We decided to take advantage of some cheap flights to the South Island and have a wee roadie. Just four days. This is the sort of thing you can see on a short road trip in New Zealand.
Four easy days driving in the Central South Island. Christchurch, over Arthurs Pass to the West Coast. Night near Hokitika. South via Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, night at Fox for the Lake Matheson early morning shot. South to Haast Pass drive through Mackenzie Country for a night at Twizel. Aoraki/Mt Cook national park is only a short drive from Twizel. On to Geraldine for a night then easy drive to Christchurch and home. Basically this is a reasonably low cost long weekend away. Thursday through to Monday. We are very lucky to live here in New Zealand. Lucky As!
Seriously, the weather though!
Costs? About $200 for two return flights, Palmerston North to Christchurch. Rental car was about $250, Plus about $125 per night on average, motels and AirBnB. Basically about NZD $1000 plus food and drink, Pretty good I reckon.
I travel around a large chunk of New Zealand a lot, I also regularly visit other parts of New Zealand than my local bit. I’m always on the lookout for something pleasing to Photograph as hopefully these pages will show. I trust you are enjoying the images so far.
However…On my travels, I see other stuff, the other New Zealand. The bits you don’t read about in the guide books, or don’t think of when you typically think of our country, or maybe you do but you take it for granted. I decided to document a bit of it. I set up a new Instagram account called @kiwiay for that purpose. Come and have a look, follow the account. I’ll be, or have been posting this sort of thing.
By back home, I mean I traded the Olympus Mirrorless camera back in for a Canon. I missed having what I feel is a proper camera. A big Digital Single Reflex Camera. I like Canons so I bought the Canon 6D MkII. Actually it’s not quite as simple as that. The 6D MkII is the camera almost made for me. It’s more clever as one of Canons best ever camera’s, the 5D mkIII. I’ve also had one of those, a second hand one which I traded in for the Olympus Camera as I thought I would enjoy the drop in camera weight. It wasn’t worth the change sadly, still, you live and learn.
I wanted my own new Canon DSLR camera though and the 6D MkII came along at the perfect time. It’s got great image quality, plenty of pixels, it does a bunch of stuff I don’t care about or understand and it has built in wifi which is awesome in so many ways. It does what it says on the tin and has delivered a number of quite fetching images already. My only issue with it is that the shutter isn’t as quiet as I’d like. I know right? That’s literally the only issue. I love this camera and I’m looking forward to getting to know it better. Herewith some imagery from my 6D MkII. It’s not all about the camera though. For those who are interested, I mostly, currently only, have a Canon 24-105 L series walking round lens on the front of my camera.
This is where we live now. A small beach community in Manawatu, New Zealand. Himi as I call it has a wonderful eclectic variety of proper beach baches and more conventional homes, and the largest sand dune in the Southern Hemisphere apparently.
The phrase, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is best applied here. Here is a collage of Himatangi Beach images. I love it here.
This is the road to my place, ok, it’s not the only road, but it is a road.
I decided to go light, I decided I was carrying around too much heavy expensive gear for someone who isn’t a professional Photographer. I wanted to try Digital Mirrorless Technology. I’m currently enjoying the light weight, little bit hipster, retro’ish Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkII which is a hell of a mouthful for a camera name. I only have one multi purpose lens on the front which is an Olympus 14-150mm. I have to admit I’m not totally in love with this camera. I’m not as happy with the image quality as I had hoped I would be and I find it a bit small in my hands. It’s pretty much lacking in every department for what I want to achieve photographically. But it is light. I’ll be going back to a bigger DSLR set up when I can afford it. That said, here is a selection of images I’ve taken in the last couple of months with the little Olympus.
I don’t think it’s just a case of a poor workman blaming his tools, maybe it is though. I still want to go back to a full size DSLR, or mirrorless. This nice little camera is just too little for me.
I’m not even going to pad this out with words, well not many words. If you come here a bit you’ll know I spend a lot of time on the road. I’m lucky that I live in New Zealand which is the worlds greatest road trip. People travel from all over the world to see this stuff and I just have to leave the house. These images are some that I have captured since my previous Dolphins post, which was just over a month ago. As far as a travel experience goes, it’s truly epic out there in New Zealand. I almost couldn’t believe I’d covered this much territory in under a month. I should get out more…
I was trying to think of a clever title, but I couldn’t come up with one so you get the obvious instead. A handful of photos of Dolphins taken from various spots in and near Wellington Harbour over the past few weeks. I’ll start with them quite far away as I stood on the shore and then we’ll get a bit closer, keep scrolling. Taking a photo of a Dolphin leaping out of the water is really hard. So I’m very pleased with how the airborne Dolphin shots came out. If you like a Dolphin, hopefully you’ll enjoy these images.
For the sake of clarity, I don’t surf. I don’t even swim in the sea. I know that if I do I’ll be eaten by a Great White Shark immediately upon entering the water. People might say that’s a phobia. I however know I simply have a rational fear of a dangerous predator. That aside, I love the sea and love being near the sea. I also like photographing sports. I’ve decided one of my favourite sports to photograph is surfing. So here are some surfing photos. All of these were taken in Houghton Bay which is just 15 minutes or so from the Wellington CBD on the South Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Hence the title City Surfers. I’m not going to write captions for the photos because that would be superfluous. I hope you enjoy the images.
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.