Photography, Rain, Camping & Small Towns

Boy do I love a good roady! Doug & I took a couple of days off work to go camping down the east coast of NZ over the Valentines Weekend. If you haven't been down there, you really should go its beautiful! As is all of NZ like hello LOL. We just took it pretty slow and stopped often. If you know what its like to travel with me, you have to stop alot because whenever I see something cool I want to get out of the car and take photo's. ha ha ha.
I just can't let a beautiful scene pass me by. One photo is never enough.

Which brings me to another point. I might start adding weekly tips on this blog for beginners (like me!) Personally, I follow alot of other blogs and websites to learn new things, to help me improve. So if I find something worth while sharing I will try to add it here :-) It might be a new technique I have learned, or a fancy new accessory that I'm eying up.

But first, a few of my favourite shots and the little stories behind them :-)

Below is a multiple shot picture that I joined in photoshop elements. Thats all I have at the moment, but I am intending to buy a more complete version. This was kindly donated to me by a friend :-) Thanks Tim! This is pretty easy to do, you just have to create a canvas that is as wide as the number of photos you want to go on it. E.g, if your photo is 3168pixels across, you just times that by 5 to get the total width you need for your canvas. If you need more specific details, I tend to refer to the very pretigious
youtube for step by step tutorials. Its great try it! But one tip is, you need to make sure the lighting on each photo is tweaked so that it looks like one seamless photo. You do this by adjusting the levels.

Below is another pic of Doug. I just like this one, because you can see the slight rim light on his hair which separates him from the background :-)

Dryke is growing up fast. If you have seen my earlier blog posts, he was so so small when we first got him! Check it out here . He's so cute even though he's gotten bigger. I love how he's so loyal. In the pic below, Doug and I took a picture of our footprints side by side, and Dryke decided to add his. HOW CUTE IS THAT?! I also like the fact that it was taken at the wide angle end of my lens. You can get a sense of perspective drawing your eye from Dryke out to the open ocean. It does distort the horizon slightly but I still like it. I don't know am I talking a whole lot of crap here? LOL. Just listen to me ok. HAHA.

I wish I was really smart and could tell you of the name of the plant below but I can't. Sorry LOL. I just thought the shape of it was really cool! I like how the sunlight is shining on the leaf in contrast with the shadows. And I like the other leaf in the corner how it gives some comparison.

Below is a shot of Hawai beach, on the east coast past Opotiki (click here for a map). The beaches around here have a very secluded feeling. You feel like you're on an episode of LOST or something haha. But its beautiful. And even though it was drizzly on this day I found it to be very pretty. The landscape is so majestic, and cloud cover always acts as an excellent diffuser of harsh sunlight. I like how you can see the mist coming up from the whitewash.

So it had been raining for a while and then it stopped. I told Doug : "Stop the car!" LOL. I had read in a few photography articles how its sometimes very beautiful to shoot plants just after it has rained. I think it worked :-). Raindrops are like nature's diamonds.

Valentines Evening was amazing. Sunset GORGEOUS : 14th February 2010. The clouds formed these unusual disk formations.

Oops sorry for the longest post haha. This is but a fraction of the shots I took. If you know me, you will know how I get a bit trigger happy on holiday. Can you say TOURIST!? LOL. Nah homie I'm a local LOL. This is probably my fav of the bunch. I love the beach and I love clean waves! I increased the saturation just slightly in iphoto and I just love how it turned out.

Tip for the week: If you're camera has an apeture priority setting (usually Av), you can use this setting to blur your background by using the smallest number setting possible. This means you are allowing more light into your camera which also creates a shallower depth of field. This means that the things closest will be in focus, and the background will be out of focus. If you only have a point & shoot you can also experiment getting a similar effect using your portrait mode. Most camera's will have these. Practise practise practise, have fun and get creative!

Assignment - Ghetto Touch Final 10 Feb 2010

"No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up". I remember this saying from one of those forward emails. I've always kept that in the back of my mind to remind me not to miss out on life's opportunities because you never know how its going to go. You will never know if you don't turn up! This little shoot was one of those opportunites. It was raining on this day and I was extremely nervous given the conditions, but I decided to go anyway. Can't let my friend down :-)! Luckily the weather dried up just in time for the games.

