Blackball heritage

I spent an absorbing and adventurous couple of hours behind Blackball township this evening, poking around the old mining relics. There’s a great deal of history in this area, and Blackball in particular has a lot of tangible evidence of past industry and settlement. Most of these sites are seldom visited but rich in fascinating glimpses into a different, but also not so different, way of life. Having the CineStar to get an aerial perspective meant I could get a better view of it than most.

The bridge being reclaimed by the bush has long fascinated me and I was pretty excited to get up and photograph it. You only see a little part of it from the road, so seeing the whole thing, with both ends leading nowhere in particular anymore, is pretty neat. The other photos are from a site that has some tracks and signage, but is obviously not heavily visited. There used to be two chimneys but one recently fell down, which made me extra keen to get up there and photograph the remaining one.

Bridge to nowhere

Historic Blackball Coal Mine

Historic Blackball Coal Mine

Flying through the mountains

A wee while ago we needed to get some stock footage of the Southern Alps for a project, and I brought the stills kit along for the ride. Ben from Wilderness Wings ( is an expert pilot who got us in just the right spots. It was definitely worth the extreme cold of cruising through the mountains with the doors off the Cessna to get these shots!

If you’d like to license any of these images please contact me.

West Coast Treetop Walk

An exciting new development opened on the Coast in December, and we produced a wee video and TVC promoting it. It was a great opportunity to test out our latest tool – the UAV. The low-level aerials around the structure were shot with the DJI F550 hexa-rotor which we purchased to test out the idea of UAV-based aerial imagery. Since then we’ve upgraded to a larger machine, the Freefly Cinestar 8, that can carry a bigger payload for longer flights. It produces even better footage! Look out for footage from it in the near future.

West Coast Treetop Walk, New Zealand from WestCoastFilm on Vimeo.