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??
This was my second shoot where I have focused on a singular person. In this case I was going for a portraiture style fashion shoot. I met Georgie in late 2016 and saw she had a look that I could really work with and she was keen to get into modelling. Georgie had done a few shoots before but still considers herself an amateur. Georgie agreed she was keen to shoot with me, so now 9 months later the last weekend of July the shoot finally takes place. A lot of this came down to confidence in myself, and getting to a point where I just needed to diversify and grow as a photographer. It is late July, mid winter for us here in the Southern Hemisphere (we are in Wellington New Zealand) and I think this played a big part in putting the shoot together as I finally had a subject. Winter.
As we weren’t working with any brands for this shoot I sourced a winter jacket a couple winter hats and a couple of scarves, from some local op shop (thrift shops) this further added to the image and direction I had in my mind for the shoot. Our location for the shoot kicked off around the Oriental Bay area of Wellington where I was inspired by the diverse range of buildings and housing, a mix of Art Deco and Victorian era housing and apartments, we then walked on to the track the takes you to the mount Victoria lookout – This particular part of the track includes where they shot the ‘get off the road’ scene in the movie Lord of the Rings.
By choosing this track and location we were also we able to play with some of the winding hill climbing roads which lead cars around this area. Then on our circle back we stopped to check out the iconically beautiful St Gerard’s Monastery (1908)
We were blessed with some gorgeous late sunlight and overall I was really pleased with the shoot. I kept things pretty simple. Not too many tricks or trying to many things. Georgie was an excellent model, and I was able to realise the simple concept I had in mind.
Camera stuff – For the shoot I had a simple kit of my with my Fujifilm XT1 and 18-55mm lens. Most shots were at the 55mm focal length 4-4.5 aperture ISO between 400 – 1200 max and shutter speed between 1/500 – 1/30 sec. Processed in Adobe Lightroom.
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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.