2020 September/October social media roundup.

2020 September/October social media roundup.

This is a round up of the Facebook, Flickr and Instagram imagery that was posted. Have added some extra back stories over and above what was shared to the social media platforms as on this website there is far more scope to share additional information.

All these images are available as prints. We print in house on Canon fine art papers. Contact me with the form at the bottom to enquire.

2272 Tongaporutu archway

This archway at Tongaporutu is a really prominate feature when trying to explore the coastline here. So much so that this time it was impassable as the storm just gone had moved the sand from against the cliff face and under the arch and around it so much that it was impassable. This was at dead low tide and was up to my knees at this point and the water was getting deeper the further i went and chances of rouge waves tipping me over was just too great. Never mind … exploring this coast will just have to wait. A hand held shot.

2338 Pourerere Beach

This is Pourerere Beach on the coast in Hawkes Bay east from Waipawa town.Its a really easy access beach with a flat sandy foreshore with mostly no rocks until you travel around the headlands.

With this image used the good old leading lines effect to carry the eye up to the point in the distance. Object was to convey the wide open space and flat beach foreshore giving a impression of being there alone just wandering along as we all do just thinking about heaps and then not much at all at the same time…as you do.

2350 Pourerere Beach headland

Another shot at Pourerere Beach but looking the other way. The out going tide was leaving nice wet sand areas for awesome reflections and the gulls had to get in on the act. This is looking south.

1834 crawfishing tractors

The cray fishermen just before Cape Palliser have a dangerous piece of coast line to launch and retreive their boats. So much so that old bulldozers make for the best option as a tow tractor to get the trailer in and out. Probably where all good bulldozers go to die…

There was a Lotto advert made here with these tactors not so long ago.

2157 Dawson Falls

These are the Dawson Falls which are reached relatively easily from Manaia Road. The road thru the bush is really well worth the drive by itself to get up there and not for some one in a rush.

Waterfalls can sometimes be a bit problematic especially with a blue bird day such as this was because there is very bright highlights and really dark shadows. The trick to get around this issue is to whats called bracketing  at least three shots in Raw format- one at one stop under exposed, one normal and one over exposed by one stop. This means that under exposed  image gets all the highlight data running thru to the over exposed shot which gets all the dark shadow data set. These are combined using a what is called a HDR programe [ high dynamic range ] to show a balanced image. The camera cant record the dynamic range like our eyes can see so the challenge is to produce a shot that mimicks what we saw at the time.

2488 walnut tree

A exercise in luminosity and contrast with the high lighted walnut tree in winter set against a back ground of a approaching rain storm.

2533 Pourerere Beach pano

The headland looking north at Pourerere Beach on the eastern coastline of the Hawkes Bay.

2570 Pourerere Beach rock

A rock in the sand surrounded by water on the beach at sunset. Pourerere Beach again. Not much more to add really…

2562 Pourerere sunset point

Pourerere Beach again. Tracks from vechicles leaving lines towards the southern headland. A classic use of  leading lines in image composition. 

2678 Waitonga Falls - small

The lower Waitonga Falls which are reached before the base of the higher falls. They seem more attractive as a small water feature which are seemingly hidden to some extent. It takes a bit of a rock hop to get to these.

2721 Waitonga Falls

The upper Waitonga Falls cascade over a lava flow with the renaments of a recent snow fall still just hanging on. These falls from this angle can be problematic the photograph as there is a wide variance in lighting from the bright sunlit areas to the deep shadow areas so to acheive a balanced exposure i use a technique called HDR or bracketing tree exposure where you take one of normal exposure, one under exposed to gather details in the brighter areas and one overexposed by one stop to gather the details in the shadows. These three images are blended together to create one balanced image without blowing out the highlights or losing the details in the shadows. Care needs to be taken so as to not create a image that is far removed from what you saw on the day. Humans can discern a higher dynamic range than what cameras can.

2623 Waitonga tarns boardwalk
2620 Mount Ruapehu

On the way to the Waitonga Falls you pass these tarns which are protected by a board walk. On this trip the ice was still covering the surface of the tarns  which made it a bit harder to capture below the surface but some juggling with a polarising filter managed to find some under water detail with out losing the texture of the ice.