I was so priviledged to be asked to photograph my friends Touch team 'Ghetto' for their final mens and mixed games. I was like cool man, for sure I will do that for you. It was a great opportunity to put into practise all the things I've been learning and reading about; about thinking on your feet. And boy did I just have to hit the ground running - literally. For both of these teams to make it to the finals is awesome and it was no wonder. These guys are FAST. haha . And I had to do my best to keep up with the play which was quite a challenge! But I very much enjoyed the experience. Alot of people came to me from the other team going: can you take my picture.. lol. I was like aaaa (like an egg I didn't know what to say hahaha).

Another challenge was that they swapped sides after every try , so like a true hardcore photographer (lol) I had to run down to each end of the field after every try. So the team wasn't the only one getting some exercise. But it was definately a good experience. I learned to just get in there and do it even though I wasn't totally sure of my settings etc etc and my lack of a fast zoom lens. I took alot of shots in the effort to get the shot that I wanted. And I did get a few that are quite cool (I think). Some of the facials are really quite comical! There are a few cool actions shots too including some of the tries. Again I have to give it up to the guys / gals for being very interesting subjects! When these guys go out to play, they really go out to win. Awesome.

Here are some of my favourites:


This guy means business

So all in all I think it was a success. Jacob (my friend) seems happy with the pix which is good. The organiser of the competition also saw some of the shots on Facebook and they want some of them for their club website. Woo hoo. Ok so I better get onto creating some kind of watermark. Next thing on my to do list!

My new photography peeps

So if you have been following my photo uploads you may know that I now belong to a new mini photography club. (LOL inside joke!). Actually I just got together with a few friends from North Harbour church (who also are photography enthusiasts). It was so much fun that we have decided to try and get together again and hopefully make it a regular thing! But it was so cool. Its really cool to be around people who actually know alot more than you do about photography, its a great chance for me to learn and get inspired :-) Steph, who actually does this for a living was so kind, that she even let us try her lenses, even her super zoom lens :-) which was totally awesome :-) Scary though being so expensive! Around 3k she said....:O {shock} But it was so fun.

I just read another article about inspiration from DPS, a great learning website for photographers. If you are interested I recommend it! click
here :-)

I realise that I am a bit slack with my photography. Having a look at Steph and Joy's photos from the same day and location, I am so impressed. I did expect this from Steph being profesh :P But also really loved Joy's photo's. I think I am a bit blase when it comes to photography sometimes. Or maybe I was a bit shy this being my first outing with these guys that I didn't want to do my usual roll and tumble and crouch to get that shot lol. (Cause its even more FAIL when you go hardout then they say can I have a look at your shot, well SUX LOL). But yeah, I really want to try and be more purposeful with my shots next time. I think this time I was a bit laid back and as a result I didn't get alot of shots that I was totally proud of. Hense I did not upload them all. Too shame. LOL.

But its such a nice feeling when you see the "like" from your friends on FB. Its like oh really you like that one??? LOL. Its funny because sometimes you think that photo was "ok" but others actually like it. Perfect example is my shot of the sky tower below: I thought it was , yeah ok but I got like alot more comments than I was expecting! (taken with a compact btw)

By the way, FAIL is my new buzz word LOL. It really was appropriate for the sunset on our photowalk in the fact that there wasn't any! How come that the one day we go out to the west, the sunset doesn't show! And I know for a fact that most nights we have been having amazing sunsets...SIGH. I probably should have made the horizon straight on this one but I think I was too focussed on getting that wave crashing. So I will be looking out for that next time.

Anyway hopefully our next outing will be more successful. I have to choose the location. My favourites are, domain/winter garden, north head, cornwall. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment :-)

Ok sorry for the delay on this post. I have been super busy with month end at work. But its better late than never right :-) Below are some of my photos from our photowalk out at Karekare. I might post some of the others photo's at a later time if they give me the "ok". Steph took a few pix of me and Joy with our camera's and I like got my frills LOL. I was like wow you made us look cool LOL.

Beach grass

I love this fluffy grass so much. We still don't know what its called. So for now its known as fluffy grass :-)

wild lilys
Another wild flower

Karekare falls (first time being here !)

Its funny how most of my favourites are when I was using Steph's lens...hahaha. The bomb. Still doesn't compare to her photo's yet. They are cool!! You can view the rest of my photo's here.

My next assignment is a touch final game next wednesday. Was asked by Jacob to come and take some snaps. So cool! My first lil assignment haha.
So watch this space next week: I will be updating it with my favs from the game.

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Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand