Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Winter ...

It has arrived, Winter, a month later than any other year that I can remembe,r but none the less the long, clawing, sinewy fingers of winter have reached out and wrapped themselves around us

 Over the weekend a cold Southerly blast arrived up from the Antarctic, dumped a small amount of snow in the South Island, made it's way towards us in the North and brought us freezing wind and rain. Yesterday, the temperatures only just got into double digits, morning temps of 6C with the high getting up to 10C, low dark clouds, heavy showers and a hint of sunshine greeted me when I got home from work at 5.30pm.  First priority was to light the fire and warm up.

Forecast for the rest of the week is the same, Southerly cold winds, icy showers..Brrrrrr time to get the gloves, scarves and thermal gear out.  Happy, warm and sunny week everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday..

 Thanks Tracy for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday..

Walking through the gardens at Auckland University today, I found this  fern casting a watery Winter shadow on the outside of a building. Very cold today in NZ as a southerly blast makes it's way towards us from the Antarctic.

Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I ♥ Auckland - Wintergardens

The Auckland Wintergardens complex is situated in the Auckland Domain. Part of the complex is the formal courtyard  and below is the  fernery, which has been built in what was an old quarry.
 A few weeks ago, I visited the gardens, the weather was cold and Wintry. After days of rain, the Fernery was damp, wet, and very muddy. 
There were  the last of the golden Autumnal leaves everywhere at the courtyard site, which is above the Fernery. 
I never tire of how different things look, even in the Winter.

Looking through the archway, on the other side is the entrance to the Fernery
The top of the Fernery, around the corner on the right is the path to go down to the quarry
Nikau ( knee-cow) Palm is the only Palm native to New Zealand

Ferns waiting to unfurl ..

The path leading around to the entrance of the Fernery..

The archway that takes you through to the ponds..

Monday, June 20, 2011

Camera Club.. Impressionism Photography

This year I have joined our local camera club, my main  reason for joining was to meet like-minded people, and also to learn more about photography, not only about techniques but also about the creative side of photography. We hold meetings once a month, and  have categories that we can enter our images in, either set ( which is a certain subject) and an open section.

I have been to four meetings, and have only shown three photos, the first two months I went along I was just so overwhelmed by the whole process of having a judge comment on your images, and also on the standard of what people enter. I am slowly getting better at knowing what the judges are looking for, and to taking on board the suggestions that they have for making our images look better. I have picked up so much already and feel I can only get better.

Our set subject for July is "Impressionism" , my first move was to Google the subject to see what I could find. What I found was a website by  Auckland photographer Eva Polak
Her work is amazing, and she has this unusual technique of using Vaseline to get the "Impressionist" look. A few of the ladies at Camera Club have been experimenting with this technique, and I thought that I would have a go too.

What you need is of course, Vaseline, a small piece of glass to smear the Vaseline onto. Don't put the Vaseline onto your camera lens.  Get a very small amount of Vaseline, about half of your little finger, smear the Vaseline onto the glass, going one way. Find your subject, I have been taking a photo of the subject first, and then a photo with the glass lens. When you have your subject sorted, press the camera button down half -way, hold the glass up to the lens, and take your photo. When you hold the glass with the Vaseline vertical it gives a landscape effect, and vice versa. You will need to experiment with how far away you need to hold the glass.

Here are a couple that I took yesterday, still learning, but I think I am getting it:

I haven't done any editing on these, and I know that I have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the challenge.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday...

These were taken last weekend at 10pm at night, the building across the road from our hotel was covered in golden Autmn/Winter Ivy, and the leaves were back lit casting some great shadows..

Thanks Tracy for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday, have a great week ahead everyone...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Flowers on Saturday...

Taken at the Auckland Wintergardens indoor garden, this bloom was just hanging at the end of a vine, I love the colours...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I ♥ Auckland - Lookng Up

I thought that this week I would do something a little different, and post some photos with the theme of "looking up", although this is not a post about a certain place in Auckland the photos still show how great this city is...  enjoy

Nikau Palm at the Fernery Auckland Wintergardens

Auckland Cityscape

Auckland Sky Tower

Looking up at the Skytower, I got vertigo taking the photo at this height....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday.....

Taken  a few weeks back ,  at a local beach. Unfortunately there has not been a lot of sun around this week to capture shadows....

This is a piece of driftwood, casting shadows..

