Ten favorite photographs of Amos Chapple from New Zealand

Photographer Amos Chapple started his career in New Zealand’s largest daily paper in 2003.

After two years chasing news, he took a full-time position shooting UNESCO World Heritage sites. And in 2012, he went freelance and traveled to 70 countries, where he “has seen almost nothing but kindness, decency, and beauty”.

I asked Amos to tell stories behind his 10 favorite photographs for the Bird in Flight magazine.

Amos Chapple, photographer, New Zealand
Amos Chapple
Photographer from Devonport, New Zealand. He uses a Panasonic GX8 camera and an Inspire 2 drone

Shepherds leading their flock into the fields in Palangan, Iran

Shepherds leading their flock into the fields in Palangan, Iran. Photo: Amos Chapple

— It was my first trip to Iran. I’d been in a difficult situation in New Zealand and had kind of thrown myself out into the world. I was taking a slow, meandering route towards an English teaching job waiting for me in Saint Petersburg. I didn’t know how hard things were going to be in Russia so on this trip I photographed and travelled like I had nothing to lose. I did some reckless stuff.

However, this photo and a dozen others from the trip were published across two pages in The Guardian. That cemented the idea for me that I needed to go places or do things which other people were unwilling to do. In a strange way, putting myself in danger gave me a sense of safety — the sense that maybe I could actually survive from photography when everyone was saying it was impossible.

A love letter to Toledo, Spain

The morning light in Toledo, Spain. Photo: Amos Chapple

I think everyone’s best images are little love letters to the places they’re photographing. I shot this picture early one morning in Toledo during my first ever visit to Spain. For a 24-year-old Kiwi kid who’d hardly seen anything of the world, Spain in summer was such a revelation.

I can still remember the taste of the cheese and how the pebbles on the beach stayed warm after dark. I feel like the Spaniards have life so right — there’s a love of chaos, fun, and family. Yet they’re diligent and civilized, and religion is strong.

Mosquitos — a big part of life in Yakutia, Siberia

Mosquitos — a big part of life in Yakutia, Siberia. Photo: Amos Chapple

The mosquitos were such a big part of life out there but I just couldn’t figure out how to photograph it properly. Then one day I was trying to cross a stream and I fell in. I took off one of my gumboots to try to squeegee out my sock, and the moment I did that, all these black mosquitoes descended on my white, waterlogged foot.

The contrast was just so superb I took the other sock off, waited about one minute, took this photo, then put my socks back on and limped and whimpered my way towards the river. I remember thinking I would give a lot to be able to plunge my feet into icy cold water.

Read next about ten favorite photos of Amos Chapple in the Bird and Flight photo magazine. This interview in also published in Russian language.


Text: Ivan Kuznetsov and Amos Chapple

Photos: Amos Chapple