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Sunrise at the Church of the Good Shepherd

Sunrise at Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo

The Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo in Canterbury must be one of the most photographed locations in New Zealand, and one of the most easily recognised churches in the country. The church was built in 1935, has a charming stone facade and windows that look out to the stunning aquamarine waters of Lake Tekapo. The church makes a lovely photography subject at sunrise and sunset but is also commonly seen in astrophotography images, with the Milky Way rising behind it. Tekapo and the surrounding area is an International Dark Sky Reserve and has drawn photographers from around the world to photograph the stars. Pre-Covid it was not uncommon to be at the church with a dozen other photographers in the wee hours of the morning on a clear night. 

This photo was taken on a bitterly cold and still winter morning, a thick frost on the ground contrasting with the pink colours that lit up the sky before the sun rose. It is a favourite photo of mine after many attempts to capture a sunrise here, previously always resulting in clear skies!

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