Monday, January 30, 2006

In the Mood

Another stunning sunset from Highgrove above St Clair in Dunedin. I had to race up the hill to get these shots because I hadn't seen such a glorious sunset before.

It was very late when I took the photos - about 9:30pm after a brilliant sunny day. If you think the vivid reds in the sky are amazing then you are right but they were nothing to actually being there. Sometimes even a good camera cannot adequately capture the light and colour intensity in our southern skies.

The photo was taken at about 9:30 pm in mid January.Camera: Sony H1 Settings: 1/8s, f2.8, ISO100, focal length 6mm
Posted by Picasa
Idyllic Farmland  Posted by Picasa

Tunnel Beach

It takes some effort to get to Tunnel Beach but as you can see the view is stunning. In fact it is easier going down to the beach than climbing up again! The beach gets its name from a small access tunnel dug into the cliff face.

Sailing past on the horizon is a luxury cruise ship. Passenger ships make frequent visits during the summer months and bring thousands of overseas tourists to Dunedin.

The photo was taken at about 6:30 pm in mid January.Camera: Sony F828 Settings: 1/250s, f5.0, ISO64, focal length 12mm
Posted by Picasa

Victory Beach

A panorama of Victory Beach from Cape Saunders Road. I'm not sure of the local history but there must be a good reason for the name. I think there is at least a shipwreck or two to be found down there. In the foreground is the entrance to Papanui Inlet.

This is one of the more remote beaches of Dunedin so it will be in pristine condition and therefore worth a visit to see the abundant wildlife.

The photo was taken at about 5:30 pm in mid January. Camera: Sony F828 Settings: 1/125s, f8.0, ISO64, focal length 16mm
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blackhead Backdrop

This sunset was taken on the way home from Tunnel Beach. It wasn't on my itinerary that night. You may have seen Blackhead before. Blackhead is the rocky outcrop in the distance of "The End of a Long Day". On the other side is Blackhead Beach, a popular haunt for Dunedin surfers.

What makes this photo interesting for me is the light, which is fantastic, and the wide angle created by seamlessly "stitching" a series of photos together. The fact that the photos were taken handheld and the location was ad lib meant I was very pleased with the result.

The photo was taken at about 8:30 pm in mid January.Camera: Sony F828 Settings: 1/640s, f6.3, ISO64, focal length 22mm
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Light My Way Home

Another photo from the MacAndrew Bay sunset series. This one captures the precise point when the suns rays started to break through the clouds. I think it is simply breathtaking.

The photo was taken at about 8:00 pm in mid January.
Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/250s, f5.0, ISO64, focal length 19mm Posted by Picasa

Wide Open Spaces

Another glorious sunset, this time of Otago Harbour taken from MacAndrew Bay looking towards Dunedin. Normally I like to get some elevation before capturing a sunset but this one was too good to miss.

The photo was taken at about 8:00 pm in mid January.
Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/250s, f5.0, ISO64, focal length 19mm Posted by Picasa

The End of a Long Day

Here in Otago, at the height of summer, the sun will set as late as 10pm some nights. The good news is it gives ample opportunity to capture some stunning sunsets.

Here is one such sunset taken from Highgrove above St Clair in Dunedin. From this southward view of the coast we can see Tunnel Beach and then Black Head with Green Island in the distance.

The photo was taken at about 8:00 pm in mid December.
Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/200s, f3.2, ISO64, focal length 7mm Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Off the Beaten Track

Another view of rugged Central Otago along the "road" to McPhees Rock.

I was there with a friend on a mini recon of the area. He was planning a 4WD excursion on Boxing Day and was curious about the state of the road after some heavy rain earlier in the week.

There was plenty of evidence of high rainfall as normally the grass isn't green this time of year.

If there had been too much rain the trip would have been postponed because it is so rugged and remote.

Fortunately the road was suitable for use by some novice 4Wd drivers - myself included! We returned with our friends and family a week later.

Naturally I was more concerned with taking advantage of the opportunity for photography than the driving conditions. I had never been to this part of country before but I knew it would be a great location. The time was well spent as the weather was much more impressive that day than on Boxing Day.

The photo was taken at about 5:00 pm in mid December.
Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/60s, f5.6, ISO64, focal length 10mm Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rugged Real Estate

The rugged rural highlands of central Otago provide a vivid contrast to the lush and scenic farmland in coastal areas.

This shot features McPhees Rock at the height of the old Dunstan gold trail. The route is now used frequently by 4WD enthusiasts and is about 2 hours driving in land from Dunedin. At its height it is over 1000 metres above sea level.

The photo was taken at about 5:30 pm in mid December. The location is very remote and is frequently closed in winter.

Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/200s, f4.0, ISO64, focal length 11mmPosted by Picasa

Summertime in the South

This view looking northwards from the gardens at Dunedin's famous Larnachs Castle on the southern side of the Otago peninsula.

In the distance is the entrance to Otago Harbour at Taiaroa Head with Aramoana slightly to the left. The township of Portobello in the middle of the frame is a leisurely 20 minute drive from Dunedin. The light blue colour of the water indicates there is a low tide in the harbour.

The photo was taken at about 3:30 pm in late December.

Camera: Sony f828 Settings: 1/100s, f4.0, ISO64, focal length 9mmPosted by Picasa

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Welcome to the New Year

A big welcome to all my friends and supporters for 2006.

First off, I think a big thank you is in order. I have had such a lot of amazing feedback from so many since starting this blog in August 2005. The amount of interest my photography has generated both in New Zealand and abroad has taken me completely by surprise. I am humbled by your support and encouragement. Thank you.

One of the gratifying aspects is reading so many positive comments about New Zealand from people overseas after they have seen these photos. For instance I was delighted when 2 different artists requested use of them in their next paintings.

To those of you who have expressed an interest in holidaying in New Zealand I do sincerely hope that you will visit on your next vacation and experience first hand what many of us here take for granted. And if you do visit Dunedin please feel free to contact me by posting a comment on this site as all comments are forwarded automatically.

Rest assured there are many more photos awaiting selection for this blog and the others so keep visiting regularly. And don't forget to tell your friends.

This year I plan on making regular updates to the blog - at least once a week. I also want to feature some of the amazing hinterland of New Zealand such as our mountains and lakes.

Some of you have been curious about subjects in the photos and the equipment I use.

Firstly most of the pictures are taken literally right on my doorstep. By that I mean the locations are easily within 15 minutes driving from my home. Someone else asked if the sky was really that blue here in New Zealand. The simple answer is yes, it really is that blue on a sunny day.

Secondly is the equipment I use. It is very simple. I only use digital cameras. At the moment I have 2 Sony cameras. One is an f828 which Sony has recently stopped producing and the other is a Sony H1. Most of the photos on this site are taken with the f828. In my opinion they are both good cameras for the type of work I do. I hope to purchase a Nikon SLR later in the year.

As far as technique and style goes I will try to list more detail about each picture as an aid to photography buffs. One thing I have learnt recently is how to create good quality ultra wide angle photos called panaoramas so you will definitely be seeing more breathtaking views of this great country.

Now for some housekeeping news: I have restructured the blog slightly. In order to speed up the loading time I have limited to 9 the number of posts on the home page.

You can still find your favorite pictures by following the links on the left hand side. The archives section is organised on a monthly basis. Feel free to post comments and create links to other web sites.

Once again thank you for your support and I hope to hear from you soon.