October 2018 social media round-up…

October 2018 social media round-up…

Octobers postings for the month on Facebook and Instagram was a mixed bag of places with a bit of experimentation thrown in for good measure. Variety is supposed to be the spice of life isn’t it?

A lucky chance passing the Tauranga Bridge Marina when the light was just starting to show some awesome colour was the incentive to stop and look for some nice reflective imaging. When was about to press the shutter waited for this intrepid boat in the dingy to pass and got him in just the right spot with a tad of added blur to show the movement. He was actually well-chair bound so hats off to him…

This was a image that i published a few full moons ago but it was spotted to go up as a 8 meter wide wallpaper in a new Tauranga office. Awesome…

Nothing like watching the sun go down at the Tauranga Sulphur Point Marina…

Nothing like watching the sun go down and lights come on from atop the Mount.

Just for fun a disastrous attempt at star trails with a selfie…

The mettle road to Tokino  ski field from the Desert Road is a interesting little sidetrack on a road trip…

Tawhai Falls or Gollums Pool as some know them from the LOTR movies. Such a difficult place to image until you get the right light and atmosphere.

September 2018 collection of images from social media…

September 2018 collection of images from social media…

Using a diary style of posting am thinking that a monthly roundup of images that are posted on my Facebook and instagram pages here with some back ground info may be of interest to a few followers. If so check back here when i give a link in the facebook page for new stuff and if you want to find out about prints and or how the images were made just drop me a line.

At low tide in the inner harbour at Pahoia Beach if you catch a evening with no breeze at all coupled with a great cloud display going on then whats not to like. You do tend to try and make the shot so that if you flipped it upside down you wouldn’t notice any difference.The problem with these shots is making sure your tripod legs don”t sink into the sand.

This image posted on Facebook on the 2nd of September.

With the change of seasons from winter to spring we can get what some call three seasons in one day- or maybe four. With this image was trying to convey the transition that you can get by the brooding dark cloud system with just a glimmer of brightness [ or hope ] showing thru to just light the way. A added bonus is the nice reflections going on. Seems that reflections is becoming a recurring theme…

Posted on the 6th September.

To get a image from the Kauri Point wharf does have a few challenges. In this panoramic aimed to provide a sense of standing on the sandy shore of which there isn”t much at high tide. Getting the wharf to provide some leading element is mandatory but with the clouds lighting up made a spur of the moment decision to just do a pano in portrait mode and blend them together but having decided that then that means that the tripod has to be as level as possible to make stitching the images together as seamless as possible…not always easy when you rush things on a sandy beach when the tripod legs sink in the sand. Hmmm…

Anyways practice proved a saving grace in the end and it worked out just as i envisaged. Yay.

Posted to Facebook 9th September.

The walking track around Mount Maunganui is well used by fitness bods to tourists to just people wanting a wander. But lots just rush around doing their thing without looking at their surroundings so when a seal was having some fun in the surf a few did stop to just take the time and watch. Must be one of the best de-stress things that we all can do…stop and smell the roses.

Posted on the 11th September.

Another with the theme of winter to spring. Using a long exposure technique which can be problematic in a windy spot wanted to blur out the waves over the rocks to have a ethereal feel but not blur the clouds which meant selecting the right filter , holding tripod and keeping exposure to around 2 seconds. Seems to have worked ok…

Posted on the 13th September.

Was doing my usual reflection thing at the beach at Tay Street at the Mount which is a surfing beach and on way back up spotted this contrasting scene with the palm trees which i thought was just neat. Had to get this shot as i find silhouettes with the right subject interesting.

Posted on 16th September.

When looking at these types of shots it is nice to have something leading your eye into the scene. Methought that the three runs of wash water provided just the setting although they are going the wrong way in a strict sense. But the sun reflection does the same job so went with that. Sometimes you just have to quickly get the shot and a sense of balance just appears for you.

Posted on the 20th September.

A bit of a mad dash to get to this spot in time for the light show and i wasn’t the only one with the same idea. Must admit thats the first time that have shared a sunset spot at all. Have been spoilt methinks or perhaps dont like crowds. A panoramic was called for to try for the leading lines of the old wharf pilings leading towards the setting sun but also the light show with clouds on the right as well. Kept the rocks in the foreground to give a sense of place and/or to get your bearings on dry land.

Posted on the 23rd of September.

A picture study of Omokoroa.

A picture study of Omokoroa.

