Archive for October, 2013

About an hour and a half north of Auckland, over on the west coast, is the Kaipara harbour.  It’s huge, as natural harbours go and quite beautiful.  With a week off work for school holidays we decided to head up to a friends bach in a little settlement called Whakapirau, right on the edge of the Kaipara harbour.  It’s a tiny place with a handful of buildings, no shops and intermittent mobile reception.  Perfect!

We took a relaxed approach to packing, only taking the barest essentials with us, which did not include my new camera’s charger (a mistake to be cursed throughtout the next two days).  we also forgot colouring pens and proper kids shoes (that’s the last time we let the kids pack their own stuff). It did however include a boot full of crap, mostly food, that we probably could have halved and still had too much.  I didn’t work it out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up taking about 6000 calories per person per day…  as we weren’t Olympic level athletes engaged in a grueling trans-atlantic rowing challenge, this was a little excessive.


One the way up we finally stopped to check out the Utopia cafe.  A distinctive looking cafe on SH1, just after Wellsford.  I was pleased to see that although it was an organic cafe that sold vegan friendly dishes it also sold meat products as well.  It irritates me when people interchange organic with vegetarian.  Two utterly independent concepts.  A couple of sausage sandwiches later we were back on the road (stopping briefly to buy hot chocolate, which we’d also forgotten).

The bach did the job.  We chilled out and we chilled out hard.  No sooner had we unpacked the car, I was crashed on one sofa asleep and Josie was laying in the sun on the floor like a cat, purring away to herself.

The rest of the time was spent eating or playing games.  It was lovely to discover that we could all play Uno together!  We also played Rummikub, Monopoly and Scrabble to varying degrees of success as dictated by the capacity of a five year old to both understand rules and play within them.

We also went to the quite lovely and enjoyable Kauri Museum, which tells the story of these amazing and majestic trees.  It’s really quite sad when you see how much of the country was covered by them and the fact that they were nearly all chopped down just to make shit with.  It’s a perpetual puzzle to me why souvenir clocks made of Kauri wood all use, without fail, disgusting plastic gold coloured numbers in a disaster typeface that immediately throws them back to the 70s where they would be right at home next to an ash tray made of sea shells.  I didn’t take any photos at the museum because my battery had gone by then… I did however manage to get some photos I was happy with before the little charge I had left in my camera was all used up.

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I’ve been playing with some naturally high contrast images recently.  It all started with an image of Lion Rock at Piha beach and I liked the graphical look of the images so much that I’ve looked out for other high contrast opportunities since.

Lion Rock, Piha Beach

Lion Rock, Piha Beach

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Mexican Hand Tree

Mexican Hand Tree

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I just noticed that we have a new follower on the blog.  Hello – you know who you are!

It’s prompted me into signing in and putting some new photos up.  Strangely enough the photos are from exactly the same walk as the last post in July.

It’s spring here now and the weather was glorious today, so we did some jobs then spent the afternoon walking to Brown’s Bay along the rocks.

This was the first real outing for my new camera.  I’ve replaced my trusty, but slightly older Canon 450d with a Canon 700d and 15-85 zoom lens.  In general it’s newer and better in a number of ways.  Most significantly it can capture video but that’s still to come.  Although the controls are virtually identical to my previous camera, it’s still taking a little bit to get used to.  the other one had really become part of my body and I could fly around the controls without looking in split seconds.

Anyway, here are a good selection of shots from the walk.

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