Piha is a very popular beach around 40 kilometres west of Auckland city and so it’s a great place to go for a day out. On sunny summer weekends it gets very busy so we drove just past the beach to park and decided to have a picnic on the north side of the rock. Lion Rock is about 60 metres high and having never climbed up it, it seemed like the perfect weather to try. Believe it or not there is a path up the side of the rock to about half way. If you look very closely on the photograph you might be able to make out a small red dot on near the top of the grassy area of the rock, about half way up. That is as far as the path takes you. The very top of the rock is closed as a rock fall made the path too dangerous.
One of the first photographs I took from the top of Mount Victoria in Auckland. I wanted to capture a night shot but this was actually taken early on a winter’s morning. There’s often hundreds of boats in the harbour but obviously at this time of day there isn’t anyone sailing. This is from the North Shore area of the city and in the bottom right of the photograph you can see a couple of the larger New Zealand Navy ships. In the centre of the photograph is a huge container ship and often there are big cruise ships to the right of the port. The skyline behind the harbour is dominated by the 328 metre tall Auckland SkyTower. Behind the city centre are the mountains of the Waitakere Ranges.
This striking, modern bridge is in New Plymouth on the west of New Zealand’s north island. It’s only 5 years old, opened in June 2010. It’s a pedestrian and cycleway only and was designed to invoke a sense of wind as a metaphor for the enduring spirit of the dead buried around this area. It was designed by Peter Mulqueen. So the bridge crossed Waiwhakaiho River and is a steel arch bridge. To give you an idea of scale, this low down image was taken on the banks of the river to get some reflection of the bright white of the bridge on the water. Between the top of the water and bottom of the bridge is about 4.5 metres and the bridge is about 70 metres long.
This is an area of New Zealand that I knew nothing about. It’s a very remote place at the southern tip of the North Island. As you can see from this early evening photograph of the lighthouse it’s a very dramatic coastline. When I was there it was July (so mid winter) and it was extremely windy. I live in Wellington which is known as the windy city (much like San Francisco in the US) but this area was the wildest place I’ve ever visited. At one point my heavy 3kg+ tripod was picked up by the wind and thrown about 5 metres! Whilst this was being taken I was holding onto my gear very tightly. Cape Palliser is also known as a large seal colony. You can see the unsealed road just behind the beach and if you look very closely at the area of brownish green grass on the left third of the frame the black dots are all fur seals. There are hundreds in this area, it’s New Zealand’s largest colony.
Zooming in on the camera can change perspectives and views dramatically and this is an example of that. When going to view points (in this case the lookout out at the top of Mount Victoria in Auckland) we are often drawn to taking a wide, panoramic view. I often focus on capturing such views but when you zoom in the camera on details as I have done here you can get just as dramatic results. Here we see part of the centre of Auckland. It was taken with a 200mm lens, early on a winter’s morning.
In the foreground we can see the Ports of Auckland containers, one of the main ports for the whole of New Zealand. Behind the flood lights we can see the central suburb of Parnell,which is where I used to live. The large building on the left side of the picture is the Auckland War Memorial Museum with Auckland Domain in front of it. To the right in the distance is the Mount Eden domain, which is an extinct volanco. The distances here is roughly 1km between Mount Eden and the museum. It’s probably another kilometre between the museum and port. So whilst here everything looks very compact, we’re looking at over 2kms or roughly 1.5 miles distance from foreground to background.
Llyntegid or in English, Lake Bala is the largest natural body of water in Wales and is about 4 miles long by a mile wide. The river Dee runs into it and through it. The town of Bala is at the northern end of the lake shore, where this photograph was taken outside of the Bala adventure water sports centre and tourist information. From here we are looking south. The tiny white dots on the horizon a sails from boats. It was the start of summer when this was taken and there were a few people swimming in the lake. I’ve been here a number of times but this was the first visit on a sunny day with blue sky. This lake and area has a lot of sentimental value to myself and my family.