Omokoroa in the Tauranga Harbour was a sleepy holiday destination then a few people decided that as well as holidays there why not make it a retirement home. With this general mix of people for awhile its now become a satellite style of new town with all the new development to contrast against the old batch style of community and everything in between. To the old timers its just not the same but is still good to see some of the original batches still taking centre stage on the waterfront.

Have been trying to catch some interesting imagery of the waterfront area recently but the good light has been elusive to say the least. So that brings out a bit of a creative thought process with this imagery with some good luck at being in the right place at the right time.

Lets chat about a image for your blank wall space delivered to your place ready to hang.

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A focus on: The Wellington waterfront…

A focus on: The Wellington waterfront…

Recently had the good fortune to be in Wellington for a major family event. And the saying that you cant beat Wellington on a good day was so true as to my mind it rivals and sometimes surpass Tauranga as a harbour city. Auckland has its moments too but it takes so long to get around. Now i know that you may say that Wellington with its sometimes narrow and winding streets is a bit old fashioned but i think that that is what gives this city some of its charm. Theres plenty of history here and a vibrant arts culture as well as all the hot air around parliament.

When you drive down the motorway leading into Wellington from the north and you make that right hand turn and see the harbour and cityscape for the first time on a nice sunny day you cant beat it.

If you are driving into the city centre and like me not used to how to get where and which lane to take good old Google maps with lane directions is a good start. Parking at Te Papa is a breeze as it keeps you away from the carparks that the city workers use and which can cost a arm and a leg and some with 2 hour limits for shoppers. At Te Papa you can stay for 5 or 6 hours but just have to pay of course.

So this is a small collection of images from the waterfront near Te Papa. All of these have been listed on the Alamy stock photo site and are also available as a print if you so chose. Lets talk..

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Coromandels hidden gems…

Coromandels hidden gems…

Many of the well known and photographed spots in the Coromandel always have plenty of visitors coming and going, like the famous Cathedral Cove and the Hot Water Beach, among others. But there is much more to be seen, it just takes some looking and a bit of dumb luck to find your way to a spot outside of common local knowledge. This coastal route is one of those hidden gems, as a coastal reserve that does not have a DOC maintained access track. Consequently, some common sense is required when navigating the steep bluffs and natural tree root steps, with old rope used for steeper sections. All in all, it is a 3-4 hour round trip if you want to get to the long beach which passes two other bays that might make their own peaceful stopping points. The further you go the less evidence of humans you will find. The easiest way to travel to this spot seems to be by boat as there are fisherpeople usually taking advantage of the plentiful rock formations in the area, which attract a decent number of fish for them to attempt to catch.

 

All of the above are illustrative iPhone images from the track.

Track markers from the first bay on are just orange bits of cloth tied to branches so do not look for the usual DOC pointy orange arrows. Also parts of what we shall call a route run against some fencing, rusty barbed wire included as well as low hanging Pohutakawa tree branches as well as the odd flax bush that tries to trip you up.

The point that i am making is its a bit of a challenge if you don’t get off trail much but the rewards are just stupendous. Have some common sense and you will be fine. Just be aware of the tides and weather forecasts.

Named this Spanner Rock as it seemed like a upside down spanner. Its a man thing…

Had to include a selfie, as you do. This is the second bay on the track going south, after this  the long beach can be reached by scrambling up through some bush and then following a small track down a small ridge line.

This is Tokakahakaha Island. This beach is the reward for your track navigations where hopefully there is no one around.

Images from a previous trip. Funny how you keep coming back but then again its usually different each time so plenty to photograph and always new corners to explore.

With all these images just mouse click on them to bring up a larger image for viewing…

Lets know if you would just love one for your wall space to brighten up your day.

Onemana coastal track...

This is the start point for the track. Don’t get lost…

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Burke Street old wharf…

Burke Street old wharf…

The old wharf piles at Burke Street in Thames in the Coromandel are a bit of a photographers magnet. Its a little bit like the Wanaka Tree in its ability to attract attention but it has no glorious mountain back-drop to fill in behind so its really the weather at the time yhat has to fill in that spot be it a stunning sunset or some moody clouds. A perfect cloudless sky doesn’t seem to cut it.

In this case the day was just bleh and had a monotone feel so what else is a photog to do but make a black and white image. Have included a colour shot made just afterwards for a comparison.

Both these images are available to purchase as a canvas print of fine art without the watermarks.

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Right place, right time…

Right place, right time…

So true are these words when i was just doing a bit of “carry the heavy camera bag up and around the Mount” for some resistance training. Thats my excuse anyways. The first hint of a awesome sunset was when you look at the Kaimai Ranges and you can see a clear line of sight just above the ranges then cloud above. This means that when the sun dips below the cloud and above the ranges you get a burst of sunlight under the cloud layer…depending upon whats happening in the Waikato as so far as cloud layers are concerned which would block the light. On this evening there must have been nothing all the way to the west coast as the sky really lit up sending most photogs into a frenzy…online anyway.

