Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Some photos from our weekend trip out west to the wild and beautiful Muriwai Beach

Poop pooop, all aboard the Lucy express

Genuine excitement at such a perfectly formed sandcastle

A sandcastle fed dedication and love

A sign that apparently in some languages translates as “Don’t give a fuck about the dunes, just let your progeny destroy them. While you’re at it, kill a few sea birds and empty some barrels of oil into the gannet colony”

She’s dangerous with a frisbee…

Nice shot Emily!

Apparently a seal

You know you’re kids have outgrown the park when they find new and unintended ways to use all the equipment

Read Full Post »

The girls were given some ‘Adopted Animal’ packs from Auckland Zoo at Christmas (thank you people, you know who you are)…  and included are one adult pass in each pack.

So we decided to head down in the holidays and took the vouchers with us, hopeful that we could reimburse them against annual passes which are awesomely good value.  Well, despite the fact that the zoo systems are not set-up to do this easily they made it happen.  And not in a grumpy, ‘you are making my day awkward’ sort of way, but in a cheery, ‘we think you are lovely and welcome’ kind of way.

With new passes proudly round our necks we spent a smashing afternoon wandering around and got a handful of nice  photos with my newest lens.  If that interests you read on, otherwise skip on to the photos!

Optional Photo Geek Commentary: The Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 is an amazing lens.  I’m so pleased with the image quality – it really looks fantastic on my 700D body.  At less than half the price of the equivalent spec Canon for an amateur it has to be a serious contender.  Sure if you are a pro you’d go for the Canon every time, but this is hard to look past.  I thought it would be an occasional lens, but I’m finding I leave it on more and more.  It was perfect for the zoo for getting nice close ups of the animals and the occasional portrait of the family.  I also relinquished control for a while so some of these are Josie’s photos.

IMG_5477 IMG_5479 IMG_5489 IMG_5494 IMG_5500 IMG_5512 IMG_5513 IMG_5520 IMG_5521 IMG_5531 IMG_5536 IMG_5541 IMG_5547 IMG_5551 IMG_5555 IMG_5559 IMG_5561 IMG_5562
IMG_5568 IMG_5572 IMG_5590 IMG_5594 IMG_5610 IMG_5627 IMG_5628 IMG_5635 IMG_5649 IMG_5650 IMG_5660 IMG_5680 IMG_5690 IMG_5691 IMG_5692 IMG_5699

Read Full Post »

Pauanui Adventures

We recently spent a long weekend at a friends bach in Pauanui which is in the Coromandel.  It was in November so the weather is starting to warm up, although the sea was still a little cool.  This was also mine, Josie’s and the kids first time holding a fishing rod.  Josie and Emily both caught little fishies but they went back to grow into big fishies.

IMG_4805 IMG_4814 IMG_4820 IMG_4822 IMG_4826 IMG_4828 IMG_4833 IMG_4835 IMG_4839 IMG_4840 IMG_4853 IMG_4888 IMG_4890 IMG_4893 IMG_4894 IMG_4904 IMG_4905 IMG_4918 IMG_4943 IMG_4954 IMG_4957 IMG_4959 IMG_4960 IMG_4961 IMG_4971 IMG_4995 IMG_4996 IMG_4997 IMG_4999 IMG_5004 IMG_5013

Read Full Post »

Then there was one

stevie 006 Wow, it’s been a while since I was here.  I’m blaming the encroachment of Facebook and the fact that it provides an alternative place to share photos.  But that’s not much good for people who aren’t on it so I’m going to make an effort to pick the blog back up again.  Probably mainly for photos but we’ll see what else occurs.

At the weekend Emily was pre-occupied on so we had Lucy to ourselves.  We pottered round the house and played some games and with the Lego then decided to get out in the afternoon by walking to Browns Bay.  We set off in the intention of walking the rocks, but the tide was a little higher than we’d thought and there was an on-shore breeze throwing some stiff little waves up over the rocks.  Hmm, not today.  So we took the coastal path instead.

I had a new lens on the camera so I was giving it a trial to see how it handled.  Here’s a few of the better shots from the walk.

IMG_3117 IMG_3121 IMG_3124 IMG_3126 IMG_3127 IMG_3128 IMG_3129 IMG_3132 IMG_3142 IMG_3147 IMG_3150

Read Full Post »

So but a few weeks later we were back at Taupo Bay again.  (with a trip to actual Taupo in between, but that’s for another post).

Another lovely stay, totally decompressed, fantastic food, company and fun.

My personal highlight of this trip was the metre long sand Lego man (see photo below!) getting some early morning and late night photography action in and driving most of the way home old skool (i.e. no DVD player running).  Back to games and chatting.  Eye Spy, Word Association, making up words to the Star Wars theme and on.

IMG_2157 IMG_2165 IMG_2184 IMG_2186 IMG_2187 IMG_2188 IMG_2191 IMG_2192 IMG_2193 IMG_2194 IMG_2197 IMG_2202 IMG_2206 IMG_2209 IMG_2214 IMG_2215 IMG_2217 IMG_2226 IMG_2228 IMG_2230 IMG_2220 IMG_2236 IMG_2238 IMG_2247 IMG_2249 IMG_2254 IMG_2255 IMG_2256 IMG_2257 IMG_2259 IMG_2269 IMG_2307 IMG_2329 IMG_2332 IMG_2336 IMG_2338 IMG_2344 IMG_2345 IMG_2354

Read Full Post »

Not to be confused with actual Taupo… the town next to the huge lake in central north island.  Taupo bay is due north and about 4 hours away.  It’s a small group of houses and bachs on a lovely crescent bay with no mobile reception.  The waves roll in and the sand is fine and golden.  Sunsets and sun rises have the potential to be oil paintings by over enthusiastic beginners.  Nature appears to not understand that too much saturation is a bit gaudy.  It just goes for it.

