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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Andris Apse talks about The Deep South

Andris Apse is one of New Zealand's leading landscape photographers. During a career spanning more than thirty years, he has won many major awards and is acknowledged as one of the finest wilderness photographers in the world. Andris talks to NZ Booklovers about The Deep South, shortlisted in the NZ Booklovers Lifestyle Award 2023.

What inspired you to create the book?

For the past 30 years, I have taken every opportunity to explore the South Island’s southernmost National Parks, Solander Islands, Chatham Islands, Stuart Island, The Snares Islands, Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, Antipodes Islands and parts of Antarctica. With the increase of southern latitudes, the weather becomes more extreme, the landscape reflects the increasing latitude with rugged wild geography, and the wildlife is more abundant and no longer familiar with earlier disastrous invasions of humans. The combination of these factors makes a perfect subject for my choice of dramatic, moody photography with the wildlife behaving as we would wish it to be in more populated regions.

What research was involved?

The reading of the early explorers and shipwreck accounts, the whalers, sealers and passenger ships in the 1800s and early 1900s.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, what would it be?

The New World Symphony. Dvarok. Symphony No.9. Largo. For me, this music signifies the rebirth of a ‘New World’ where the destruction by mankind has ceased, and the islands are now recovering in protected environments.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Being able to spend many months amongst the scenery and wildlife.

What did you do to celebrate finishing this work?

In an informal book launch in our home in Diamond Harbour, no speeches but food and wine throughout the afternoon with family, friends and neighbours, and a feeling of huge relief and satisfaction that a personal ambition carried out over the past 30 years had finally come to fruition.

What's the favourite book you have read this year?

Another inspiring book, a personal pilgrimage by Susan and John Hlll and their daughter Victoria Jaenecke. 'Letters of a Naturalised, Richard Henry’ A life and times of Richard Henry in Fiordland in particular Dusky Sound and Resolution Island. Richard Henry spent 14 years there trying to save the Kiwi and Kakapo at a time when an advancing tide of mustelids was sweeping the country.

What’s next on the agenda?

I am not tough enough to face another 30-year project in extreme terrain. I will settle for the gentle landscape of Banks Peninsula.

Penguin Random House


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