Irena Prikryl

Irena Prikryl
Irena Prikryl Photography (Apr 2013)

I first met Jaime Dormer on Hamilton Island, a year ago. There was a small workshop for 10 people with Art Wolfe. I was a beginner photographer, and I was very happy that I had the opportunity to learn from one of the best photographers in his field. The added bonus was that Arts’ workshop attracted a number of  very good photographers that I have met and kept in touch with. Jaime is one of them.

One day Jaime mentioned that he was going to do a photography workshop in New Zealand, and he was planning to go there a week earlier with another fellow photographer, to travel around the South Island before the workshop started. I have expressed interest and he offered for me to tag along.

I was so excited to travel around with professional guys, taking photos and see how they go about things, but at the same time I was quite apprehensive about it; I didn’t want to hinder them in any way. I was conscious not to hold them up and not be in their way, but at the same time I wanted to see how pros go about things and to learn and grow as a photographer. And what an opportunity that was!

We had a 4WD packed to the rafters with camera gear, there were three of us travelling in one car, so you can imagine the stuff we had to pack in. And we stopped often as Jaime always kept his eyes open for a photo opportunity. I learned quite early on that packing and unpacking all the gear every time you stop to take a photo doesn’t quite work, so we travelled with extended tripod legs, lenses mounted on cameras, filters stuffed in my pockets, etc.. After couple of days I got the hang of it and was ready to shoot as soon as Jaime stopped the car. (Thanks for your patience Jaime). But when he stopped to take a shot of a harvester on a farm, I baulked and didn’t even wanted to get out of the car. I could not understand why would anyone want a picture of a harvester?! when we are photographing beautiful New Zealand?! But Jaime was shooting stock footage as well as awesome landscapes. And as well as looking for a bear, but that’s another story… So I have an obligatory picture of a red harvester in my library for anyone interested, but did not find a bear … 

We travelled through some of the most breathtaking country I’ve seen; we started in Christchurch, through Arthurs Pass, Franz Joseph glacier, Fox glacier, Haast, Wanaka; into Queenstown, where I said good-by to Jaime, John (and John’s friend Max who joined us half way through); they went on to their workshop and I stayed on for a couple of days. I went to photograph around Glenorchy and then headed north, to Mt.Holdsworth near Wellington.

I learned so much on this trip – Jaime was very helpful in showing me different angles that opened my eyes, seeing details, different point of a view; I thank him for his willingness to share his vast technical knowledge, in a very easy and understandable way, chatting as we were driving through the country side, over lunch or whenever I popped a question. And it didn’t stop there; he was also happy to share his post-shoot workflow, tricks and secrets of Lightroom, organizing photos, etc. etc.. I think anyone who has ever travelled with Jaime would agree with me, his passion for photography is infectious and I arrived back home feeling like my photography jumped miles ahead just in this very short time.

I also learned, that if Jaime has his EB’s, baked beans and toast for breakfast, his packet of lollies to munch on, good steak, plenty of cold beer at the end of the day, and a continuous supply of a ‘good brew’ in a cup that’s at least bigger than a cimbal, it makes his day almost as good as bringing home loads of good pictures.

I want to share few of my images from the trip, hope you like them; I still have tons to learn, but I am happy with my progress so far and especially after being on road with Jaime. And I hope this was not our last trip together

Thankyou Jaime

Irena Prikryl