Who doesn't love all those colourful Lupins flowers photos we've been seeing from New Zealand ?
Would you like to find out more about seeing & shooting them for yourself ?
Well , keep reading & I'll help you out !
Hi everyone, well social media accounts have sure been showcasing lots of beautiful photos from the Lupins Flowers season in New Zealand. This really has become a very popular spectacle for Landscape Photographers. And why wouldn't it, it is a really visually stunning spectacle to see & photograph. I recently took a group of clients on a Lupins Tour in New Zealand's South Island & thought I'd share some valuable information & tips with you so you can go and shoot the Lupins yourself.
Being a regular visitor to New Zealand I find the seasons really change from year to year, this is based on weather conditions & contributing factors such as rainfall & soil temperature. The Lupins bloom generally lasts approximately 6 weeks & is usually November - December, I would suggest "prime time" to be somewhere between middle November & early December. We were there in early December & the bloom was a tremendous spectacle with large numbers of Lupins & a vibrant range of colours.
You will find the Lupins flowers spread out in most areas throughout the South Island especially areas around water such as rivers, streams & lakes. I would, however, say that there is one area in particular that is a clear standout & regularly has large numbers of dense lupins & vibrant colour ranges of flowers. The region is known as McKenzie District and the main towns are Twizel, Tekapo & Omarama. To the south-west of Omarama on highway 8 you also have the famous Lindis region (well known for the Lindis Pass) & this area too holds thick fields of lupins.
Either Twizel or Tekapo townships are great towns to base yourself & have quality accommodation & dining options available. As a self-confessed coffee snob & food enthusiast, I have a couple of favourite local haunts I always visit in this region, Poppies Cafe in Twizel is great coffee & all the food here is outstanding, Kohan Japanese Restaurant in Tekapo is also a great option for dinner.
HOW TO SHOOT -
When it comes to photographing the Lupins there are definitely a few shooting tips that will help your images stand out.
1./ Think about your compositions, you want to keep it simple, a lot of lupins in your foreground and quite close to the camera, a good rule is 2/3 lupins 1/3 background or sky. Always consider & look at both shooting formats landscape & portrait (I call portrait "vertical").
2./ Use manual focus & focus sharply on some lupins quite close to the camera in your foreground you want the lupins nice & sharp.
3./ There is 2 lens types I use, a wide angle like 16-35mm for the whole landscape style image, & a 70-200mm zoom for more of a compressed "arty" look where you may shoot at f2.8 aperture and look to sharply focus one flower & give a deliberately blurred look to the rest of the image.
4./ Use an aperture somewhere between f8 & f18 depending on the depth of field you are trying to achieve, the higher the f-stop number the more depth of field or area in focus you will have.
5./ Use a fast shutter speed ! This is really important as its rare that there won't be some wind moving the lupins in your foreground and you really want to try & "freeze" the shot sharply so you don't get any blurred flowers from swaying in the breeze. Once you've set your aperture & shutter speed you can adjust the cameras ISO setting to auto to allow you to achieve a faster shutter speed. (An example of good settings would be f8 aperture, 1/250th of a second shutter speed & Auto ISO).
The Kiwi locals really are great people and I'm sure you'll find them very friendly & hospitable if you're planning on jumping a fence to shoot its good manners to take a drive up to the farmhouse & ask the owner for permission. I do ask though when you're in New Zealand please be aware of the pristine environment around you & look after the place for future generations, do the right thing by mother nature.
Well, that's about it, I hope the above info helps you out with your Lupins Photography adventure & I'm sure you won't be disappointed with a trip to New Zealand, it's an incredible part of the world with SO MANY Landscape Photography opportunities.
If you'd like to join my Lupins Photography Tour or any of my various season Tours take this link to my website for more info - New Zealand Photo Tours
All the best & happy shooting Brett.