New Zealand – Last Light on the Southern Alps

This photograph was taken from a chartered helicopter flight with the doors off (for better photography) at an altitude of approximately eleven thousand feet just as the sun was sinking below the horizon. Mount Tasman can be seen on the left and it’s taller brother Mount Cook (the tallest mountain in New Zealand) to its right. Fox Glacier can be seen in the lower right hand corner of the frame. There is something quite magical and elusive about Alpine Glow. The normal crisp clean whites of the snow and ice are cast in pink and mauve hues that add a wonderful dimensionality and colour that exists for only a few brief minutes when the conditions are perfect. I was very fortunate to be in this spectacular location with perfect weather in the dead of winter and to be able to photograph a wonderful example of Alpine Glow.This photograph was technically quite challenging. The light levels were already very low which meant punching the camera’s ISO right up to 800 in order to keep a shutter speed of at least 1/400th of a second. Shutter speeds of at least 1/400th of a second are needed to avoid any camera shake as a result of the helicopters vibration. I find the Canon EOS 1DSMK3 excellent up to ISO800 so was able to capture this image and apply minimal noise reduction in post processing and achieve an extremely clean tack sharp photograph.

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