The team at NiSi are very excited to chat with the very talented New Zealand based landscape photographer Coni Flores.
Learn more about Coni and her photography journey below as he answers a series of questions, and allows us to showcase some of his personal favourite images.
Coni Flores Bio
Hi, I’m Coni Flores! A Chilean landscape photographer living in beautiful New Zealand!
I’ve been living and travelling between Australia and New Zealand since 2013. I fell in love with the natural landscapes of both countries and am addicted to capturing their beauty and essence. I am a bit of a travel
addict as well, having undertaken a variety of trips overseas as well as a few photography projects along the way.
I combined my bachelor’s degree in teaching with my passions of photography, adventure, and travelling to create “The Wanderer Photographer,” a business dedicated to sharing my photography knowledge with those keen to learn. I arrange outdoor photography tours and adventures for my students and plan to expand to overseas photography tours within the next few years.
We have built a welcoming community of aspiring photographers, and many of our students know each other well. This business has brought some amazing people, colleagues, and friends into my life! Our goal is to share our love for photography with each other and accompany new students as they begin their photography journeys.
CASTLE POINT – NEW ZEALAND
Captured with NiSi Enhanced CPL + ND 64 + 4 Stop Medium Graduated ND Filter
This image was captured from Castle Point. I took this photo last summer during a very stormy morning. I was lucky enough to capture a double rainbow! Castle Point is one of my favourite places in New Zealand; it has a lovely sheltered beach and hikes with stunning views! And of course, many opportunities for photo.
Q&A with Coni Flores
Question 1. What excites you about photography?
Answer – What excites me about photography is the adventure that comes with it; hiking or driving to a location, time spent on my own or with others, and seeing the world with my own eyes to appreciate where I am.
Question 2. What NiSi products do you use and how has it enhanced your photography?
Answer – I use all the ND filters, especially the 6 and 10 stops. I also use the Polarizer Landscape Enhancer, which I love so much I keep it attached to my lens at all times! It does such an amazing job of removing reflections and glare, recovering colours in the water and sky, and enhancing them as well. I also use the Medium Graduated and Reverse Graduated filters; they are among my favourites for landscapes and certain conditions. I consider those filters to be must-haves for taking stunning landscape photos and long exposures.
Question 3. If you could take only one NiSi filter with you on a shoot what would it be?
Answer – It would depend on the landscape I was shooting, but I suppose it would be a tie between the Polarizer Landscape Enhancer and the Medium Graduated filter.
Question 4. What is the one thing that you have learned about photography that you would love to share with others?
Answer – One of the most important things that I have learned (and am still learning) is to accept what you are given by nature, particularly the weather conditions. It’s easy to become frustrated when faced with obstacles, but if we open our minds, we can always find ways to make the best of what we’re given. Sometimes we hike for hours or travel many kilometres to take one photo and don’t get what we expect. What I have realised is that being a good photographer requires you to be able to capture the essence of the place at the moment you are there, regardless of whether it is what you were expecting, and to do that, you need an open heart to see and accept the beauty before your eyes. A good photo starts within you.
DUKE’S NOSE – NEW ZEALAND
Captured with NiSi Circular ND1000 + 2 Stop Reverse Grad + 4 Stop Medium Grad + Enhanced CPL
This was one of my favourite spots on our Northland trip this winter: Duke’s Nose. It was a 2.5-hour hike to the top, most of which was fairly easy with a few river crossings (we got wet up to the knees). If you do this hike in summer, the river flow decreases considerably. The challenging part was the last 50 metres which consisted of a 30-metre 90-degree rock wall with a pole in the middle to help people climb. I felt reassured when we saw a barefoot 5-year-old with his mum happily coming down before we even went up, but I realised once I was in the middle of this climb and hanging on for dear life that I was tricked into feeling a false sense of security! Anyway, we made it to the top, and I tactfully avoided thinking about how we would get back down so that I could enjoy the moment and the stunning place. We stayed until sunset, and then I took a deep breath and climbed down. It wasn’t as bad as I feared! 100% recommended if you are not scared of heights!
THREE SISTERS – NEW ZEALAND
Captured with NiSi ND64 + 4 Stop Medium Graduated ND + Enhanced CPL
New Zealand has so many beautiful locations, and among my favourites are the Three Sisters in the Taranaki Region. This photo is from the first time I visited the area (it was a fun trip with photographer friends), and we were lucky enough to have the sunset and low tide together. During my next visit, I ended up getting wet up to my knees on the way back because the window for the low tide was quite small (like an hour or two). It can be very scary when the tide starts coming in and covers everything with water within an hour, so check the tides before heading out!
Anyway, this region has so much to explore with many great photography locations! If you’re looking for an extra adventure, you can hike up or around Mt Taranaki. If you feel like a road trip instead, you can start or finish the Forgotten World Highway (we did it last year, it was so much fun and very remote).
TOLAGA BAY – NEW ZEALAND
Captured with NiSi Enhanced CPL + 4 Stop Medium Graduated ND
This photo was a super challenging 8-minute exposure taken in Tolaga Bay near Gisborne. Have you ever attempted a long exposure taken in the surf? The waves shift the sand beneath the tripod and cause it to sink, creating unwanted camera movement and ruining your long exposure! This was my 6th attempt; I had to push my tripod deep into the sand to secure it before I began taking the photo. I was standing in the water with the collar of the camera around my neck as a safety precaution in case it became unbalanced. It was a very intense experience, but I was so happy with the result! I probably stood there for a good hour until I got the shot! Do you think it was worth it?
EMERALD LAKES – NEW ZEALAND
Captured with NiSi 4 Stop Medium Graduated ND
Part of my contract work involves product photography and introducing a brand narrative in the great outdoors, which gives me a great excuse to head out into nature. Starting a hike at 2:00am doesn’t sound like a fun experience to many people, but fortunately for me, I love hiking! The reasons why I love these experiences are, 1) it feels more like an adventure when you need your head torch to be able to see the path; 2) you don’t see anything on the way to your destination so it feels like an entirely new hike on the way back; 3) you usually have the entire place to yourself; 4) the wind is calmer in the mountains during night or early morning hours; 5) you have the opportunity to take photos of the sunrise!
We needed crampons and ice axes for this hike, and the weather wasn’t the best. We almost turned back, but I am really glad we didn’t! PS: As a word of caution, if you don’t have any mountaineering experience, I do not recommend you do this in winter unless you go on a tour with an instructor. Don’t risk your life for a photo!
To learn more about Coni and to follow her on social media please check out the links below –
Website – https://wandererphotographer.com/
Instagram – @the_wanderer_photographer
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewandererphotographer