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 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.
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.
New Zealand is a long but fairly narrow country. It’s 2,086 kilometres from one end to the other, but you are never more than 120 kilometres from the sea. What this means is that you can often see the mountains from the seashore, or the sea from the mountains. Which is nice. This gives many fetching photographic opportunities, such as these.
One of the best things about New Zealand is how easy it is to hop in a car and go. Driving from A to B in New Zealand is generally a pleasure rather than a mission as it can be in so many countries overseas. I say generally because while the roads outside Auckland are mostly empty, the roads in Auckland are not. Still, this is about the wide open spaces beside the road in the central bit of the North Island. Time to hit the road….
See? That’s just a short there and back trip. Come to New Zealand, go for a drive