Dolphins

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.

Dolphin Watcher
So, they were out by Moa Point, which is where the Airport is when I saw them first.
Dolphins AIr NZ
As I said, near the Airport
Dolphins Lyall Bay at Airport
No, seriously a lot of Dolphins
Dolphin 1
It’s like a Dolphin scrum.
Ferry Dolphin best
Now let’s get a move on. This next lot of photos were taken from the side of the Cook Strait ferry, the Interislander.
Ferry Dolphin double
Then there were two.
Ferry Dolphin dive
You’d do that too if you could, wouldn’t you?
Ferry Dolphin pair
Coming at ya’
Ferry Dolphin scar
Going back in.
Ferry Dolphins leap
You can practically hear it squeaking, whoooooooo Hooooo!!
Ferry Dolphins Four
Surf’s up!

Cool ay? Who doesn’t love Dolphins?

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
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.
Cafe
That building on the left is a Cafe, in Nelson. This is Tahunanui.
Church
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

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
Going….
Himi beach light
Going…..
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.
Kapiti
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.

Photos from my place

I’ve moved, moved to the beach. My new place is a small rented cottage on the Western Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. North of Welington, South of Whanganui. I love going to sleep with the sound of the sea outside. I can walk up to the dunes from my front door in a few moments. I decided to take a few photos. All these taken round my immediate vicinity. It’s currently winter time here in New Zealand.

This is the road to my place, ok, it's not the only road, but it is a road.
This is the road to my place, ok, it’s not the only road, but it is a road.
Who doesn’t love a patchwork of sun shadows, late afternoon on an old woolshed? I know I do.
Wonky shed
Do-er upper, this is on the way home, or on the way out, depending on if I’m coming or going. I like a wonky shed in the evening.
Sunday evening, that's a bit of weather out in the West.
Sunday evening, that’s a bit of weather out in the West.
Sunday evening, my place. It's awesome
Sunday evening, my place. It’s awesome
Cool, no other description required really
Cool, no other description required really
See those photos of the sea? I just simply turned around and photographed this. Those are the Tararua Ranges, they are the backdrop to my place. The wild Tasman Sea in front and the Epic mountains behind me. I like that.
See those photos of the sea? I just simply turned around and photographed this. Those are the Tararua Ranges, they are the backdrop to my place. The wild Tasman Sea in front and the Epic mountains behind me. I like that.
My backdrop
My backdrop
Walking up to the sunset after work, on a Tuesday
Walking up to the sunset after work, on a Tuesday
Same Tuesday, the clouds have eyes
Same Tuesday, the clouds have eyes
While looking out to sea, I can look right, up the coast, that's the way North
While looking out to sea, I can look right, up the coast, that’s the way North
Moments after the sun sank beneath the horizon, Tuesday evening at my place.
Moments after the sun sank beneath the horizon, Tuesday evening at my place.
This was a Sunday, any other Sunday, every Sunset is different of course. The clouds look a bit angry
This was a Sunday, any other Sunday, every Sunset is different of course. The clouds look a bit angry
It's the last hurrah of a Sunday. Didn't anyone ever tell you not to look directly at the Sun?
It’s the last hurrah of a Sunday. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to look directly at the Sun?
If you don't look directly at the last light of a Sunday, you can look at the sea shore instead, which has it's own merits
If you don’t look directly at the last light of a Sunday, you can look at the sea shore instead, which has it’s own merits
After the day has gone, just after, the light changes again, and some sea birds happen by.
After the day has gone, just after, the light changes again, and some sea birds happen by.
Finish with a bang. I spent ages trying to decide what to call this, I decided to call it WOW! Frosty morning, a few minutes up the road on the way to the day job.
Finish with a bang. I spent ages trying to decide what to call this, I decided to call it WOW! Frosty morning, a few minutes up the road on the way to the day job.

It’s nice here.

Oceans, Rivers and Lakes

New Zealand has a lot of water, we’re the country most surrounded by water of any country on earth. Make some sense of that. We have loads of lakes and rivers, lakes within lakes and lakes with volcanoes underneath. I’ve posted about our coastal awesomeness before. Those images were mostly in the far north. This lot were taken a bit further south. Southern Central North Island