It was such a fantastic break, playing games and cards, walking on the beach, body boarding and eating and drinking.  I tried to surf our new kayak on some waves with about 1.5 metre faces.  Doesn’t sound much does it.  Pretty daunting when they are hurtling towards you.  I stuck to some of the bubbly white stuff at first and that was a hairy ride for a beginner but I managed to stay upright.  I got completely dumped by the second wave due to poor timing and indecision.  A lack of commitment here earns you a thumping.  I caught a few more then thought I heard a crack in the paddle.  On reflection it was probably just my nerve going.

IMG_1841 IMG_1842 IMG_1845 IMG_1846 IMG_1857 IMG_1860 IMG_1862 IMG_1864 IMG_1870 IMG_1877 IMG_1907 IMG_1926 IMG_1928 IMG_1929 IMG_1933 IMG_1939 IMG_1941 IMG_1944 IMG_1952 IMG_1953 IMG_1957 IMG_1965

Read Full Post »

stevie 006

Ok, so I admit that we have, in the past, been quite a busy family. But more recently we’d begun to take things a bit easier (relatively).  Weekends at home, weekends on the beach – taking time to just be.

Well all that went out of the window about six weeks ago.  It all started with two three day trips to Australia in consecutive weeks with work for me.  Then it was the first of two weekends away for Josie.  Did the girls and I take it easy?  No, we met some friends from Wellington at the Zoo, who were up for the weekend.  It was a lovely day out, as the zoo always is.  It was especially nice to share it with some new people to the girls.

The following weekend Josie and I indulged our brains in the Auckland Startup Weekend.  This is such an awesome experience, that despite the incredible imposition we have to place on our wonderful friends to make it happen, this was our second go around.  Click on the logo below to see their website.  Basically it’s a competition that involves going through the process of creating a company from nothing in just 54 hours.  It runs from Friday night at 5pm through to Sunday at 9pm.  The days start at 8am and finish at 1am.  It’s full on, stimulating, exhausting, inspiring, challenging, and a million other ‘ings’.  The most important is compelling.  Having got a taste you  see the world in a new light.  It’s a world where it is possible to produce a lean startup business model in just a couple of hours.  It’s a world in which you define the problem first and then look for the solution.  A world in which you validate your assumptions with real people before sinking any money into anything.


That takes us to this weekend just gone.  And it was another weekend away for Josie.  Although this time, she headed back on Saturday evening for some much needed family time on Sunday.

Through one thing and another we found ourselves at the art gallery on Sunday.  I love the fact that when we told the girls we were heading into town, the first thing they asked to do was go to the gallery.

We resisted Lucy’s urge for speed-art by asking her what she thought about all the paintings.  She took this to heart and started offering her opinion on everything, chin in hand, quizzical look, head cocked to the side.  “This one make me think it is a nice painting because it is black and white” and so on.

As usual the activity room was set up brilliantly and Josie and I had a fab time until  too many other kids came along and we had to give up our spots at the drawing table.

I love the gallery for photos.  Lots of uncluttered, bright backgrounds and excellent lighting make for some very flattering, almost studio like images.

We’re looking forward to an even more relaxing weekend next week where I intend to spend a significant portion of it on the beach.

IMG_1008IMG_1079 IMG_1073 IMG_1071 IMG_1070 IMG_1066 IMG_1065 IMG_1060 IMG_1058 IMG_1057 IMG_1054 - Version 2 IMG_1053 IMG_1051 IMG_1047 IMG_1044 IMG_1043 IMG_1042 IMG_1041 IMG_1034 IMG_1031 IMG_1030 IMG_1026 IMG_1025 IMG_1023 IMG_1019 IMG_1018 IMG_1017 IMG_1013 IMG_1011 IMG_1009

Read Full Post »

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.

IMG_0318 IMG_0320 IMG_0322 IMG_0324 IMG_0327 IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0330 IMG_0331 IMG_0333 IMG_0334 IMG_0335 IMG_0342 IMG_0345 IMG_0349 IMG_0350 IMG_0351 IMG_0353 IMG_0355 IMG_0357 IMG_0362 IMG_0365 IMG_0368 IMG_0370 IMG_0371 IMG_0372 IMG_0374 IMG_0379 IMG_0381 IMG_0382 IMG_0385 IMG_0395 IMG_0399

Read Full Post »

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

IMG_6155 IMG_0261

Mexican Hand Tree

Mexican Hand Tree

Read Full Post »

Close up…

A friend lent me some macro extender tubes the other day.  I’ve not done any macro photography before so I set out on Saturday to try out this borrowed equipment.  One thing I do know is that you should always use a tripod, so into the bush walk at Okura we went, camera on tripod, over my shoulder.

I discovered it’s immensely difficult to get the camera in the right position.  The first four of these shots are with macro and the other three just a standard 50mm prime.

IMG_5116 IMG_5118 IMG_5125 IMG_5126 IMG_5130 IMG_5131 IMG_5132

Read Full Post »