Dramatic and extraordinary landscapes from around the world. In this series of wide-format images, I explore the timeless nature of unique locations using colour and sepia tone, which emulates analogue lithographic techniques. The compelling monochromatic style creates strong images which inspire the imagination and provoke conscious consideration. Through this portfolio of striking photographs, I present my artistic perspective of the world using a clear narrative style. These photos of beautiful scenery evoke a desire to visit foreign places and to experience their distinct atmosphere.
Click here to view Auckland Festival of Photography page
the grey place • 6 june – 20 june
Where: 37 Scanlan St, Grey Lynn
The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of these pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built. The Pyramid of Khufu is the largest one and is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.
The “Christ Pantocrator” mosaic is glowing beautifully on the ceiling at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. I placed my camera’s back on the floor with the lens pointing up to create this awesome perspective. I took this photo back in 2014 and when I visited the church again in 2020 the floor area was fenced off.
This cement factory in Israel operates nonstop 364 days a year. Nesher’s main plant is one of the largest cement plants in the world. I saw the bright lights on numerous occasions as I drove back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and just had to visit the location. I parked my car right outside the gate in pitch darkness and climbed the soft dunes beside it to get a prominent vantage point.
Remnants of a Turkish railway station water stop tower Nitzana, Israel.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem Old City. According to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, it contains the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula showing at the bottom of this photo. Within the church proper are the last four stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination. The technical challenge is to compensate for the bright highlight of the opening together with the beautiful dark stone.
In this is composite set we are looking up at the ceiling of Silo Six, in Wynyard quarter at Auckland waterfront. I created these photos on my first visit to the silos and was amazed with edgy texture of the exposed concrete. Each of the silos is 7.4-meter diameter and they were used to store cement in the sixties. I held my first photo exhibition inside this beautiful structure. I love experimenting with patterns to create an illustration out of real-life objects. I find the process of creativity improves my skills to see the world in a different and unique way. It only works if the images are complementing each other in synergy.
Located in Downtown Vancouver, the city’s grand central library looks awesome, with a colonnaded surround reminiscent of a Roman amphitheatre. I was lucky to visit the site early morning before rain started to fall and love the grungy look of the exposed concrete.
located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, The Dome of the Rock is one of the three holiest Islamic shrines in the world. It was initially built in 691 on the site of the Second Jewish Temple and destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem. The original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1023. Being one of Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to belief, the rock inside the mosque is the spot from which the Islamic prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. Usually packed with tourists and locals, I was the only one to visit the site early morning when the forecast was for snow. It was so cold that there was no one on site and I could get a beautiful reflection off the wet marble stones just before the storm.
I saw this stunning array of tiny houses at NGV International in Melbourne. The artwork had a single spotlight that rotated continuously. I placed my camera very low and captured the stark shadow without any clutter in the background. This image won a Silver medal at the North Shore Salon national competition.
This is the courtyard of Mohamed Ali’s Mosque in Cairo. This iconic mosque is built inside the fort walls of Salah Eldin Citadel and one of the most famous Islamic monuments in Egypt. This panoramic image is comprised of seven frames.
I photographed this beautiful underpass of two merging lanes on my last visit to Vancouver. The merging lanes were about six meters above me so I was looking for an angle that created sufficient drama with the share arrow figure. I then enhanced the surface of the concrete with high dynamic range processing. But something was missing. The final touch was placing the bird on the bottom left. It balanced the photo and provided a sense of scale.
I visited Dunedin in the Autumn of 2018 attending the Photographic Society or New Zealand National convention. The Tunnel Beach field trip looked promising, so I was out by 6 am together with twenty other photographers hoping for good weather. We arrived on-site before sunrise and went down the steep path in pitch darkness. I picked a location to start shooting but when daylight broke, I was overwhelmed with the sheer beauty and magnificence of the place! The cliffs were simply majestic and the waves were crashing with brute force of mother nature.
I fell in love with the place and returned the next morning. This time I was more focused and picked some new locations, spending another three hours to capture photos from different angles. When the conference finished, I rented a car and drove to the beach for the third time. I felt that this is a unique place and wanted to go down the stairs to capture some photos from below before the tide came in (in most similar locations there is no access to the beach so photos can be taken from the cliff top only). This time there was no one there and the clouds were awesome! I spent another three hours capturing the beauty of these rocks!
