If you could have any job in the world, being a travel photographer like New Zealand’s Chris McLennan just might top the list. Here he is explaining a little bit about his awesome work that brings him all over the world and into impossibly fun situations like swimming with sharks and rappelling down a giant cave.
Half the fun of being a travel photographer — in fact make that 100 per cent of the fun — is the crazy adventures I often get to do as part of my job. Such as this rappel into the “Lost World” in New Zealand’s famous Waitomo Caves.
Before capturing this image I had to abseil down that very line myself, and considering I am normally afraid of heights this was no mean feat! 150m into the subterranean limestone that makes up this amazing caving system in the North Island of New Zealand.
Here are a few other shots that were as much fun in the “taking” as they were in the “making”
Swimming with Great White Sharks in South Africa — if you are into wildlife and the ocean then this really needs to be on your bucket list, almost impossible to describe just how this experience made me feel, magic!
I had this shot in my head before I even arrived in Alaska. I couldn’t guarantee we’d see the Aurora Borealis, but I could set up everything else and hope. To be able to keep the dogs still enough for this long exposure shot we had to run them hard that day (which they just love) and so half the fun in this shot was the day spent preparing for it! Running the dogs, setting up the tent with the dogs and sled beside it, waiting outside all night in the icy grip of Alaskan winter… and then the excitement when it all came together and we were witness to the amazing Northern Lights!!
Another shot I had in my head before reaching my destination — the tropical islands of Tahiti. And the bonus? Getting to snorkel on a hot, sunny day in these crystal clear waters amongst gorgeous black tipped reef sharks while I took this shot. Need I say more?
One of my most recent adventures was had in Botswana where I took a series of photos of a pride of lions using a 4×4 remote control buggy which I christened “Car-L”. These shots have been hugely popular and the video about the project went viral, you can watch it here.
This project was so much fun from start to finish, designing and building the buggy, imagining what we might get with it once in Africa, and then the excitement of the results when we watched a pride of eight lions stalk, attack and carry off the buggy!!
I grew up in the mountains of New Zealand and have always been a keen skier. But unfortunately the constant travel required by my work means I don’t get the chance to ski as much as I’d like to anymore. But shoots like this one for Angel Fire in New Mexico get me back on the snow and while I don’t necessarily get much time to ski without a camera pack strapped to my back, I do get to set up and take shots exactly like this one, which is just as much fun!
Being privileged to visit, meet and interact with indigenous people from remote nations all around the world is definitely one of the highlights of my work, and makes getting unique shots like this of a Huli Wigman in Papua New Guinea a very special adventure. Spending time amongst different cultures is a learning experience and I always come home enriched for it.
Specialist travel photographer Chris McLennan was born and raised in the South Island of New Zealand but now spends his time travelling the globe on photographic assignments around the world for his many travel and tourism clients.
Chris has worked in over 40 different countries to date and his award winning images have been published internationally.
Frequently invited to present and speak to industry peers and photography enthusiasts, Chris is highly regarded in the photographic arena — both locally and abroad. Chris boasts endorsement relationships on an international level with many of the top brands within the industry including Nikon, LowePro, Lexar and Manfrotto.
Chris is an Ambassador for computing brand HP, and a member of their international HP Influencer Advisory Board.