Lake Matheson, South Island, New Zealand by Trevor Duncan

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Picture Story

In a land of incredible natural beauty, Lake Matheson in New Zealand's South Island must surely rank right up with the most beautiful spots. Being perfectly positioned to reflect the country's two tallest mountains, Mt Cook and Mt Tasman it manages to further enhance the scene by providing an incredibly blue, mirror-like surface which comes about from the leeching of natural, organic matter from the surrounding forest.

There is an easy 1.5 hour walk from the car park through an ancient rainforest which surrounds the lake and, around the halfway mark a pontoon has been constructed to make the most of this picture postcard photo opportunity.

We had originally planned the stop-over at Fox not to visit the lake but to take a helicopter up onto the surface of the glacier. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately as it turned out, 100 kph winds in the mountains definitely put paid to any ideas of a helicopter ride. On inquiring at the local information desk what else we could do, one of the things that was suggested was a visit to the lake which was duly undertaken after lunch. On my first sighting of this view, I could see the potential for it to produce a stunning image if the wind were to die down and allow the surface to glaze over. With this in mind, I deposited the non-photographer members of my group in front of the fire at the hotel just before sunset and ventured out to the pontoon once again.

On arrival, I found that, although the wind had abated markedly, it was still strong enough to spoil any ideas of the reflection shot that I had envisaged. It took a further 30 or 40 minutes of sitting in near freezing conditions before I was finally able to set up and capture this image.

With the light now fading quickly and, stupidly not having thought to bring a torch, I had to make a very quick trip back to the car park and thence to the warm comfort of the hotel dining room.


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