The long 30 seconds exposure creates a sense of mystery and displays beautiful motion. The harsh waves turn into soft mist as they break onto the sharp rocks, swirling around the rocks and leaving a trail as the water recedes. The clouds flow over the sky, creating a soft, blurred blanket against the stunning cliffs. The long exposure captures time and creates remarkable landscape photography of dramatic scenery.
For centuries the Southern Ocean and its salt-laden wind have sculpted the sandstone coastline south of Dunedin. The outcome is a line of magnificent high cliffs, arches and headlands that provide endless vantage points for breathtaking views. The track downhill leads to the spectacular, rocky coastline. The hand carved rock tunnel gives Tunnel Beach it’s name. Built in the 1870s, the passage allows access to a secluded and sheltered beach at the base of the cliffs. In the 1870’s John Cargill excavated a tunnel down to a secluded beach so that the family could bathe in privacy. The beach has massive sandstone boulders, mysterious graffiti carved into the cliffs and a dangerous rip that sadly drowned Cargill’s youngest daughter.
The Chicken and the Egg are located at the White Desert national park in Egypt along the border with Libya. These massive chalk rock formations were created as a result of occasional sandstorms in the area.
I love the drama of the Cumulonimbus clouds. They are associated with thunderstorms and heavy rain as they are relatively close to the ground.
After buying a large plywood sheet and 20 KG of clay, my daughter helped in creating a rugged surface with craters domes to resemble a lunar surface. Once the clay dried up I used glue to stick it to the wood and asked my neighbours to help in moving it onto the roof where I had clear view of the night sky. I then placed two flash strobes on tiny tripods to create dramatic shadows. I then position the camera really low and extremely close to this iconic lemon juicer by Philippe Starck. This futuristic squeezer ranks among the greats of modern design with a place in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Starck is rumoured to have said: “It’s not meant to squeeze lemons, it is meant to start conversations.”
Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic symbol of New York City. It is packed with tourists during the day, so I had to visit the place very early in the morning. I could not use my tripod because the pedestrian walkway constantly vibrates due to the six lanes of heavy traffic below it. The sky did not offer the desired drama on my first five visits, but I was very pleased with the outcome once the clouds showed up finally. It was the first bridge to span across the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Opening in 1883 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
I was lucky to spend a few weeks in Manhattan in 2018 but the sky was mostly overcast or clear. One morning these clouds showed up and I knew I had to visit the Empire State Building. I waited for the traffic to stop for a minute and walked to the middle of Fifth Avenue to create this awesome photo early morning as the sun came out. Completed in 1931, this 102-story Art Deco skyscraper stood as the world’s tallest building until the construction of the World Trade Center in 1970. It took only thirteen and a half months to complete the building, on time and on budget! Being a symbol of New York City, around 4 million tourists visit the building’s observatories every year. As an American cultural icon, it featured in more than 250 TV shows and movies since the film King Kong was released in 1933.
Trellick Tower is an eclectic residential building located on the Cheltenham Estate in Kensal Town, London. Opening in 1972, it was commissioned by the Greater London Council and designed in the Brutalist style by architect Ernő Goldfinger. It was too sunny when I first visited the site so I had to wait for another day with the right formation of clouds to enhance the tower’s gritty and ominous look. I love the leading lines, the texture of the bare concrete and the unique windows.
Ecce Homo by Mark Wallinger is a life-size marble sculpture of Jesus Christ with his hands tied behind his back and a crown of barbed wire. It was standing at the entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in partnership with Amnesty International. When looking at this photograph, many people think that this is a real person and I think that is very cool as it was challenging to get the right texture from the white marble! I love the leading lines and the majestic arches with the massive columns on both sides.
Tate Modern – LondonTate Modern is the largest art gallery in London. It is located inside the old Bankside Power Station. It is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world with more than 6 million visitors annually, making it the second-most visited in Britain, after the British Museum. I love the pattern of the old bricks against and the misty clouds!
We spent the night at the bottom of Ross Creek Reservoir. This is one of the oldest artificial lakes in the country, and the oldest water supply reservoir still in use in the country. It was created in the 1860s to provide water for the city of Dunedin, at that time in the middle of its rapid expansion due to the Otago goldrush. I love the leading lines and the shades of green against the dramatic clouds at sunrise.
