My First Model Shoot ft. My Thirteen Year Old Daughter

On the weekend my daughter and I enjoyed an amazing experience,

As I decided to put my fears aside and ask that she models for me for a bit of a photo shoot.

My main concern was (mostly a silly thought) that: I wasn’t sure if doing a shoot featuring my daughter who’s just turned thirteen, would fit with where I imagine going with portrait work.

But then I thought; 13 year olds get clothes and goods from somewhere right?

So on Saturday afternoon we were allotted a perfect window of time (as we dropped my wife and younger son off at another event) in local area which is a built up suburban beach access road which also contains a small selection of shops which show signs of age and plenty of character.

Before leaving the house I noticed my daughter was wearing a light pink ribbed woollen type jersey, which I decided would be a great subject to build on and it was an overcast winters day so this would work well.

My decision to focus on the jersey then lead me to seek out textures to play on in the images, we also ventured down to the beach which on this day was surreal with a lot of low cloud and almost a light rain and mist which I feel contrasted the textures and have a soft feel.

My pre reservations about doing a photo shoot with my daughter were quickly dismissed after playing around with a few locations, my daughter was very relaxed in front of camera.

I was also, and was able to give direction (at times not sure where it came from at all!) and it was a completely relaxed event, not to mention a couple of times my daughter stared down the camera like an absolute pro!

 

Now I look forward to my next shoot of this kind,

Do you shoot portraits? how did you practice? who did you practice with.

All shots taken using with my Fujifilm XT1 + 18-55mm and edited in Lightroom 

Are you a model, make-up artist, stylist or brand, keen to collaborate on my next shoot? contact me at philip.windley@gmail.com

 

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An adventure to Baring Head – Abandoned cottages, a light house and the wild Wainuiomata coast.

So last weekend I planned a forecast gap in the rain to head out to Baring Head, to check out this area which i’d seen some pretty nice looking photos come out from and as a bonus a lighthouse to check out also.

The last couple of weekends have really been so-so for photos, grey and dull so this day I was keen to get out regardless.

So I headed out, Baring Head is located on the coast out from Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt Wellington. The rain was clearing through the area and there was nice, pretty epic looking low cloud hugging the hills of the valley. The road is a bit of a country road, narrow and full of action. But relatively flat as it almost mimics the adjacent Wainuiomata River

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

There was plenty of action I could have stopped and photographed on the way but I knew from the forecast my time of no rain probably wasn’t going to be massive and I was just within 2 hours away from sunset and I knew I had over an hour to hike to the lighthouse.

I made it to the coast, and the beach area which wasn’t where the starting point was to start the hike, but was nice to check out and is definitely on my list for some seascapes one day. I then drove back up the road to the starting point to get going to the lighthouse.

The access point is small carpark which is signposted (East Harbour Regional Park, blueish sign with a lighthouse graphic by memory) and has a loo.

The walk to Baring Head lighthouse is timed at one hour and fifteen minutes with a pump house to see on the way, there is also World War II bunkers and to bouldering activities on the beach accessible by extended tracks.

My decision to go to Baring Head on a day like this, though rather grey and pretty touch and go from rain I feel was perfect the whole walk and views back through the valley were just awesome and really showed of some of the tones and characteristic of this landscape. I read somewhere (can’t remember where, possible on the sign at the start of the trail) that there are volcanic properties to the landscape. Through parts of the walk there had been some recent slips to navigate over and this displayed the dark sediment and rock types that I have only seen before around central plateau region of New Zealand. I’m not a geologist but I definitely noticed this.

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

 

The track is well signposted with posts displaying orange triangles, there is a small climb to get up and over to the greater location which contains lighthouse and its accompanying now abandoned houses (I had no idea these were here!)

The area of the lighthouse and its cottages was super interesting, by the time i got there the sky was colouring up a little but not a burning sunset at all, looking down to the beach area it was stark and black almost of what you see of Iceland and it was blowing a gale! I mucked around for a bit taking a few shots of the bits and pieces around the place, saw the biggest magpie i’ve seen in my life and had staring contests with some sheep.

Following this after taking a bit of a beating from the wind as I felt spits of rain and with light fading, it was time to head back down the trail through increasing darkness and go home. –

 

Here are some images, Hope you enjoy.

 

Have you been to Baring Head? What was your favourite bit?

 

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

Wainuiomata Valley

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Old Pump House at the Eastern Harbour regional Park Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Moody Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
_DSF2912
Abandoned Cottage
Cottages at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Cottages at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Baring Head Lighthouse
The Petite Baring Head Lighthouse
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington

 

A cloudy day at Colonial Knob

After weeks and weeks of telling myself I needed to, I was bursting to take a walk up colonial knob.

At 468 metres (1535 feet) located in Porirua, which is in the Wellington region of the North Island, New Zealand (where I live) colonial knob offers a lot!

From the top the views can go as far as Mount Taranaki on a super clear day, The South Island, Wellington areas of Tawa, Johnsonville, North to Waikanae and seaward to coastal islands, Kapiti Island and Mana Island.

The conditions were pretty clear, it had been a while, I was hoping to go up and see these beautiful views for myself much like the first time I had done this hike. This would be my second shot at getting to the top, this time I was walking the 4 x 4 style track as I was really keen to make it to to the top and didn’t need the deep forest experience as is featured on the other two tracks.

So I set off on the summit (4 x 4) track and it was a gradual climb just on gravel road sort of material, so it was pretty relaxing this time, it was beautiful and clear I could see out to neighbouring suburbs and housing areas as the afternoon started to wind up and start to move closer to sunset.

As a photographer I was tempted to stop for some preliminary compositions but my main focus was to get to the summit to watch the sun go down and check out these awesome views which I still had in my mind.

I carry on, passing sheep and cows and the odd person coming down. It is still clear until I take a few corners and see the communication/radio style masts which top some of the peaks starting to take on some mist and low cloud. This did not get any better…

So instead of standing atop a peak and seeing for hundreds of miles in each direction I was left to try and console with a few sheep who came in and out of visibility (they were pretty cool about it and continued to eat grass in between giving me odd looks).

Although this was not the experience I was expecting it did make for a nice series of low cloud/mist photos, I also had some pretty nice little pockets of evening sunlight.

And also there is something about standing in the clouds that makes you feel alive!

For this series I have given these images probably a different kind of style than my normal, I feel it is a good fit for these and the ability to try something new, much like this experience taught me.

Have you been up colonial knob??

What was your favourite experience of going up?

Follow more of my work on Instagram and Facebook

Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Summit track, Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Rural setting including sheep among low cloud, Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-3
Rural setting among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-4
Sheep among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-5
Communication masts among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington

colonial-knob-6

Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Rural setting amongst low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington

 

Photographing The Unknown – How I managed to photograph, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, without knowing it.

Yesterday I spent the day out with my family at Paraparumu beach which is part of the idyllic Kapiti Coast on the Lower West Coast of the North Island, New Zealand.

The long flat coastline is perfect for a day out with the family and to walk our dog, the coast also features the iconic Kapiti Island which is a prominent subject for anyone who likes to take photos.

We were at the beach around sunset, the sunset was a bit of a fizzer, the tide was right out, and the sky was a bit clear for anything dramatic.

After the sun had gone down and my wife and I were starting to discuss dinner plans.

I soon noticed a slither of the Moon, coming to light as day turned twilight.

There were very bright stars close to the moon which lent me to want to postpone dinner and start shooting.

I after a bit of scouting I found my way to a water way which lead out to the beach, this would be my spot.

For the day I had been posting the odd pic and video on my Instagram Story including one of  the emerging moon and its accompanying ‘stars’. Until an Instagram buddy Kunal, replied back to say that what I was seeing was an alignment of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury.

I did my best to take the best shot I could and was happy with my composition I found, I researched the event when I arrived home and feel very happy that I was in the right place at the right time.

Photography Specs
Fujifilm XT1 + Fujinon 18-55mm @ 35mm

F4, 10 sec, ISO 200

Editing, Lightroom

The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury taken at Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand
The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury taken at Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand

WHAT I LEARNED PHOTOGRAPHING ARTSPLASH 2016 IN WELLINGTON

Last night, my son Justin participated as part of the choir for the Music and Wearable arts performance at Artsplash 2016, at the Michael Fowler centre in Wellington.

This was the first time I had attended such an event, first time at the Michael Fowler centre and one of the first indoor events I have photographed since starting to learn photography not so long ago.

As a parent I took along my camera to try and get some shots of my son, at his first performance event, it was not my intention to go in full photography mode and do my best to capture the event. But I was quickly inspired.

The theatre was quite full, we arrived on time (ok I admit we were almost late) and picked our seats, near the back, to settle ourselves in for the performance. I then spotted that there was no one seated in the front rows, this had me curious.

