Draw and Paint


Geoff Moon

OBE (1915-2009)

"I do not wish to be classed as a bird photographer, as I consider I am primarily a naturalist, and use photography to record interesting facets of behaviour. In fact I often spend hours in hides just taking notes." said Geoff Moon.

Geoff Moon, a retired veterinarian, has been photographing New Zealand Birds for over 50 years. His contribution to research and documentation of New Zealand's bird life is widely respected both within New Zealand and Internationally.

In the appendix of his book 'The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Wildlife' Geoff says, "I always exercise extreme caution when photographing birds at their nests, so the bird is not unduly disturbed ... The interests of the bird must always come before photography."

Geoff often builds a hide, a solid structure similar to a small tent in size, where he sits unseen for long hours observing and photographing shy and wary birds.

Geoff uses either an Olympus or Nikon 35mm SLR cameras with a selection of lens, dependent on the subject he photographs.

- For close up subjects, such as insects, he uses a Macro lens.
- For photographing landscape and habitats he uses a standard 50mm lens or short focal length telephoto lens.
- For large animals, such as seals, he uses a 200mm focal length lens.
- For photographing birds he uses a zoom lens, set at 300mm. On occasion he has used an 800mm lens.
- When the light level is low or movement of the subject is anticipated, he uses an electronic flash.
- For most exposures he uses Fujichrome 100 ISO or Kodachrome 64 ISO 35mm transparency film.
- When photographing birds he uses a fast film usually, Ektachrome 400 ISO 35mm transparency film.

When asked the question "What are your favourite birds?"

Geoff replied, "I am interested in most New Zealand Birds, but Kingfisher, Kereru, Kakariki and Morepork would head my list. And other birds species which I have studied in depth."

"With patience and good equipment, there are excellent opportunities to photograph wildlife in New Zealand. Offshore Islands such as Tiritiri can be particularly rewarding for the photographer with limited time." Geoff Moon

Whether Geoff wrote his own books, or worked with his wife Lynnette or other authors, he saw it as an opportunity to share the wonders of the New Zealand natural world with readers worldwide.


Rod Morris


Rod Morris has over 25 years experience in wildlife film making, with TVNZ's Natural History Unit. His first love of still photography takes him throughout New Zealand, the Sub-Antartic Islands, and into the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

He photographs a wide selection of subjects including birds, insects, animals, flowers and the natural landscape.

His photographic work features widely in children's readers, non-fiction books, magazines and on websites.

Rod is the author of 'Life-Size Guide to New Zealand Birds', 'South Sea Islands: A Natural History', and 'New Zealand Nature - a photographic souvenir'.

In both Rod's writing and photography, he shares with us an admiration of the natural world.

Thanks to Geoff Moon & Rod Morris for supplying the photographs for the book - Draw New Zealand Birds.