I was attending a photography conference in Rotorua when I borrowed this wonderful wide-angle lens. I went out early in the morning to take photos of Redwood forest to create this one. I love the leading lines and the texture of the trees. I obviously ended up purchasing this beautiful lens…
I injured my toe that morning so it took me more than 20 minutes to limp the 200m from the car park to these Remarkable rocks at Flinders Chase National Park in Kangaroo Island. The large rock is about four stories tall and this photograph is a stitch of twelve images. It was important to show the gaps so I moved slightly when creating this panorama. These giant granite boulders look awesome at sunset with the harsh shadows and the hint of clouds in the sky.
This is one of the beautiful spots along Australia’s Great Ocean Road. I love the rugged splendour of these magnificent rocks that rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean on Victoria’s dramatic coastline.
It was a cold morning in Siena, Italy when we arrived at the Piazza del Campo square which is usually packed with tourists. I asked the family to stop behind me and quickly took ten photos to create this panorama. I then enhanced the contrast in the sky to bring out the clouds and to create the drama. Palio di Siena is a horse race that is held twice a year. Located in Tuscany, it is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity.
I was determined to photograph the monstrous stone gargoyles that guard the Notre Dame cathedral. My first attempt failed when the guard said no more visitors for the day. My second try failed because the guards went on strike! This photo was taken on my third attempt! Catching an up close glimpse of these grotesque creatures was one of the highlights of my visit to Paris trip, and well worth the 387 steps climb to the top when the cathedral is restored and opens to the public again. This one is actually a Grotesque, gargoyles are the ones that spout water from the roof.
Standing stoic and proud, these mythical birds and hybrid beasts are eerie witnesses to history. They were added during the reconstruction of the church in the 1840s. When the Nazis invaded the country during World War II, the gargoyles stood strong, withstanding a four-day German siege on the church.
It was a race against time as I kept pouring water on these stunning Moeraki Boulders in a desperate effort to get some reflections as the sun was going down quickly behind the horizon. I love the drama of the clouds against these giant spherical objects. The larger boulders are estimated to have taken 4 to 5 million years to grow while 10 to 50 metres of marine mud accumulated on the seafloor above them.
This old willow tree was standing in Glenorchy at the northern end of lake Wakatipu. I used the front headlights of our motorhome to light the tree in pitch darkness so that I could focus my camera. I placed the tripod cover on the grass. It was covered by frost when I picked it up ten minutes later! The moon is still up there.
The iconic Sky Tower is standing proud in Auckland’s Central Business District. More than 300 metres high, it is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The tower is constructed of high-performance reinforced concrete. Its 12-metre diameter shaft which contains four lifts and an emergency stairwell is supported by eight “legs” – one of these legs is showing prominently in this photo here. I love the grungy and edgy texture of the raw concrete and the silhouette against the sun in the sky.
The Guggenheim art museum is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art. Established in 1939 it moved in 1959 to a landmark work of 20th-century architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The cylindrical building, wider at the top than at the bottom, was conceived as a “temple of the spirit”. Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under the ceiling skylight. I placed my camera on the floor pointing up. I jumped to protect the camera when a visitor almost stumbled on it – I was then told off by security…
This pair of giants, rusty cogwheels are located at the top of Wynyard Wharf. I was at home hanging the laundry when I noticed the stunning clouds and rushed to the harbour. Weighing 16 tons, these awesome relics are from a steam dredge called “Whakarire” where they transmitted the power to the bucket chain. The vessel was built in Scotland in 1903 for service in Wellington Harbour until 1934, and thereafter in Napier until 1974, at which time she was scrapped in Auckland.
I noticed this open theatre in Melbourne CBD just outside NGV Australia. I placed the camera on a tiny tripod that I usually carry with me and made sure that the camera was set with a small f stop to ensure a large depth of field. I love the texture of the wood and the leading lines towards the horizon.
Trellick Tower is located on the Cheltenham Estate in Kensal Town, London. Opened in 1972, it had been commissioned by the Greater London Council and designed in the Brutalist style by architect Ernő Goldfinger. The tower was planned to replace outdated social accommodation, and designed as a follow up to Goldfinger’s earlier Balfron Tower in East London. It was the last major project he worked on, and featured various space-saving designs, along with a separate access tower containing a plant room.
