Landscape Photography: Mount Sunday

I love winter hiking, the air is crisp, the mountains are snowy (although not as snowy as I’d like – it’s been a bit of a mild winter!), the sky is almost unbelievably blue, and the light has a slightly golden tone to it. All in all, a perfect recipe for photography.

These images are from a visit to Mount Sunday, and the Ashburton Lakes area. I was introduced to Mount Sunday by Andrei & June who asked me to photograph their wedding here back in March. I knew at first sight of the place that I would HAVE to come back in winter to take some landscapes, and it didn’t disappoint.

As you can see from the panorama image, Mount Sunday is a very small nugget of rock nestled in the middle of a glacial valley, it’s a short (but steep) walk and provides a beautiful view of the headwaters of the Rangitata from the top.

Mount Sunday, Edoras, Ashburton Lakes, Canterbury New Zealand
Panorama of Mount Sunday
Mount Sunday, Edoras, Rangitata River, Canterbury, New Zealand
The view from Mount Sunday towards the headwaters of the Rangitata River.
Lake Roundabout, Ashburton Lakes, Canterbury, New Zealand.
View over Lake Roundabout on the way to visit Mount Sunday
Tussock and stream, near Mount Sunday, Ashburton Lakes, New Zealand. Edoras.
Late afternoon sunlight on some tussock on the approach to Mount Sunday, in the Canterbury High Country, New Zealand.

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Landscape Photography: Cass

I’ve wanted to visit the little red railway station at Cass since I fell in love with Rita Angus’ painting (simply titled Cass, 1936) when I was a teenager studying Art History.

It was – and still is! – my favourite painting. It has a rhythm in the foothills and mountains that speaks of her joy in the place, and the striking shade of red that the station is painted is so iconic in rural New Zealand.

I have seen the roadsign that points to Cass from the main road to Arthur’s Pass and always thought “I should really stop there one day…”. Well, that day finally came.

We were on an escape-from-the-city driveabout to the mountains and as soon as I wistfully said “I’ve always wanted to visit there…” as we were once again driving past the road sign Greg said “Let’s do it!”, and turned the car around. I’m so glad he did, it totally exceeded my expectations and was barely changed (other than the size of the trees!) from when Rita Angus painted it.

I took a bunch of shots (some of which I have in mind for a mosaic piece) but my favourite is the straight-on shot using my Lensbaby Muse (with single glass optic) which gives it an air of softness and nostalgia. The Lensbaby’s system of creating blur also suggests a bit of movement, a subtle homage to the joyous movement Rita Angus has put into the hills and mountains in her painting.

Cass Station, Canterbury, New Zealand. Art Photography by Astrid Erasmuson.

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Lake Coleridge Panorama (Triptych)

Went for a beautiful drive up to Lake Coleridge last weekend: howling wind but still so hot that a dip in the cool water of the lake was too tempting to refuse.
This image was taken at the base of the Harper River where it enters Lake Coleridge – a stunning spot for salmon fishing, unfortunately no takers for the angler in the image that day!

I can’t wait to print this out as a triptych for my own wall. I think the 3 differently sized panels will give the finished artwork lots of drama so it’s going to have a LOT of impact!

 Lake Coleridge, Canterbury, New Zealand

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All in the Past (Part 6) – Prague & Munich

The Final Leg

Next I went to Prague. I chose to visit Prague as photos I’d seen online looked cool – as good a reason as any! From recollection it was a toss-up between Prague and taking a boat up the Danube from Vienna to Budapest. I still wish I’d had time to visit both, but decisions needed to be made, so decide I did. It’s a beautiful city, and very entertaining to explore – more gorgeous architecture, churches, castles, galleries, bridges, cheap (but excellent) food & beer… the list goes on, but the gem of it all (for me) was the House of the Black Madonna. Not only was there fabulous artworks and architecture on display in the Muesum of Cubism, but the Grand Café Orient served coffee equal to any I’d sampled in Europe, and definitely the best cake of my holiday (I’d made it my mission to try cake & coffee somewhere new each day – good thing I was walking as much as I could rather than using public transport!) – light in texture but rich chocolate, with a thin layer of apple conserve on top. Hands down the best cake I tried, and believe me I tried a LOT of cakes.

Onwards to München, to visit a cousin. Conincidentally (well, not that coincidentally, I figured if I was going all the way to Europe and finishing the trip in Munich I could at least co-ordinate it so that I departed Europe in October) the Oktoberfest was in it’s final weekend when I arrived. I dragged the cousin (Heidi) along, elbowed my way in to one of the large tents (it becomes obvious pretty quickly that you’re not going to get in unless you elbow your way to the front of the throng of people trying to get in), shared a stein of beer and a pretzel the size of my head with Heidi, bought an over-priced stein glass as a momento (which survived 30+ hours of travel to make it back to New Zealand (including being thrown about by baggage handlers for about 4 different planes, but did not survive the February 22nd 2011 Christchurch Earthquake) and then left the madness for civilisation (crowds of incoherently, almost legless, drunk people aren’t really my scene. Unless I’m similarly inebriated, but it seemed everyone else was WAY ahead of me there, and the cousin wasn’t overly keen, so… ). I took a day trip up to Hohenschuangau (beautiful countryside, cute wee village, and 2 beautiful castles), and did the rounds of galleries & churches. Then, I did some shopping. As much as I LOVE galleries & properly old churches, after 5 weeks I was getting just a teeny bit over the beauty and the drama.  And a little home-sick. It was definitely time to go home.

I’d love to go back, and to see more of some of the countries I visited than just a major city.









All in the Past is a series of images that I took over a 5 week trip to Europe a few years ago. It was my first overseas trip, on my own, all alone. 
Well, mostly alone. I met up with friends whenever our paths crossed (in Paris and again in Rome) and spent a few days with relatives in Vienna and Munich.

The rest of the series can be found here:

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