Fading Day

A long day = a short blog today, but i’ll let the image do most the speaking. Hills or Wenderholm, 50km north of Auckland City. The Sun was getting low and the hills were covered in shadow. Also due to the angle of the sun, it was a tricky exposure (in addition to getting the snap from a moving car!)


Into The Jungle

I took a trip to Parry Kauri Park in Warkworth today. Located about 30min out of Auckland it is home to a small Kauri forrest, some being a few hundred years old. Its quite amazing when you look at the shear size of some of these tress that can live for more then several millenia – todays being babies! Tane Mahuta, New Zealands largest Kauri is estimated to be between 1250 and 2500 years old! – thats a lot of generations of people.

Local volunteers maintain a track that loops through the forest park. Its entirely boardwalk, which is good as there is a Kauri disease called Dieback that threatens our great trees that is spread through soil. If you come to visit the great forrests, please do wash your shoes with the spray disinfectant supplied at at risk areas. Anyway, walking through the park I took a number of shots, ‘Into The Jungle’ being todays chosen image. It was in a more open area of the walk – some of it gets quite dark due to foliage.

On a busy day when I don’t have time to take a shot I might post another image from the park. A great stop to make when heading north.

The Great Wall of Mt Cambria

So in reality, todays image is of no great wall, and not really a mountain either. I had been look at some photos of the Great Wall of China the other day, and the winding path on todays stroll reminded me of it. Now as far as a mountain goes, Mt Cambria, found is Devonport is placed between our two other volcanic cones, Mt Victoria and North Head. Unlike the former two however, Mt Cambria is little more then a elevated park now days. Once a small mountain in its own right, early settlers to Devonport turned it into a quarry, and did so from ~1883-1985.

Taken on the Ricoh (as usual), I like images where paths lead away into the distance and you have to imagine where they are taking you next. Post photo I rounded corners and reduced in size, all in Gimp.

Evening Coastline

Whilst I know my Sony Nex 5N is fine for taking long exposures, I had never tested out my GRD IV to see how it would cope. Being a much smaller sensor then a APS C (Ricoh is 1/1.7 inch) there is the general risk of noise and hot pixels more so then larger sensor cameras. I didnt have much time this evening, but headed out with the GRD and tripod in hand. Just out of the city, on the way to the suburb of Mission Bay I stopped on the corner of the road and clambered down the wall to the rock wave breakers. Setting the exposure to 60 seconds at 100asa, this was the result.Its motivated me to give it a bit more another evening and possibly invest in a remote shutter control.

I must say, the Ricoh never fails to impress me for the size and type of camera it is. It has full manual controls and a fast 1.9 lens. It fits into your pocket, focuses fast and is built tough, as far as digital cameras go. The menu system is one of the best I have used also. Built in filters and effect options are not for everyone, but I think Ricoh have done pretty good with theirs – plus virtually everything in the setting can be tweaked. For many of us camera fans out there, image sensor size is always a hot topic. I think there are pro’s and con’s to the various different sizes. At the end of the day, capturing the image one wants to convey is what its all about isn’t it?

The Leaf With Holes In It

Taking a short stroll close to home to get some fresh air after work I caught todays image ‘The Leaf With Holes In It’. I had been mucking around with some of the built in camera editors, todays image taken in a bleach mode, with warm tones. In the unfocused background we can see the beach (bordering on a mud beach), with the sun just prior to setting as it glows around the leaf. Theres something calming about todays image. As a viewer I am looking into the background, wondering where it leads to…home I expect.

Catch ya tomorrow.

Big Green Leaves

I took some lieu after a meeting today and went for a stroll around the Chelsea Sugar Heritage Estate area – while the sun was still in the sky! Home to a variety of bird life, today was one of the rare days I wished I had something with more zoom then my 28mm Ricoh. I almost caught a Tui in flight… I’ll take the Sony along next time. All in all it was a nice walk consisting of some open grass, lake and more dense forest sections. I need to go back again some time to explore the other half.

‘Big Green Leaves’ is just that, a patch of low lying leaves. I got up close and made sure no other plants or whatnot were in the image. Taken on the GRD IV in cross processed mode, it pulled out the green of the leaves. Simple & basic, but a nice image I think. Aside from resizing for web, no other adjustments made.

Old Golf Course

I finally got around to developing my film I took at the beginning of the month on my Rollei 35T. Its the first film I have developed myself in quite some time, so I was eager to see how it went (also because I had not tested the Rollei 35’s light meter). From loading the film in complete black, to the smell of the mixing the chemicals, to holding ones breath as you open up the tank to see how/if the film turned out – it was a great experience (once more) and hugely satisfying compared to our instant reward of the modern digital age. I don’t think I would ever drop digital, but it has reminded me of my passion for film when you develop it yourself.

Todays image ‘Old Golf Course’ was taken up at Gulf Harbour. Aside from scanning to digital, adding the signature and resizing for the net in Gimp, I have left it untouched as it came from the camera.  As mentioned, taken on Rollei 35 T on 100asa lucky SHD100 film, developed with Ilford products.

Waterfront City

I took a stroll through the city tonight after catching up with some friends. The WRC is all setup in Auckland this afternoon, so I hoped to see some of the cars, but I guess I arrived a little late in the evening. Turning back to the city, I caught this shot down by the waterfront. I love how even though it was captured in color, its almost B&W. The bright lights, but dark city and weary looking sky also creates a bit of an ominous feeling when I look at it.

Shot on the GRD IV in bleach, I cropped a little of the foreground out of the image to create more balance in the final image. Otherwise unedited.

Mt. Victoria Mushrooms

On the summit of Mt Victoria sit a patch of giant mushrooms. Big red mushrooms with white dots. Actually ventilation ducts, the ‘mushrooms’ have been painted multiple times over the decades, and make an intersting site for people visiting the Mt Victoria to get a view of the North Shore, town, and Rangitoto (in the background of my image). I believe originally they were painted by a local Devonport artist, her boyfriend and his mate – it featured in a local paper article many years ago.

Being the oddity they are, I wanted to highlight them in todays image. After taking the image on the GRD, I desaturated all but the mushrooms in Gimp. I then slightly tweaked the sharpness and contrast to get the most out of the mixed color/B&W image.

The Shortest Day

Today marked the shortest day for us down here in New Zealand. The sun arose late and set early. Otherwise known as winter solstice, it is also known in New Zealand as Maruaroa O Takurua – the beginning of the Maori new year (traditionally), which as well as being tied into legend, is identified by the  Pleiades star cluster having its first appearance.

I liked todays image, as tied into the title, the fishermen are catching the last moment of sun as they hope to pull in ‘a big one’ from Lake Pupuke.

Aside from resizing, straight from the camera (GRD)


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