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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Queenstown, probably New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. It’s nice there.
I’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.
I’m in love with my new camera gear. I still need a tripod though
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.