Hello! I’m Mike White. I’m a landscape and astro-photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I love the fact that I get to be able to call New Zealand “home”. I love exploring the diverse beauty of our landscapes and have created this site to share that passion with you.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing New Zealand’s beautiful night skies. On a clear winter’s night, the Milky Way stretches high overhead, easily visible to the naked eye as a stunning backdrop to a wide variety of beautiful landscapes. I’ve always had an interest in astronomy and spaceflight so being able to use photographic techniques to record images of the night sky is a great way to blend these two things together.
I’m inspired by the photographic works of many artists including Craig Potton, Andris Apse who have both created amazing images that capture the landscapes of New Zealand. I’ve also always enjoyed the classic work of Ansel Adams – I was fortunate enough a couple of years back to visit Yosemite National Park in California and spend some time in the Ansel Adams Gallery. Astrophotography is a field of photography that had, for a long time, been restricted to a niche group of scientists rather than photographers. The technology needed is now more affordable than ever before and has allowed more people to participate in the subject and a couple of local photographers (NZ-based astro-photographers Mark Gee and Paul Wilson) have produced some beautiful work that has inspired me to explore my own capabilities in this area.
This site will continue to grow and evolve. I hope to soon share my thoughts and advice as I continue my photographic journey.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my work.
My thoughts on photography...
Photography is a powerful tool for sharing the beauty of our natural world.
Landscapes are forever changing yet I think we often view them as something that will always be there. Powerful natural forces are constantly at work, sculpting the environment, often subtly, though sometimes aggressively. The impact of humans on the natural landscape has become increasingly visible and it saddens me to see the negative effects of humans interacting with our natural environment.
To me, photography is a positive way to engage with the natural world around us. It challenges you to get outdoors, whatever the weather, to seek out new experiences and places to visit. It is also interesting to revisit favourite locations, often in different conditions or at different times of the day, to capture the effect of these changes within the landscape.
My goal as a photographer is to share images that accurately reflect the scene as I saw it at the time it was captured while also serving to capture something of the feeling of the experience. I find it incredibly satisfying though when I’m able to bring all the elements together to capture a perfect moment. It’s not easy and the challenge is its own reward.
“Did you photoshop that?” is now a common question to be asked by a viewing public saturated with advertising and marketing images that often bear little resemblance to reality. There is nothing wrong with images that are more creative or artistic in their interpretation so long as the viewer is clear about what they are being shown. With landscape photography, I generally approach post-processing with a light hand to ensure the story being told is in tune with my thoughts at the time of opening the shutter. Post-processing for my astrophotography images requires a delicate touch to maintain a natural-looking image that builds on a modern camera’s ability to record details and colours that the naked eye struggles with. While these particular images do not reflect what you could expect to see in a physical sense, without the aid of a camera, I hope they convey the sense of awe that I feel when I’m out under the stars.
Finding that I had a little more time to spare, I joined the Christchurch Photographic Society a little over a year ago. It’s a decision I wish I’d made a lot sooner in my photographic journey (but the realities of life do have to be accepted sometimes!) I’ve very much enjoyed the camaraderie, conversation and competition that is provided in the club environment. I have enjoyed putting forward some of what I consider to be my best work to be evaluated in the many competitions that are run throughout the year. The feedback from the judges about my work, and also that of others, is helpful in refining my style and technique. I have met some fantastic people since joining C.P.S. and it’s great to have a conversation with others that share your passion (true in any aspect of life to be fair!) – though the conversations often head off on a tangent and those are not any less interesting! I can easily recommend checking out your local club to anyone with more than a passing interest in photography.