Sunday, December 10, 2006

Beach Vista

Beach Vista, originally uploaded by setev.

A rare view of a deserted St Kilda beach, Dunedin's most popular, in the middle of winter on the shortest day. Notice the moon is rising at the same time the sun is setting behind the camera.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds, originally uploaded by setev.

The old piles at St Clair beach have been very popular with visitors to my blog so here is a another example for your pleasure.

The Mole Part 5

The Mole Part 5, originally uploaded by setev.

There are subtle variations in light and colour as well as composition in this series. Each picture has its own distinct "flavour"
Check out the others on flickr

Friday, December 01, 2006

Highgrove Sunset

Highgrove Sunset, originally uploaded by setev.

I thought I should blog this one as it was taken with a new camera. I took this eith a Nikon D70. I really like the smooth operation of this camera. I'm using a Sigma 18-200mm lens which was recommended to me. I have been impressed with its sharpness and quality. So far it has been a good all round combination. Photo was taken handheld and I must say that this is the best photo yet of this location so I am rather pleased with the result.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Summerland, originally uploaded by setev.

If there is one place Kiwis like to spend their summer holidays it is at the beach. In fact with so many to choose from any beach will do. This one before us is called Smaills beach and just a short drive from the city. In the distance is Lawyers Head, then the top of St Clair and Highgrove and further away to the left is Blackhead quarry. Beyond that is Brighton. So as you can see I wasn't exaggerating. There are as many beaches to choose from as place names within the gambit of this picture.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Roadside Reststop

Roadside Reststop, originally uploaded by setev.

One of the good things about photography is it gives me ample excuse to stop and explore parts of the countryside that I would normally drive right past. Here's one such place on the way to the mouth of the Taieri River south of Brighton.


Summerland, originally uploaded by setev.

If there is one place Kiwis like to spend their summer holidays it is at the beach. In fact with so many to choose from any beach will do

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Winter Palace

The Winter Palace, originally uploaded by setev.

Otago University is the jewel in Dunedins crown. Taken in winter during mid year break. The Leith river in the foreground runs through the campus and out to the harbour. On the right is the famous clocktower and registry. To the left ot the large trees is one of the old residences built to house the first professors of the university in the 1880s. Panorama created with Autostitch. Camera: Sony f828. This version has been downsized. The original file is too big for uploading onto flickr

Saturday, November 18, 2006

University Test

University Clocktower Series, originally uploaded by setev.

A recent study on the use of light, point of view, time of day and season using an easily accessible landmark.

Try and see if you can tell which season it is or time of day. I think I have got the angle, light, exposure and composition just right. Have a look at the others on flickr and see if you agree or not and let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Sample of my most popular photos in Flickrs Explore

I've just realised what all the fuss is about on flickrs explore page. It is exciting to know when your photos reach a wider audience through genuine interest

Friday, November 10, 2006

Alma Mater

Alma Mater, originally uploaded by setev.

Education is an open doorway that offers a world of opportunities

Stillwater at St Leonards

Stillwater at St Leonards, originally uploaded by setev.

There is something magical about this photo that I can't easily describe but one thing I do know is the harbour is rarely this still. Taken in the morning during the middle of winter.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

St Kilda Beach Mist Pano

St Kilda Beach Mist Pano, originally uploaded by setev.

Mist like this usually rolls in from the sea but not this one - its actually moving across and over the sand dunes and flowing out across the water. What makes it special for me is the way the late afternoon sunlight is streaming through the mist as it glides across the beach. It was a truly beautiful and memorable sight.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds, originally uploaded by setev.

The late afternoon sun breaking through this large cloud is a pretty special sight and one I will always vividly remember

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bird on the Water

Bird on the Water, originally uploaded by setev.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stillwater at St Leonards

Stillwater at St Leonards, originally uploaded by setev.

There is something magical about this photo that I can't easily describe but one thing I do know is the harbour is rarely this still. Taken in the morning during the middle of winter.

Monday, October 16, 2006

St Clair From Second Beach

St Clair From Second Beach, originally uploaded by setev.

An alternative view of St Clair beach from the walking track opposite Second beach gives a nice silhouetted aspect of the city beyond the sand dunes

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Dramatic Scene 2

A Dramatic Scene, originally uploaded by setev.

The same photo as the one below but the levels have been adjusted slightly differently.

Does this version or the one below offer more mood or emotional impact for the viewer? That is the question I have been asking myself this week.

I think I like both versions, but for different reasons. However when in doubt I always revert to a printed copy as the best guide for establishing the photographs "provenance".

A Dramatic Scene

A Dramatic Scene 2, originally uploaded by setev.

A good landscape is more than just taking a pretty picture. It will also be about capturing the mood of the place. In my opinion this is the mark of a succesful landscape photograph.

My wife likes the way the waves and the wind blown sand dunes create a sense of wild and untamed beauty that is typical of a remote southern beach in New Zealand. Do you think that also?

Friday, September 08, 2006

1 Year Anniversary of "A Downunder Photo Journal"

Misty Beach, originally uploaded by setev. I'm a Blog of the Day!

