15 February 2011
with kind permission of AirPano
New Zealand - is a real paradise for photographers. It is exactly here where the tremendous beautiful lakes, eternal snows, fiords, flaring golden beaches and even the belt of volcanic activity can be found here.
Alas, the beauty of the country doesn't guarantee beautiful photos. Half year preparation, route making, negotiations with helicopter operators - all these were radically changed by the strongest cyclone covered New Zealand. We were travelling two days long and it was raining cats and dogs with no hope at all for any sun ray. Every minute the strong wind let us understand that there were a few chances to fly successfully over Western Fiords, the most marvelous place of New Zealand.
Finally the weather became better and a pilot who, constantly coordinated us, said that we could try to take off. Unfortunately, our hopes stayed to be the hopes. We could take off and even the sun, that we had been waiting so long, emerged from the clouds but the strongest wind blew off our helicopter even at a not high flight level. We had to come back. Two days later the wind became calm but heavy rainy clouds tightly covered the fiords and the nearest lakes. There was no more time to wait and we had to follow our route.
On the one hand, we were not lucky because the weather wasn't favorable for the flights, but, on the other hand, we were lucky because that time our pilot was Rod Hal-Jones. His is a famous person in the circles of cinematographers and photographers all over the world. He flew even with Jacques-Yves Cousteau assisting him at shooting the film describing New Zealand. He flew for all the films about Harry Potter. He flew for many famous photographers. "We can't reach the fiords, the storm is coming right from there", - said Rod. "Now I'll show you my favorite place where no professional photographers have been before but you". And he showed...
We left the country of fiords in an elated mood and with a hope to come back into this severe region and explore these still unconquered places.
Two days of travel under a haviest rain I have ever seen. Forty eight hours with no single sun ray. Every minute the strong wind was reducing the probability of successful flights over the Western Fiords – the most beautiful place of New Zealand. But we didn't surrender...