Laurie Thomas Landscape Salon
The Christchurch Photographic Society has a busy agenda with regular workshops, field trips, and competitions, but for many, the Laurie Thomas Landscape Salon is the highlight of the year’s events. The year 2018 marks the 22nd running of the event, and entries are currently open. The salon is named after late Christchurch Photographic Society member and landscape photographer Laurie Thomas, who explored the New Zealand landscape through the medium of slides. To keep things simple, the salon has a single category: digital images of the New Zealand landscape. Those not affiliated with the Christchurch Photographic Society are welcome to enter, and, if the 650-plus images entered into last year’s salon are anything to go by, it is one of the more popular inter-club competitions. The salon’s highest accolade last year went to James Gibson for his image A
Light in the Darkness. James captured the gold-medal-awarded image on a scouting trip to the Catlins in February 2017. With only around an hour and a half between astro twilight and moonrise, James didn’t have a lot of time to capture the shot he envisaged of the Milky Way arching above Nugget Point Lighthouse. And, while the image depicts the lighthouse calmly beaming its light out over the ocean, James says that it was anything but calm, with the wind picking up over the course of the photo shoot, meaning that, against his better judgement, he actually had to hold on to his tripod to prevent it from shaking during the 20-second exposures. It wasn’t until James got home to process
the images that he realized he had not only captured the lighthouse dwarfed by the Milky Way but also the yellow glow of the aurora. The image is made up of six photographs, with two rows of three portrait-oriented shots. James decided on an almostsquare aspect ratio, with the composition balancing the terrestrial elements of the headland and the lighthouse with the lights of the Milky Way, the aurora, and the Large Magellanic Cloud at the top right. With the path in the foreground leading you up beyond the lighthouse to the stars above, James says, “The title just made itself.” For the past three years, James has run weekend field trips and photo walks for the Christchurch Photographic Society with a focus on landscape-oriented photography. For the sake of variety, he has handed that mantle on to somebody else in the club but is still actively contributing. James has entered the salon every year since 2014 and has already submitted his images for this year. The salon is judged alternately in the North and South Island. This year, judging will be in the North, with judges Shona Jaray (APSNZ), Caroline Ludford (LPSNZ, LRPS), and Neil Gordon (APSNZ).
JAMES GIBSON, A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, CANON EOS 6D, SIGMA 20MM F/ 1.4 ART LENS, NODAL NINJA PANORAMIC HEAD, 20S, F/ 1.4, ISO 2500
BOB MCCREE, MYSTICAL METROPOLIS, NIKON D700, 1/400S, F/8, ISO 250
JENNIFER WILLIAM, LAKE GRASSMERE SALT PONDS, CANON EOS 5D MARK II, 1/640S, F/5.6, ISO 200