lake-matheson-fox-glacier

Behind the scenes of this photo

Taken at Lake Matheson in the Fox Glacier township on the South Island of New Zealand on March 24th, 2015

Lake Matheson is an iconic New Zealand photo location, and from the main view point on Reflection Island surely millions of beautiful photos have been created. When I find myself in a situation like that I often approach things from out of left field by thinking “what would Josh NOT do here?” If I’d normally grab my wide angle lens, instead I’ll reach for a telephoto. If I’d normally include the sky I’ll try keeping it out. With this approach I find my mind starts working in unexpected ways and seeing unexpected things. And before I know it I’m beginning to craft I photo I otherwise wouldn’t have taken.

This was the exact case this particular morning at Lake Matheson: there were beautiful clouds, the gargantuan, snow-covered forms of Mounts Tasman and Cook were clearly visible, and the lake itself was as still as pooled silver. My instincts were screaming to grab the wide angle classic shot, and of course I did. But then I started thinking about what other smaller scenes could create powerful photos. The symmetric lines of the Fox Glacier canyon had been catching my eye all morning, and as the sun cleared the mountains to the east it lit up one of the canyon’s richly forested walls. The spot-lighting created a vivid contrast against the darkness of the opposing wall and lent the scene a simple, graphical quality. With the two slanting canyon walls reflected in Matheson’s surface my eyes were drawn to the X they created and I knew I had found my “Left Field” shot.

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