Ronald Winstone: Blog en-us (C) Ronald Winstone (Ronald Winstone) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT Ronald Winstone: Blog 80 120 Mongolia MONGOLIA

Mongolia has always been a dream destination.

It is a land of vast open spaces with nomads living in the same way they have for thousands of years. Having slept in a Gur (Mongol hut) for 2 nights it sure had a charm, but I don't think I would be so keen when it is -40 degrees in mide winter.
A simple way of life with a remarkable history.

Sadly the grandeur of the countryside was not matched by the capital, Ulaanbaatar, which is a dump full of the widest traffic I have experienced.



To visit the Photo Gallery, click here.​





(Ronald Winstone) Mon, 17 Aug 2015 23:13:29 GMT
August 2015 NORTH KOREA Welcome to the Northern Asia expedition.

This journey takes me to:

CHINA - Beijing

North Korea - Pyongyang

Mongolia - Ulaanbaator

Kazakhstan - Almarty

Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek, Naryn

China - Kashgar

Kyrgyzstan - Osh, 

Uzbekistan - Fergana, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara

Russia - Moscow, St Petersburg

Finland - Helsinki

Estonia - Tallinn

Latvia - Riga

Lithuania - Vilinus

Sweden - Stockholm

Denmark - Copenhagen

USA - San Francisco 

Dear leadersDear leaders

Lets start with NORTH KOREA

We have just returned from North Korea after a most wonderful time in a spectacular country.

We traveled in an 8 seater van, with a young Australian and 2 guides plus driver.

Much to our surprise we were allowed to photograph whatever we liked other than military personnel.  The fact that there were military people everywhere made it difficult in some places.

Pyongyang was amazing.  We were woken to Mozart and Beethoven being broadcast out throught the city, which rather set the scene. The city is very modern consisting almost entirely of tall apartment buildings, magnificent government buildings and endless statues and posters of the 'Dear leaders". The absence of advertising and commercialism and the almost empty streets was a far cry from what we had expected. 

All the people appeared happy and content, with no sign of poverty or hardship anywhere, even out in the country.  However there is a sense of order and discipline that does not exist in other countries.

Photographically, the journey turned more into a travelogue with little time to sort out better shots.  I hope you enjoy seeing a little about life in North Korea.


I suggest the easiest way is to view images using the slideshow button.

To see North Korea Click

20m statues20m statues     Ex Presidential palace - hugeEx Presidential palace - huge

(Ronald Winstone) Korea North Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:03:13 GMT
My first Solo Exhibition Ronald Winstone

invites you to his first solo photography exhibition

Captivating South America

Green lakeGreen lake


The exhibition shows the excitement and colour of this vast continent.

The freezing high mountains to the languid warm coastal areas.

It also reveals the vibrance and diversity of it’s people.

It covers a generous splattering of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Equador, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina.


“I wanted to tell the story as I remember it, not as photo-realistic images but vivid memories

bubbling with extra colour and texture.” It includes a large number of big panoramas that

show the scale and grandeur of the landscape. The images are printed to abnormally high

standards using archival materials. All work is editioned and for sale.


Ronald has participated in a number of exhibitions including “Leading Photographers” at Pah

House. He is a member of the Auckland Photographic Society and President of Contemporary

Photography Foundation. He has attended numerous courses in New Zealand, Australia,

Philippines and Ukraine.


The exhibition runs from Friday 20th June to Sunday 22nd June 2014.

10am to 7pm. Kinder House, 2 Ayr Street, Parnell.

Parking available on site.

Ronald Winstone. [email protected] 021837120



(Ronald Winstone) America Exhibition South Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:36:08 GMT
Jonathan and Amanda's Wedding Great family news, with the marriage of Jonathan, our second son to Amanda Pearce on Saturday.

A wonderful service followed by a spectacular reception.

A very proud moment.


