Another walk around Doffcocker Lodge this morning. Instead of my usual 28mm f2.8 ais lens today I brought my 50mm f1.8D. The lead photo in today’s post is a crop from a 6 image stitch. The 50mm lens was not wide enough to get the landscape shot I was looking for, so another stitch job!
The shot alongside is a single shot image with the 50mm lens. Such a different feel between a landscape and a portrait orientation. I suppose the thing that grabbed my attention today was the circular sun and it’s reflection on the water.
It was a hot and humid day yesterday, and today is supposed to be cooler. All the same, the sky looked hazy and I really wasn’t expecting to see the sun as a crisp ball as is visible in these photos.
The next photo, taken quite a bit later, is looking across the smaller lodge toward Winter Hill. Here you can see the sky isn’t crisp and clear, but hazy. You can also see in the close foreground the Himalayan Balsam. I’ve been quite amazed with the amount of balsam in the parks and waterways. It was introduced in the mid 1800s and I understand beekeepers are quite fond of it for the amount of nectar it produces for bees … but it is quite invasive and swamps the native plants.
Heading home I couldn’t help but notice the nettles and grasses – probably because the grass is quite long and I got rather wet from the morning dew. Nevertheless, these grasses are very pretty. Maybe I’ll go looking for grasses tomorrow … there’s certainly a large variety and their seed heads are most attractive. Nettles never seem to be popular either … probably because they can be painful, but they are a popular plant for butterflies.
I’ve been enjoying early morning walks around Doffcocker, Barrow Bridge and The Woodland Trust’s Smithills Estate. It’s easy to think of Bolton as a largish conurbation with few green spaces. Driving around there’s a significant number of terraced houses with no gardens … and even houses with space for a garden seem to prefer concrete onto which they can park their cars. So, when you get to the outskirts of the town and stroll down some of the footpaths it’s a real joy to see natural scenes bathed in the golden light of the rising sun. Not wishing to be over burdened with heavy camera gear I usually just take an old manual focus, manual aperture 28mm lens with me. The lens is old, and worth very little, but it’s light and just suits me fine. It takes a little longer to get the shot as focus and exposure are all manually done, but it’s quite enjoyable and gives me an excuse to have a breather before setting off walking so:e more! Below are a couple of shots of a pond near Old Hall Lane in Doffcocker.
Back to Totara Park this morning. It’s been quite hot during the day, so an early morning walk is very pleasant. Especially when the sun is just coming up. There’s a lovely warm glow from the rising sun. Very special.
The first shot in this post has a significant sunburst effect in the image. I can recall years ago using sunburst filters to get starburst effects from highlights in the image. No filter used in this shot. The lens seems to do a nice job all by itself!
I’ve always had a special fondness for Rimu trees. I can recall a friend telling me about them many years ago, ” … make excellent chopping boards …” Looking at them, however, I can’t imagine how anyone would want to convert them into chopping boards! You can’t see the whole tree in this shot, just a few of the leaves and branches. It’s the weeping effect of the branches and leaves and the way they catch the light that I like … hopefully you do too!
Last shot for today. Shooting straight into the sun and despite all the clever coatings on the lens I still get flare. Does it matter, or does it add to the shot?
It was a glorious morning and I was there to not only see it, but able to take photographs of it too. It’s not that many years ago that I’d see a glorious sunrise through my car windscreen on my way to work. No time to stop and enjoy, had to get into the office and start work. Thankfully those days are long gone! Now I have the opportunity to not only enjoy watching the sun rise, but photograph it too.
There’s an app I have for my Android Phone called Sun Surveyor. This is very helpful to decide times and locations for sunrises (and sunsets for that matter). Using this app I could see where the sun would rise in relation to the trees at this particular Beachlands location. There’s a number of trees, with a gap through which you can see the water, and … according to Sun Surveyor, the sun would rise through this gap. The next shot taken with a wide angle lens, gives a better idea of the trees that frame the view.
Somewhat tricky to determine exposure with scenes like this as some areas are very dark whereas other are extremely bright. In situations like this I always use LiveView and the histogram. Sometimes I’ll take several images at different shutter speeds and then blend the images together to ensure I don’t lose detail, but for this shot I was happy to have the darks as dark as they are.
Oh, want to see more of the house that has these gorgeous views? Take a look here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year! Hard to believe, but 2014 is here already. I’d decided to get up early and head out towards Maraetai in the hope of capturing a pleasant first sunrise of the year. The alarm was set at a ridiculously early hour and a somewhat bleary eyed journey in the dark ensued as we headed to the beach. Part way there it suddenly dawned on me that we hadn’t checked the tide times and the tide could be well out! This wouldn’t be good and would spoil the shot across the sea look we were hoping for. Sunrise was scheduled for 6:05 am, but we thought we’d get there in plenty of time. Quite a few other folks arrived too and after a few Happy New Year pleasantries we all settled down to watch and capture the year’s first sunrise. Just in case you missed the sunrise I’ve attached a few images for you below.