The performances starting to begin I picked my moment, camera in hand, adjusted my settings and headed to the front row of seats to see if I could get a better shot of my son and find out why no one was sitting there. Were the seats reserved? Were there important people meant to be there and they were just fashionably late? gosh I don’t know, I digress.

QUICK PHOTOGRAPHY BIT

I run a Fujifilm XT1 and I brought along the Fujinon XF 18-55mm, so with limited telephoto capability from the back rows, I needed to move closer to the action to get the tighter shots but I had just enough width to be able to get the whole stage and the full choir.

I manually adjusted my settings to a shutter speed of 1/250th – 1/60th and had my ISO between 2000 – 1600 and had my aperture between 4-5.

BACK TO THE SHOW…

So the performances started and I soon realised the front row was most likely empty as the stage was quite high, it was ok though and leant itself to some good low angle opportunities.

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

As I dotted around I was happily clicking my shutter to performances of musical numbers such as a star wars style composition and the theme song from James Bond.

The performance I saw included a combination of Choir, Orchestra and an awesome display of wearable arts. The students who participated came from Primary and Intermediate Schools of the wider Wellington Region including schools from Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast. Students were accompanied by Wellington’s Sinfonietta Orchestra, Chilton Amadeus Orchestra and the Artsplash Festival Band.

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

I was really impressed by this event, I learned that artsplash has been running for 29 years, which is super impressive (When I learn the age of events such as this I always wonder what the first ones are like) and I feel artsplash as an event showcasing young people being creative and honouring the arts it is a real fine piece of art as a whole for Wellington.

My son did a super awesome job I am a very proud Dad!

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
My son is in there somewhere! Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

 

QUICK PHOTOGRAPHY BIT

As one of my first indoor events I was really happy with the outcome, I feel there was enough available light on stage to capture what I saw without having to go too far on the ISO and not have just blur and blackness.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to share!

Did you go to Artsplash?

Are these any of your students or kids in these shots?

Hi-res images are available on request please feel free to email me on philip.windley@gmail.com

Photos from: My adventure into the abandoned Kimberley Centre Facility

My wife and I had a small holiday break recently, the first time in quite a while!

So we decided to do a roadtrip, the roadtrip was a perfect way to spend some time together, explore and of course do some photography.

My wife did most of the driving and I was to tell her to stop when I saw something to photograph. (I tread pretty lightly with this privilege because it works really well…)

For this part of the trip we were traveling in the middle of the day, not the most ideal time for photography but I wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

The most common things I like to stop and shoot while traveling in the day are physical man made things so; architecture, old cottages and things with texture, as more often than not if I have to shoot in the day I’m likely to go black and white for the edit.

The Kimberley Centre was perfect for this occasion.

The Kimberley Centre is based just outside of Levin in the North Island of New Zealand and is a closed facility for the disabled which in it’s time was one of the best in the world and made up for a large part of the local community.

The facility has been closed since 2006. The land has since recently been purchased and is being completely re-developed into a retirement village.

After looking in from the perimeter of the facility (which did have fences and no trespassing signs) we soon discovered a driveway in, this is where the development is starting to take place.

The Kimberley Centre Facility was actually huge! Way bigger than I expected so we just got around to a couple of the buildings that caught our attention.

From what I understand some groups use a few of the buildings so some of the buildings weren’t in too horrendous of a condition, The chapel on the grounds has been renovated restored by the new developers

For me this was my first adventure into something like this, it was great to be able to take a look around and not have concern for being arrested or so which I’m sure my wife wouldn’t have enjoyed on our holiday.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the pics, feel free to leave a comment! 🙂

Have you been into the Kimberley Centre?
When it was open?
Since it’s been closed?
Do you have memories of the place?

 

Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Kimberley Centre-7
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre
Abandoned Facility Kimberley Centre

What is it about old churches??

Since I can remember I have always had an appreciation for the architecture of churches. Living in a young country such as New Zealand, where our oldest building dates back to 1822 we don’t have super old features or designs, but I definitely appreciate the age gap and can appreciate soaking up a bit of heritage through my lens.

Here are just a few I have recently managed to photograph, these are 19th century rural churches which I absolutely adore!

Enjoy.

 

St Alban's 1
St Alban’s Church, Pauatahanui (1898)
_DSF7944
Holy Trinity Church, Ohariu Valley (1870)
Pukehou Church_
Christ Church, Pukehou (1859)