For pictures of the great event.  Visit







(Ronald Winstone) 15/3/2014 Amanda Jonathan Wedding Sun, 16 Mar 2014 09:51:29 GMT
Chile from wet to dry. It's exciting being in a country where one day you are in the wettest part of South America and 24 hours later you are in an area that hasn't seen rain for 75 years.

It's even more exciting seeing the wettest part, when it is fine and the glaciers are hanging over your head.

Moving from reflecting lakes with luscious vegetation to remarkable dry, brick coloured clay that surround the Atacama dessert. To scramble down a raven full of cactus, to ascent to 4000 meters and see geysers, then watch the sun set over the Atacama.

So ended our 10 weeks tour of South America. A deeply enriching experience that I wished had continued for ever.

The images are at Click Here

Many thanks to those that have followed the trip and commented on the images. It's been wonderful sharing this journey.


(Ronald Winstone) Chile Sat, 12 Oct 2013 07:39:55 GMT

I could have cried, to find an overcast day for our trip through the Andes. 

A journey that would take us on two boats and three buses as we crossed from Argentina into Chile.

Starting on Lake Nahuei Huapi (Bariloche), with it’s gigantic mountains and endless arms, we come to Puerto Blest, a remote outpost with one building. 


A bus takes us 3 kilometers through rich green forest, on a precipitous remote track, only used by the tourist bus to connect the two lakes. Arriving at Puerto Alegre, which is little more than a name on the map, a jetty with a couple of ferry boats. It’s a bit like being parachuted into the most remote part of New Zealand’s Fiordland.


However, any thought of tears has long disappeared as here we are in South America’s wettest area and it is fine. The camera is getting a real work out and editing becomes near impossible.


We cross Lake Frias, in near perfect conditions, glassy calm. The reflections and high snow capped hills put the camera into overdrive.


Another bus trip, past the volcanic Mount Tronador with 9 glaciers on its summit, to another remote outpost, that basically only supports our lodge.


Historically this route deserves special mention.  It has been the main access for the south western side of Argentina, pre Panama Canal days.


The colour and grandeur of the day has been totally remarkable. The good news being that there is another boat and bus trip before we leave this region. Check it out at

(Ronald Winstone) Andes Tue, 01 Oct 2013 18:27:02 GMT

This spectacular spot, sits in the top of the Andes, covered in snow. Somewhat like Queenstown, but with mountains in all directions.  Known for it’s beautiful lakes, chocolates.  For more pictures click here.

(Ronald Winstone) Bariloche Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:49:51 GMT

A quick ferry ride from Buenos Aires landed us in an old pirate town in Uruguay, Colonia. The pirates had long since gone, but their legacy remains in old stone cottages and cobble stone roads.  Now a UNESCO Heritage site and thoroughly deserving of restoration. We enjoyed a day strolling around this small carless community. Click here for images.

(Ronald Winstone) Uruguay Sun, 29 Sep 2013 03:55:41 GMT
Buenos Aires - Argentine  

A city of pomp and majesty.  Wide streets, Grand buildings - old and new, Endless parks, Copious sculpture, Marvelous culture.

Add a performance at the utterly magnificent Opera House, plus a Tango show and the vibes from this place start to grab you. 

Renown for it’s lack of safety and danger, we found it to be a welcoming and enjoyable city to visit.

For pictures "CLICK HERE"

(Ronald Winstone) - Aires Argentine Buenos Fri, 27 Sep 2013 21:33:47 GMT
Iguazu Falls  

The effort required to travel to the Iguazu falls was more than justified, when you stand on the edge of 1000’s of Huka Falls and hear the deafening roar. The tumultuous cascade of white water, squirting over every cranny and ledge for as far as the eye can see. The only problem was that we had absolutely horrible weather with some of the heaviest rain I have experienced - not much good for photography and a good test of Nikon waterproofness.

For images see:

(Ronald Winstone) Iguazu Waterfall Tue, 24 Sep 2013 22:44:59 GMT

Rio is a very remarkable city. It can only be compared with New York.  Huge sky rises, far more than I would have imagined, Spectacular shopping with all the fancy international brands. The drama and tension of bustling people and the risks that brings.

