Looking out of the window one morning, I saw this view across the field and thought it reminded me of something. Although this landscape is a little more cluttered with a tin shed on the right, the way the sun is coming through the clouds and lighting up the grass reminds me of a photograph titled Bliss by Charles O’Rear taken in California. It was used by Microsoft for the default wallpaper background in Windows XP. Kawhatau Valley is a remote area north of Palmerston North in New Zealand. We recently stayed in a holiday home for a couple of nights.
In Auckland over Christmas I had a chance to get out with my camera and finally capture the Viaduct Basin, which I had on my shoot list for the last couple of years. Being Christmas the Auckland Skytower on the right is lit up like a Christmas Tree in green and red which contrasts nicely against the dark blue of the sky. The super yacht on the left is Janice of Wyoming, a locally built yacht at 40 metres long. Just off frame to my left where I took this is the Wynyard Crossing, a footbridge which provided a great spot for my tripod.
Kaitarakihi beach is one of my favourite spots in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland, just a short drive outside of central Auckland. It's more sheltered than the more popular west coast beaches of Piha or Bethells but in my opinion is just as special. This photograph was taken between Christmas and New Year, the height of summer here. The Pohutukawa is also known as New Zealand's Native Christmas Tree, as it flowers between November and January with these very bright red flowers.
Harbours and Marinas are often great places to take your camera, especially on a sunny day with a blue sky. I’m very fortunate to live a short walk from the Clyde Quay Marina and the gym I go to is the large white building on the left of the photograph. On the top right is the lookout and summit of Mount Victoria. In the middle on the hillside is Saint Gerard’s Monastery. This was taken at about 7pm on a spring evening.
One year on from the previous photograph of fireworks I wanted to get a bit closer to the water to avoid foreground distractions and attempt to get some of Wellington city lights in the background. Not knowing exactly where the boat or platform that the fireworks would fire from would be, I went along Oriental Parade. I set the tripod about half way up the hill on Carlton Gore Road, looking back towards central Wellington. Due to the winds the platform came much further out into the harbour than last year’s firework display, so the background shows more of the Port but it’s certainly an improvement over last year.
When I first moved to New Zealand in 2012 I was surprised that they celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. Any excuse to try to photograph a professional firework display is fine by me. This photograph was taken from the Brooklyn Wind Turbine entrance on Ashton Fitchett Drive looking down between the houses to Lambton Harbour. From this height we avoid some of the taller buildings of Wellington’s central business district. Behind the fireworks in the background is Petone on the other side of the harbour.