Yashili … early morning

Yashili New Zealand Dairy just before dawn.

Another early start this morning and down in Pokeno I was quite intrigued by the lights around the new Yashili New Zealand Dairy. I was supposed to be looking the other way for a sunrise, but couldn’t resist taking a couple of snaps of the lights in Pokeno village and, of course, the new Yashili factory.  There was a significant amount of low cloud this morning and the lights from the factory and adjacent areas just lit up the mist and clouds.  Quite pretty from a distance!

Yashili New Zealand Dairy with Pokeno village in the foreground

Sad to say I didn’t get the shots I wanted with the sunrise … way too much mist and low cloud and it was bitterly cold. My fingers and toes were frozen and then my car decided to play silly games and wouldn’t let me open the boot to store away all my gear! Not the best start to the day, but the view towards Yashili was pretty.

A bit of a difference!

I had the opportunity to shoot yet another GORGEOUS home out at Beachlands last night and thought I’d see how the camera on my drone compared with my usual dSLR when the light levels decreased. My usual dSLR is the Nikon D800 with which I must admit to being delighted. The D800 has a similar layout to the D300 I used previously, but the dynamic range is so much higher. The images with the D800 are significantly better than those I used to get with the D300 especially when the light levels decrease.

The Inspire 1 has a 12MP camera, the same number of pixels as my D300. However, the Inspire 1 has a much smaller sensor than the D300, but it’s more modern. I’d certainly not use my D300 instead of my D800 at dusk, but how does this Inspire 1 camera compare with the D800? Below are a couple of shots. One taken with a D800 on a tall tripod, the other from the air with the Inspire 1.

Photo with D800 and Nikkor 12-24mm f2.8
Photo from DJI Inspire 1

For small images the Inspire shot seems fine, but as soon as you start to enlarge the image you notice how grainy and noisy the image really is. Fixing noise just softens the entire image and it then loses the crispness that the D800 provides. Nevertheless, the images from the Inspire seem fine during the day. I’ll be intrigued to see how video looks … but you’ll have to wait a few days until I post one of those.

Oh, the house? Believe me it’s stunning. If you’re looking to buy this gorgeous home, or one like it, then give Brianne at Ray White Lighthouse in Beachlands a call on 09 536 7011 and she can arrange a private inspection for you.

It had to happen!

Papatoetoe House For Sale!

I suppose it was inevitable really. When taking property photos there’s times when my current pole just isn’t long enough. Mind you, as I extend my pole with camera atop it can get a little scary when it’s breezy. I always wonder whether my insurance premiums are up to date! So far I’ve had no issues, but I always wonder when my fortunes might change.

So, with more height necessary the question was whether to get a longer physical pole or a virtual pole (as in a drone)? I opted for the virtual pole. This week I tried out my drone for the first time and the emotions were a mixture of fright and delight! Delight that I can get significantly higher than I ever could previously, fright when a flock of seagulls came to explore the drone whilst 30 metres in the air. There must have been about 20 seagulls circling the drone and squawking in a demented fashion at my new device. Needless to say, I landed as quickly as possible!

It seems quite straightforward to fly and provides a very different view of the world from just a few meters up. The shot in this post was taken from about 35 metres high. As you can see there’s heaps of space in the backyard … something awkward to portray from lower down. Oh, and the house is for sale! If you’re keen just contact Samsith Kim at Ray White on 021 126 9563.

60 seconds?

There’s two common questions I get asked. “What type of photography do you do?” and “What is your favourite type of photography?”

To answer the first is probably easier to achieve by way of an example than with words. What is it that people say? A picture paints a thousand words? So, maybe I should use pictures to give an idea of the things I do … but briefly! Someone wanted me to watch a video the other day and it was over 30 minutes long. Needless to say I’d lost quite a bit of interest well before I got to the end! So, whatever I do needs to be brief, but needs to give you a bit of an idea as to what type of photography I do. I could then make specific short clips to demonstrate in more detail each of the types of photography I do.

With this in mind, please take a look at the short clip below and, if you have time, let me know what you think. Hopefully 60 seconds is not too long and you might discover a little more about the types of photos I take as well as how to get in contact.

Oh … the second question?  I’ll leave the answer to that for a subsequent post 😉

Horizontal lines …

Many years ago, when I was about 8 years old, and I started to use a camera, I was given many hints and tips by my uncle. Uncle Herbert was an enthusiastic and very capable photographer and was keen to pass on tips and tricks he’d learnt over the years. It’s strange, but even now, many years after he spoke to me about composition, I can still hear his voice and often imagine him standing next to me, helping me adjust the camera to get the “perfect” shot. One thing that he stressed was to avoid those stripy pictures. You’ve probably seem them, the land, sea, sky shots where each band is horizontal? Well, Uncle Herbert was no fan of those images I can tell you. So, early this morning, looking out towards Panmure from Mount Hobson Uncle Herbert was there again. Even though he passed away some time ago, we still had a bit of a chat about the shot you see in this post. Think he’d approve? I’d like to think he would.

