Craig Potton presents …

Craig Potton 27 Nov 2015The Trust and the West Coast Community were privileged to be entertained, informed and inspired by the Trust’s Patron, Craig Potton this weekend.

Craig Potton, perhaps New Zealand’s leading conservationist and photographer, presented some classic images through his trusty slide projector on Friday evening at the Hokitika Regent Theatre.  He introduced the audience of around 100 to a variety of penguins and penguin habitats in his presentation, entitled “Penguin Encounters” regaling us with tales from Antarctica, the sub Antarctic Islands and of course the coastline of New Zealand islands.Craig Potton Penguin Encounters presentation at Hokitika Regent 27 Nov 2015

We learned about the dry valleys below sea level in Antarctica that lead some penguins and seals to a sad death, away from the life giving values of the ocean.  We heard about Emperor penguins out swimming orcas and a Macaroni penguin pairing up with another crested penguin, but one from an entirely different species.

Amidst the fascinating information being imparted and the wonderful and unedited photographs, Craig made everyone laugh too, making it a very special occasion.

The evening began and was wrapped up with delicious wine kindly provided by top sustainable wine producer, Peter Yealands, some beer kindly donated by Monteiths, and plenty of tea, coffee and nibbles.

After a quick night’s sleep, Craig was back at the Regent to present a Photography Masterclass.  13 lucky people gained an abundant amount of advice and pause for thought from the class. 

Craig explained about the sense of awe and wildness that some of the world’s best landscape photographers have been able to capture within the one dimensional rectangle that is a photograph.  Some key messages were to make sure we ask what we want from our photographs.  Find other photographers you love and try to recreate their images and keep learning, keep practicing.  He told us about Robert Capa, who famously said “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”, explaining that closeness was as much about being emotionally close to your subject as being physically close.

There was much, much more and most participants had brought a couple of photographs for analysis and comment, which proved to be hugely instructional for all.

On behalf of the Trust, and all those who enjoyed one or both of these events, a huge thank you to Craig for giving up his time for the Trust for these wonderful fundraising events.

Hokitika Regent ready for Penguin Encounters