Auckland Harbor

In New Zealand!

After a crazy time in China, I am now in New Zealand for about a month.  This has been a truly adventurous trip, and it is exactly the kind of treasure I seek.  There is a part of me that always feels serene and harmonious when adventuring into the unknown.

We are looking for a new place to live, so we will be wandering around the South Island to look for some place cool. I’ll have more on an “official move” soon. People ask me all the time why I would move from USA to NZ, and I have a whole list!

And thank you for all the suggestions on where to stay in the South Island.  It’s a great list and we are still working through it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Auckland Harbor

When we were in Auckland last time, we had an amazing photowalk. There were so many people! A lot of us had our tripods as we moved around the city streets creating quite a spectacle. Afterward, we went to a nice little venue and I gave a talk on photography that I hope did not bore people!

During the walk, we stopped along the harbor in a few spots. There was a rotating metallic sculpture that grabbed everyone’s eye, so we popped over for a quick shot.

HDR Photo

  • casusan

    Beautiful clouds and sunset Trey – know it is pretty there – there was an aftershock in Christchurch today so am hoping you are all well and happy! Does the newsletter come tomorrow?

  • Yes – we felt the earthquake – felt 2 since I’ve been here!

  • You’re moving to the south island of NZ? That has been my plan since I traveled there back in 2002. I am so jealous. Now just to convince the wife and kids that if you can do it so can we 😉

  • What an interesting sculpture – this scene reminds me a tiny bit of Glasgow’s Clysdeside. That earthquake sounds exciting in a weird sort of way 🙂

  • Love the sun and clouds in this picture.

  • Patrick Ahles

    Great shot! These must be exciting times for you!

  • Gail in Montana

    Great capture of the sculpture and sunset at the harbor!!!! Are you sure you want to move there, lol ;-). We have small earthquakes in Montana, but that’s good as it releases the pressure that builds up. As long as Yellowstone doesn’t blow, we’ll be ok. Hope your search for just the right place yields a beautiful spot for you to move if you must. All the pictures you have posted of New Zealand are so beautiful, I can see why you made that decision. Besides, you will still be traveling throughout the world, bringing us more great photos. Good luck in your search!!! 🙂

  • petrov

    man when you will post a new hdr tutorial…..come on ?

  • There is no need for that petrov! What about your job in the US Trey? New Zealand is a wonderful place to live, but you shouldn’t STUCK there, we still want you to travel around the world and post more pictures! 🙂

  • Gail in Montana

    Trey, just looked at the newsletter!!!! Wow, great job. I see I have a lot of photos to save in My Trey Ratcliff folder in My Pictures, fantastic. Thanks for sharing more of your work in the newsletter, I love this one!!!! :-)) big smile

  • nice sky trey..

  • Been jealous of you hearing about your move over the past year or so. I’ll be spending 3 weeks in NZ a month from now myself, slowly traveling up the entire country. Have any recommendations as a photographer of things I shouldn’t miss? Highlights in general? Look forward to hearing more about your search!

  • kieran

    Hi Trey
    Why the move to NZ ?
    Best of luck to you and your family

  • I don’t like being too critical but this one seems too dark and the subject matter of the sculpture seems too centered. My eyes are split between the left and right.

  • Tony Isaac

    I like the shot, good luck with the house hunt. I want to move back to BC only a few points shy & few thousand dollars short of qualifing. At least you have a bit of time to look.
    The scenery is awesome down there.

  • James

    Another great sunset Trey. I bet you end up in Queenstown, I just know it. I’m in Christchurch myself and let me tell ya, these afterquakes are getting pretty old. After the first 1200 or so it was enough now its just lame.

  • Stephen

    definitely got to come to queenstown

  • Charlie – All of NZ is great — if you are into big mountains, be sure to hit the south island ! 🙂

    Kieran – a whole host of reasons I will post at some point in a future post…

    James – yes it might get old here with these earthquakes… no so sure my kids love them!

  • Roy

    Tell the kids they’re getting a free ride 🙂 Welcome to NZ!

  • Welcome to NZ – they don’t call it the land of the long white cloud for nothing! I figure the clouds make it more interesting anyway. Have a nice drive down and we might pass you in the middle; up to the mountains tomorrow to take some photos 🙂

  • phi-D

    Wow Trey, you’ll be in NZ? I’m living in South Island, Dunedin is the city. You should come here if you have time as there’s lot of fun place for HDR. give me a shout if you’re here as I might be your temporary tour guide 🙂

  • Simon Morris

    Great news Trey, you’ve finally made it to NZ… my family (wife and 7yr old son) moved here in March 2009 from the UK. We did a ‘recce’ during 2008 of both North & South Island to get a feel for things. In the end it was always going to be the South Island where we’d settle, and opted for Canterbury as it felt just right… we’re 30km north of Christchurch with beaches 20 mins, ski fields 75mins and all the excitement and amenities you could ask for.

    Please keep us posted with your movements… it’ll be great to link up with a photo walk in Christchurch…. PLEEEEEASE!!!

    Enjoy this amazing country, there’s so much to see… Castle Hill just off Arthur’s Pass is pretty cool for photographing.

  • Simon – Hey that is amazing. We did a big photowalk in Christchurch last trip… not this time… although we are currently here, poking all around at houses and whatnot!

    phi-D – Yes – been down there but not sure if I will go this trip or not. thanks for the invite!

  • Andrea Boyle

    I’m curious about the elephant in the living room so I’m going to ask: What are your reasons for moving? You said you had many…

    I have often fantasized about moving somewhere else–probably for similar reasons as yourself–but what made you choose New Zealand?

  • I’ll put together a big post on “why moving” soon!

  • kieran

    Hi Trey
    Thanks for your reply.
    By any chance did you win the state lottery in Texas ?

    Im spreading the word about you in Ireland so I hope you will give us a visit sometime,

    Its a big move to NZ so best of luck to you and yours.

  • chris sproul

    Hey Trey!
    Im with Simon Morris, Arthurs pass is a definate must for some great HDR, as far as places to live, Wanaka would be my 1st choice, quieter than Queenstown and just as nice.

  • chris sproul

    P.S i don’t agree with Matthew at all, i think this is one of my favorite shots of yours!!

  • For all the Kiwi’s out there, I’m heading to the South Island in January on a single person backpacking trip. I would love to meet some fellow photography folk while there. I’m always listening to all the suggestions I see for Trey, since I know we have some similar imterests. Would love to hear from anyone about the area!

  • Hey Trey, been loving the updates on your travel adventures through China, glad you got out OK!
    So NZ huh?? Working on the new Hobbitt movies are ya?! Good luck with the move, my Mom’s been there a few times and loved it.

  • Eden Brackstone

    Trey, it’s about bloody time I made a comment here… I don’t know where to start, but it’s an absolute joy to hear you are moving to New Zealand, it has been my home for 20 years and I could never live anywhere else. ALL your work is truly inspiring, your blog is largely responsible for my discovery of photography. I’m currently working on a few HDRs that I took tonight, I’ll try and remember to post a link.

    Take care.

  • Eden Brackstone

    PS: I also live in Queenstown, and I do have a hunch thats where you may end up. Matthew, give me a bell if you are in the area:

    edenbrackstone at

  • Well, its 5 am and I remembered to post the link!

    Enjoy:[email protected]/5105115592/

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