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
NOTE: This post is a personal blog a thought an experience and maybe a conversation. One I felt inspired to share…
For me I am 34 years old and I have never really had that thing that I’ve had to make time for other than work, wife, kids and some time for myself, generally just to blob and not do too much.
Approximately two years ago I got into photography, this was when I would intentionally go out to take photos on my own and play with settings and create images to share online, and since then photography has been a big part of my life, always on my mind and always something I wish I would make more time for.
Therefore as someone who works full time, commutes, has family commitments (wife/kids) and needs downtime during the week, this leaves me my weekends.
Maybe I’m not prioritising photography enough or not pushing myself hard enough but truly I don’t want this thing to kill me or be stressful in any manner, because right now, I love anytime I spend behind my camera.
Winter’s Evening | Days Bay Wharf Wellington
This is where my photography can cross over into important family time, ie, weekend outings with wife and kids, and our small dog.
This was the case this weekend, we had a stunner of a day happen right smack bang in the middle of winter! where up until this day the weather really had not been desirable.
So we packed up and went out, taking the dog also.
Winter’s Day | Days Bay Wharf Wellington
After a brief visit to one location (where the weather wasn’t so good) we then went to Days Bay, towards Eastbourne, Wellington. It was Gorgeous, warm, sunny, kids were playing in the water and plenty of people were out and about. It was late afternoon and getting into that beautiful optimum time to take photos.
This creates a challenge, I am bursting to spend a few hours taking photos but then who watches the kids (they are older now so can fend for themselves but it’s nice to interact and enjoy these moments) and who minds the dog.
Winter’s Evening | Days Bay Wellington
Historically I have had a great experience fitting photography into our outings I have produced some of my favourite images and experiences with my wife and kids around, or at times we are out together.
Until I have a foolproof solution I don’t think this will ever be easy, but I really enjoy having my family along for these things.
Then comes editing, at times which can also take up some hours, I generally do at night. Oddly for this set of images the editing process was not long. For this set of images I really enjoyed quite a raw, soft style. Which in one case you are seeing a shot straight from camera, with zero editing!
Do you have this challenge?
How do you manage your desire to be one with your camera?
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?