But add an exciting geography with sugar loaf mountains and great beaches and the place  becomes ever so exciting.

We started of in downtown Rio and made a visit to their new cathedral, before hitting the beaches and then being educated on some of Brazil’s precious stones. Images under Travel > South America > Brazil

(Ronald Winstone) Rio Mon, 23 Sep 2013 10:05:53 GMT
Brazil Rio de Janeiro  

All the excitement, colour, and flair of Rio, suddenly went rather flat. We struck a gloomy wet day and decided to forgo the beach and look at the more sinister side of Rio. We went slap into the horror and revolting conditions of the Favela area. The slums of Rio. Come and meet some of the inhabitants.  Travel > South America > Brazil. 

(Ronald Winstone) Favela Rio Mon, 23 Sep 2013 03:00:00 GMT

Well I am not sure that I can really claim to show images of Columbia. We made a 1 hour sortie into a border town to see the Santuario Church. Regarded as one of the more remarkable churches of South America. 

The images are in Travel > South America > Columbia

(Ronald Winstone) Columbia Sat, 21 Sep 2013 06:30:00 GMT
Quito Ecuador  

We have been using Quito as a hub and have visited this grand city three times, but on the last visit we spend some time browsing around the Old Historic City.  

I have included a glimpse of the main square plus three extra ordinary churches.

What great history is locked up in these remarkable old buildings. What a remarkable roll the churches must have played in by gone days. The gold and ornate work is astounding. The enormity of the Basilica and the gold in the Saint Frances Church.   Wow!

(Ronald Winstone) Quito Sat, 21 Sep 2013 02:19:10 GMT
Otavalo - Ecuador  

We drove north from Quito to the famous Otavalo markets.

The Ecuadorians are not afraid of some big engineering projects to create some remarkably fine roads, even if it means moving some pretty big mountains.

Otavalo lived up to expectations in terms of variety, colour and of course people. The images under: Travel > South America > Ecuador, tell the story.

Then another night in a great Hacienda.

(Ronald Winstone) Otavalo Wed, 18 Sep 2013 13:19:16 GMT

The amazing and beautiful Ecuador. This country feels positive and progressive, with better roading, housing and farming than Bolivia or Peru. The scenery is spectacular, with picturesque farms extending, like patchwork quilts, high up every hill. This country seems to have everything from the Amazon jungle to waterfalls, to high hills, heavy rainfall areas to super dry.



The haciendas with their gracious layouts are very charming and give some insight into how a few of the lucky farmers live.


Rose farming is huge business, with glasshouses everywhere.  Also Panama hats. 


The towns are enchanting, with World Heritage Cuenca, Quito with it's high hills and old city and many more.


Then comes Galapagos. The size and variety of islands and the animal life is remarkable, but the ability to have animals sitting at the end of your lens is amazing, I very seldom used my big telephoto lens and I was pleased to have a good macro lens. Editing down to a presentable batch has been a real problem.


With 11 days to catch up, there are more pictures than normal.

The images are now posted under Travel > South America > Ecuador. 

(Ronald Winstone) Ecuador Mon, 16 Sep 2013 03:05:27 GMT
Siloli Desert to Salt Flats  

After two days in the Siloli Desert we descended through some more grand scenery until we reached the Salt Flats.  Fascinating driving over the vast flat lake of salt. Sadly there are no wet patches at this time of the year to reflect the sky, but we did get some amazing mirages. Spent the night in the most attractive hotel built out of salt.  Salt tables, chairs etc, all most tastefully decorated. For pictures see Travel > Bolivia

(Ronald Winstone) Flat Salt Wed, 04 Sep 2013 01:08:46 GMT
Yunui & Siloli Desert  

Forty minutes flying time from La Paz brings you to Yunui. The gateway to Bolivia’s famous Salt Flat and the spectacular Siloli Desert.