Thanks Tracy for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I ♥ Auckland - Maraetai ( pron: my - right - eye )

For the last few months I have been wanting to take photos of a sunrise, which means of course that I would need to be facing East.   You know how it goes : "Sunrises in the East and sets in the West". There is no shortage of sunsets where I live, after all our district is known as the "sunset coast".
Last Saturday was my birthday, and of course, I got to decide what I wanted to do. Conversation between hubby and I on Friday night:  Me, " Hon, do you know what time the sunrise is tomorrow?"
Hubby: " No, but I can soon find out, I'll google the weather." Few minutes later..." Sunrise is at 7.00am tomorrow, why?" Me: "Well, I would really like to go and watch the sunrise at Maraetai, and take photos, what do you think?"  Hubby:  "We would have to get up at 5.45am, it's about a 50minute drive, do you really want to do this?"  At this point I think he was really hoping I would say no, and that we could go another time. But no it wasn't to be, so at 6.00am we left and started the 50 minute drive to Maraetai. It was pitch black, cloudy and quite honestly I was starting to doubt whether there would be a sunrise.

And guess what,  there was no sunrise, plenty of showers, Nor'easterly wind blowing, this combined with a high tide gave for some very exciting waves and some great photos....
Maraetai is a lovely part of Auckland, with houses sitting on a hill right across the road from the beach. It is very popular in the Summer with boaties, fisherman and families out for a day at the beach.

Looking at the wharf from the road. 7am no sunrise.....

Sitting on the steps at the wharf, as the waves came in under the steps the steps would move. Made for exciting photography

Taken looking down from the side of the wharf..

Around from the houses there is a small sea wall, the waves pounded against the wall, lots of sea spray.

This is taken from the beach with the coastal road to the right..
The name Maraetai, always caused lots of humour in our house. When I was young my Dad used to play this game with us, asking us where different suburbs in Auckland were. Once he had got us going, and all wound up with excitement because we got all his questions answered he would come up with the classic line:  " Where is Maraetai" and of course we would tell him what suburb it was next to. He would look at us with a sly grin and tell us we were wrong., look at us and say " No , Maraetai ( my-right-eye) is next to my left eye", and we fell for it everytime.....

One of my favourites, this was taken looking down from the road onto the rocks below.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Challenge #28 - Old vs New

My husband has these very, very old sneakers that he uses around the garden. I love how tatty, and well worn they are and decided to photograph them with a pair of baby shoes for the Old vs New challenge..

And then the other day, after he had mowed the lawn wearing the shoes, they appeared at the back door with this dandelion stuck in them..

Join us by linking in to our blog we would love to have you share your images with us..

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May the Fourth be with me......

In just two days time I will be celebrating another birthday. And over the past few weeks I have been thinking to myself "what does that mean? "After all, this year I am 59, yes that's right people, I am going to be  FIFTY-NINE!!! and all I keep thinking about is, "where the hell has all the time gone?? "

Okay, so I don't remember being born, and I mean who does, or a lot of my childhood. I certainly don't remember being flower girl at this wedding....

But, what I do remember the most is my teenage years, and the time spent being involved in athletics, I loved that time . It was an outlet for me to use up energy, and a coping mechanism for the hard time I got from other kids at high school.... That's me in the front taking the baton in a relay race... aged 15years.

Okay, so enough of childhood memories, what I have really been thinking about is how I feel about being one year closer to sixty. You see, I have been waiting and waiting for the sign........You know...the sign!!  That sign that I always thought I would get as I got older.

" What sign?" I hear you say. "" What is she talking about" you mutter to yourself.

Well, you see, I always thought that as I got older, as each year passed me by that I would have this "sign", that I would experience something, some sort of feeling that would tell me that I was old.

But guess what? Nothing has happened, there is No Sign . There is no one staring back at me in the mirror in the morning telling me that " today is the day to be old." There is no neon sign above my head, with a big arrow pointing at me and the words "old lady" flashing away in bright colours.

Instead, there is me.  Wife, mother, nana, 59 years young....  Bring on sixty I say.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I ♥ Auckland - Awhitu Regional Park..

Just 20minutes drive from our house is the Awhitu Regional Park, run by the Auckland Regional Council with a white sandy beach, acres of bush walks, native birds for bird watching, camping ground for tents and caravans, a great spot for fishing and a working farm with sheep and calves. It is so quite at this time of year, and is a wonderful place to drive to for a picnic and to enjoy nature. For some reason we always seem to go when the tide is out, but it doesn't matter because it is a beautiful place with the tide in or out. Check out the website after my photos if you want to get a sense of the history of this gorgeous spot, or just scroll through my photos for a sense of the beauty that is the Awhitu Regional Park..

Arriving at the beach, looking to the left there is the bay, this is a great fishing spot, off the rock...

Arriving at the beach, looking to the right you walk down to the end of the beach, and start the bush walk..

Just through the trees is the climb to the bush..

Being a tidal beach you get all sorts of wonderful shells and drift wood wash up on the beach..

This Island is a real landmark, when the tide is in it is safe enough to swim over to the island, in the distance is Auckland City..

Looking through the native bush to the beach.....

Once you get through the bush, about 5 minutes easy walking you come upon the Brook Homestead, the original farm house..

The Autumn leaves make for a beautiful scene...

The park has a working farm within it's land, you walk along the road and have bush on one side and cows on the other side..



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