Christchurch

Week 31 Wildcard: photographers choice

We spotted this insect on the door of our house. The white of the door made it difficult to get the insect into focus and I had to use the pro feature on my phone to isolate the subject.  Quite pleased with the outcome.

Orangey red flying insect with long antennae sitting on a white door

I had a meeting at a school over in Raglan last week so made the most of being there to sneak a lunchtime walk.  I don’t think I’ve seen the tide so high.  I tried to get the movement of the waves as they washed over the step of sand just in front of the dunes and the light glimmering behind the clouds.

Seascape on a stormy day. Dark clouds with some light shining through over a grey ocean. Waves foaming up over the sand right up to the dunes

This was a dark evening in Christchurch down on Oxford Terrace which had recently been reopened after rebuilding work. I wanted to capture the translucency of the bridge and the arch against the dark of the night.

Night scene in a city. Lights shining on a bridge overtheriver

Photos at concerts are always difficult and never seem to work. Any that do tend to be pure luck! This is Tami Neilson and if you ever get a chance to see her,  do it.  She is amazing!

Female singer on the microphone left arm held aloft. Guitarist in the background

In Hamilton Gardens there is a new garden – the concept garden. To get in you go through a large yellow door that opens automatically as you approach.  I was aiming to get a view through as they opened.

Looking through a doorway with large yellow doors. Through the doorway you can see a woman with gardens beyond

 

Week 18: Wildcard Photographer’s Choice

Oh, so many choices, too many choices! Sometimes being constrained by themes makes it easier to be creative. When there is open choice, it gives me freedom to explore but also I am overwhelmed either by too many ideas or none at all!

I am on the road quite a bit for my work, travelling over and through stunning New Zealand scenery. Often it is impossible or dangerous to stop when I see a view that I would love to capture, so I content myself with the pleasure if having just been there at the right time and seen it.  Somebody reminded me recently about ‘being present’ in a moment, really experiencing it. I am often guilty of whipping my camera out to capture a shot when maybe I should take more time to simply enjoy the moment.

However, there are times when it is safe to pull over and take a quick photo. This was driving home from Piopio one evening after a school visit. I was struck by the colours of the newly cut fields and the dusky pinkness of the evening sky. The light was very flat, so had to do a we touch up after the fact.

Newly cut fields in the foreground, trees and hills middle ground and a dusky pink evening sky with a few wispy clouds

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Christchurch, I have visited regularly since the earthquake and have watched the slow but steady rebuild. One place where there has been no progress is the cathedral.  I chose to keep the link fence in the foreground of this photo, rather than get up close and eliminate it because it seems to me that it is trapped, not forgotten, not abandoned, but waiting. I tried to capture also the light on the lefthand side shining onto the windows of the gable.

falling down remains of the Christchurch Cathedral with sunlight shining into the window from the lefthandside. Cones in front and seen through a chain link fence

Homelessness is a big issue in New Zealand at the moment but I have to say that this week was the first time I have seen people sleeping in doorways in Christchurch. Plenty in my hometown of Hamilton and in Auckland. Maybe, I just haven’t been there often enough or at the right times or the right places. New Regent Street is on the walk from my hotel to the office and I was saddened to see this sight. I though the juxtaposition of the sign above the boarded up shop and the people curled up in their sleeping bags was ironic.

Black and white photo with two people culred up in sleeping bags in the doorway of a boarded up shop with the words "The story of my Life" above.

Finally, this is a bar called the Wonder Horse in Hamilton. A great wee place and my favourite thing is to sit at the stools overlooking the bar and watch the barman making cocktails – what an art! On this particular evening the DJ was there too, so I wanted to capture the vibrancy of the place and the passion that both these people seem  to bring to their work.  I tried to get the barman actually shaking the cocktail but there was just too much movement to get anything that wasn’t just a blur given the lighting.

View of a cocktail barman and a DJ in a bar. A tall shelf of bottles above the barman. Taken from above

This photo taken in the same bar a few weeks ago may capture the movement better.

a barman making cocktails and a DJ seen from above in a bar

 

 

Week 14: Tryptych

Week 14 asks us to connect two or three photos together to provoke a thought or to tell a story.

My biggest challenge was finding an app in which I could frame two or three photos. I fell back to ipiccy as this is a photo editing tool I have used before.

I am well behind on my weekly challenges but have had the project titles in my head as I have been out and about.  We have recently spent a lot of time in the NZ bush and as it is Autumn, there are heaps of mushrooms about.  The other day we found these Slender Parasols up by the trig point in Hamilton Gardens in various stages of development.

three parasol mushrooms in various stages of development.

A new garden has recently opened at Hamilton Gardens. I was not too impressed with the Tudor Garden but I really like the Concept Garden.  The squares of water, and different types of plants reflect the squares on land maps.  The Māori whakatauki on the wall and the rusted iron water tank tell contradictory stories of the permanence or fragility of the land and the people.

Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua
As man disappears from sight, the land remains

 He peke tangata, apa he peke titoki’ 
The human family lives on while the branch of the titoki falls and decays.

hamgardens.jpg

My third option is a city scape – I used an app called Tiny Planets which is a bit of fun to create the images in this collage. All the images are from the same photo but one is the original and the other two are edited in Tiny Planet.

three images in a row, the middle is a cityscape at sunset, the outer two are derivatives, edited through an app that makes them into planets

Back to nature for the last one. Once again on our wander into Hamilton Gardens on Anzac Day.  Autumn is good for seeds as well as mushrooms, and we saw these plants in various stages from fresh green pods to fully blown seeds.

seedburst 2

Too many choices again!

Rā 194 Rāmere 14 o Hōngongoi 

Another loss but a very close one. Boys were gutted and so were we! In between working we walked to the art galleries. Interesting collaborative projects in COCA, the contemporary art gallery. Then the main gallery with a real mixture of styles.

Standout for me was this one in COCO – a joint project which is a textile representation of tukutuku.