I just realised this blog is one year old now. So I thought I should post one of my most popular photos on as a tribute.

I think this particular image captures the essence of what I am expressing about New Zealand and landscape photography as an art form.

Many thanks to all my friends, fans and well wishers during the last 12 months.

Surfer at St Clair Beach

Surfer at St Clair Beach, originally uploaded by setev.

It was a good day to be out enjoying all that New Zealand has to offer

Lie of the Land

Lie of the Land 3, originally uploaded by setev.

The end of one season and the beginning of another. Did anyone notice the transition. Not me!

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath, originally uploaded by setev.

Dunedin's St Clair Beach in mid winter. The tide has removed the sand that normally covers the rocks in the foreground. I was trying a new lens with this shot. The original was quite drab and under exposed but I liked the composition enough to give it some work. Not too bad I think and worth repeating when there is more light.

Southern Castle

Southern Castle, originally uploaded by setev.

Dunedins famous Larnach Castle is one of the jewels of the tourism industry. And it has a truly interesting history.

Historic Landmark

Historic Landmark, originally uploaded by setev.

Dunedin isn't only surrounded by amazing pristine beaches it is also blessed with many beautiful heritage buildings.

Its taken many months but I was finally able to capture historic First Church in all its glory.

Taking Some Time Out

Taking Some Time Out, originally uploaded by setev.
Here's another picture showing how mild the winter has been in Dunedin this year. According to a friend the setting looks quite tropical. The setting is also very realistic and true to life. I haven't done any major editing on the photo and the filters in use were my usual combination of UV and Polarizer. The point is that the light was good and the weather was mild which is ideal for my style of photography.

Photo taken midday in early July. Camera Konica Minolta 7D Settings: 1/300s, f8 ISO 400, focal length 17mm

Wild Windy Beach

Wild Windy Beach, originally uploaded by setev.
Winter is over and spring is almost here but I haven't noticed the transition at all this year.
Photo taken mid afternoon in early September. Camera Konica Minolta 7D Settings: 1/500s, f8 ISO 200, focal length 35mm

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Is It Really Winter?

Sometimes I wonder if I live in the same country as the weather man. Record snowfalls, coldest temperatures on record and power cuts for the last 2 weeks have featured in the news this week. But amazingly all the really bad waether has happened in places much further north. Take todays weather for example. A heavy frost overnight but as all locals know whenever there is a heavy frost in Dunedin the weather is always fine.

So is it really winter here? Yes but nothing as bad that experienced in Canterbury or the North Island so far.

By the way I'm not complaining about the weather. I just want to see some snow around here!

This photo was taken at about midday in late June. Camera: Konica Minolta 7D Settings: 1/250s, f8, ISO200, focal length 17mm

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Its June and winter has arrived in force thoroughout the country. Dunedin has been spared the worst so far but nevertheless it has been very cold here. I had hoped to see more snow but this is best I have been able to get so far. Canterbury is where the big snow fall is at the moment.
There is one consolation, even in winter our beaches still shine.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The End of the Golden Weather

Well winter is almost here but there is still plenty of light and color on offer for the observant photographer.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Light and Colour

In my opinion there are two essential ingredients in photography: light and colour. When there is a lack of either it is very hard for the photographer to compensate. When there is an abundance of both then it becomes very easy to create a memorable image.

The photo was taken at about 4:30 pm in late May. Camera: Konica Minolta 7D Settings: 1/125s, f8, ISO400, focal length 100mm

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Current Favorite (And Why I Like It So Much)

This is my current favorite photo. Here's why.

I like the light on the tops of the piles because it accentuates the bleached quality of the wood. I like the sky because it looks realistic and not overly processed or excessively filtered. I like the color temperature of the overall photo. It's a bit like Goldilocks - not too warm or too cold, just right. And I like the composition of the picture too. And one more thing - it looks good in print and in a frame.

But a part from those reasons why do I like this picture so much. Well here's a clue. The picture was taken with a brand new camera and the operator (me) was still learning how to use all the controls, knobs and switches.

Another clue is that until now I have never owned or been comfortable using SLR type cameras.
They can be intimidating, heavy and hard to handle for some people. Up until now I have avoided using them. Yes it is true I too sometimes get overwhelmed with technology.

Now for the punchline - your camera doesn't really matter. Your equipment isn't important except to help achieve your objective. So if, like me, you can still manage to take a nice photo with an unfamiliar camera then that's good news for us all because it demonstrates the eye of the photographer is hard at work. It is the eye that is the most important ingredient. Why is that? It is the eye that takes the photo. The camera like a car or computer merely follows our instructions.

That's why I really like this photo.

The photo was taken at about 1:30 pm in late April. Camera: Konica Minolta 7D Settings: 1/500s, f6.3, ISO200, focal length 28mm
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Power and the Glory Part 2

The Power and the Glory, originally uploaded by setev.

As we sailed past the coast the sun slipped behind this large cloud but it was the sunbeams that made this a memorable photograph. Visually stunning and awesome in every way.