Catching Up With Vandy Pollard

Vandy has been on a winning roll with her photography over the past year. She won the People's Choice Award for the Fresh Shoots Spring Competition and then went onto win the Autumn Fresh Shoots Competition as the overall senior winner. It has been a joy to watch her progress, so let's find out what else this nature/wildlife photographer has been up to!

"Light Painting at Civic Square" The pyramid sculpture ‘Te Aho a Maui’ is in the background of this image. By Vandy Pollard.

You said that winning People's Choice had inspired you to take more risks in your photography and to not become complacent with your subject matter – Aside from entering (and winning!) Autumn Fresh Shoots, what else have you been doing?

I recently made the shift to full-frame, purchasing a 5D iv which is a significant change from my 80D crop frame.

In February I attended a one day long exposure course with Richard Young of NZ Photography Workshops and following this, purchased a full landscape set of Benro Filters, although I haven’t dedicated enough time to mastering the use of them yet.

"Point Halswell" Long Exposure of Halswell Lighthouse on the Coast of Wellington. By Vandy Pollard.

I also attended a mini-workshop through Wellington Photographic Society on portraiture which was completely out of my comfort zone – learning about lighting and the need to direct/give feedback to models.

I travelled to the Catlins for the first time with a friend in April and spent three days photographing at Koekohe Beach/Moeraki Boulders, Nugget point lighthouse, the seals at Katiki Point Lighthouse/Cannibal Bay and a few of the waterfalls including Purakaunui, Matai.

I have also submitted some photos into the Nature category of the 2019 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition.

Out of all your work, can you choose a single favourite photo? Tell us about it...

One of my favourite photos was one taken at Zealandia Eco sanctuary in Wellington shortly after I purchased a 70-200mm 2.8 lens for wildlife. This tiny Toutouwai or North Island Robin weighs only 30 grams. The image is cropped significantly and I used a high ISO and 1/250 shutterspeed due to low light but I love how it momentarily caught my eye, as I only had a few seconds to capture it before it flew away.

"Toutouwai or North Island Robbin" This is one of my favourite shots of a Toutouwai at Zealandia Ecosanctuary as I don’t often see them in the open. Shot with my 70-200mm 2.8 at f2.8 cropped. By Vandy Pollard.

Why did you decide to join Excio and what do you like about it?

A few Wellington photographers I admire have joined Excio which prompted me to consider this as an option other than Instagram to share my photography. I like the idea of having global exposure via the Excio app and also being able to access photo reviews, sharing ideas, learning from others and being able to display my images in collections, unlike Instagram where all images are mixed together.

What are your plans for the future?

In November I am attending an Otago Wildlife workshop for four days with New Zealand Photography Workshops where I am hoping to continue learning and to have the opportunity to shoot both landscapes and wildlife.

"Tui" Tui feeding on the nectar the Kowhai flowers in my garden. Cropped. By Vandy Pollard.

Where can we find you online?

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