Maukatia (Maori Bay)

Maori BayTodays shot is of the southern side of Maori Bay (more properly titled Maukatia). Shot from the souther hilltop of Muriwai, Maori Bay is a popular stop for surfers, offering nice waves and little of the swimming crowds that places like Piha (another west coast beach) offer.

I tried to look into the history behind Maukatia/Maori Bay and its name change, but didnt really find much. For those of you reading from overseas, you may have noticed from time to time I discuss New Zealand and its dual names of places – owing to the fact we have three official languages (Maori, English and Sign). I found record of some treaty settlements in recent history that rename Maori Bay back to its likely original name of Maukatia. Im not sure on the definition/translation of Maukatia. My usual dictionary does not list it. I can only assume it was called Maori bay from some observation of locals way back in the past?

With the car park high above the beach, surfers and visitors alike get some amazing views out to sea. Visit at low tide and you can also explore the natural tunnel on the northern end of the beach.

So thats Maikatia/Maori Bay. Some more from the Muriwai area tomorrow.


Winter Blossom Tree

Pink flowered winter treeToday I caught a tree vaguely resembling the challenge request I was given a few days ago. Missing the Tui, and arms at full extension (due to the tree being over a fence and my camera 28mm), the blossoming tree tied in with a lady informing me we were 2/3rd’s through winter gave a sense of spring almost on its way.

With spring a month off, I’m reminded I have not made it down to see the snow at all this year. With work commitments, it does not look like I will either, but it would be nice to take the drive down one weekend perhaps.

Early start and long day. Minds fuzzy. end here.


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)


The Corner Dairy

The Corner DairyGrowing up as a youngster, the corner dairy was a staple Kiwi classic. Before the growth of massive supermarkets, and petrol stations that stock all but the kitchen sink, the old corner dairy was the place to go for some supplies or milk (assuming you didn’t have the milk man deliver it to your door in glass bottles…why did the glass bottles ever stop!?).

Gradually over the years I have seen a massive reduction in these little stores. Culturally, at least in the big city of Auckland, its always been interested to look at ownership of these small businesses. When very young, they were generally western owned around my local area. As I passed through school, your typical Indian businessman/woman/family seemed to have brought up a good number of them. Now its often more the Chinese families. Living accommodation directly behind the counter, its always interested me in the fact that these businesses are simply a way of life. Open 7 days a week, long hours, often family owned and run…never a day off! – I admire their brute dedication.

Back when I was little New Zealand still had 1 and 2 cent coins (10 cents is now the smallest). Before the concern of germs (well, not really before), dairy’s would have glass displays of 1 and 2 cent lollies. 20 cents in hand,kids would choose those 10 or 20 candy treats, the dairy owner picking them out with their fingers that had touched who knows what else all day long. Ice blocks and ice cream in summer. Milkshakes, chips and fizzy drinks like leed…oh the memories.

Whilst many corner stores are still open all over the country, it must be a hard life. Many buy their products from supermarkets and hence have to charge high prices in store. Competing with large supermarket chains, also in every suburb, must be tough. Still the best place to go for an ice cream in summer though!


View from Herald Island

View from Herald IslandDuring a work stop in Auckland West, I made a quick stop in at one of the unique little communities, Herald Island. A small little community, Herald Island was joined to Auckland’s West with a causeway built in 1958.

With a small number of streets you could likely count with your fingers, it has a real sense of a small community. At the opposite end of the island from the causeway, we see the main wharf/boat jetty area. Greeted by a friendly ‘sea cat’ (just a normal cat that wandered the wharf), I took todays shot of the boats and across to Greenhithe on the North Shore.

In post using Gimp, I switched to B&W and adjusted levels a little as well as cropping the aspect.


Towards the Journey

The Path to the Side


“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Been a busy week with little time to write. Almost the weekend though, so hopefully I will find some time then!

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