The Dart River – An adventure to Middle Earth

Last week I had a commercial shoot up the Dart River, near Glenorchy, for a client that I can’t disclose at this point. It was a very specific location shoot and the only access to the area was by jet boat. Armed with my shiny new Aquatech underwater housing for my Canon 5D mk II, a thick wetsuit, and strong insect repellent, we shot off up the Dart River in search of water… I was very excited about this shoot, as I had not been up the Dart River before, this is where they filmed a lot of Lord of the Rings. Not to be disappointed by the breathtaking scenery, it was to be a good adventure.

The Dart River

With the jetboat full of the crew and gear we wound our way up the beautiful river, stopping often to shoot some photos. We were aiming for a couple of the smaller rivers that fed the Dart. After some very skilled jet boat driving we were at a stunning location where I was to put on my wetsuit and submerge my 5D for the first time.

Olly Chapman and his skilled jet boat driving to get us where we needed to go in about 3 inches of water…

Location A – Clear glacial melt water, thick native NZ bush and snowy mountains.

The entrance into a narrow gorge, filled with aquamarine water

I spent a long time in the water, wallowing around having fun taking shots of different colours , movement, rocks and textures, getting the necessary shots for the clients marketing portfolio. I spent a while working on half in half out the water shots, illustrating the pure, unspoiled natural water and landscapes that NZ has to offer…

It was a very successful shoot, with only the sandflies and some high cloud against me, we got what we needed. I could have spent a lot longer up the Dart River, exploring the lush, pure land. I will be back… On the way back over the Crown Range to Wanaka, Lake Wakatipu shone gold in the evening light. I pulled over to get a few snaps of the Lake harboring its dwelling of Queenstown, this is why I must have a camera with me at all times in this beautiful country. I love you NZ…