Between Lake Tekapo and Twizel, in the Mackenzie District of New Zealand's South Island, there is a long sweeping bend on the highway from which the expanse of Lake Pukaki comes into view for the first time; and what a magnificent sight it is.
On most days, even the cloudy ones, the water is a beautiful turquoise-blue colour, and on the far shore, the Ben Ohau mountain range forms a perfect backdrop to the alpine scene. The peaks bordering the lake are relatively small compared to the highest summits a little further north - from 1,400m (4,600ft) or thereabouts to the highest around 2,500m (8,200ft) further back in the range. By contrast, Mount Cook, at the head of the lake, is 3,724m (12,200ft) high.
I stumbled across this image while passing through on the highway. A car park and look-out point are further from the sweeping bend. Mount Cook was shrouded in clouds and so mostly invisible; however, the stormy weather across the lake was full of mood and lighting contrast, with bright sunshine filtering through clouds over the lake.
In such weather, the symmetry and shapes of mountain ridges and peaks like this become more distinct and defined to our eyes. Being a lover of telephoto lenses for landscape photography, my lens choice was instinctive. Compressing the mountains from a distance, omitting most of the lake in the foreground, accentuated these shapes and lines and made the distant objects the focal point.
I did think about treating the photograph in black and white, but in the end, I felt that the muted blue and grey hues added to the wintery mood of the picture.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor