A Queenstown Photography Excursion Sponsored by Olympus
If you follow me on my socials you’ll know that I was recently whisked away to beautiful Queenstown with a whole bunch of incredible, talented folks to try out the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III.
I mean, what even is my life? I’m an ‘influencer, it seems. Who’d have thought? #BadInfluenceMaybe
It was, as expected, an absolute treat.
Now I’ve finally come back down to earth, so, as promised, I’m here to share that adventure with you. Buckle in …
A ‘Remarkable’ Adventure
I love photography. I mean, I am by no means a ‘photographer’ in any kind of professional sense of the word, but I do take a bucketload of photos.
The kids. My husband. The scenery. Food. Some more of the kids. The dog. The dog with the kids. The dog and the kids and food all at once #versatile
I take a LOT of pictures, and I’ve adored using my Olympus PEN E-P5 for the last few years, so when the chance to learn more about photography came about I was enthused. Totally enthused.
The fact that I’d be doing this learning in Queenstown: Bonus.
Land of the Long White Cloud
Have you been to Queenstown? No? GET ON A PLANE! Stat. OK, maybe not ‘stat’ … read this first.
I’d last visited 20+ years ago on a motorhome adventure around the South Island. My memories from that time included the feeling that I was in a place with magic in the air. You ever been somewhere like that? There is a kind of charged energy that lets you know you are somewhere really special.
As our plane made it’s odd circular descent, cycling down and around the snow capped mountains into Queenstown, we felt that crackle in the atmosphere.
Yep. Still magic.
Letting go of ‘Automatic’
Our group was not only fortunate enough to be trying out the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, we were graced with the company of some pretty talented folks on hand to show us exactly what it was capable of.
For a novice like me, that meant getting braver and staying off auto. I’d already seen my photography improve since this little motivational nugget from Arron Harivel at a ProBlogger Olympus workshop at a couple of years ago.
“You will learn so much more by making mistakes, than you will by getting things right by accident”
Kapow! Wisdom bomb, right?
The tilting touch panel LCD monitor and simple use set-up on this camera means that even a schmuck like me can try new things with photography. If I can, you can. Get off auto, baby.
With a bit of time to explore before the entire group arrived, a few of us were lucky enough to spend a little time in Arrowtown where I tasted the best Turkish Eggs I’ve ever had in my life at a little hole in the wall cafe called The Chop Shop.
If you go, don’t say I sent you #localsonly
A stop at the old Shotover Bridge is a must. Can you even with that water colour?
Time to cruise
For our first taste of what Queenstown had to offer the group’s lenses, we set sail on the Pacific Jemm for a Lake Wakatipu dinner cruise.
Not gross. Definitely not gross. Every bend in the lake offered up a new breathtaking vista to take in. If you’ve never seen Queenstown from the middle of the lake, you really need to book that into your life … yesterday!
The following morning, the incredibly generous Lisa from The Wandering Lens shared her wisdom and inspired us with her incredible images. Armed with our cameras and tips from Lisa we were ready for the next part of our adventure … which was certainly going to be epic.
Get in the Chopper!
Holy freaking cow, we were choppered up to the top of The Remarkables! If you have a bucket list, get your pen out now.
Thrilling. Nerve inducing. Awe Inspiring. Cliche producing … all of the things.
Baby Mac on top of the world!
Now I don’t know about you, but I like to follow my chopper rides with wine and cheese. Fortunately our itinerary saw us land the choppers smack bang in a winery. What are the chances?
Time to meet The Wanaka Tree
Did you know there is an Insta-famous tree? Well there is, and we were on our way to meet her #lucky
But first a little stop at a gorgeous Lavender farm where I was got so relaxed in the gift shop that I almost forgot to get back on the bus #sozguys #searchparty
“Hey lady, your mates are back on the bus already …”
And then we met the tree. She’s so freaking photogenic, no wonder she’s famous!
Another day, more magic
The following morning’s inspiration came care of my mate Rachel Devine, who got us motivated to use the light around us.
The camera is really designed to take everywhere with you. Lightweight and compact, plus the image stabilisation means that mums like me can snap the action as it happens. I was excited to not have to think too much about the wobble, and use my attention for the new tricks I was being taught by the experts on this trip.
I also played around with new lenses. I love the 45mm, it’s a great one for portraits and I was excited about the results I could get when I got home and back into the kids faces.
Glenorchy has my heart
We spent our last day as a group back on the road. Every inch of this place is a magnificent vista, with each wind in the road gifted us new, breathtaking landscapes to take in.
We found ourselves in the sweet Glenorchy. Oh wow, what a place! Middle-earth magic abounds.
We met a couple who had flown over from the Philippines just to have photos taken here in their wedding clothes. It is that pretty.
Queenstown, I’ll be back
It took about five minutes for me to fall in love with New Zealand again. I can’t believe I’ve not been back in those 20 years!
It’s so close too. 3 hrs in the plane, I could even manage that with Duke … maybe. If we’re not on a no-fly list at the last attempt at air travel with him *shrugs*
And hey, if anyone is thinking of grabbing one of these cameras there is a cool thing happening. It’s called Coffee with Olympus. It is a free 45 minute small group session with one of the Olympus team to give new owners of OM-D and PEN cameras a head start on operating their cameras. To register for a session head to www.olympus.com.au/coffeewitholympus.