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Wanaka Lake, New Zealand by Sebastien Le Calvez

The Wanaka tree in New Zealand has to be one of the most photographed trees in the world. Thus, I had very low expectations when I was driving towards this destination, thinking there was no point in taking yet another photo of this iconic location, but it was on my way so I thought it would be a shame not to stop.

I decided to stray over night, wake up early and try to catch the first light to avoid any tourists. I arrived on location at 5:30 am with my headlamp, setup my tripod and decided to enjoy the sunrise as I wasn't expecting to take a unique photo.

As the sun started to rise, the colours began to burst and I realized that even though I'd seen this tree a million times online, I was still shocked by its beauty. The surrounded mountains, the stillness of the lake and the branches and the birds posing, basking the sun.

Yes, there are a million Wanaka tree photos out there, but this one is mine and every time I see it, I remember the feeling of being there.


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Camera Nikon D850
Lens Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8
Aperture f/11
S/S 6sec
ISO 64
Additional Notes Used a 4 stop ND grad filter from Lee Filters.
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