Looks pretty, it's disastrous, those are flood waters. Manawatu flats under water. The Manawatu river is a long way from here.
Looks pretty, it’s disastrous, those are flood waters. Manawatu flats under water. The Manawatu river is a long way from here.
Rangitikei River, near Utiku, looks calm enough now, you should have seen it a few weeks ago, washing away bridges it was. Not this bridge though.
Rangitikei River, near Utiku, looks calm enough now, you should have seen it a few weeks ago, washing away bridges it was. Not this bridge though.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like a nice valley. This is one of my favourites. The upper reaches of the Rangitikei River. Seen from Toetoe road. I know it's a funny name for a road but it's a splendid view. Toetoe is pronounced toy toy and it's a sort of pampas grass kind of thing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like a nice valley. This is one of my favourites. The upper reaches of the Rangitikei River. Seen from Toetoe road. I know it’s a funny name for a road but it’s a splendid view. Toetoe is pronounced toy toy and it’s a sort of pampas grass kind of thing.
Whanganui River, with Mt Ruapehu in the distance, 120 kilometres distant. That's a 9,117 foot high volcano, 120 kilometres away.
Whanganui River, with Mt Ruapehu in the distance, 120 kilometres distant. That’s a 9,117 foot high volcano, 120 kilometres away.
This is here because the water in the watercourses down there is orange, which is cool.
This is here because the water in the watercourses down there is orange, which is cool.
Along the coast from Himatangi to Foxton beach these little rivulets flow across the beach and out to sea, see?
Along the coast from Himatangi to Foxton beach these little rivulets flow across the beach and out to sea, see?
This is at the Manawatu River mouth, Foxton Beach. Looking inland at the Tararua Ranges. They've got snow on them under that cloud. I was hoping to get some snow in the shot as well. Not today.
This is at the Manawatu River mouth, Foxton Beach. Looking inland at the Tararua Ranges. They’ve got snow on them under that cloud. I was hoping to get some snow in the shot as well. Not today. That stick is like a local version of the Lake Wanaka tree.
That's looking out to sea across the Manawatu River. Fishing net with attendant Seagull beside the beach.
That’s looking out to sea across the Manawatu River. Fishing net with attendant Seagull beside the beach.
If you showed this photo to someone and said this was the Mouth of the Manawatu River at Foxton, they wouldn't believe you. Go on, try it, ask someone.
If you showed this photo to someone and said this was the Mouth of the Manawatu River at Foxton, they wouldn’t believe you. Go on, try it, ask someone.
The early morning stillness of Himatangi Beach. Looks very calm and beautiful. It is. Most people don't give Himatangi a second or even first thought. That's fine with me.
The early morning stillness of Himatangi Beach. Looks very calm and beautiful. It is. Most people don’t give Himatangi a second or even first thought. That’s fine with me.
Frost on the sand at Himatangi Beach. Himatangi is on the lower half of the west coast of the North Island. The beach is also a road, I love a beach that's a road.
Frost on the sand at Himatangi Beach. Himatangi is on the lower half of the west coast of the North Island. The beach is also a road, I love a beach that’s a road.
Driftwood beside the outlet to the sea at Himatangi. It's all free, help yourself.
Driftwood beside the outlet to the sea at Himatangi. It’s all free, help yourself.
The road from Himatangi Beach to Foxton Beach. It's not the only road, but it's the best one. Speed limit is 30 Km/h
The road from Himatangi Beach to Foxton Beach. It’s not the only road, but it’s the best one. Speed limit is 30 Km/h
Lake with a Volvcano underneath. This is Lake Taupo, a 616 square kilometre crater for one of the largest Super Volcanoes in the world. True story. This Volcano goes up, you can expect flight delays, for the rest of time.
Lake with a Volvcano underneath. This is Lake Taupo, a 616 square kilometre crater for one of the largest Super Volcanoes in the world. True story. This Volcano goes up, you can expect flight delays, for the rest of time.
This is also Lake Taupo, looks pretty, can be catastrophic.
This is also Lake Taupo, looks pretty, can be catastrophic. Those fluffy flower things are Toetoes.

The Sun rises in Kawau Bay.

The dawn of 2014, 6:15am January 1st. The year appears calm in it’s arrival.
June 7th, 2013. An unremarkable day arrives in a most splendid manner
June 6th 2013. The day before the day before, up there, above this one. I never get sick of this stuff.
seagull sunrise
The day dawned so awesome, even the seagull stopped to watch. You try getting an inquisitive early morning gull to turn it’s back on you.
Pied Stilts crossing Kawau Bay 10x12 canvas $300
Peaceful morning in Kawau Bay. Still, the stilts have had enough.
The day was going to be rough, possibly. 10x12 canvas $300
The day was going to be rough, possibly. Seagull flies into the shot. I have this exact same image without the seagull. Some prefer it that way.
Just orange. 10x12 canvas $250
Just orange. Most people lie in bed and miss out on this sort of thing.
Duck shooting season started at this very moment in 2013. The duck was probably better off where he was in Kawau Bay. 10x12 canvas $300
Duck shooting season started at this very moment in 2013. The duck was probably better off where he was in Kawau Bay.
Red Sky in the morning. 10x12 canvas $300
Red Sky in the morning. It was a very nice day though, so there goes that old wives tale, or sailors legend, or something.