What's your background in photography and how has your photography career evolved?

After moving back to NZ from Australia 17 years ago, I found myself on the West Coast in Bruce Bay on a farm... after living in Brisbane and the Gold Coast for 25yrs this was quite a culture shock! The lifestyle was the complete opposite to my old city life but what I got to look at every day was just stunning - thousand-year-old Kahikatea trees, Mt Hooker, the Mahitahi River, cattle and deer, mist and mood...  I found a point n shoot camera in the desk drawer so started to take a photo each morning of that view! That was the beginning of my photographic journey.I started out giving away my images of the farming situation I was now living in and was encouraged to enter a regional photography competition... so I did. I entered 3 images into every category I could and won first, second, and third in each category! That was the point when I thought perhaps I actually could take a good photo. From that point on, people asked to purchase images and my paid photographic work came from that, eventually evolving into a full-time career.

Professionally, I have steadily gotten busy over the last 5 years, and since the first lockdown due to Covid, I have gotten twice as busy again for which I am grateful. I now teach people photography and help to guide those needing help in pursuing, setting up, and maintaining their own photography careers, it's very satisfying.

As photography is both my career and hobby there is no off button so I can't switch off my "eye" so in every sense of the word it's a full-time "job" and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I think photography is a journey... each person's journey is different so is not to be compared. Photography made me see quite differently, made me see small things and their place, see that there are a myriad of different shades of each colour that I'd never noticed before.

What inspired you to try ICM?

The discovery of this technique was purely accidental but since then, it's the curves, soft lines and flow that draws me to it... I also love the bold colours though the muted softer tones are just as gorgeous. I love taking the ordinary and mundane to create something extraordinary and finally to see it on someone's wall... the ultimate compliment.

It's a very freeing way to shoot where there are no rules in movement and the results are often surprising and unexpected... I love that!!! I also love that you can express in a somewhat abstract and anonymous way, leaving the viewer to take from it what they will.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in getting the photo you want?

At first, I was not being able to plan an image because I didn't know what to look at in real life to then translate to the abstract. For the most part, I like to play and see what I get though now I can visualise better what I want and what the possibilities might be, I can see a composition and what I do or don't want to work with.

What advice would you give to people just starting to take ICM photos?

Play, experiment, and open your mind to all possibilities.... allow yourself to enjoy the freedom of this genre.

How do you achieve your images, what's your process?

My starting settings are ISO 100, F13, and a shutter speed slower than 1/30sec. Of course, the settings will depend on the light available to you... If shooting in broad daylight you can use a filter but I'm not a gadget kinda gal so I like to shoot at the low ends of the day which also produces those gorgeous warm golden hour colours. My post-processing is extremely simple, less is more in my mind - generally speaking, I'm just tweaking the shot using contrast and a small amount of saturation if I'm shooting and sunset or anything with colour.

Can you choose a favourite ICM photo?

I have included 5 images here with my answers all of which are my faves for different reasons.

The bold colours of the Tupperware and my attempt to create something from the mundane led to the vivid colour palette that now hangs on a kitchen wall!

As I am a landscape photographer by nature, I do love to use ICM here too and adore the soft fluid lines of Mt Cook with all the blues, greys and whites. The lines produced by ICM can soften an image and can take you through the scene in quite a different way and allow you to see the world in an abstract way.... real but not real, it's what you make of it... I love that.


To vie more of Rina's work, follow her on Excio.

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