I'm generally drawn to rugged, diverse landscapes with dramatic and unforgiving conditions, and New Zealand is a dead-on match for these criteria. I was inspired by the idea of being able to photograph scorched volcanic terrain, dense rainforests, glaciated peaks, and untamed coastlines over the course of one week, rather than limiting myself to a single environment.

–Adam Weist

FRANZ JOSEF NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH ISLAND

As the world turned upside down for many in March 2020, Los Angeles-based photographer Adam Weist found himself removed from it all on the other side of the world in the middle of New Zealand’s magical scenery. Shooting with the X1D II 50C in wild conditions ranging from the middle of a downpour in subtropical rainforests to a snowstorm on an active volcano, Adam’s images expose the beauty of the country and transport us to a landscape photographer’s dream.

FRANZ JOSEF NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH ISLAND

Coupled with the outstanding image quality, the X1D's ability to consistently perform during intense, unpredictable weather makes this camera indispensable for adventure photographers. I've shot in nearly identical conditions with other full-frame, “weather-sealed” camera bodies in the past, and many of them either stopped working during the shoot or developed chronic issues with the buttons and performance down the road. I never experienced any problems whatsoever with the X1D. The body was lightweight and easy to carry during long hikes, particularly when paired with the XCD 45P lens.

ROY'S PEAK, WANAKA
ROY'S PEAK, WANAKA

I think this was the first time I've ever laughed out loud while editing photos from a trip - that’s how blown away I was by the quality and dynamic range of the X1D files. I had a blast just seeing how far I could push the highlights and shadows before noticing any deterioration in the image quality (spoiler alert: it was a lot). I've honestly never seen anything like it.

ROY'S PEAK, WANAKA

Because of the X1D's high-resolution files, I could crop the photos to oblivion and still be left with a strikingly sharp and printable image.

MILFORD SOUND & FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH ISLAND 

The colors captured by the X1D were vivid, accurate and realistic, with a very pleasing look straight out of the camera. New Zealand is a country where the full spectrum of colors are on display, including just about every shade of green imaginable. I was consistently blown away by the depth of color the sensor captured and how well it picked up the nuances of each individual hue. As a result, I found these images much quicker and easier to edit than those of other cameras I’ve used in the past.

TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NORTH ISLAND

ABOUT ADAM WEIST

Graduating from New York University in 2013 with an economics degree, it didn’t look like a creative career was in the cards for Adam Weist. But after accepting a finance job on the other side of the United States, in San Francisco, Adam decided to drive cross-country and backpack through the mountains of Wyoming, Montana, and California on his way over. Upon arrival to SF, a long-dormant passion for the outdoors had awakened in him and he was hooked on nature. Almost instantly, Adam developed an obsessive passion for photography and exploring the wilderness. Since that summer, he has visited and photographed over half of the United States’ National Parks, 20 different countries, and nearly every US state. “I've found that I'm most inspired by dramatic, remote locations and fully immersing myself in foreign cultures. I strive to capture photos that inspire viewers to get out of their comfort zones, explore, and experience the beauty of Earth's wild places for themselves, just as I did,” says Adam. See more of his work here or on his Instagram @adam.weist.

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