Kah Kit Yoong

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The Gift

A single exposure from a night sky. Full write up of this shoot on my blog this week. http://www.magichourunplugged.com/2013/05/09/return-to-the-sea/Announcements on my facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/MagicHourTravelscapes

Spellbound

Shot this on my workshop last year when I was down to my portrait prime lenses and my D-SLR semi-functional. The D-SLR I used for this was later written off due to water damage. Fortunately it was working well enough to capture this gorgeous sunset at Matheson.

Frozen Visage

Here's one of my faves from 2012 which I shot on my last New Zealand workshop, where I was experimenting with a no-itinerary tour. The flexibility afforded by this worked out really well. It's the featured photo on my latest blog titled "A Stretch of the Imagination". www.magichourunplugged.com/2013/01/02/a-stretch-of-the-im...

The Wind From the West

Here's a photo from my first shoot in New Zealand this year. It's the featured photograph on my latest blog where I reveal 'the secret sauce about photography'. An excerpt about the image from the blog : "The lake surface was way too choppy to record any reflections. I know many people would just slap on a big stopper to calm down the water, but my preference was to go for a fast shutter speed and emphasize the incoming waves splashing over the rocks. Since Lake Tekapo is usually photographed to convey a sense of serenity and peacefulness, I wanted to show its dramatic visage, make people endure the wind whipping at their faces and feel the cold spray off the crashing waves." www.magichourunplugged.com/2012/11/12/the-secret-sauce/

Invisible

Fog on the Kootenay Plains in Bighorn Country, Canada.

A Moment of Clarity

Time for another landscape. I fished out a block of ice for my New Zealand workshop participants to photograph. Speaking of which I've stood in my shorts barefoot in these lakes a few times and it's bloody cold!

Caressing the Sea

This was the first landscape I shot this year. I just uploaded it to my new official facebook page along with a discussion about which images photographers would put up on their own walls. Feel free to share your thoughts and images on the thread. https://www.facebook.com/MagicHourTravelscapes I also featured it some time back on a blog article which turned out to be one of my most popular. http://www.magichourunplugged.com/2012/01/19/the-softly-spoken-landscape/

Dawn Stars

From the incomparable west of coast of New Zealand this is currently my most well known photograph, successful in both the 2011 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Windland Smith Rice awards. I will be a guest speaker at the Auckland Museum when the WPOTY exhibition opens in August 2012. I'll be discussing my coastal landscapes from around the world and New Zealand. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/default.asp?t=23&cid=&View=FullStory&eventsID=810 http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/comments.do?photo=2705&category=48&group=1 When I was starting out in landscape photography, one of the first books I bought and still love was Joe Cornish's "First Light". I learnt a lot about the use of light from that book. Little did I know that several years later I would be having a discussion with him about one of my own photos as he was a judge at WPOTY. He had some nice things to say on the NHM website. "The words starfish, rock stacks and twilight do not do justice to this photograph. Brilliant use of light, colour and time, transforms this scene into an extra-terrestrial landscape." There's a nice selection of my New Zealand landscapes and wildlife photography on the BBC Wildlife website. http://www.discoverwildlife.com/gallery/new-zealand-landscape-photography-kah-kit-yoong Subscribe to the Magic Hour Travelscapes Facebook page (link above) for new photos, stories and announcements. Must be good 12 dislikes.