2759 Mangewhero Falls

These falls are just beside the access road to Turoa skifeild and the look out here is just 5 minutes walk from the car park. The difference for getting this shot was the recent snow fall creating a fresh dynamic rather than just the normal image made from here. Used the snow at the bottom to create a leading line or pointer to the falls. Seemed to work…

2591 Ruahine snow and shed

A late spring snow fall on the Ruahine ranges provided a contrast with the steep farm paddocks and a old farm shed in the foreground.Waited for the passing clouds to part and let some sunlight on the green hills and the shed to illuminate the landscape just perfectly. Pays to have patience.

4431 sunset tree

The lone tree in a image is a thing so just adding a country version with a few sheep for good measure.

2102 tongaporutu boulders

The boulders at Tongaporutu are very elusive and a bit dangerous to get to so wont say how to get to them. But they are really magical and as they are not well knowen makes them a bit mystical as they appear and dissapear with the shifting sands.

2671 red crater pano

A panorama standing atop Red Crater at dawn with the moon still visable at the top left looking north towards Lake Taupo. The Emerald Lakes are seen bottom right with Blue Lake in the middle distance. If you enlarge the image by clicking on it you will see the area in more detail. It was a freezing morning that day with frozen fingers trying to set the camera up properly but wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

3002 rainbow windfarm

Some times when on a road trip you see stuff that you just have to stop. This is one of those times so couldn’t miss this opportunity to capture a rainbow in front of the Tararua wind farm. Just seemed apt really…

4817 lone tree red sunset

There is still something about a tree by itself in the landscape. Its it against the world attitudal type of message. 

This red sunset seemed to carry the idea off nicely leaving the tree as a sillouette.

4842 sunset fields

The sunset over some freshly harvested feilds for silage beside the Ruahine Ranges. 

2962 snow tracks

A dumping of late spring snow was a opportunity not to be missed for some contrasty images. This follows the classic composition style of s curves to draw the eye thru the frame towards the mountains in the back ground. Tongariro National Park just off the Desert road.

3031 misty tree

Another classic image with a single tree in the landscape withn fields around and a misty atmosphere running into the middle distance. These conditions do not last long so you have to be quick before the heat of the rising sun dissapates the mist.

4419 misty hills

The early mist rising over some steeper farmland with a contrasting black clouds in behind. Waited to get just the right light on the hills to add some drama to the image. Came out well i thought.

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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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Whataroa Falls…

Whataroa Falls…

Home » Landscape » Category: "Waterfalls"

The Whataroa Falls are a easy hour tramp in from the roadside car park up Mountain Road on from Oropi Road south of Tauranga.

Its a really nice bush wander in and on part of the track at the start there are little signs describing the tree species that are to be seen as you make tracks.

There are also plenty of Kiwi about mainly because the locals have a intense pest eradication programme going on. If you leave at dusk you will hear them start up their social chat.

Its just great that we can have these little native gems with-in easy reach of a major city centre. We just have to make sure they stay protected…

Wild Wairere Falls…

Wild Wairere Falls…

The Wairere Falls are really dramatic with-out lots of water rushing over being the highest falls in the Port Island but given all the rain from a previous dumping as well as a tail end of a tropical storm in this case the flow really starts to thunder over the ledge.

The next rain squad was bearing down and just managed to get the water in focus before the misty thing happened again. That was lucky…!

As there was no real colour with-in the image it made sense to just convert totally to black and white…much better contrast on the water as well.

As usual prints are available with-out the watermark…check the products and pricing page or just give me a shout out…cheers.


Owharoa falls…

Owharoa falls…

These have to be one of the most photographed falls in the Bay of Plenty/Coromandel by far. Having said that makes a different composition all the more hard so left out the rocks and went for a nice flowering piece of herbage…
5061owharo falls weeds web by M Handley.

Stairway to paradise…

Stairway to paradise…

These are the bottom falls at Kaiate road and are easily got to from Tauranga thru Welcome Bay . So good to see a young family group getting out and about wandering about rather then just go to the mall…

I cannot sell this as a print as the people in the image could be recognised…

9480kaiate falls group web#03 crop by M Handley.

But this one i can…because its a selfie.

Or you can have one with nobody in the frame…

9442kaiate falls selfie web#04 crop by M Handley.

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