About page Mackinnon Pass Pete

About Peter

"When dangling from a tree for a better view, there’s a fine line between dedication & madness!"  

New Zealand may be small on the map, but these far flung islands pack more variety & grandeur into every corner than anywhere else. Not that it makes my job any easier, NZ is surrounded by vast oceans & that means one thing - rapidly changing weather & plenty of liquid sunshine! I work hard to capture images that portray an original point of view, but it's all about the light & getting yourself in the right place at the right time. And when things don't go to plan, I'll try again. I'm persistent if nothing else!  

In the late 80’s I dreamt of being a landscape photographer & snapped away with a Canon T70, cell phones were expensive bricks & who had heard of Apple, wasn’t that a fruit?! My first south island road trip was with my sister in 1988. I was constantly taking photos, she was forever yelling “Peter, hurry up”! Envious of all the cyclists on tour, the next year I did just that. A second job washing dishes at weekends funded a new Bronica 645 120 film camera & I was hooked. Read about my six month cycling tour in NZ Adventure magazine.

I joined the high seas as a cruise ship photographer in 1991 & was fortunate to travel to & photograph many of the world's greatest treasures. But it was an exhibition by american landscape photographer Christopher Burkett that I stumbled upon in Alaska one year, that left a lasting impression. Never before had I witnessed such poetic landscape photography.

So after 17 different ships, I returned home to NZ in 2003 & purchased a large format printer & began experimenting with printing onto canvas. I established relationships with art galleries, who started to sell my work & everything developed from there. The art world is very fickle & remains a challenging way to earn a living, but classic photographs are highly sought after & vast sums are paid for prized pieces.

It's very gratifying that my work is held in collections around the world, including the family of the Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad, who selected "Ice Arch". And I'm very proud of my recent work at Auckland International Airport, where twenty large-scale murals showcase NZ's landscape to millions of travellers each year & set new benchmarks for their size & detail.

Other corporate clients include TVNZ, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ministry of Primary Industries, Frucor, Glaxo Smith Kline, Southern Cross, Starship & Ascot Hospitals, Rydges Hotel, NZ Steel, Icebreaker, Vector Arena, Metlife Care, BUPA, Masonic & Settlers retirement villages, plus many more.

In 2018 I upgraded my Phase One 60 megapixel / Mamiya 645 for a new Phase One XF medium format camera with 100 megapixel trichromatic digital back, coupled to blue-ring Schneider Kreuznach lenses. With such vast dynamic range and extreme precision, this equipment allows me to capture incredibly detailed imagery. I'm always dreaming up new trips to remote places & you can keep up with my news via Instagram & Facebook or this website, which I update regularly.

In conjunction with the 2020 NZ Geo Photographer Of The Year exhibition, I was invited to give a presentation on "The Art Of Photography" at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Click here to watch (total duration 52 mins, incl. a series of questions at the end). Click here to read my feature article with Phase One, published 22/05/20.

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Celsus library
Celsus library, Ephesus, Turkey 1999
Odessa Ballet in Kiev, Ukraine, 2001
Odessa Ballet in Kiev, Ukraine, 2001
Edinburgh Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo 1994 (awarded 1st place, E.M. Tattoo's photo contest)
Santorini copy
"Royal Viking Sun", Santorini, Greece, 1994
Pete Dubrovnik 2000 MSC Opera copy
MSC "Opera", Dubrovnik, July 2000
QE2 copy
Chasing QE2 past Rangitoto on the pilot launch in Feb 2000, sailing back to Southampton

Pete National Park 2 1300
Capturing "Icing On The Cake", National Park, June 2020
Pete Jackpot tree horizontal
Lower Nevis, Central Otago, May 2017
Great Mercury Feb 2016
Going under! Great Mercury Island, February 2016

Phase One Feature about page
Phase One Feature Story (click link in last paragraph above to read article)
2020 Epson Pano Awards Score Open Awards4
"Icing On The Cake" awarded Bronze, Epson Pano Awards 2020
MG 7056
Presenting "The Art Of Photography" @ New Zealand Maritime Museum, 13/10/20

“Peter’s photograph of Fiordland waterfalls in our show home’s shower is nothing short of stunning! In addition to his incredible gift for photography, he is a delightful guy to work with.“