High-rise apartments and Brutalist architecture were falling out of favour by the time the tower was completed, and it became a magnet for crime, vandalism, drug abuse and prostitution. Its fortunes gradually improved in the 1980s after the establishment of a residents’ association. Security measures were put in place and a concierge was employed, which led to lower crime levels. By the 1990s the tower had become a desirable place to live, and although it still contains predominantly social housing, demand for private flats has remained high. A local landmark, it has retained its distinctive concrete facade as a result. A fire broke out in 2017, but the concrete structure meant damage was limited, unlike the nearby Grenfell Tower. Trellick Tower has featured on film and television several times. The tower is 98 metres tall. It has a long, thin profile, with a separate lift and service tower linked at every third storey to the access corridors in the main building, which overall has 31 floors. Flats above and below the corridor levels have internal stairs, while the 23rd and 24th floors are taken up by maisonettes split over the two floors.
The service tower has two additional floors higher than the main building, which includes a projecting plant room that holds the main heating system. It is fully linked by stairs in addition to the lifts, and also has a refuse chute mechanism. The majority of the plant and the hot water storage tank is located in the plant room, which reduces the need for pumps and reduces the amount of pipework needed. Shorter pipe runs also reduce heat loss. The oil-fired boilers originally used became obsolete due to the 1973 oil crisis, the year after the tower opened. The flats now have electric heaters and the plant room, although disused, still houses most of the now defunct mechanism.
Goldfinger designed the entire tower block freehand on butcher’s paper. He planned various communal areas, and purposefully put slight variations in the structure so that each apartment would look different. Throughout, quality materials were used in construction, including better fixtures and finishing the balconies with cedarwood. It it was intended to be a good example of social accommodation alongside modern design.
Goldfinger had been encouraged to construct Trellick Tower by the London County Council. He took his inspiration from Balfron, where he had moved into one of the apartments in order to experience what life would be like for the tenants, and invited residents round for regular cocktail parties to tell him their likes and dislikes. This feedback was incorporated into the design of Trellick Tower. Many immigrants from the West Indies and the Caribbean settled in Trellick Tower, as for them it was one of the few affordable places to live in London. Construction costs ran to £2.4 million.
By the time Trellick Tower opened, high-rise tower blocks were becoming unfashionable. Goldfinger had intended that tenants should to be vetted for suitability, and petitioned the Council for the building to have proper security and a concierge but to no avail. This meant that the building was open access, and rough sleepers and drug criminals took up residence in its corridors. Drying rooms on the ground floor, designed by Goldfinger to stop tenants hanging laundry on the balconies, were vandalised before the tower block opened.
By the late 1970s Trellick Tower was a scene of crime and anti-social behaviour, and many tenants were very reluctant to move in. On one occasion vandals set off a fire extinguisher on the 12th floor, with water from the sprinkler system flooding the lifts and leaving the tower without electricity, heat or running water over the Christmas period. A pensioner was forced to use the stairs after all the lifts were out of order, and subsequently collapsed and died. On the 15th floor, a 27-year-old woman was dragged from one of the lifts and raped. The tower became nicknamed “The Tower of Terror” and residents attempted to be re-housed. In 1982 a man was killed after jumping off the top of Trellick Tower when his parachute failed to open. He was a member of a group of dangerous sports enthusiasts who were interested in jumping off fixed objects.
With the introduction of the “right to buy” council homes, several of the flats were bought by their tenants. On 8 October 1984 a new residents’ association was formed. As a result of pressure from the occupants, several security improvements including a door entry intercom system were installed and a concierge was hired in 1987. In 1994 residents in the tower, along with other residents in Kensington & Chelsea council properties, elected to self-manage the properties, in order to avoid increased rents and the threat of eviction.
In 1991 Sand Helsel, Professor of Architecture at RMIT, made a BBC documentary praising Trellick Tower, which helped to change public opinion in its favour. The tower subsequently became more respectable owing to its location in Notting Hill and the gentrification of Golborne Road. Property prices rose and flats in the tower came to be regarded as highly desirable residences; requests to sell flats began to be posted on the tower’s communal noticeboard. By 1999 a flat in the tower could sell for £150,000 (£239,000 as of 2016). The tower itself has become something of a local cult landmark and was awarded a Grade II listing in 1998, which included the main building and the adjacent row of shops and amenities.
On 19 April 2017 the top floors of the tower caught fire, believed to have been started by a discarded cigarette. There were no injuries. The building’s listed status meant that the concrete facade could not be covered over, which is thought to have prevented a far worse fire similar to Grenfell Tower which happened a few months later.
‘Sheer beauty’ of beach ‘overwhelming’
The Star, Thursday, May 31, 2018