Magnificent New Zealand

Rob Suisted and Peter Bush - the best of NZ photographers

At the launch tonight of Rob Suisted’s new book Majestic New Zealand, Alan Morrison, CEO of the Department of Conservation said of his former colleague  “When I saw Peter Bush come in the door, I thought, gosh, Rob’s made it!”

“He’d come to the opening of an envelope,” piped up Rob.

I felt a little embarrassed asking these two –  amoung the very best of New Zealand’s photographers – to pose for me, but they were happy to. Even when they saw me reach into my handbag and pull out my little point and shoot.

I first met Rob some years ago when looking for nature shots for a book I was putting together. I didn’t want chocolate box, I wanted shots that showed an affinity to nature. And I found this affinity in Rob’s work. I can’t remember how I came across him, but I’m so thankful I did. He was so excited about the project we were working on, did all he could to help and was one of the first to arrive at the book launch.

We kept in touch.

Then a couple of years later when I was again looking for the perfect New Zealand photograph, my first stop was Naturespic.com and there after not too much searching through the multitude of gorgeous images, I found it. A tui gorging on the seed pods of a flax bush, bright blue sky highlighting the lustrous green and black shades of its feathers and the white puff ball at its throat. It is absolutely stunning. I rang Rob and asked him if we could use it – I did have to get everyone else’s agreement that this was the one, but that wasn’t difficult. And Rob was DE-lighted.

The story of the photograph – he had been working down in the west coast region, commissioned to photograph the various types of flax. He had his shot set up when the tui flew into frame and settled in to have a feed. All in a split second!

The rest is history. The book, with a huge international distribution, was warmly received and ‘our’ tui received much interest.

I bought a copy of Magnificent New Zealand tonight, and on the inside front page, Rob wrote “Thanks for making my Tui world famous.” How cool is that!

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