Here Comes Summer!

Summers on its wayLabour Day here in New Zealand today – a national public holiday!

After mixed weather forecasts, we had an overall fine, sunny and hot weekend. A signal summer is on the way!

I mentioned the other day having issues with Gimp since updating to OSX 10.9. I since confirmed an identical issue on my laptop, suggesting something goes not quite to plan whilst updating. I uninstalled and downloaded another version of Gimp 2.8 on the laptop and it seems to have fixed the issue, so I’ll do the same on my desk unit.

Until then, todays image shot on the Sony Nex 5N and minor adjustments made in CS5.


Over to the North Shore


Looking to the North of Auckland, we can see the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the left of the image. Crossing that, we reach Aucklands North Shore. Prior to the bridge being completed in 1959, the North Shore, although in clear line of sight, was actually a fairly large land journey to reach the Auckland City area. A number of ferries ran services (and passenger ones still do), but the area was of relatively low population prior to the bridge – being used both for the rural community, and a weekend holiday area for its stunning beaches.
Upon the opening of the bridge, the population steadily boomed. Within the first decade of the opening, the bridge use was three times that of the original forecast, and by the end of the decade, the ‘Nippon Clip-ons'(named from their Japanese construction) were made, adding two extra lanes each side. Originally given a 50 year lifespan, ongoing maintenance ensures they are stretching that life estimate to its limit! – large/heavy trucks and machinery are no longer permitted on the clip-ons.
All the while this was happening, the North Shore was growing in population. With a size of ~130 square KM, the population is somewhere in the region of 230,000 (although census results should be available later this year).

Up the River

Up the River

Prior to visiting Motat with work on Friday, I had some lunch at Western Springs – the large freshwater springs next to the venue. Once upon a time Western Springs was the primary water source for much of Auckland (Like the Pumphouse on the North Shore I have written about). Now days it makes a popular place for a walk, run or to have a picnic and feed the ducks.

Surrounding part of the springs is a little river where the water flows. Armed with my Sony Nex 5N and 210mm lens I got as central to and low as I could and shot into the distance.

In post processing using Gimp I slightly cropped and straightened, added a cross-processed filter, pushed the contrast a notch and desaturated by several points.

Afternoon Warmth

I went for a stroll around part of Tuff Crater, in Northcote on Auckland’s North Shore this afternoon. There was a blustery cold wind coming from the harbor into the crater area. As I walked around I found a sheltered spot where the afternoon sun’s rays  warmed a patch of grass with fallen leaves.

Sony in hand today, I had fitted it with one of my old legacy lenses, the 135mm (35mm equ) Juipter 11. Looking for a semi retro feeling image, I got down low and limited the depth of field (f4), allowing the golden sun to haze the image. The final result gives an impression it was a little warmer then it actually was.

Post photo I reduced the image for web and rounded the corners in Gimp.

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