Young Photographer of the Year teams up with Million Metres

31 May 2017 by The Million Metres team Auckland

Talman Madsen is a New Zealand based photographer. He spends his time travelling to wild places seeking out scenes that make our jaws drop, all the while documenting it on social media. In 2016 he was awarded New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year. 

Through his travels he has managed to amass a large following on social media. It's always been important to him that he uses his influence for good. When he heard about Million Meters it was only natural that he would jump on board as a supporting photographer.

We caught up with Talman to find out his story and what he’s been up to lately:

How did you get into photography?  

I went on a road trip from Auckland down to Queenstown with my brothers and took a pretty basic camera with me for the ride after a friend suggested I had an eye for it after seeing some of my iPhone shots. During the trip my respect and love for wild New Zealand grew and I soon found myself adventuring all over New Zealand with camera in hand!

Just over a year after that road trip I left my job to pursue my passion full time. Not long after I was awarded the New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year award, and the rest is history!  

How have you found being a full time photographer this last year?

It's been a roller coaster, I’m getting to every region in New Zealand every couple of months for photography. It’s a huge adventure, I'm constantly discovering new places, meeting new people and working with exciting companies. Sometimes I have to pinch myself just to make sure it’s real! 

My online following on Instagram has exploded and I've just cracked through to the 29 thousand follower mark - something I never even dreamt about when I started out. I've also been lucky enough to work with companies such as SnapChat, Lonely Planet, BuzzFeed, Pure New Zealand, multiple regional tourism boards, LOWA, Earth Sea Sky and heaps of other cool companies and brands. 


You’ve been helping Million Metres out lately! Why is this important to you? 

The topic of water is becoming more and more prominent. People are becoming more aware of how precious this resource is. They are realising we need to do what we can now to ensure it's something we can enjoy in the future.  

Being an adventurer I see a lot of epic places... I also see a lot of places that I'm sure once upon a time were epic. Water is the giver of life and it's something I am really passionate about. I work with Million Meters as I believe in what they are doing and I want to see New Zealand waterways restored!

Using my followers, images, and storytelling ability I want to get the word out about our freshwater and get people continuing the discussion and being involved.

What messages do you want your photography to send to followers?   

I aim to capture images that tell a story. Of late I have been obsessed with braided rivers, especially glacier fed ones. I was blown away the first time I saw a glacial braided river from above, the intense blue colour, the way the strands of water moved together and apart, in and out following the path of least resistance, moving the river bed depending on the flow, widening and contracting.

Recently I spent three days rafting down the Landsborough River and my appreciation level has moved to an all-time high after experiencing the flow for myself, picking the lines, floating with the current, rushing over rapids, swerving to avoid submerged rocks, swimming in the cold water, drinking at will from the water around us.

Experiences like this shape my photography and it is my wish that people will catch a glimpse of the story I'm telling and feel compelled to experience what I am in their own way.  

Recently I had someone tell me they never knew how awesome the place they lived was until they’d seen an adventure I’d been on there, they’ve since been inspired to get out into nature more and are now discovering their backyard in a whole new light. This is the type of feedback that excited me because I know that as people reconnect with nature they will naturally become more involved with protecting it and doing their part to protect and restore it.

Million Metres Project Lead, Georgina Hart, says:

“It’s a privilege to have inspired young New Zealanders supporting Million Metres. We’re excited to tell more stories  with help from photographers like Talman. Talman’s work helps educate and inspire New Zealanders to take care of waterways and that’s what we need more of.”

You can see work Talman has helped with on the Million Metres Instagram.

You can also check out Talman personal pages here: