Abstract stuff

While I usually take photos of the great New Zealandness of New Zealand, or travel photos, or NZ Native birds, or sports. Lately I’ve been trying to see art in other things, trying to take photos you might describe as ‘Abstract’. I’m sure there is a definition somewhere. I looked up Abstract on the internet and hopefully most of these images fit that description. You tell me. Here I’m trying to see art in the everyday or the unusual. Sometimes you have to look twice, and in a different way, to see a potentially artistic photo where you might not have thought any sort of intriguing image was on offer.


Infrastructure Awaiting
Tate Modern, The Outside
Blue Chair
3 flats
Out Of Service.
The Other Side Of The Fence.
Cruise Ship Inmates.
Space Age.

Art, Abstract? I don’t mind what you call it, It’s good to step outside your comfort zone sometimes. I think I’ll do it more often.

The Lonely Mountain

I was looking at my photography blog and realised I hadn’t put a post up for a while. I was also considering the rubbish weather we have had over the past few weeks. I seem to remember the sun coming out, and staying out all day one Saturday.

For no good reason I decided to create a new post about one of our most iconic mountains. I titled this ‘The Lonely Mountain’ because Mt Taranaki occupies a place all by itself, far from other mountains. There is a Maori legend you might like to look up about how Mt Taranaki got all the way over to where it is, so far from the other large Volcanoes in the North Island. Mt Taranaki is actually a live volcano but it’s last activity was in 1860. It’s a pleasingly symmetrical mountain.

A nice photo of some Geese and Ducks in Lake Mangamahoe, with extra Mountain for effect.
The Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is quite famous for looking like a Whale’s skeleton or something.
On a clear night you can see for miles. About 200 kilometres in this instance as this image of Mt Taranaki was taken from the Central Plateau.
Sheep, relaxing.
Road trip, the road less travelled.
Like the earlier photo of Mt Taranaki really far away, this is farther. About 230 kilometres from Himatangi Beach.
They don’t make that anymore.
Cardiff. True story, not the Welsh Cardiff though.
Cloudy coolness.
That’s also really far away. I just can’t remember where from.
Tree weirdness.
Pastoral, volcanic.
Looks like Kilimanjaro.
I like a nice barn in my photos.
Hey, Hay!
Hydrangeas but not in anyones garden. Opunake side.
Red barns are best.

So there you go. Epic Symmetrical live volcano, all by itself in Taranaki. Mt ‘Naki, as I like to call it, which is probably frowned upon by those who value pronouncing things properly, is mostly covered in cloud, so this lot took a while to accumulate. The mountain actually makes it’s own clouds. You’ll see that happening while you are driving around looking for a good place to take it’s picture.


The Far End Of The World.

I recently had to return to England over Christmas, I say had to, I was happy to go of course. It’s been over 3 years since I returned home to New Zealand from my 20 plus years living in England. I was interested to see how it would look as a visitor, rather than a resident. I took my camera. What England mostly looked like, was foggy, although we did have a sunny day, so that was nice. Images in no particular order.

St Paul’s with Blitz memorial statue.
Looks like a Russians outing. Not sure it isn’t.
Corner of Frith and Old Compton Street in Soho. Spent many good nights round here.
Standing on top of the Tate Modern Art Gallery. I decided to try my hand at making some modern art, I didn’t have any crayons though, so I used my camera. I expect the Tate Modern will  be in touch any day to ask if they can hang this in the foyer of the gallery.
People having a modern art moment in the boiler room of the Tate Modern.
Oxford Street. Quiet.
Putting it on…
River crossing, foot bridge.
Looking West up the Thames.
Like I said, foggy.
The Tower.
Man blowing fire out of his Tuba, as one does.
Air traffic over Big Ben.
Bath, foggy.
I got up at Sparrow fart to have a poke about in this cemetery in Bath.
Old, early.
I was taking a photo of this characterful book shop when some urchin parked their bike in my shot.
Liz and Phil’s, they’re not home.
Castle Coombe, no racing in this bit.
Them next door…
I believe the four legs on the plinth means something, don’t know who he is either. Above Horse Guards parade ground.
Highbury Fields, on the sunny day.
London, not Moscow. St James’s park.
Horses ready.
Who doesn’t like a nice ornate building. This is Horse Guards parade ground in front. History fans will know what that building is.
Route Master. Old Skool.
Horse Guards.

So not the usual touristy shots perhaps. It’s actually quite hard to take a photo a bit different to what is obviously on offer and on a million postcards. My lingering impression of my revisit to England though was that I’m very pleased I live in New Zealand. It’s good to be home.

‘The Big Smoke’. Auckland

In New Zealand, as I believe they do in some other places, we refer to the big city as ‘The Big Smoke’. Auckland is the nearest thing we have to a big city, however it’s not very big and is more like a collection of villages. The population of Auckland is about 1.4 Million which is a big chunk of our total population of around 4.4 Million. New Zealand is quite empty of people. I have attempted to convey that by photographing some parts the inner city of our largest city. The Auckland CBD between 8.30 and 9.30am on a Saturday morning. Plus some other bits during the day.

No Smoking
Walk on by
No Parking
Belgian beer at the Occidental, the pub was built by an American sailor.
No horses
Art house
Open soon
No books here today
Feeding winged rats at Wynard Quarter.
Smoko break, probably.
The Wharf bit of North Wharf.
Queen Street, Auckland City.
Apartments and Sky tower
Ponsonby Road.
The Esplanade, I once won a surfing competition in there.
Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden Village, 8:30am, Sunday Morning.
Looking the other way, towards the city
Mt Eden art stuff
Paris, Mt Eden.
Busy Saturday at the beach
Boat sheds beside Tamaki Drive.
City Skyline, from Stanley Bay.
The view rich people on Paraitai Drive have.

Auckland, it’s not always what you think.


I’ve lived in Wellington for about 6 months now, it’s not the first time I’ve lived here. Last time I lived in Wellington in 1990, was for about 6 months. That’s not to suggest it’s time to leave though. Not a bit of it. Not yet anyway. A selection of random shots from around Wellington, not so much in Wellington, as around it.

Erskine College, Island Bay. Derelict old convent school, probably haunted.
Winter in Island Bay. I live in Island Bay so you may experience a bias in these photos
Sunset in Island Bay, see? Bias.
That Island is called Tapu te Tanga. It’s in Island Bay.
That’s the way in to Wellington Harbour. If you come by boat that is.
Surfer dudes at Titahi Bay.
Wellington from Wrights Hill, long exposure to get that cool line of light thing on the motorway from the Hutt Valley.
Oh look, it’s Island Bay again. Actually this is Houghton Bay, the next bay along.
Cool clouds above Owhiro Bay. The Kaikoura Ranges in the distance, 200 kilometres distant.
Pauatahanui, Porirua Harbour, Not many Paua in there though I reckon.
Pencarrow Lighthouses at the Wellington Harbour Entrance, for when one Lighthouse isn’t enough.
Pilot boat escorting a container ship out of Wellington.
Cool Sunset clouds above Makara, making the huge wind turbines look puny.
Sea thing. Karaka Bay
Boat shed thing in Lowry Bay. Hasn’t stored any boats for a while. Not sure what it’s for now.
Chopper dude, Lyall Bay. Probably reading ‘Zen And The Art Of Bicycle Maintenance’.
Tararua Ranges above the Hutt Valley. Taken from Oriental Bay.
Those rocks are really big. This was the day after the ‘Great Storm’. I call all good storms, the ‘Great Storm’. It amuses me.
The Interislander ferry heading for the South Island. I take this boat every month. There and back, obviously. Otherwise I’d live in the South Island now.
Kite Surfer in Lyall Bay. Good and windy.
Dolphins AIr NZ
Two things, Air New Zealand didn’t crash into the hill and the sea is full of Dolphins, Lyall Bay.
Colourful garages 1
Colourful, in Lyall Bay.
Wave photo
He survived, so did his cell phone. He actually ran away. I also have a photo of that.
I believe those shed are empty and the land soon to be used for something more modern. Flash apartments would be best. Wait and see.
Epic tube surf
OK, so this could be anywhere of course, but this cool surf shot was taken by me in Wellington. Houghton Bay to be precise. 
Wrights Hill Awesome cloud
That’s a Nor’Wester blowing above Wrights Hill at Sunset. Windy Welly.
Miramar Peninsula, in the mid-ground.
Oriental Bay, people walk along the waterfront there, or run in colour co-ordinated lycra wearing headphones carrying an unnecessary water bottle.
The Road to nowhere, one of those ‘there and back’ sort of roads.
Like everyone, I love a brightly coloured boat shed
Spring, Princess Bay. Pretty.
Boat shed in Ivey Bay, Paremata.  Actually many boat sheds. Just that one is more obvious.
The Classic Cable Car shot, you can buy a postcard just like this one.

So there you go. There’s much more to Wellington of course. But I’ve had enough of thinking up things to write in captions now. You could always visit and see for your self.


I spent a couple of days in Queenstown, for work. Lucky me. Much of the trip was inside but I was able to get out for a wander about. Fortunately you don’t have to walk far in Queenstown and surrounds to see the awesomeness. Herewith, a couple of snaps while I had a moment to take them. This can be a travel blog thing. For people who like to travel and read about travelling. I think it qualifies as a travel blog because I took photos of a tourist destination.

The obligatory wing shot on the way into Queenstown.
The mountain range is called ‘The Remarkables’. Can’t imagine why.
Same mountains, different day. Those awesome clouds go by the name of ‘Lenticular’.
Sunset over Lake Wakatipu. Looking South if you are interested in that sort of thing
Same view, slightly different spot, different time of day.
On the hills above Arrowtown. I thought the colours and textures of the trees were cool enough to Photograph. It’s my camera, I get to choose that sort of thing.
That’s a New Zealand Falcon, not the Swamp Harrier. The Falcon is pretty rare and even harder to photograph. This was a good day.
Because who doesn’t like a photo of an old derelict cottage?
Chinese Gold Miners huts in Arrowtown. Small.
I liked the juxtaposition of Spring blossoms and snowy peaks. Arty and all that.
There’s a famous tree in Lake Wanaka which everyone with a camera feels compelled to photograph. This isn’t it. This is a small Willow tree beside Lake Wakatipu which I’ve decided can be ‘That Queenstown Tree’. It looks striking early in the morning with the sun on it. Which is superfluous explanation really.

Queenstown, probably New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. It’s nice there.

New Gear

IMG_0126I’m going to try to create at least one blog post a month. I’ve been slack, well only in writing blog posts. I’ve been out and about an awful lot and taking a lot of photos. But have been neglecting this bit.

The big news is that I finally have my dream gear. Anyone who takes photography reasonably seriously will know that the right gear is important, they also like to have a lot of gear. The ability to ‘see’ a photograph is actually more important, all important. But you need the good gear to be as awesome as possible.

So camera gear is really important to keen Photographers. I actually don’t have much though. My thing as you should know by now is ‘minimum gear, maximum impact’. I still need a tripod. As an observation, the WordPress Blog Website sucks a bit of the awesomeness out of the shots, you really do need to click on each photo to see the best quality.

Back to the gear. My needs/wants were quite specific. I needed the ultimate multi-purpose but best quality lens for the landscape and shooting on the move stuff. I also wanted a good quality telephoto lens for wildlife and sports. Finally I really wanted a Full Frame camera. I now have all three. I should still get a tripod though, I have my eye on one. The details on the Camera and lenses if you are interested are:

Camera – Canon 6D

Telephoto Lens – Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

General Purpose lens – Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS

So…What can one do with the good gear? Let’s have a look.

Kaka colour
That’s a Kaka. A New Zealand Parrot. It’s a cool characterful bird less well known than our most famous Parrot, the Kea. But look at the clarity and colour.
Saint Gerards
Saint Gerards Monastery above Oriental Bay in Wellington. I don’t think there are any monks there anymore.
Ships bow
The Blue bow of a boat. The boat is a cafe, Wellington has a lot of cafe’s.
South Island dusk
Looking across the sea to the Kaikoura Ranges in the South Island from Island Bay in Wellington. About 230 kilometres away. You’re supposed to also notice the calm reflective rock pools in the foreground.
Jetty mirror
Derelict Piers at Miramar in Wellington. Mostly used by Seagulls.
Plateau Bend
State Highway One approaching Waiouru at 8:00am on a Sunday Morning. I was just passing through. That’s frost on the ground, not snow.
Barn, Wairarapa. Needs work.
Railway Escarpment
I don’t think the Railway Escarpment Nature Reserve is out there. I could be wrong. I might have been standing on it.
Ruapehu Mirror
Mt Ruapehu, reflected in a puddle to add a little something to a hard mountain to photograph.
Saddleback foraging
That’s a Saddleback foraging, shot in quite dark woodland. fast moving bird, in the dark forest. Looks like daytime.
Titahi Bay bright Boat Sheds
I didn’t really want the pink polar fleece clad local in the shot, but it’s her shed. Boat Sheds at Titahi Bay.
Wrights Hill Awesome cloud
That’s what the classic Nor’Wester looks like. Just like that.
City ship
Handheld shot of Wellington from the Interislander Ferry. Taken in the dark, without a tripod. Tripods are useless on the ferry.
Tory Channel fishing
You should have seen what happened about 5 minutes before I took this photo. Put it this way, this was almost a news story rather than a photograph.
Box Bridge
Bridge. That’s all you need.
That building on the left is a Cafe, in Nelson. This is Tahunanui.
Early in Marlborough. There are 5 Alpaca’s just out of shot to the right. They are cute, they are not locals as a general rule so I excluded them as they made the simple photo require too much description. Alpaca’s would not have enhanced this photo.
City half light
Wellington waterfront. from the ferry. I like lights on the water.
High Tide
This is a boat called Click in Nelson. With snowy mountains over there.
Spoonbill wading
The Royal Spoonbill. You don’t see a lot of those about.
Wellington evening long exposure
This is from the top of my street at night. Well early evening to be precise. Had I mentioned I have moved to Wellington?
Heath Goal strike
Finally, I did mention sport, this is my nephew, scoring a goal for his soccer team.

I’m in love with my new camera gear. I still need a tripod though

From The Side Of The Road

One of the great things about New Zealand is all the awesomeness, everywhere. In many countries you have to travel to see cool stuff. Get in a vehicle and make a special trip. We have that awesomeness everywhere. Right there beside the road. Part of my photographic ‘thing’, is that none of the photographs I take require any special equipment or even robust footwear. All the photos on this blog were taken near the side of the road except the one where I went for a bit of a walk. Theoretically you could take any of these photos with your phone camera while wearing a pair of jandals. All I did for each one of these shots, is pull over as I was driving past. We see this stuff on the way to the shop.

Charolais Cattle
Charolais Cattle first thing in the morning. I do like a nice cow. You may have more photos of cows to follow. Manawatu.
Cottage on a hill
Old cottage and Macrocarpa trees, we have a lot of derelict cottages about the place. Horowhenua.
Hawkes Bay from Te Mata shadow
Clean green New Zealand, get’s a bit dry in the summer sometimes. This is Hawkes Bay. Looking South from Te Mata Peak. You can drive up there.
Almost good enough to eat, but I think they make beer with this lot. Manawatu.
Clydesdale War Memorial Hall
The Clydesdale War Memorial Hall, Manawatu. I don’t think it sees too many parties anymore. Manawatu.
Sheep know a shady spot when they see one. Well most of them do. Manawatu.
Ohau River
Rail bridge over the Ohau River looking towards the Tararua Ranges. This is a common sight in NZ. Rail bridges of this type that is. The Tararua Ranges aren’t a common sight unless you are in the vicinity. Horowhenua.
Central Hawkes Bay
That’s where Hawkes Bay starts. Looking North from a prominent view spot.
Misty Mountains
Misty Mountains, that’s not their name though, they just are sometimes. Manawatu.
Whanganui River Valley
Whanganui River Valley. One of the best drives in New Zealand. Almost nobody goes up there.
Estaury stumps
Bit of driftwood in the Foxton Estuary. Looks a bit moody. Horowhenua.
High country shack
I like an old corrugated iron shack as well. This is at the end of Heights Road. Nobody goes up here either. You can walk into the Tararua Ranges from the end of this road. Horowhenua.
Himi Rays
Remember I mentioned being on the way to the shop? This was on the way to the shop. Horowhenua.
Mountain Cows2
Cows and mountains. Perfect photographic combination. Well one mountain. That’s Mt Ruapehu. Manawatu.
Himi Red sky 1
Down on the beach, Himatangi Beach. This is about 200 metres from my front door. It can be quite scenic in the evening. Manawatu.
This was a while ago, bit of snow there on the Ruahines. Manawatu.
Manawatu Rail line
This scene appealed to me. That’s the main New Zealand rail line. Just there. Manawatu.
Pastoral, this is also on the way to the shop. Clothes shop rather than food shop, but a shop nonetheless. Horowhenua.
Tararua manawatu morning
Taken a couple of paddocks down a few days earlier than the last photo. The one below. I like a fetching paddock scene. Manawatu.
Cows dawn
Dairy cows in Manawatu. Making milk. Looks a bit like a painting this one. It isn’t though.

Most New Zealanders simply pass by this stuff everyday, taking it for granted. I am constantly amazed at the natural beauty, wilderness and amazing pastoral imagery all around me. Maybe you have to go away for a while to appreciate it here. I know I view New Zealand differently since I’ve been back after so long away.

