Sunday, February 22, 2009

The abstract, artful and eclectic with some travel - yes, a varied blog this week:

In the spirit of recent photography experimentation on Thurs. evening I had a session of making photos from my cathode tube style large TV set. The idea being to play with the flicker as the screen continually refreshes, or you could say lazy creativity from the armchair, as opposed to my usual racing around for landscape photography.

This flicker effect makes for some interesting ghostly almost, shadow or multiple exposure effects...

Here rather amazingly I caught the transition between two frames I think [Tandi Wright and Stuart Devenie in Willy Nilly]...

On Saturday the 7th of February 2009 the Australian township of Marysville and the surrounding area was ravaged by bushfires and is still in a state of emergency.

My cousin Deirdre sent me a PowerPoint file during the week of some amazing art work in Marysville by Bruno Torf, that was recently severely damaged by these fires. It's worth clicking on the "Take the Tour" link here

Traveling in the New Zealand bush will never seem the same to me after looking at these works of art, as our greenery is a lot like the Aust. variety...

Another topic up for publishing today is the well written and illustrated travel blog of my Hawea friends Georgie and Dave. I'm hoping they'll see a moose - these are very shy animals with an acute sense of hearing...

So they're having an amazing trip through the Rockies and sampling the powder skiing...

And on the topic of the US I found this: a nice 11 min animation of the reasons behind the credit crunch.

Last week's blog attracted a record number of comments [thanks all], so for closing here is another image of the Central Otago landscape variety of one of the huts [cribs in Otago Kiwiana speak] at Poolburn.

From a visual environmental perspective good old NZ aged corrugated iron makes for just the right look in our unique landscape, and I find it a joy to make a photo of this sort of thing. It should be an inspiration to us all as we build and create...

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fishing at Poolburn - Lord of the Rings country.

I'm just back from an overnight trip at Poolburn Dam deep in the heart of Central Otago and one of the outstanding locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The objective was fishing, but due to many previous visits, landscape photography was on the agenda too, as the scenery is amazing and I should imagine unique in the world, and within New Zealand. It's at about 1000m above sea level in a snow tussock alpine environment, and holds brown trout.

To get there Robyn and I headed over the Thompsons Gorge in my camper truck. The route provides a 4WD access over and through the Dunstan Mountains, linking Omakau and Tarras [photo by Robyn from above the road]...

We had lunch in the shade of some unusual trees by a cattle yard. I've always wondered what they are - they're normal willow size but have quite a translucent darker green colour, yet present the under belly of the leaves to the sun a little bit, which contrasts pleasingly with their grey trunks and branches. All hard to make a photo of so I went in close...

The road up from Omakau to Poolburn always delights me with it's expansive views of the landscape with rocks, and I really like the grasses this time of year...

What Poolburn is all about [note camper truck on the right]...

There are many Kiwiana cribs [batches/holiday huts] around the area...




Our fishing spot [caught nothing though!]...

In lieu of fishing, the camera got a hammering...



On our early return today [Sunday] we were stunned to find a crane on the skyline. Some investigation revealed a Japanese green tea commercial was being made. Flying Trestles catering trucks were on-site, and Colin the owner is a friend/client, so I took a few photos for his web site...

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday party time and bush fire smoke

They catch up with us all, the years and birthdays that is. I'm normally reclusive on that one day a year when we [hopefully] reflect on where we're going, but my lovely cousin Trish insisted on putting on a barbeque, which in turn prompted me to share the event. So it was really nice to catch up with so many great people from my past and present.

Here I am posing with my son Dougal...

When cutting the cake I decided to make my wish more public: "health and happiness to all"!

We awoke this am to an orange tinge in the light outside. I've seen this before and find it amazing as it's so far away over such a huge ocean - it's caused by smoke from the current bush fires in Australia. Later in the morning it thickened and I don't recall it ever being so pervasive in our atmosphere in other hot seasons. It must be pretty tough over there across the Tasman Sea: "Melbourne had its hottest day on record yesterday when the temperature reached 46.4 degrees. The highest temperature in Victoria yesterday was 47.9 degrees, the second highest for the state ever recorded". thanks David Crow forecaster

The sun over Wanaka at 1pm today, and that is not all cloud on the left...

As I post this blog the light outside is decidedly a weird yellow. Although rain is not forecast it looks imminent and I'm wondering if because of the unexpected large amounts of smoke now at high altitude that this may cause the air to condense more than expected, and we'll get some welcome moisture. I can almost smell the smoke too. I wonder if ash will soon be evident! I know we will see it in the snow pack in the glaciers over the next few years, just like after other big bush fire years.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Being a tourist around Makarora

Makarora is only an hours drive west and it's a good road these days that goes all the way to the Haast on our New Zealand's west coast, and surprisingly I don't go there often. So taking advantage of my camper truck I headed off there straight after work on Friday, and stayed at Boundary Creek almost at the head of Lake Wanaka intending to fish but...

it was very wild and windy...

The Boundary Creek camping spot is actually on an alluvial fan formed by the creek having transported gravels out into Lake Wanaka many hundreds of years ago, and it's now vegetated with species that can withstand the wind it cops from up valley by being stuck out in the lake so-to-speak, but some surprisingly delightful sheltered spots can be found out of the wind, and one has only to step several metres towards the water to be assailed...

I find it amazing how in landscape photography [or any of the photography disciplines for that matter] how a subject can look so different when viewed from multiple perspectives. This cabbage tree [or flax?] worn ragged by the wind is a good example when comparing the above and below shots...

A lone willow leaning upwind yet putting out only one branch downwind...



And up the road a bit at the Blue Pools on Sat. a tourist crosses the Makarora River...

I caught up with a friend or two at Makarora, and headed home on Sat. in the face of persisting high winds and imminent rain. Now wide awake at 5 am Sunday, for some reason I hear the rain has caught up. It seems nice to be doing this my regular Sunday blog early to the sound of it, and the lovely smell the air has as it's being washed will be great to go back to sleep too!

On a totally different vein cousin Deirdre, a keen genealogist has emailed me this photo of our great great great grandmother Sarah Grimshaw's gravestone in East Hagbourne - blowing it up I see she was laid to rest in 1848. Somehow this connects in my mind to Capt. Cook's voyage and stop-over in 1773 in Dusky Sound, and how I was so taken by that on my trip there in 2005 - it feels strange to now know of a family link going back almost as far. A reminder too of our mortality...

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