Yunui is a bit like a hell hole, a small town that sits on a vast plain and is subjected to wind and freezing temperatures. Traditionally a mining town it now caters for tourism. In true form it provided us with a minus 15 degree welcome.

After a quick visit to the train cemetery, we head toward the Siloli Desert, passing through the odd mining town and the world’s largest silver mine.

The Siloli Desert is one of the most inhospitable areas you can imagine, at 4,500m above sea level you really start gasping for air, temperatures below freezing and a chilling wind that puts 5 layers of Icebreaker clothing to the test.

To make matters more interesting and challenging, there are virtually no roads. For the next 2 days we are in rough off-road 4 wheel drive conditions.

However the scenery is awesome. This is no flat desert but the home of endless gigantic mountains that rise up like stately kings, proudly holding their heads up to 6,200 meters.

The pictures speak for themselves. Wind shaped rocks, multi coloured lakes and breathtaking scenery.

After a testing day we finally come to our lodge Tayka del Desierto. Located at the base of a huge mountain it looked a welcome sight, built entirely of rock, inside and out. But enthusiasm disappeared rapidly when we discovered there was no heating in the public areas till 6pm and no heating in the bedrooms. The worst part was the fact that we were to spend 2 nights in this freezing chamber.

The editing of pictures has been a challenge with only a sprinkling being posted. See Travel > Bolivia.

(Ronald Winstone) & Desert Siloli Yunui Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:14:14 GMT
La Paz - Bolivia  

Intriguing La Paz, Bolivia's capital,  just blows you away.. The highest capital in the world at 3.6km above sea level, with 1.5mil people. Nestled in a vast valley with precipitous sides. 

The vibrance and colour of the city is overwhelming. Most of the women wear traditional costumes, the politicians and businessmen in formal attire.

Fascinating and bewildering. 

(Ronald Winstone) Bolivia La Paz Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:15:03 GMT
Titikaka from Puno to La Paz From the lakeside town of Puno, we travelled along the shore of Lake Titikaka, through some very primitive, but quaint farmland, arriving at the Bolivian resort of Casablanca. A humble, but popular holiday spot for Bolivians. A ceremony to bless motor vehicles was in progress and the city center was gridlocked with colourfully decorated cars, trucks and buses. A great money making concern for the local church.

Sadly the day we arrived the Bolivian Navy, who have no access to the ocean, decided to close the lake due to rough weather, all of 2 foot waves. That resulted in us spending the night in port rather than on an island. However dawn broke to a calm lake and we spent a few hours on one of the islands before heading for La Paz.

Some of the shots are published under Travel > Peru

(Ronald Winstone) Casablanca Sun, 01 Sep 2013 04:08:43 GMT
Puno, Lake Titikaka Puno is a real dump with nothing worth photographing apart from squalor.

A bitterly cold day with a fascinating visit to Uros Island, made from floating reeds. 

The village consists of several hundred houses extending over about 1 km.  

Very friendly and remarkably photogenic.  For more images go to Travel > Peru or use this link

(Ronald Winstone) Lake Titikaka Puno Sat, 24 Aug 2013 23:57:25 GMT
Train to Puno  

WE travelled from Cusco to Puno by a classical old train, very slow and very nice.

Though some grand countryside and horribly poor towns.

Arriving Puno on the shores of Lake Titikaka in the dusk.

Pictures posted under Travel > Peru

(Ronald Winstone) Sat, 24 Aug 2013 12:45:18 GMT
Amazon We are back in Cusco having had four utterly remarkable nights on the Amazon.

The hotel or resort we stayed in was magnificent and the service and kindness of the staff far beyond any expectations.

The environment was fascinating. We walked for miles and saw all sorts of amazing sites, which has lead to a huge editing problem. Trying to cut 100 odd images down to a manageable number is cruel. Also it has been difficult time wise, but they are under Peru for those that want to share.  

The highlight of the trip was the last night which was spend 9 stories high in the canopy of the forest.

Sadly the Amazon images are out of order, but will try to improve if I get near an internet spot.  

