Photographing Pohutukawa Trees on the Beach

So what is so great about a tree by the beach? In New Zealand, the Pohutukawa Tree is also called the New Zealand Christmas Tree, because it blooms with magnificent red flowers, from early December through to just after Christmas. These trees signal the beginning of summer and so many people have great memories of hanging out under these beautiful trees, while on vacation over the Christmas break.

Pohutukawa by beach

Pohutukawa Branch beach

These beautiful trees make for stunning coast and beach photos and are best sellers in the Professionalphotos landscape portfolio. So how hard could it be to photograph a tree by the beach? As it turns out, making that iconic Kiwi (New Zealand) summer image is much more difficult than it would seem. Particular trees may be at their prime for only 3 or 4 days and they need to have their blooms facing the right way. Most Pohutukawas have the majority of their blooms facing towards the ocean, which means to get the best photo of them, you are photographing back towards the land, which is the wrong way. So every December the hunt for the perfect image begins.

vintage pohutukawa on beachpohutukawa branch with blooms on white sand beach

This year was a tough one, with many of the trees that I have been watching and visiting not being in their prime. I have traveled for 4 hours each way, just to arrive at a spot and realise that I need to come back in several days because the trees are not yet fully in bloom. Then on arriving back, finding that the trees are not good this year. I scouted out a whole series of new locations, so next year should be fun. This year I got lucky with some gems and not so lucky with others so enjoy the small selection.

pohutukawa blooms in new zealand summer

pohutukawa branches on white sand beac


dark pohutukawa blooms


closeup of pohutukawa blooms

It pays to get out there and explore and sometimes persistence pays off. If you wish to order a print  of one of these Iconic images, please contact Professionalphotos to discuss your requirements.

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