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Volcanic View | Mount Ruapehu

In mid-winter, we traveled down the interminable Pipiriki Road to the muddy Whanganui River. On the return trip, we arrived back at the road saddle, where this stunning landscape presented itself. Mount Ruapehu (2,797m) is the highest hill in the North Island, presiding over the bush and farmland that encircles it.

Firstly, I pointed my wide-angle lens at the scene - the obvious choice for landscapes - set at a focal length of 32mm. While the composition is quite aesthetically pleasing, much of the frame is full of dark shadows, and the primary subject matter - the volcano - is not prominent.

pipiriki saddle view of mt ruapehu

The solution? I fitted a 70-200mm telezoom lens onto the camera. This has compressed the perspective, giving the illusion that the rolling green hills in the foreground are quite near to Mount Ruapehu. In Maori, it means the exploding pit. This snow-crusted monolith of glaciers, craters and towering peaks is now dominant, obviously the main subject of my photograph. (See below).

The composition still appears balanced, albeit in a more symmetrical way. The most essential 'rule' for landscape photos is to always have a foreground and a background, to create the illusion of depth. In this image, the foreground and background contrast beautifully, with strikingly different colour schemes.

volcano view of mt ruapehu nz

Camera Settings: Canon EOS 5D MkIII | f/11 | 1/8 sec | ISO 100 | Focal length: 90mm


Do you prefer the wide or telephoto image? Please leave a comment below this blog.

Or... follow along with me as I processes my best images in Photoshop. Enroll in the landscape masterclass, LOCATIONZ where you can fast-track your own photography journey, saving years of mucking around.


Keywords: landscape photography north island nz, new zealand landscape photography, wilderness, ruapehu, tongariro, volcano, mountain, national park, nz, south island nz,

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