(Ronald Winstone) Amazon Fri, 23 Aug 2013 03:43:22 GMT
Waychu Picchu We knocked the "bugger off". 

Yes we did it. Waychu Picchu is the thimble shaped peak in the background of most photos of Machu Picchu. An early morning start at 5am, on a rainy misty morning. Luckily we were in the first batch of 200 people and started the long steep climb to the top. Certainly challenging, and in places very steep and narrow, but basically a very good track. It took about 45minutes to actually climb to the top, but this did not include photography time including my first video.

Fortunately the weather cleared about 3/4 of the way up and we spent about 30 minutes, in full sun, on the summit.

More images in the Travel section, under Peru.

Can I have some feedback on the duration it is taking to load the "Peru" file.  There are a lot of images and if it is taking to long to download, I can split it into smaller folders.

(Ronald Winstone) Picchu Wayna Sun, 18 Aug 2013 11:59:09 GMT
Machu Picchu Finally the journey along the Sacred Valley, brings you high into the hills and up to the land of the gods.

Then all of a sudden, there is Machu Picchu. Very exciting.

(Ronald Winstone) Machu Picchu Sat, 17 Aug 2013 03:54:25 GMT
Sacred Valley  

From Cusco, Peru, we drove to the Sacred Valley. The entrance way to Machu Picchu and the focal point of the Inca Empire.

The Sacred Valley was enchanting, but sadly we had a wretched driver that was in a hurry and would not stop for photos. Alas some remarkable views were lost.

We also had a day relaxing in a magnificent hotel, where our room looked through trees to a river that was only 10 meters away.  We felt very spoilt.

Again to see more images, check out Travel - Peru.

(Ronald Winstone) Sacred Valley Fri, 16 Aug 2013 03:52:47 GMT
Cusco Two fascinating days in Cusco. It reminds me of Queenstown as far as tourists go.  The only difference is that this haas been a tourist mecca for ever. Some fascinating buildings. Sadly everything swings around the tourist, with endless restaurants, souvenir shots, and tour operators.


(Ronald Winstone) Cusco Wed, 14 Aug 2013 05:06:34 GMT
Valley of the volcanos On leaving Colca we visited a small rather prosperous village, then headed back to Arequipa, over the divide at 4800m and then past the majestic Valley of Volcanos. More images under Travel > Peru.  Note there are several pages to scroll through or just click see all.

(Ronald Winstone) Valley Volcanos of the Mon, 12 Aug 2013 05:14:46 GMT
Flying with the Condors Atop one of the world's deepest canyons soar these great birds. 

Ecstasy !

(Ronald Winstone) Condors Sun, 11 Aug 2013 17:27:14 GMT
Colca Canyon and 4,800m ascent After an extra day in Arequipa spent touring around the suburban and rural areas, we headed to the Colca Canyon on some rather amazing roads, chock-a-block with huge trucks.  Excellent views of Llama & Alpaca.  Fortunately no altitude problems, but very aware of thinner air.  Colca was a treat with an abundance of Condors.  For images check out


(Ronald Winstone) colca Sun, 11 Aug 2013 01:19:07 GMT
Arequipa, 2nd largest city in Peru. 1mil people. Sitting high on a vast alluvial valley, 3000 m above sea level, higher than Ruapehu, is AREQUIPA. Scarcely a thriving metropolis but extremely quaint in the tourist area. Grand cathedral on the main square and a very interesting monastery.

For more images, check under the Travel tab for Peru.

Life as a tourist is starting to settle down.


(Ronald Winstone) Arequipa Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:47:56 GMT
Arrive Chile Long flight to Santiago, where we were only in transit, but could not resist the awesome coastal mountains all covered in mist.

(Ronald Winstone) Santiago Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:15:29 GMT
Family farewell What a great send off.  We had the entire family for the big farewell dinner and to celebrate birthdays, with Daphne making a surprise visit in from Sydney. What a great joy._D136560 _D136569

(Ronald Winstone) Farewell Sat, 03 Aug 2013 21:07:10 GMT