But all this is a bit useless unless you have a half decent composition. The best i could find at that time was the main Mount beach which isn’t to shabby anyway.

These two panoramas are made up of 7 images taken from left to right with exposure, focus etc all locked down to keep the images the same so that they would stitch together with-out any tell tale lines between the shots.Was a bit frantic getting everything set properly before the light disappeared. Thankfully managed these shots which are really pleased with especially the shot looking back at the Mount. Kept the hill in shadow as that seemed to suit the image to highlight the rest of the scene. How well did i do? Lets know…submit a comment in the comments form below under the order form…

As usual these images are available as prints with-out the watermark…lets talk.

To view larger just click on the image and it will open in a lightbox viewer…

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Cathedral Cove at sunrise…

Cathedral Cove at sunrise…

Cathedral Cove – Te Whanganui-A-Hei – is one of New Zealands most iconic tourist destinations in the Coromandel. Images of the cove are very well known as are shots of Te Hoho rock and Mares Leg in the next door cove. So with that in mind  its a small challenge to try to find a image that has none of the touristy feel just to be different.

In a touristy spot? Ha…good luck with that maybe.

Anyways here is my impressions from a quick pre-holiday visit. Amazing how DOC has sealed the walking track down. A first for NZ!

 

Te Hoho rock portrait at dawn looking back at the cove.

Mares Leg rock which is still looking precarious.

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More wanders at National Park…

More wanders at National Park…

The joys of wandering around mountains…

“The best laid plans of mice and men.” Thats a quote that comes to mind after a bit of planning to be at a certain area for a natural event which cannot be delayed and what do you know but the usual suspect called clouds come along to add their contribution. Bah…

The event was the supermoon arising last December and the plan was to image it rising over the upper Tama Lake at National Park beside Ngauruhoe. To get to the lakes involves a hike from the Chateau past Taranaki Falls and on to the lakes. Thats about 17km return which is not far off doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing although there isn’t the major height to scale. Neverless the scramble up the steeper section once you reach the lower Tama lake vantage point can be a bit of a scramble carrying 18 kilos of photog gear and a bit of dinner and warm stuff for the night treck back.At least there was no wind which this area is renowned for as wandering with a heavy pack you do get pushed around a tad and on exposed ridges it pays to keep your focus on what is around you.

As is usual for these tramps you get to one seemingly end point and there is still another climb to go up…then another. Just love these character building exercises. But apart from the usual grumbles form the usual suspect the rewards to tend to pay off…mostly sometimes.The view point for the Upper Tama Lake eventually arrives into view and its really not bad. There is nothing like standing on a upper knoll with a half decent view to take in the grand vista. From Ngauruhoe past the lake around to Ruapehu past the lower Tama Lake and around to Taranaki in the distance to the west its not bad really. Almost time for a beer if i had brought one but had to function on some green tea and bush honey instead with the usual snacks while getting the bearings for this supermoon event. Its relatively easy today to plan this stuff with the apps we have to the point that i know exactly where the moon will rise between two ridges across the lake.  Awesome …that plan is working but the early warning signs of a bit of cloud start to show. Hmmmm.

This is the Lower Tama lake from the vantage point just before the climb up the ridge behind for the Upper lake. To get down there would be a decent side trip assuming you could find a good route. There is no marked track down so the assumption would be that going down is not encouraged. To explore this area more it would make sense to camp out…

But to even get to this place a lot has happened regarding the planning. Apart from just getting there the list of stuff in the bag has a few ticks –

  • food and water with small stove
  • maps and gps tramping app on phone to trace the route with spare power pac for recharging
  • thermal layers
  • alpine wet jacket and leggings
  • first aid kit including shock blanket and insect repellant – herbal of course
  • and most important – a personal locator beacon!

The gps is really handy to know where you are and how much further especially at night time where you lose the terrain as a reference.

 

The upper Tama lake colour is just striking against the volcanic terrain around Ngauruhoe and the plan was for the moon to arise to the right of the ridge on the right hand side of Ngauruhoe. I have a app for that…haha.

So now comes the cloud bank from the north east which is from where the moon will be rising. Bugger…to put it mildly. So plan B then. Often watching the clouds around Ngauruhoe just before sunset they can gather as if a small storm is brewing but after sunset they seem to magically disappear. That is useless for capturing the moon rise beside Ngauruhoe so back we go. And must mention that the insect repellant sure was handy with the clouds of flies around at dusk. Not sure why but the alpine flowers were out so that may have something to do with it.