Auckland sunrise

Early start

I’d had this notion of a long exposure shot looking over the Newmarket Viaduct in the early morning. I wasn’t sure what the clouds and light would be like, but I thought I’d have a better chance of avoiding traffic early in the morning rather than at rush hour in the evening. Well, that may have been a bit of wishful thinking! I left home close to 6.15am and the traffic was stop start on my way to Mount Hobson. Sitting in traffic I became increasingly concerned I’d left it too late to leave home and that it was going to be too bright to get the shots I’d imagined.

Folks rushing over Auckland’s Newmarket Viaduct to work this morning

I think an evening shot will be better, so will try to get back in the next few days. In the morning as time passes it gets brighter quite quickly requiring ND filters to slow down the shutter. Shooting in the evening has the advantage that it gets darker as tine passes!

Somewhat disappointed with the light over the viaduct I switched my attention to watching the sunrise. Here’s a couple of shots looking out towards Waiheke Island from the top of Mount Hobson.

Sunrise from Mount Hobson, Auckland

Looking towards Waiheke Island in the far distance this morning from Mount Hobson, Auckland

Last, but not least, here’s a photo looking across Orakei towards Rangitoto Island. If you’ve never visited Mount Hobson the views from the summit are most definitely worth the steep climb. Who knows, I may meet you there one evening as I try to get a nice shot looking over the Newmarket Viaduct.

View over Orakei towards Rangitoto Island from Mount Hobson

Friendly folks …

I’ve already mentioned how much I enjoyed visiting Singapore, but one thing I forgot to mention is how friendly I found the people.  I visited a number of places, both tourist destinations and places off the usual tourist trails.  No matter where I went I met charming people happy to help with directions and more than happy to chat and make you feel welcome in their country.  There’s lots to see with respect to the scenery and sights, but there’s also a lot to see if you take time out to look and chat to the residents of Singapore.

I’ve three photos in this post.  A lady in a happy mood at the Botanic Gardens, a gent at work and another gentleman deep in thought at one of the temples.  The lady was more than happy to pose for me in the shot you see here.  I’m not sure if she though I was a famous photographer or something, but she seemed desperate to be in my photo.  The working man just wanted to get on with the task at hand but didn’t object to the camera pointing his way.  The man at the temple seemed deep in thought.  This must be my favourite shot of the three.  There’s something that appeals to me in this photograph of the elderly man.

Friendly lady at the Orchid Gardens
Hard at work in the midday heat.
In a contemplative mood

Fond memories!

Becoming a bit of a distant memory now is the time I spent in Singapore a few weeks ago. I still have very fond memories of the time there and am very keen to visit again. I may have mentioned before how safe you feel in Singapore no matter what time of day or night you’re out and about. And, it’s at night time when the city really seems to come to life. There’s this intoxicating mix of sparkling lights and water around the Marina Bay area where you can enjoy views from the bumboats on the water, at the quayside, on the bridges over the water or even on the Singapore Flyer – the large ferris type wheel that offers spectacular views across the city.

Below are a few snapshots taken during one of my evening walkabouts and visit to the Singapore Flyer. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the views just as much as I did whilst visiting.

Marina Bay view from Singapore Flyer
Marina Bay View from the quayside
Marina Bay’s famous Merlion shot from a bumboat.
A closer view of the Merlion taken from one of the local bumboats

Midland Hotel, Morecambe

One of the famous seaside resorts in the UK, Morecambe boasts quite a lovely hotel named after the railway company that served the area, The Midland. Built in 1933 to a design by a young and enthusiastic architect, Oliver Hill, this Grade II listed building has been recently restored to its former glory.

Once inside the building you realise that this is something rather special. Built in the 1930s in the Art Deco Style, the interior of this hotel really takes you back in time to those pre-war years. A number of monochrome prints were in display and in many way the style of the building suits a monochrome image. Below are a few quick snaps taken whilst I enjoyed a cup of coffee. Such a shame I couldn’t spend more time there and take my time capturing the atmosphere of this building.

For more details take a squiz here

Up to the Gardens …

Well, this time it’s Auckland’s Botanic Gardens.  Since returning to NZ I’ve taken a fews strolls around the gardens and must say that they really are very good.  Such a variety and so well presented.  A real credit to the gardeners who work here.  Anyway, on my strolls I’ve kept seeing this rather lovely tree … well, its flowers to be honest.  Quite large blooms but ever so pretty.  Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I’ve enjoyed looking at the tree!

I met a young photographer there with her Mum and Dad. Each member of the family out exploring the Gardens and shooting with their own camera. What a great way to spend time together as a family.