Te Puna-a-Hangurua. Natural Springs

spring 1

Once in a while, going light on your gear leads to missing an image. It is a weigh off I am usually fine with, but on this occasion, it was a real shame I didn’t anticipate the need and carry my polarizing filter! With it, I think the photos really could have at least partially shown the beauty of this spot.

On the west side of Rotorua, we visited the natural springs of Te Puna-a-Hangurua. The main spring (pictured above) is the biggest in New Zealand’s North Island and flows 4,500,00 litres of water each hour, after taking around 70 years to surface!.

spring 2

It really was so beautiful and blue, encouraging one to jump in for a swim – although this is not allowed at the initial exit point. Way back in 1957 they sent two skin divers  down whom recovered 5000 pennies (coin money) dating back to 1860 – the ‘loot’ then donated to children’s charities. There certainly was not 5000 coins there today, but I suspect they clean it out periodically as there was still a fair bit of coinage for people likely tossing one in for good luck.

spring 3

Eventually, after passing through many points of interest and waterfalls, the water exits into the Pacific Ocean.

spring 4

Beyond the Track

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I leave the road behind me. Sounds of society fog away as I venture deeper into the bush. Birds watch as I walk by, both of us minding our own business. The water is still. The bush is green. Beyond the Track.

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The Still River

The Still RiverWhilst up in Albany to pick up some old chairs I managed to squeeze in a quick walk around some of the local bush area. A warm, still day, I took todays snap looking back down the river(/creek)  when I came from. The water so still we had a reflection.

Shot on the Sony Nex and Sigma 30mm, giving me a ~50mm equivalent, I converted to B&W in Gimp and a slight brown colour tone.


Muriwai Looking North

Muriwai looking NorthShot from the southernmost cliff of Muriwai Beach, todays image sees us looking to the North. With over 50km (>30Miles) of uninterrupted beach, it disappears from sight as the camera focuses up into the mist of sea spray.

As with many beaches on the west coast around Auckland, Muriwai is a black sand beach – given the name simply for the larger traces of volcanic iron sand in the area. I recall as a child (and every summer see many more kids and adults) running as fast as I could in bare feet, but never quite making the water before grimacing in pain at the amazing heat retention of that sand. On a really hot day, the black sand really is quite horrific for softer soled feet!

Moving inland, beyond the beach are the sand dunes. Fenced off around the popular car park areas, there is an ongoing effort to assist flora to grow and demote the ongoing erosion of the coastal dunes. High volumes of visitors, particularly in summer have a lot to answer for in respect to damaging dunes by not keeping to the recommended paths.

As with all of this Muriwai series, shot on the Sony Nex.

Another Tomorrow!



The Polarizer

Filter no filterWith the poor weather of late, and a bit on my plate work wise, its been hard getting out to take many images. What I did work on however was a bit of a filter project for my Ricoh GRD. Ive written about the full control one can get using the great little Ricoh, but one limiter it, and 99% of all compact cameras has is the lack of a filter mount. One can buy an attachment tube where you can put filters on, but ultimately you end up with something the size of a small DSLR. Once that size, I’d just as soon use my Nex with a larger sensor.

So, after hunting around and finding no retail option, I went about making my own converting ring. Buying a 25mm-46mm step up ring, I removed the 46mm thread and attached via foam tape the new adaptor to my GRD. Most of my filters are 49mm, so I got a 46-49mm adaptor and viola, a sub $10 filter adaptor on my compact camera – yet still compact ‘enough’

As above, the weather has been poor when I have been free, but after a week of waiting, I set out determined to test the filter adaptor on the Ricoh. To see the obvious difference, and  something you simply cannot replicate in post editing, I attached my polarising filter – a great addition to ones camera filter kit (and one I should use more).

As in todays image, you can see the difference a polarising filter makes on a camera – identical aperture and  exposure time – filter just rotated to reduce reflection and darken the sky.

Images straight from camera (obviously two edited into one)


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