Friday, November 24, 2017

... Weston and Ngapara, Waitaki District

On the second day of my long weekend away, I ventured inland to the clay cliffs at Omarama. While the clay cliffs were underwhelming, there were lots of phototunities along the way. 

I went inland via the Weston Ngapara Road. The first phototunity came at Weston. Weston has a beautiful Oamaru stone hall built in 1890 and just around the corner from that a lovely old church. The corrugated iron fence between the church and its neighbour had been turned into a graffiti board for local youth. It was horrible and quite a juxtaposition to the lovely church. In my experience very few children are into graffiti or tagging. I couldn't name one from the 46 Yr 9 children I teach. It's such a stereotyped view of youth!

A few kilometres up the road and literally on the side of the road in Ngapara, I came across the vibrant Milligan's Eclipse flour mill built in 1896. I assumed it was an abandoned building, but it is still in use. Not for flour but for animal nutrition products. There is an article about the change in use here. Those 'bricks' are thick. The windows are inset about 30cm. 

Then I came across another beautiful community - memorial hall. I love the colours and the straightlines. In the second photo you can see the chimney. Imagine the inside with a roaring fire going. I did not love the dog that came running out of the neighbour's place to see what I was doing. I was glad it ran on down the road to visit someone else!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

... Kakanui

My final stop before getting in to Oamaru was Kakanui. Apparently, it was once a bustling port. It's not now. Blame the railway and the invention of frozen meat exports. However, there is a nice old church still standing from 1870. That's old in NZ.

And thus my journey from Dunedin Airport to Oamaru was almost complete. It is a distance of 140km. Google says that will take 1 hour and 50 minutes. It took me close to six hours. It was all so scenic.

Friday, November 17, 2017

... Moeraki

When my cousin Kell and I did a bottom of the South Island road trip a few years back, it was very cool to finally get to Moeraki. And the boulders were a deliberate stop on this trip too. Primarily, to practise my long exposure photography. I have seen some beautiful sunrise long exposure shots on instagram of the boulders. I learnt on this visit that when the waves come in the tripod starts to sink into the sand.

My feet got a bit wet in the process.

Monday, November 13, 2017

... Shag Point/Matakaea

Just up the road from Karitane and 9km east from Palmerston is Shag Point/Matakaea. I had never been there before this Labour Weekend. I like that the Maori name is being used. Whoever suggested Shag Point was severley lacking in imagination.

It was blowing a fair gale. There was a minibus full of international tourists taking selfies and two other keen photographers. They were trying to capture (photographically speaking) a common old seagull. The gulls were hovering in the gales. I also saw a couple of divers in a sea thick with kelp and one big, fat seal basking in the sun amongst the birds. He did look up a couple of times and I did wonder how fast he could swim and 'run' compared to my damaged meniscus affected 'run'. Fortunately, I didn't need to test the belief that I could get away from him if I needed too.

Friday, November 10, 2017

... Karitane

Shortly after Waitati, I turned off State Highway 1 for the coastal route through Warrington and Seacliff to Karitane. Seacliff is infamous in NZ for the 'lunatic asylum' which began in 1878 and once comprised about 1000 acres. You can read more about it here.

Karitane, a bit further down the road, was another gem. A super long, unpopulated beach.

I attempted some long exposures. I don't have all the elements quite right yet, so it's trial and error which I find frustrating in the field.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

... to Doctor's Point, Waitati

Labour Weekend is the last long weekend in NZ before the Christmas hols. I thought to myself, I could go home to HB - but I had just been there in the Oct hols - or I could go further afield. (There is no point going anywhere in driving range of Auckland because the traffic will add hours and hours and hours to your journey.) My cousin Kelly and I did a bottom of the South Island road trip a few years ago and I had always wanted to go back to Oamaru, so I booked a flight to Dunedin, a rental car, three night's accommodation in Oamaru and a day off work.

If I had taken the direct route between Dunedin airport and Oamaru would have been 140km, and less than two hours. I took the indirect route and it took more than six hours.

My first stop was Doctor's Point. I had never heard of this place, but saw the sign and turned off from west from Waitati got to the end of the road, literally, and discovered a beauty! The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the sand was so fine.

The estuary is Blueskin Bay. I have a long ago whanau connection to Blueskin Bay as my great great great grandfather, Matt Miller, married a young woman from Blueskin Bay. Matt arrived in Oamaru in 1852 with some sheep (and his daughter - my great, great grandmother Margaret - after his wife and a second daughter had died in Geelong, Victoria) for Mr McMaster. I like to think that he and Margaret may have visited Blueskin Bay back in the day.

I have since seen on the www that even further round the beach at Canoe Beach there are some caves. It's a beautiful part of NZ that was spectacular on the sunny Spring day I was there. 

Coming back through Waitati, I stopped to photograph the first of many war memorials I saw. This part of the South Island has a lot of war memorials. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

... to Auckland's Diwali Festival

I don't think I even knew about Diwali before working at my current school. Diwali coincided with the NZ Photography Tours street photography workshop in mid October. While the festival was quite small, I am pleased with the photos I took.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

... to Auckland

I know I live in Auckland, but I rarely go into Auckland city. However, I recently attended a 'street photography' photo 'tour' with NZ Photography Tours. We gathered at a city cafe for an overview and then hit the streets for a few hours.

It's a little bit stalkery this street photography. In a good way. And I am pleased with my photos.

The tour/workshop was very informative, interesting and fun. And I will probably sign up for another of their tours.