you speechless

Jake and Jo are two astrophotographers who toured New Zealand together during winter shooting photos which appear to be from another world.

Luminous phenomena such as the aurora australis, the Milky Way, and zodiacal light provide the backdrop for some of the most beautiful images you’ve ever seen. 

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Jake and Jo share their photos on their Facebook account „South of Home Photography,“ and their fanbase is steadily growing.

Sooo, we went back to Mt.Cook again! We knew ...

Sooo, we went back to Mt.Cook again! We knew the cloud was set to clear after dark so we couldn't resist the temptation to get the Milky Way over Mt.Cook and the Hooker Glacier.

Obsessive amateurs 

The pictures are even more impressive when you consider that the two are not experienced professionals with a camera. “After taking up photography in early 2015, it didn’t take very long for us to become obsessed with it. We would spend all of our spare time shooting or learning about photography,” Jake explains in an interview with the website DIY Photography. “Eventually, we came across astrophotography and what we were seeing was hard to believe. We wanted to learn everything that we could so we could create our own images.” 

Gimme shelter! We took this photo on the ...

Gimme shelter! We took this photo on the weekend on our epic adventure to our favourite place in NZ - Mt. Cook. We trekked out to this spot around midnight in the below 0 temperature, walking through snow and ice on the Hooker Valley track.

To be able to pursue this passion, the two artists were drawn from Australia to New Zealand. Having lived in an area where there was simply too much light pollution to take good pictures of the night sky, the pair decided to relocate to the neighbouring country.

The long wait

A lot of planning is required to perfectly capture the Milky Way. “In New Zealand, the season runs from February to October and its position in the sky is constantly changing,” says Jake. To make sure they are always in the right place, the pair use the app PhotoPills which calculates when the Milky Way can be seen at their chosen location and when the moon emits the least light. “Once you have your date and time, you have to hope that the weather is clear so that you can get the shot you are after.”

In astrophotography there are so many variables that must be taken into account, meaning it can take months to shoot the image of their dreams. “But in the end, it is totally worth it,” adds Jake. “Just enjoy the experience and have fun being outdoors, even if you don’t get anything.”

There's nothing like kicking back under the ...

There's nothing like kicking back under the stars with good friends and a fire! We went on an adventure a while back with Christian and Christianne to the dart river to shoot some astro and chill out by the fire.

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11 2016 The Red Bulletin

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