Southern Swell

This will be my last day of my 500px trial. So there may be a few uploads today :) Thanks to the support from the numerous followers, voters and those who just stopped by to comment. Even the dislikers ;) I will do a report on my blog next week on my experience here. Time will tell whether I become an ordinary, plus or awesome member. Back in 2009, I entered the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and one of my images, "Moody Moeraki", which is in my 500px gallery made it through to the final 100. I was all ready to go to London for the awards and exhibition when I received the most dreadful news - the photo had been disqualified on the grounds that it had received a commendation in another competition, even though the rules specified only 'prize winners' were ineligible. It dawned on me that this was truly the competition that mattered most to nature photographers and by far the toughest to succeed in. And that in my lifetime I might not have another chance - a devastating realization for me. To add insult to injury I passed through London on my way to Scotland that year and it pained me to see the advertisements for the exhibition at virtually every tube station. When in 2010, I received the news that I had done one better this year and achieved runners up in the landscape category, it was mainly a sense of relief that I felt. The photo which I had originally titled "Tendrils of Fury" was renamed "Southern Swell" by the British Natural History Museum. You may think the most important aspects of this achievement was exposure, prize and merchandising money or prestige but you would be wrong. It was meeting the photographers behind the other 100 images, hearing the stories behind them and the inspiration I received. All of which takes me back to social networking in photography. Although we see plenty of great photos on forums, let's not forget that there is a whole level of photography above what we see here and on other websites. People who we don't hear about on Facebook, twitter, flickr and yes 500px. I know these nature photographers spend months and sometimes years working to get their shots and don't have the time nor inclination to post photos on line. Where will you see their work? The pages of National Geographic and the Veolia/BBC WPOTY traveling exhibition and the annual Wild Photos symposium in London are places to start.

Into the Light

One of the most thrilling moments I've experienced in my lifetime was watching this oryx crest a giant dune in the Namib desert at last light surrounded by shadows. It remains a personal favourite and got me to the honour roll in the 2010 ICP awards founded by Art Wolfe and Burke Museum exhibit. Definitely an X factor moment that I was talking about on my recent blog article. http://www.magichourunplugged.com/2012/07/06/the-x-factor/ The best way to view this is on www.whytake.net with the lights off feature. http://whytake.net/NatureImages/147/1837/1/1

The Shining

A moment of heavenly light among snow storms near Queenstown while doing some last minute scouting before last years New Zealand workshop. It was also the first time I used my 70-300mm 4-5.6L lens.

Gothic Pinnacles

Earlier this year, I lamented the way landscape photography is practised these days in a blog article called "The Softly Spoken Landscape", link provided below. Whether we like it or not, the trophy hunt has become routine for many landscape artists. Many places that were not well known attractions before have suddenly become hotspots when their photogenic potential becomes known. I have done the trophy hunt routine myself - find a place, make my mark with it before it becomes photographed to death. When I photographed this location on Phillip Island in 2008, hardly anyone had heard of it let alone photographed it seriously. Today virtually every well known Australian seascape photographer has a shot in their portfolio. In hindsight I was fortunate to capture this on my first attempt during a weekend spent on the island. It ended up runners up in the ANZANG contest a couple of years back and I think still compares very well with the multitude of versions now out there. It will also be appearing in next year's Wilderness Society calendar. http://www.magichourunplugged.com/2012/01/19/the-softly-spoken-landscape/

The Valley of Fire

Storms in the Hooker Valley at sunrise. I had been planning to check out early that day to get to my next destination. A small opening in an otherwise very average sky spurred me on to sprint as fast as possible down to the valley to set up. I even left my camera bag and all my lenses bar the 16-35mm behind to make it there as fast as I could. The reward was a place in last year's ANZANG landscape honour roll and exhibition as well as publication in a National Geographic Traveller feature on New Zealand. As with 99% of my landscape images, this is from a single exposure using a neutral density filter to tame a wide dynamic range.

Symphony of a Thousand

A brilliant sunrise in the Catlins during my New Zealand workshop last year. To my surprise, it ended up winning the landscape category of Digital Camera's Photographer of the Year competition.

Moody Moeraki

An old classic of mine that has been published and exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic. I've just given it a make-over with some extra punch using Nik software Viveza.

Fractures

The magnificent southern alps of New Zealand. One of my favourites from 2010 when I spent 5 weeks travelling around the south island scouting for workshop locations. These crevasses are immense by the way, several storeys high. I'm putting up a few test shots to determine the optimal sizing for viewing on a variety of displays.