Craig Potton is New Zealand's best known landscape photographer and an ardent conservationist. In pursuit of his photography he has tramped and climbed extensively in New Zealand, its sub-Antarctic Islands, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the Nepal Himalaya, and more recently Poland, India and Iceland. For more than four decades he has documented the New Zealand wilderness, exploring relationships between the concept of artistic beauty and wilderness in the natural world. Born in Nelson, New Zealand, he gained degrees in Eastern Religion and English, then, after a brief teaching career, began working full-time for the conservation movement. He remains actively involved in conservation work more than forty years later.
Craig's own books are widely regarded. New Zealand Aotearoa is one of New Zealand's best-selling pictorial titles, and Classic Walks of New Zealand, The Nature of Things, Moment and Memory, Offerings from Nepal and Here on Earth were all Montana New Zealand Book Award finalists in their publication year. More recently he has produced a major work New Zealand 's Wilderness Heritage and a large scale art book of his landscape photography, New Zealand.
He has worked as a Location/Stills Photographer on The Lord of the Rings, Peter Pan and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe motion pictures. His photographic reputation continues to grow, with exhibitions at Christchurch Art Gallery, National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and a major retrospective at the Rowe Gallery, North Carolina, USA and Luksfera Gallery in Poland and Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
Craig makes his home in Nelson, New Zealand and is an Executive member of the New Zealand Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society and is actively involved in the New Zealand Green Party.
Craig has recently completed the New Zealand documentary series Rivers (2010) and Wild Coasts (2011) which he conceived, screen-wrote and presented. At the 2011 New Zealand Scriptwriters Awards he won Best Documentary Script for his episode 'Rangitata'.
"A good photo can sometimes be an arrow to the heart of things, alluding to or eliciting an immediate encounter. It is the nature of art and the way of nature to push us beyond the narrow realities we often become trapped in, to new or forgotten realms of pleasure." Craig Potton, Moment and Memory.