4 days in China

I recently did something extravagant. I went on holiday. My mother, who lives in Scotland, (who I miss terribly) was to be in Hong Kong for business, and she suggested that I should come and meet her and we could go on holiday together. My mind raced, where could we go on an adventure near Hong Kong?? Vietnam? Thailand? China?? Ive always had a little fascination with China, mainly as Ive never been and done a lot of shoots with the Chinese in NZ, so I did a bit of research into where was cool to see in China near Hong Kong. To my delight Google came up with Guilin and the town of Yangshuo. This place looked insane, soaring limestone mountains, huge rivers and rice paddies as far as the eye could see. I was sold, rural China and Yangshuo it was to be. We had 4 days and no idea where to start. Lucky for us we had a guide, Andy (who I cant recommend more if you go to this area! a guide is a must to get the most out of a short trip). I won’t bore you with the details of our girls trip, but what … Read Full Post

Off the beaten path: a new partnership with Huckberry

The wonderful guys Huckberry have invited me to become ambassador! They have just published the story of my bike trip on their site and let me even curate my own shop with BEAUTIFUL and awesome goodies from their website, some of which I used on my trip. If you have not come across these guys before, be warned your wallet may suffer. They stock redicoulously cool bits and pieces for anyone who loves the outdoors but still admires class and cool things. Who said outdoor gear had to be geeky!? They ship world wide and all the pieces in my shop are on SALE! Get in quick as this stuff sells out super fast.

I realise its been a painfully long time since I posted a story here, and Im super sorry. But I guess that is a result of an extremely busy summer! So have to be pleased with that one. After I got back from Japan it was all systems go putting the final touches to the planning for my 2nd mountain bike road trip in NZ. Same formula as my last trip; 4 mountain bikers, 2 1970’s VW Kombi Campers, 5 bikes, a tent, … Read Full Post

A French ski trip to Japan…

Some time ago French free skier Sarah Martinias contacted me to ask a few questions about skiing in Japan. I have been on 4 ski trips to the land of the rising sun and every time I go back I swear its not my last. Even though we hadn’t met, Sarah and I cooked up a plan to go shoot a story for French media in the Nagano region, as this is my favourite place to ski in Japan. With any trip comes months of planning, organising, emails going back and forth. I was to meet Sarah along with free skiers Fabrice Dompnier, Frank Bigourdan and snowboarder Marion Gouwy at Tokyo Airport, all ready to start a two week ski adventure deep in the Japanese Alps. I arrived in Tokyo the night before my new French friends so took it upon myself to visit Tsukiji Fish market. This is the worlds biggest fish market and it happens in Tokyo every morning, you have to get there early and I was there to watch the organised chaos unfold from 5am. Unfortunately the tuna auction was closed the morning I went but there was still plenty to look at. I find it pretty sad … Read Full Post

A little trip to Fiji

I had the extreme pleasure of hopping over to Fiji for a 2 day shoot with sports model and stunt woman Catherine Peck from Undercover Glamor. She and her husband had decided to do their nuptials a little differently, on a golden sandy beach far away from anywhere in Fiji. I was to shoot and witness their ceremony in the sun on the stunning island of Malolo and the Likuliku Resort.
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Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Island of Malolo, Fiji
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Fishy fishy in the shallows. Glorious water in Fiji…
I stuck around for an extra day to shoot some photos of Catherine stand up paddle boarding, swimming and some bikini shots for her portfolio. I also took a few snaps of her husband David spear fishing in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. It was great fun and good practice for me to shoot some underwater stuff, and play with my Outex Waterhousing. Here are some results of our shoot! The water wasn’t as clear as it can be due to spring tide and windy days. Still lovely though! It makes me want to shoot more underwater stuff, very challenging but … Read Full Post

The way back home – Upper Mustang, Nepal

This is part two of my photo story on our adventure in Nepal. To start at the beginning (highly recommended) check out the first post: Exploring the Upper Mustang 
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The roof of Nepal. This wee dude was so excited to see us in his town of Choser (3916m). This is the last town before Tibet. 
A slow trickle of luke warm water ran over my dust encrusted hair. I was having my first shower (of sorts) in 7 days. I was surprised how little I missed showering, and how it actually felt good to go a bit feral for a while. We weren’t totally scanky as each morning and evening we would be brought a bowl of warm water to wash the essentials in. I got quite used to this and it became something of a ritual.
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Tim washing in the morning before breakfast at our camp spot (with grass!!) in Lo Manthang
We were to have a ‘rest day’ in Lo Manthang, and this consisted of riding horses 2 hrs up to the village of Choser, the last village before reaching the border of Tibet (China). In Choser … Read Full Post

Exploring the Upper Mustang, Nepal

Getting married is great in many ways… Aside from the whole marriage thing, you get to throw a sweet party, invite all your favourite people, get some lovely presents and take one hell of a holiday after it all! Whats not to love about a wedding!? I was pretty darn excited about the prospect of taking a ‘dream’ holiday; to do something that we’ve always wanted to do but never set aside the time or money. With no kiddies in tow yet, it was our chance to go explore. Ever since I visited Kashmir back in 2007 I’ve had a burning desire to go back to the Himalayas and to visit a country top of my to go to list. Nepal. As it was our honeymoon and we were supposed to be ‘relaxing’ we decided to do it the easy way. We booked a trek with my good friends at Adventure Consultants in Wanaka. It says it all in their name really. They were going to be our adventure planners. And boy did they do a 5 star job! From landing in Kathmandu, to taking off again 19days later, we didn’t have to worry about a thing, apart from enjoying every experience & soaking … Read Full Post

North Face shoot on Franz Joseph Glacier

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to shoot for North Face on a trip to Franz Joseph Glacier, on the West Coast of New Zealand. Franz Joseph is one of NZ’s largest Glaciers and at 12km long it almost comes down to the Tasman Sea. It was a trip guided by Adventure Consultants, with North Face team skiers Janina Kuzma, Fraser McDougall and Tom Dunbar. Being filming as part of The North Face Quest shows was Neil Kerr of NZ Skier magazine and mountain guide filmer Hugh Bernard. Armed with quite the team of professionals it was set to be quite the trip. We had a very short weather window and as soon as a storm cleared we were in the chopper on our way to Centennial Hut high on Franz Joseph.

Flying into the mighty Franz Joseph Glacier

Her ferocious jaws ready to swallow you whole!

Looking out over the top of Franz Joseph Glacier from Centennial Hut
… Read Full Post

Scandinavian Photo Challenge – My winning slide show

I know it happened a wee while ago, but my winning slide show has only just gone on line, to co-inside with the release of Dirt Magazine’s massive feature on the Scandinavian Photo Challenge. The Scandinavian Photo Challenge is part of the Are Bike Festival, held every July in Are, Sweden. One of my all time favorite action sports photographers Mattias Fredricksson very kindly invited me along to compete as one of 5 invited photogs. We had three days to shoot with our chosen team of bikers (Swedes Lina Skoglund & Linus Sjoholm and Kiwi Steve Murphy, hence ‘Team New Swealand!)  using the beautiful mountain of Are, and its 38 trails. We then had a day and a half to edit together a 5 min slide show, which premiered on the final gala night, judged by a panel of highly respected judges, from magazine editors, journalists and photographers.
 
I was up against some extremely talented and esteemed bike photographers:
Mattias Fredriksson, Sweden – www.mattiasfredriksson.com
Markus Greber, Germany – www.markusgreber.com
Kristoffer Kippernes, Norway – www.kippernesfoto.no
Grant Robinson, Canada/UK – www.grantrobinson.com
 
After some very long few days with early starts and late nights shooting (with the midnight sun in Sweden, we could shoot all night!), I finally had … Read Full Post

Stargazing at Lake Tekapo – A weekend away with my camera

Last weekend was the first weekend of clear calm skies in quite some time. My boyfriend decided to take me away to a place that  we had both driven past hundreds of times on our way North, and never taken the time to visit. Mt John Observatory is one of the worlds best places to star gaze. NZ’s largest telescope, and a number of astronomical studies happen here, looking out over the aquamarine Lake Tekapo. There is very little light pollution, and NZ has incredibly clear, unpolluted skies making it perfect for checking out the unknown universe. We had chosen a cracker of a night, with no moon, and the day after a strong Southerly wind (which clears out the atmosphere apparently!), the skies were unbelievable. We departed at 9.30pm on a tour with Earth and Sky up to the Observatory.

Lake Tekapo under the Milky Way, taken with Canon 5d Mk II, 14mm 2.8, ISO 800, f2.8 for 30 seconds
I LOVE taking photos of the stars, and as soon as I could I set up to take this quick shot. 30seconds wasn’t quite enough time to capture the full extent … Read Full Post

Mountaineering with Alpine Guides at Mt Cook…

A few months ago I organised to do Alpine Guides Mountain Experience Course out of Mt Cook Village, doing travel pieces for the Dominion Post in Wellington and Australian Geographic  Outdoor Magazine. I set of for Mt Cook Village last Sunday, not too sure what I had got myself into, but excited about the thought of learning mountaineering skills and having an adventure around some of the best mountaineering in NZ.

Aoraki (Mt Cook) poking out the clouds I drove towards my adventure…
Arriving into Mt Cook Village and the Alpine Guides desk I was quickly introduced to Martin and Tara, who would be on the adventure with me and then to Mark Austin-Cheval, our intrepid guide for the week. This was our group that we would be eating, sleeping, climbing and learning together for 7 days. We sat down and Mark informed us of the weather and the plan for the week. ‘The weather is great and we are leaving for the Mueller Hut tomorrow morning for 4 days…’ Gulp, straight into it. He then instructed us to pull out all of our belongings from what we had packed and place … Read Full Post