Photographer inspired by love of Dunedin coastline

Loving the light . . . Dunedin-based photographer Derek Morrison has collected a year's worth of...
Loving the light . . . Dunedin-based photographer Derek Morrison has collected a year's worth of photographs of the city's coastline in Dunedin Light Seasons. Photo: Supplied
Dunedin man Derek Morrison's love affair with the city's vast coastline has given rise to an extraordinary photographic project during the past year.

Each week, since September 2011, Morrison's Adventure Media Group has published the photographic report "Dunedin Light" on Facebook, email and websites, documenting local beaches, surfers and people enjoying the outdoors.

The success of the Dunedin Light project and report, which now has more than 4000 subscribers throughout New Zealand and around the world, inspired Morrison to take the next step.

The result is Dunedin Light Seasons, a 160-page coffee table book filled with photographs of Dunedin's coast through four seasons, which is due for release on November 26.

"The Dunedin Light project started out as a way for me to document the beauty of the coastline, the surf and the people, and it has really grown from there," Morrison said.

"We have many loyal local subscribers, as well as lots of expats and travellers who want to take a look at Dunedin before they visit," he said.

Born and bred in rural Waikato, Morrison has travelled the world photographing waves and surfers for many publications, including as editor of the NZ Surfing Magazine. When he moved to Dunedin several years ago with his wife and young family, he was struck by the beauty and extent of Dunedin's coastline, and the quality of its waves.

"When I first came to Dunedin, I couldn't believe the coastline - the white sandy beaches going on for bay after bay," he said.

"Dunedin is one of the best surfing cities in the world and the best surfing city in New Zealand.

"We also have the best light in the world - those really long twilights and big skies are just fantastic for photographers."

The hundreds of images included in the Dunedin Light Seasons book were taken during sessions for the Dunedin Light project and have been grouped into seasons. Each season is given an introduction, revealing " a little taste" of what life is like in Dunedin, before the rest of the story is told through the photographs.

The book was put together by Morrison and designer Ian Ferguson, with support from many other people in Dunedin.

"I'm really grateful to the surfing fraternity who have helped and supported me through the process," he said.

Dunedin Light Seasons will be distributed through bookstores and tourist and design stores, and will also be available from the website, at a cost of $49.99.


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