Week 29 Technical: Twilight Zone

Technical: Twilight Zone

While golden and blue hours bring beautiful lighting, shooting in twilight opens up a new way of seeing the world. Capture a “scape” that isn’t dominated by darkness. Show the light and textures that can be found under the stars, in city lights, or a moon filled sky.

Technical isn’t my thing… see my post about Master Photographers and my Dad and me!  And, I know that I should face up to my failings and make the effort to get my SLR out and just do it, but the truth is, I am the sort of learner that needs someone by my side to ask questions of when I need to learn something new. I really didn’t appreciate all that my Dad could teach me when I was younger, and now he isn’t here to ask. So, I am using that as a cop out for this week’s challenge, that and the fact that it is winter here and the weather isn’t very nice for going out at night to take photos. My phone camera just doesn’t do dark very well but here are a couple of ‘snapshots’ to start off with. I’m going to look for more opportunities over the next week. I may have to come back to this one!

This first image is heavily edited using Snapseed which is an editing app on my phone. I walked up Sunshine Hill in a small town called Taumarunui after working there one day. The light had completely gone by the time I got to the top, there was no moon as it was wet and very cloudy and all I could see were the street lights through the trees. I quite like it though!

Grainy blue and purple foreground of trees with a bright yellow and pink horizon which are the lights from a town in the valley. This is an abstract edit from a photo

The second image is taken as I was on a trail run with a friend on the shortest day here in NZ. There was a beautiful moon and the sky was clear. As we came to the edge of the forest, it seemed light enough to get this shot. My friend was wearing a head torch so I asked her to face away from me so that it lit the foreground. It is grainy and imperfect but it does represent what the scene looked like.

bright moonlit sky behind silhouettes of pine trees. A person is bathed in light in the middle of the picture

This one is the same evening just a little bit further along the track where I could see the moon. Still a very poor photo, and the moon is blurred but I like the smudginess on the clouds mixing with the leaves. Unfortunately, you can’t see the Matariki stars which were not quite out but which were clear and abundant later on.

sliver of a moon shining through the trees from a dark blue sky.

I’ve been trying to get a shot of the lights of a city from above since I saw this challenge topic. The last couple of lights I was on, it was cloudy. The problem is always the reflection from the window and the cabin. This is flying into Hamilton. I think the bright white square in the bottom right is the hockey turf, where I suspect my son was playing just when I was flying over!

lights of a city seen from a plane. Black and white

Week 22: Door

Week 22: Door.  A symbol of transition, a door or a gate providing a passage way….

As I travel around NZ for work, I see some beautiful and interesting sites. I am currently working with a group of small primary schools in the Taumarunui area. The villages in which they are situated are fascinating. Many have seen better days when there was a bigger population and a vibrant community. I took this photo in the small village of Ongarue. Once a thriving township with a railway supported by the timber industry. The forestry work is much less than it used to be although it is having a wee bit of a renaissance as a result of the tourist trade. It is the starting point of the mountain bike track The Timber Trail. Some of the old buildings have been converted into accommodation for the bikers, it looks like there may also be a cafe in the summer months. Maybe this old rugby club building will be re-purposed?

I wonder what we would find if we went through that door? What memories of rugby games, of wins and losses, of tries nearly scored, of the well-timed pass and the try saving tackles? How many generations of boys and men played proudly for their village and how many marched away bravely to different sorts of battles never to return? What of their children and grandchildren? Where are they now? What of the lives of the womenfolk who supported tirelessly on the sidelines, prepared after match suppers and washed and dried woollen jerseys and socks? And, I am making assumptions here, maybe there was an Ongarue women’s team that broke through stereotypes and just as proudly as the men represented their town on the pitch?

old rugby club building in the mist in a small village in rural new zealand