Reflections by the Lake

Lake0A recent walk down to Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore welcomed me with cool still waters. After shooting for a little while the morning began to warm and the water lost its mirror, but it was beautiful while it lasted!

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Overgrown Quarry

QuarryI revisited an old quarry on the way home this evening. I’m sure I have featured an image of it before, but for the life of me (well, for a fairly quick image search) I can’t find it.

Closed a bit over a year ago I think, the quarry has sat unused and fenced off. Gradually the gravel paths have become overgrown with weeds, and areas perhaps once maintained have started to flourish in relative lack of human day to day activity. At the bottom of the quarry is a small lake. It was almost totally calm, and I snapped a few shots of the far bank with the reflection in the water.

Shot on the Sony Nex with a legacy Jupiter-8 lens. Whilst it looked quite nice in colour, I think it also lends itself nice in black and white. Converted in Gimp with a faint colour tint, otherwise as from camera.

The 20km Stroll

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What started as a ~1 hour walk out and about, turned into a 20km 5 1/2 hour walk today! Quite enjoyable, but it would have been better if I didn’t only have my jandals (thongs/flip-flops) on.

Starting off (entirely on Auckland’s North Shore) in Eskdale Bush, I worked my way to Kaipatiki Bush, and then followed the Glenfield costal trail, before hitting the suburbs, over to Milford, Takapuna and Devonport.

As well as only planning a short walk today, I took along the Olympus E-500 DSLR – the heaviest of the bunch I have at hand.

The above image was captured in the first section of today’s walk. In post-processing I added vignette, converted to B&W and adjusted the curves a little to assist in giving the image a dark look.

Feet worn and sore, its time for a rest. Until tomorrow.

Outside the PumpHouse

Back at Lake Pupuke for a walk with the Nex 5N and kit lens, I captured The PumpHouse up a little closer than I have before in a previous post. Once used, unsurprisingly, to pump water to the local suburbs, the PumpHouse is now home to a cafe, and hosts regular stage shows and art works.

Image wise, using Gimp, I played around with some of the film grain simulators. They are fairly customizable, and although nothing is real film grain, I think they can do a pretty good job if that is the look you are going for. I also applied a sharp filter and played with the levels a little until I got the look I was after.

Tomorrow morning is the Auckland Marathon. I’ll be in the half marathon, so don’t think I will get the opportunity to take any action shots, but will see if I can get something themed around it…assuming my low-to-no training allows me to walk after!

The Door

The weekend has felt a long time coming this week. Luckily, its a long weekend in New Zealand with Labour Day. I had time for a quick walk before dinner after work today, and had a look around the back streets of Takapuna. Armed with my Nex and the kit lens, I took this simple image of a door and stairwell coming out of the back of a building.

In post processing I converted to Black and White, pushed the contrast and added some vignette. What’s behind that door?
Perhaps its the weekend!

Surface of the Earth

Been a pretty flat out day and I have run out of time to write much.

Snapped this on my GRD IV on the way home today. In post processing I added several selective blur layers in Gimp and cropped to play with the sizing perspective a little.

More tomorrow!

Pink and Blue

Each passing day sees more and more spring blossoms coming out on the trees. Around Auckland’s North Shore has seen a mass of these pretty pink flowers. I have been meaning to stop and capture them for the last week, so took the opportunity today when in Takapuna.

Shot on the GDR IV, in gimp I slightly bumped the contrast up and resized for the web.

I also took delivery on some fun mobile phone camera lenses today.A macro, wide angle and fish-eye, all found on ebay. A quick test suggests they are very capable for the price, so I look forward to the opportunity to get out there and capture something worth showing to you all.

Laze by the Lake

Some weeks go faster then others. This week didn’t particularly feel that way, so come Friday works end I was ready to unwind for the week.  Taking a trip to Lake Pupuke in Takapuna I inadvertently took a wrong turn and came across a walking track I had not seen before. The heavy rain at various times over the last month had soaked the ground and my flat bottomed business shoes struggled to keep me upright on some of the more sloped sections, but it was a great track all the same. A nice finish to the working week.

Shot on the GRD IV, I spent some post time in Gimp softening and diffusing the original to get today’s image.

Door to Wonderland

I took the Nex and Jupiter-8 for another stroll today, this time around the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna on Auckland North Shore. On the outskirts of the property I came across this awesome wooden carving. With a little imagination, one can dream that this is the entry door to Alice’s Wonderland, or a back door to Narnia.

In post production using Gimp, I did a bit of bluring, sharpening, desaturating and color balancing. I wanted to give the tree a bit of a stand out presence without totally ignoring its otherwise normal surroundings.

Blue Windows in the Sky

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I stopped in at Takapuna on the way home from work today for a stroll, Ricoh in hand. It was a beautiful clear blue evening, with the moon already up. The Sentinel, a 30 story apartment building in central Takapuna uses blue tint windows, and I liked the overall blue hue I got in this image. Being the biggest building in the Area, you can also capture it in the sky unhindered by other buildings.

Coming home and reducing the image size for the web I was happy to see Gimp has finally released the 2.8 version of their great program. Its taken about 3 years to come about following 2.6 and now offers a single window interface. For people who want something that can in may ways (no not all I know) do all you need in Photoshop, but free-ware, I cant recommend Gimp enough. Overall my work flow shifted from CS4 to Gimp about 3 years ago. Its a bit of a learning curve transferring, but if you have never used either I don’t think it is any harder to pick up from scratch, will do all you ever want & has a massive community of developers adding to it + there is a version for every computer operating system (yet to get to smart phones)

Off for a short 3 day holiday tomorrow, so hopefully I will have some images from a different general location.

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