The wilderness at its quietest
Words & photos: Christopher David Thompson
April 26, 2019
Every Tuesday, photographer and gallery owner Christopher David Thompson (of The Picture Lounge in Wanaka, New Zealand) escapes to the wild. Constrained by the time demands of a six-day retail week, he’s adapted to make the most of his one day off. Mountain trail or out on the water – he’s open to any adventure, as long as the going is quiet and the views likely to be spectacular.
‘A Storm of Lightness’, Lake Hāwea
“Being limited to one day off a week means I mostly do day-hikes, heading out somewhere for the afternoon, shooting over the dusk and then walking back out or down in darkness.”
‘Sunlit Gates’, Maniototo
“I time my day off for mid-week, as this is the quietest time for the gallery. It also means I get to avoid the weekend crowds. Tuesday is a wonderful day to be out in the solitudes of the wilderness.”
‘Amaranthine Wonders’, Fiordland National Park
“I spend a lot of time in the mountains, well technically it’s just high country, I guess. I’m not an alpinist (yet). There’s nothing quite like a good hike with the wind between your ears to blow out all the stress and worry of everyday life. The mountains have become my solace and freedom.”
‘New Dawn, New Day, New Year’, Mackenzie District
“With photography, I’ve found the more effort you put in, in terms of physical exertion, the better the result tends to be artistically. Or perhaps it’s just the relaxed mental state the exertion provides that then leaves you in a better space to interpret your environment.”
‘A Forest of Greens’, Fiordland National Park
“I love exploring the backcountry, staying well away from the over-trodden tourist trails. After dealing with people all week in the retail environment, I guess the aim is to get as far away from humanity as possible.”
‘Reflecting on the Immaculate’, Lake Wanaka
“As a photographer, I think my role is perhaps more as a designer, to find a way to best arrange all those natural elements that I am witnessing, within the specific frame of the shot.”
‘Plethora’, Mount Aspiring National Park
“I love drama in nature - moody and sometimes even violent weather being my favorite environment to be out in. Those conditions will never be repeated exactly the same ever again, whereas blue sky (while beautiful) is blue sky is blue sky.”
‘Salt & Pepper’, Wanaka
“I look for art in the landscape, and nature is the greatest artist of them all.”
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