Road Trip

My happy place is in my car, on the road. I love driving around New Zealand as often as possible. If things are a bit dull around the house, I’ll go for a drive. I don’t have to go far to see epic things as luck would have it because I live in New Zealand. Epic is just around the corner. Last week I went for a slightly longer drive. Down to Christchurch, over Arthurs Pass to Franz Josef, down to Lake Matheson, up to Westport and back to Picton via the Buller Gorge and the Marlborough Sounds. This was my delayed Christmas holiday. I took a few photos along the way.

Sinclair Head
Sinclair Heads from Cook Strait. That’s the last bit of the North Island you see as you cross to the South Island.

Seal pups misbehaving
Looks like someone’s in trouble. Seals in Kaikoura.

Arthurs Pass approach
The Road into Arthurs Pass.

Arthurs Pass barren
Arthurs Pass Highway. It’s a bit barren up there. A lot of tourists though. There are only 3 roads that cross the South Island. This is the middle one.

Arthurs clouds best
Awesome clouds above Arthurs Pass

Waimakariri River Arthurs Pass
The amazing Waimakariri River Valley at Arthurs Pass. Mid summer. Bit of rain must be due?

Whataroa River
Glacial Water in the Whataroa River. It’s very cold.

Heron River Bank
That’s where the White Herons nest in New Zealand. Just there. Only that little bit of forest, nowhere else. It’s quite amazing really. When I say that bit of forest. Just that little bit there. That’s all of it, their entire nesting area.

Two Heron babies
Young pair of White Herons.

Lake Matheson purple
Lake Matheson in the pre dawn light. The clouds rolled in and covered up the mountains quite quickly. So you only get a shot in the dark on this particularly day.

Lake Matheson Reflection Island
Lake Matheson with Mt Cook visible in the gap in the clouds. Mt Cook is Aoraki, the cloud piercer. True story, see?

Moutain spotlight cool
Morning dawning near Fox Glacier

Moutain side sheep2
In that gap in the mountains is Fox Glacier. There’s probably less of it than there used to be

Punakaiki One
Punakaiki Rocks. Like stacks of pancakes

Punakaiki Rocks North East2
That’s the ‘West Coast’. Near Punakaiki Rocks. The entire West Coast of New Zealand is the West Coast, but this bit is called the West Coast.

West Coast Look North hill top
Looking north up the West Coast. It’s rugged and remote. I like it here.

Buller Gorge
Buller Gorge. You can probably fish in that.

Buller Gorge sun
The Buller Gorge. Better than the Manawatu Gorge if anyones asking.

Buller River upstream
Buller River.

Te Mahia Bay
This is Te Mahia Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s nice here.

Tory Strait Exit
Crossing through the Tory Channel from Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait.

So that’s just the top half of the South Island. I didn’t take any photos of the Kaikoura Coast on the way down apart from the seals as I have a load from the last time I was there and the sky was pretty gloomy on this trip. Bonus seals though.

Happy travels…Just watch out for tourists paying more attention to the scenery than the road.

Summer Sunsets, At The Beach

Luckily for me, I live 200 metres from the sea front on the Western Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. I can wander down to watch the sunset any day of the week. These are a selection from just three nights. Three nights from the last week. It’s mid summer here. So these were taken between 8:30 and 9pm. That short window when the sky really kicks off. Often the best light is after the sun has set. As you can see.

Himi Inlet sunset
Heading down to the beach, this is a little rivulet which empties into the sea a few metres to the left of this shot.

Beach driftwood stack
People make piles and structures out of driftwood, it helps me take a photo straight at the sun.

Himi beach people
I don’t usually have people in my photographs, but since I referenced people in the last photo, there are some. They’ll be making a driftwood sculpture later no doubt.

Evolution of a cloud bank 1
That’s a cloud bank developing, about to block out the sun.

Himi Beach sunset

Himi beach light

Himi beach tree two
Almost gone…

Himi Beach post sunset
Gone, now the good stuff really kicks off…

Long Beach one
See? Lavender? Lilac? Pink? You choose. looking down the beach to the South. That’s Kapiti Island way off in the distance. You can also see the South Island from here, just not in this shot.

Hard to believe that’s the same evening as the previous shot, but it is. That’s Kapiti Island.

Beach fort
More cool stuff assembled from driftwood. Helping me take photos.

Sea, see
You could stand and look at this all day, except you can’t as it’s nearly night time.

Thursday Night Himatangi
Saving the best till last? Quite possibly. I do like this. Low tide, post sunset. Awesome New Zealand.

So there you go. Hope you enjoyed my evenings.