Exploring Kaitoke, Kaitoke Regional Park is a pretty awesome spot just north of Upper Hutt in the Wellington Region of New Zealand.
It’s full of cool walks and pretty old forest and bush areas, you can also camp here which is next on the list for this place!
Part of this area is what they used as the set of Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy! So I decided to do a series of some of the images I took and crop these at 16:9 to give them a film sort of look!
Have you been to Kaitoke? What is your favourite part there??
My three camera batteries were showing as dead as we arrived at the shore of the Hooker Lake…
This popular track was a must do for our trip to the South Island, I was really excited about checking out the valley, the lake and the trail to get there.
On our trip we slept in our vehicle at basic facility campgrounds which meant few opportunities to charge my camera batteries, however we had stayed at a holiday park in Lake Hawea the night previous and I had in my mind I had at least two fully charged.
I had taken a few shots on the way to the lake and my camera was showing a full battery, however this was not the case when we arrived and faced the beauty of the glacial Hooker lake, it’s icebergs and the on-looking Mount Cook!
All three of my batteries I had on hand I tried in the camera they all showed red and quickly flashed red battery signs and shut off!! – I was pretty mad!
The day was quite warm and we were definitely warm from the one and a half hour walk through the Hooker Valley. The temperature at the lake edge in the valley was really quite hot…
I stuffed my batteries into my jeans pockets and sat in the sun for a bit (with hopes that the warmth may give a bit of charge) and then periodically re tried the batteries in my camera for the next half hour or so.
By some miracle, one of my batteries came through and either revived from some of the heat or just wanted to give me a chance and I was able to get a few shots in.
Composition was pretty tricky as I have an electronic viewfinder and reviewing the shots on an LCD display wasn’t going to happen on limited battery power.
The environment through this valley was absolutely stunning and I was able to play around with some low shots on the shore of the lake.
Our time at the lake was awesome, I got sunburned/snow burned in early spring! And on the walk back to the start of the trail I sneaked in one more shot…
This shot below was from the journey back where I set my camera up on a rock cycled through my three batteries, selected my 2 sec timer (very quickly through the menu system!) and one battery had enough charge just to grab this shot (which is probably my favourite) before shutting off!
My next task is to figure out what is going on with my batteries may have to replace some! plus look into a car charging method, do you have any recommendations or tips? I currently run a Fujifilm XT 1 system with two branded batteries and two knock off ones.
Have you had a situation like this?
For me I was initially pretty gutted but super fortunate to be where I was and super happy that I was able to come out with something. – Phil
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.
Third Location, Porirua
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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?
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! 🙂