Print Swap


The Nevis Tree (or two little ducks); South Island, New Zealand; © Ian Poole, 2013.

Whilst the role of an artist is to create and then sell images, I get a great charge from participating in a print swap.

Provided my print goes to a caring and loving home!


The Nevis Tree; © Peter Eastway

My fairly extensive collection of photographic art has been largely built on judicious swapping with friends and acquaintances, as well as targeted purchases – Max Dupain prints can only come from that source!

This coming weekend I am participating in both a presentation to 200 people and also providing an image to be used in a print swap. The Hair of the Dog is a photography convention that has been held annually for the past 11+ years by the Queensland Division of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.


Nevis-pano; © Queenstown Centre of Creative Photography

My swap print was taken earlier this year whilst staying with good friends in Queenstown, New Zealand.  It was discovered by Peter Eastway whilst with Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken on one of their many photography tours out of Queenstown.  The tree has also been photographed (amongst many others) by David Paterson – Canberra based photographer and Chair of the Australian Professional Photographer of the Year Awards held by the AIPP.  What is interesting is the different approaches by various shooters.  Eastway chose to find the reverse angle, whilst several of us chose to place the tree in the natural dip in the distant mountains.  Mike and Jackie choosing to lift the tree into the sky and me dropping the tree into the landscape from which it came and blending it more into that environment.  Paterson has allowed the tree to become a recognisable and strong part of the landscape via the use of colour.

With great respect, none is the definitive reproduction of The Nevis Tree, but all are an interesting interpretation by photographers with an interest, a love and a knowledge of recording the landscape.

Nevis Tree - David Paterson

Nevis Tree; © David Paterson

11 thoughts on “Print Swap

    • Certainly Joy; The Nevis Valley road starts near Bannockburn not far from Cromwell.
      The first section of road is a fairly well maintained gravel road that climbs to the saddle. At 1300m high this is the highest mountain road pass in New Zealand. The road then descends into the lower Nevis Valley passing many historic remnants of a gold mining and farming past. The photographs were taken in this rather non-distinct area, and is the result of observations passed on to the author by some kind Queenstown photographers.


      • Hi Ian Thank You So Much…I used to live in Nelson NZ for 4 years and have been home in Australia now for 1 year and I’ still pining! Would love to go back and live there but the wages are so low & cost of living SO high. my dream to travel around the 2 Islands for 6mths just photographing all the wonders..the Routeburn Track is my fav down that way and I’m looking forward to finding some places I havent been before. Thanks Again for a great fan of Peter Eastway and Jackie & Mike in Queenstown…Cheers Joy


      • Hi Ian I was wondering as I’m coming over to shoot around St Bathans and Kinloch in April next year..Do you need a 4WD to get into the Nevis valley? We have a really sturdy Campervan but I’m not sure if the road is suitable? I’ve always wanted to photograph the old huts and sheds around the area but havent known where they are. Thanks So Much Joy


      • I have done the trip in everything ranging from a Toyota Prado to a tiny Mazda 2. The 4WD was most comfortable but I did do it in snow with a baby Suzuki 4WD (and stopped at the top of the range – not wishing to go any further. That meant that I missed going anywhere near the huts etc.)


  1. The “Print Swap” raises more delicious questions than it answers. And the punch line is kept to the end: “none is the definitive reproduction of “The Nevis Tree”. Ok then, what would be a “definitive reproduction”? Is a “definitive reproduction” possible even in principle.

    I have my doubts that a picture of the Nevis Tree is a reproduction of the Nevis Tree let alone a copy, duplicate, facsimile, imitation, or replica. When conundrums like this come up in philosophical discourse it suggests that an underlying assumption is askew. At the risk of being provocative I’ll suggest that the true subject matter here is the real optical image of the Nevis Tree floating in the back of various cameras. Yes, camera-workers MAKE subject matter. The power and creativity involved in this has never received full credit while the idea persists that camera-work is a passive hostage to what’s in front of the lens.

    “Definitive” is another tough concept. Pictures can be defined photogrammetrically: each element of the picture can be placed into one to one correspondence with an element of the real-world thing depicted. But I reckon this does not apply here. The Nevis Tree pictures were created in a digital environment where image components are infinitely malleable. The final rendition is the outcome of artistic choices (laziness and uncaring aside) and it becomes, as Peter Eastway put it. the definitive interpretation. But no more definitive than that.

    Assuming I can find the Nevis Tree next time I’m in New Zealand I’ll photograph it on film. The film will absorb and retain stuff that was a moment before part of the Nevis Tree and suffer changes that result in in situ picture-forming marks. The tree and the film photograph would be PHYSICALLY linked via a real optical image. Maybe that’s yet another nuance on “definitive”.


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