Sunday, August 29, 2010

Newmarket Viaduct

29th August and we were allowed to walk on the southbound lanes of the new Newmarket Viaduct.  It's not ready for vehicular traffic yet, but for pedestrians it is wonderful.  Great views across Newmarket and a real treat for those able to make the effort to walk the bridge.  The weather was a bit showery and some showers were pretty heavy, but this gave a bit of drama to the skies.

The first shot in this post looks over Newmarket towards the Waitamata Harbour and you can see the rain clouds and the wet roads.  This shot is a five shot HDR image.

Second shot is also an HDR image looking north down the bridge.  You can see the bridge is built on a curve and there's quite a bit of "stuff" underneath used in the bridge construction.

I'll close this post with a few more shots from the bridge ... in fact they're all HDR shots processed in Photomatix Pro.  Some of the clouds are quite interesting ... perhaps let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Motorway!

Highway 20, the South Western Motorway, has just been extended from Puhinui Road to Highway 1 at Manukau City.  Today we were allowed to walk the new route, and then later in the day, ride the route on bicycles.  Tonight at midnight the motorway opens, bt only for traffic heading south down highway 20.  The North bound lanes will take a few more weeks to complete.

Weather forecasts indicated rain, but thankfully they were wrong again.  Everyone enjoyed lovely warm sunshine and the walk past areas not normally seen.

Quite a few new bridges have been built ... there's even one over the railway.  One of the other shots in the post shows the Auckland bound train heading away from Wiri and is taken from the new motorway bridge over the railway.

I can imagine the motorway will ease the congestion in the centre of Manukau City.  However, quite what will happen on Highway 1 when it joins to go south I can't imagine.  It's often busy, slow running or even stationary as people head home and this new feed isn't going to help matters!

Image of the train is a single shot HDR processed in Photomatix Pro.  I used the wide angle (12mm) lens to try and get a reasonable amount of sky ... I really liked the shapes of the clouds and HDR seems to accentuate them.  What do you think?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A bit late :-(

Another walk around the Botanic Gardens this evening, but late setting off again.  There always seems to be something getting in the way and causing delays.  Anyway, another fine evening, although I was expecting rain.  As it happens there were some lovely clouds adding a lot of interest to the sky.  The shot in this post is taken from close to the visitor centre with a wide angle lens.  The shot is a 7 shot HDR image processed in Photomatix Pro.  Weather permitting I'll try to get to the gardens a little earlier tomorrow and try to get some shots before the sun sets!  In the meantime perhaps let me know what you think of today's effort.

Monday, August 16, 2010

At the gardens ...

Pretty tired after work today and, after the gloomy day we had yesterday, I was quite surprised with the clear blue sky when I arrived home.  Time for a stroll around Auckland's Botanic Gardens; get a bit of fresh air and enjoy the onset of spring.

The first shot in this post was taken this evening from one of my favourite vantage points at the Botanic Gardens.  The second shot in the post is a shot you may remember I took early one morning back in July 2004 with a little Canon A70.  If memory serves me it was a little frosty that morning!  Not at all frosty this evening; lovely and warm with well saturated colours from the setting sun.

Ah well, enough reminiscing for one post!  After visiting the lower lake we headed up towards the cherry tree avenue.  It was lovely!  Unfortunately, by the time I got there the sun was pretty low in the sky making the shot I wanted very awkward to achieve.  My best effort is the third image in the post.  What do you think?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gloomy :-(

Another gloomy day today.  Ominous clouds promising yet more rain!  The past few days have been pretty wet and looking at the clouds in the images  in this post I reckon there's still plenty more rain to come!

I was on bus duty again today transporting some of the older church members between home and church and was quite taken with some of the building past which we drove.  The sky seemed to lend drama to some of the less attractive buildings we past on our journey, so a return trip with camera was planned for after lunch.  All shots have been processed in Photomatix Pro; I quite like the HDR process to add grit and texture to shots and especially accentuate the clouds.

Oh, if you click on the images you should be able to get an enlarged view.  Perhaps let me know what you think and which you like the best?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wet in Godzone :-(

What a day ... perfect for ducks?  The plan was to get a chipper and convert the various branches and twigs that have been left by the arborist into mulch for the various flower beds around the property.  No such luck.  It's been a pretty wet, dismal and miserable day really :-(

We were supposed to collect the chipper at 7.30am, but after checking the weather decided not to bother.  Very grey skies and then a bit of rain, but not a lot at the start of the day.  Before the rain started in earnest I managed to salvage some of the larger pieces of wood for the fire, chopped some logs into smaller more manageable sizes for the fire before I had to come indoors.

After coming indoors I started to feel really cold and just didn't seem to able to warm up.  I suppose it was with getting so wet outside, but whilst wielding my axe I was feeling fine.  Hot cup of tea and rugging up warm didn't seem to work for ages ... I must be getting old!

As you can see from the first image in this post, nobody wanted to play out!  Sandpit, slide and swings are all deserted ... pretty miserable!

Early afternoon we headed to Auckland's North Shore to watch some Rhythnic Gymnastics.  Ribbons don't seems to behave that well on damp days, and a few of the gymnasts had problems.  Nevertheless, good performances by the girls and a pretty good turn out of spectators to say it was such a miserable day.  Traffic both getting to the North Shore and leaving it was appalling!  There's roadworks which, when completed, will supposedly resolve the traffic issues.  I can't say I'm convinced, but am happy to be proved wrong!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Allegro @ The Langham

I spent an evening with Allegro at a charity event for sufferers of cancer at the Langham Hotel in downtown Auckland.  Pippa Wetzell, famous perhaps for co-hosting Breakfast on TV1 was the MC for the event.  The shot to the left has Pippa with the band members, Malcolm Lakatani, Patrick Tanielu, Saylene Ulberg and Semi Leo.

The band was great and the dance floor was full from the start of the first number.  A big plus for me was the lighting.  Many of the places where I've shot Allegro previously have been rather dark, but not this night.  There was a great variety of colour and the light was quite strong too.  ISO levels were down to 1600 and I could use lenses like the 12-24mm with an f4 aperture and still have a reasonable shutter speed.
I'll close this post with a wide-angle shot of the dance floor and the band to the right.  This was quite a slow exposure (about 1/30 sec) as I was quite happy to get a bit of motion in the dancers.  You can see some of the lights above the band.  You'll also notice the band were in a line which was great for me.  This meant that none of the musicians were in the shadows.  Normally Patrick or Semi are at the back of the band in the shadows ... but not last night.

So there you go, great fun again with Allegro and as you can see by the second shot in this post I wasn't the only one having fun!