Anyways was just hoping for something on the trail back and this is what i got. Pays to look behind aye…

Ngauruhoe shines under the Supermoon now that the clouds have stopped ruining the party….

But also apart from hiking 17 odd kms for that Supermoon shot there were other things to be checking on. The chairlift had just started for the summer season up the skifeild from the top of the bruce so for $30 odd bucks plus food money it was a bit of a change instead of tramping to get high for a view…pity about the hordes of sandflies. The air was thick with them as well as the last of the snow were covered with dead ones. Yay for herbal insect repellent.

Its really worth the dollars to get up there but no Ruapehu climb this trip. When the snow is melting that creates a under melt situation where the snow seems firm but if you put your weight on it you can sink like a stone into a cavity underneath. Not great with a heavy photog backpack. Next time then…

On the road up to the Chateau on the left are the Tawhai Falls which compared to Tama Lakes is a doddle really. But all the same as falls they are still worth visiting but be prepared to be surrounded with a few others.

Photographically speaking found getting a image that was pleased with was proving to be problematic so opted for the tried and true system of whats called bracketing three shots – one correct exposure, one at 1 stop under and one 1 stop over exposed – which when combined in whats called High Dynamic Range software gives far more latitude. The idea is that the camera cannot capture the full range of details between light and dark so by doing it this way you try to show what the eye sees rather than blown out highlights or black blacks with no detail. The challenge with this system is to keep it looking realistic to the very important person the viewer…

Here”s my attempt …

Tawhai Falls on the road to the Chateau…

One other item on the agenda was trying to get a half decent shot of Mount Taranaki from National Park. This has been alluding me for yonks and mountains being mountains the frustrations with getting a shot comes as part of the territory.

A last ditch attempt was made to rush around to the Turoa skifeild as there was a really good chance of getting a shot at that  altitude without much cloud. Ha…so what comes down as sunset comes closer- you guessed it – a nice thick ceiling of cloud. Hung around a bit longer to try and gauge whether it was coming or going then just threw the toys out of the cot and headed back down the skifeild access road. But wait…on the way down came out from under the cloud level and here was Taranaki with a magical sunset going on behind. What awesome luck…pulled off on a hairpin bend, out came the 200mm lens and a gap in the trees and this is the result…just pure magic.

To get the layers running up to Taranaki then layers in the clouds was just over the top.

Said a BIG thank you for that one…its really satisfying when it just all comes together after so many attempts [ and beers ].

 

 

Mount Taranaki from the Turoa skifeild access road…

Also Ruapehu looks good from any angle really.

Using crop lines just makes for another dimension with this shot…

Ruapehu with crop lines…

On the way north on the Desert Road just before the summit there are these Ruapehu Hebe”s growing in this grainy volcanic material and have many a time said to myself “must stop and photograph them”.

This time i did.

The way these plants survive in that climate and in that growing substance makes them a stand out. Ngauruhoe also makes for a special back study.

Every stay at National Park brings up something new or a different light shows things in a different way. Photographing in mountains is always going to have its challenges but if you persevere the rewards are there…you just have to look.

Ruapehu Hebe plants beside the Desert Road…

Any of these images are available as a canvas print or a fine art print ready for you to frame.

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Layers upon layers…

Layers upon layers…

Mount Taranaki from Ruapehu.

The intention was to chase that special sunset view of Taranaki from somewhere around Tongariro National Park because when the atmospherics are just right the sight of Taranaki is just magical at sunset.So with that idea as a plan A tried my luck at the Turoa skifeild carpark area as this point gets you reasonably high by just driving up the road rather than risk a vantage point from a hiking track.

The evening started with a bit of cloud but that soon turned to custard with a thick layer of cloud depending around Ruapehu. Bummer…thats not the plan. So after waiting for some intervention as i could see the glow of a sunset underneath the cloud layer, but no Taranaki, started to head down the access road and after a couple of minutes could start to see Taranaki with a just blazing sunset behind. Was quick to find a vantage point on a sharp hairpin bend out of passing traffics way and set up with a 200mm soon lens and managed to get this thru a gap in the  bush. Wow…just had to say thanks for that…as you do.

Its amazing where having a camera and a purpose has taken me. This has to rank right up there because to get layers like this is so very hard to do. What also ranks highly was watching the sun rise from a mountain top…especially with family.

Seems the journey continues…

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