Category Archives: Landscapes

Morning Ramble

This morning I ended up with time to kill in Porirua. I had to pick up a Trade-Me purchase before 8:30am but the shop I also wanted to visit didn’t open till 9:00am. So i decided to take the camera and see what I could capture. Unfortunately the light was not that great.

First stop was the boat sheds at the entrance of the inlet. People are not supposed to live in them but some look pretty set up with full plumbing and even vegetables growing.

The rails on the slip show the sign of age.
The rails on the slip show the sign of age.
Nautical enhancements
Nautical enhancements
Once a loved toy I suspect
Once a loved toy I suspect
A creative use of an old dingy as a vege garden
A creative use of an old dingy as a vege garden

I then made my way to the seaward side of State Highway one and down the marina and Ngatitoa park.

The old wall of an 1860's fort. Not sure about the multi colour wall behind.
The old wall of an 1860’s fort. Not sure about the multi colour wall behind.
Old Anchors make great sculptures
Old Anchors make great sculptures
A tribute to a grand tradition
A tribute to a grand tradition
I just loved this little boat and the refections.
I just loved this little boat and the refections.


Misty Morns

One of the things about Winter in the Hutt Valley is that the mornings are often misty especially around the river. Unfortunately I normally get to see these on my way to work without a camera. Therefore on Saturday when I woke up to discover the mist I decided it was time to go out and get some shots.

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When we got down to the river the conditions were almost perfect for the shots that I wanted. Lots of mists moving slowly around and with only the slightest of breeze. This was important because the other thing you find on such mornings are dew laidened cobwebs, but you only shoot these if there is little wind.

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Of Rainbows and Ghostly Houses

My wife’s family arrived on one of the first settler boats into the Wellington harbour in the 1800’s and the family then spent five days walking over the Rimuataka’s to settle in Masterton. Right up to her mother the family lived in Masterton and ran a farm just north of the town. They are buried in the oldest part of the Masterton Cemetery.

As our daughter was out of town we decided to spend the day over the hill and see if we could find the graves, and the old farm. Both proved much more difficult than anticipated. While we could find the plots and grave markers had long disappeared. Also while we found the area that we understood the farm to be on, the land had changed so much that we could not be certain.

The day was marked with sun and rain and at times the road seem to delineate the two. As a result there were a number of extremely bright rainbows.

Wairarapa-1 Wairarapa

In the afternoon we drove out towards Gladstone so that I could find a derelict farmhouse that I had seen several times in other’s photos. Fortunately it was not that difficult to find as no one was around I jumped the fence and actually went up to it. It’s only inhabitants now are a large flock of pigeons.

I understand that the house was moved to the property in four pieces in the 1980’s and the farmer had intended to turn into a family home. Its sits right on top of the hill and commands million dollar views over the valley below. Unfortunately soon after his wife left him and in the midst of a farming recession he had neither the money nor the will to complete the renovations. So the house has continued to deteriorate.

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Street Art

Melbourne is a great place for art and quite a lot of it is not stuck in galleries but is on the walls of the many alleyways that run through the city. I am referring to piece of street art (as opposed to tags).

The council actually have a funny attitude to street art. They have a scheme where (with the building owner’s permission) an artist can submit a concept for a piece of work which will last for 6 months. The piece will be approved, but the artist has to paint it without being seen, because graffiti is illegal. Obviously because one man’s art is another graffiti trying to come up with a definition has been too difficult for them.

I doubt that it is actually policed much anyway.

While we were holidaying there I spent quite a bit of time down alleyways trying to capture the best of the work and now have quite a collection that will probably be used with some more commercial work.

Photographing in alleyways has special challenges (apart from the obvious one of being mugged). The ones is Melbourne can be three or four story high so light is a major issue. Deploying the flash will often not produce a good result as you end up with hot spots as the paint reflects the flash.

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Helping others – The Phil Jacobs Benefit Auction

Those that know me will know that I often end up helping others. In fact for about 7 years I was a volunteer member of the Adobe Community experts programme that supported Dreamweaver developers.

So it should come as no surprise that when I heard about the appeal to help Phil Jacobs that I just had to help by offering both my time and an image. This shot, which was taken just south of Palmerston North earlier in the year, was framed and at the auction tonight sold for $200.00. It was one of 66 images that went under the hammer.



Misty Morn

Spring Color

Every once in a while it is nice to get out of your normal shooting mode and try something a little different, so when Sunday morning dawned bright and clear I encourage the whole family to go on a trip into the Wellington Botanical gardens.

Those that know Wellington will know that at this time of year the gardens are awash with color especially the tulip beds. I decided to take along the only macro lens I have in my possession and get in close. This is not the easiest as the lens is a Sigma 70-300mm lens that between 200-300mm can be flicked into a macro mode. DOF at this range is extremely narrow and a tripod is almost a necessity.

We made the gardens after lunch and managed to time it just right with the sun going in and out of cloud. When it was out it was at a nice angle to back light the flowers. My 16 year old daughter even got in the mood and went around shooting the flowers on her ipod touch. I would have to say that it did not do such a bad job.

We were not the only photographer there that day. Fortunately we had all but finished when the cloud started dropping rain again.

Noon light

We are always told that the best light occurs around sunset and sunrise and that the middle of the day we should avoid if we can. That is generally true but in the middle of winter you can end up with days where the sun is still low and with the right high cloud gets very diffused and quite nice.

Mix that with a high tide and no wind and you get awesome light and conditions to shoot around the harbour.

Misty Morning

One of the great things about living in Upper Hutt is the morning mist that we get through the winter especially around the river. Unfortunately for me I normally get to see it on my way into work, when I can’t stop and take pictures.

But this morning the day was fine and the mist glistened with the morning sun. My wife and I took the dogs for a walk along the river and managed to get a few shots. Hope you enjoy them.