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

Recesky by the River

My beautiful picture


What must be almost 2 months ago now, a mate and I each picked up a cheap little toy film camera that you need to build – a Recesky.

These fun and simple little cameras have a plastic lens and shutter assembly. No film counter, no adjustable shutter speed, no adjustable aperture.

I finished off the film and developed it today, with mixed results. The biggest fail on my part was getting the focus – many shots either being just off, or very much off. Certainly a lot more difficult than my typical SLR’s.

What I did like, in conjunction with the Formapan 200, was the soft and vignetted edges on many shots, the strong contrast and the lens flare.

For now however, I’ll put it away in the drawer. A fun camera, but not offering me enough control that I like in general when shooting film. At little more than the cost of a roll or two of film, its no great loss, and something I’d recommend to others who like building and learning the basic parts behind an old film camera (or teaching others such).

Next film, an SLR.

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.


Down by the River – Karangahake Gorge

by the RiverAnother busy day cleaning up the garden of our new place, so another from the archives. Like yesterday, todays shot is from a gorge – Karangahake Gorge to be precise. I passed through it a few years ago heading to Gisborne. A beautiful stop, it also has a number of walks one can go on to explore. Once a large mining area with a number of signs left behind, it still has a limited amount of prospecting occurring in the area.

Shot on the Fuji S5700 Superzoom camera. Resized in Gimp.


Secret River



Secret River is in my mind.
I can go there any time.
Everything Mother Albirtha says is true.
The sky is gold and the river is blue.
Secret River, I love you

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, The Secret River, Scribners, 1955, p. 56

Shot on the Olympus four thirds E500, edited in CS5 and Gimp.


Feeding the Waitemata


Just a quick mobile post for this evening. Auckland has its first rain in 2013 and my home internet is playing up.

Shot at the uppermost point of Glenfield/Greenhithe, this scenic little river flows down into the Waitemata Harbour.

Shot on the Olympus E-500 and edited in Gimp.

Out from the Kitekite

river runs in

About a 5 minute drive from Piha is a track leading to the Kitekite Falls – a 40m drop waterfall (or 80m if you count the 3 tier of pools above it). A beautiful, well maintained bush walk, well worth visiting whilst in the area. There are several tracks to choose from, the shortest taking one about 20minutes of fair pace walking to reach the falls. Here you can take a cool dip in the chilled fresh water.

The falls were used once in attempt to transport felled trees downstream for processing. A fairly commonly used method in New Zealand, dams were built at the top of falls and rivers, logs floated, dams opened, and logs rushed down to the mouth of the river. This practice always damaged a number of logs, but in the KiteKite case, more logs were ruined than saved and it was not used again in the same manner.

Today’s image was shot downstream on my journey back. Leaning out at a corner, I focused upstream and captured the river straight on, disappearing into the bush. Using Gimp, I cropped the aspect a little, adjusted the levels and used the ‘National Geographic’ plug-in.

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