Friday, July 22, 2011

Out with the boys ...

The boys ... left to right, Karl Benton, Mista Lakatani, Dylan Elise and Semi Leo
Mangere Bridge at the Wanderers Club with the boys last night for a wicked night of music.  These guys have serious talent playing music from jazz, through rock 'n roll and R 'n B to some of the latest hits.  Lighting wasn't the best as you can see from the image in this post, and I had to use pretty high ISOs to get a shot.
Karl Benton ... keyboard guru.
Stage lighting didn't exist and the background ... well, you can see for yourself!  Plasma TV was switched on and broadcasting something unrelated to the boys performance, the back wall was plastered with menus, food prices and some schedule.  The wood panelling didn't really add much to the ambience of the place, but the sound these guys made and the friendliness of the folks at the Wanderers really made up for any issues I may have had with the lighting.  This was a great place for the musicians and patrons ... just not that hot for me with a camera.

Did we have fun?  You bet!  Just check out Karl in this post's second image.  Everybody was having fun ... not just the folks on stage.

I'll complete this brief post with a few more images of the boys.  Oh, before I forget ... we're working on the idea of using Google+ to let you all join in on the music with a hangout.  I'll keep you posted.  Not sure what the hangouts are?  Take a squiz here.

Mista Lakatani musical genius working his magic on guitar

Dylan Elise ... staggeringly talented drummer.

Semi Leo ... master player of the bass guitar.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tauranga ... for a change!

Gymnastics was the reason for the trip, but we managed to spend time out of the sports centre to have a look around Tauranga.  The weather was wonderful and we took a walk up to the summit of Mount Maunganui. It's a reasonable walk, but well worth the effort for the view it affords from the summit.  First shot in this post is an eight shot panorama stitched in Hugin.  This shot emphasises how narrow the land is between the sea of the Bay of Plenty (on the left) and Tauranga's port (on the right).  We couldn't help thinking a tsunami wouldn't need to be very high to cause quite a bit of damage down here in Tauranga.
Turning through close on 180 degrees from the view in the first image you get to see the view in the second image.  This was taken a little later in the day and has been "tweaked" slightly to emphasise the clouds.  The sun was really quite bright, but the clouds were lovely.  This second shot is a 7 shot HDR image and shows Matakana Island to the left with the Bay of Plenty out to the centre and right.  Matakana Island seems to be the Forestry Commission's plot of land!  Full of pine trees and only ferry access.  The beach looked superb, but I'm not sure what level of access a tourist or local would be allowed.

Heading back to the gym the sun was beginning to set and we enjoyed some lovely views across the water.  This third shot caught my eye really because of the boat.  The light was pretty bright and washed away most of the colour as you looked towards the sun.  Looking the other way, with the sun behind you provided some rich golden hues.  Anyway, it was this "bleached" look that I liked.  Not altogether certain I'm as impressed now that I see the shot in the blog, but I'll leave it here and you can perhaps let me know what you think?

The journey home was much later than we'd planned and, if we'd had the time, would have been great to stop and take more shots.  It was quite cold which meant there was lots of mist and "fog" when we were near water.  There was also a full moon.  Coupling the moon, the fog and the trees as we drove through the Karangahake Gorge provided some very special sights.  Next time I'll stop and take some photographs :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Down at the beach ...

Glorious day here today in New Zealand ... isn't it always I hear you say!  An early morning stroll at Weymouth, Auckland delivered some very pretty light on the water and foreshore.  The sun is rising just to the right in the first image you see here.

I'd been chatting to a few folk about HDR type photographs.  A number of the images seem rather exaggerated, which in some cases is fine, but I suspect, in the case of the image on the left, this just wouldn't have worked.  This first shot is a five shot HDR image processed in Photomatix Pro.  The idea is to tempt you to want to know what is around the corner.  I certainly did.  A bit slippy over the rocks ... you can probably see the green "slippyness"in the image!  Anyway, once round the corner you get to see things like the photos in the remainder of this post.  All photographs are five shot HDR images processed in Photomatix Pro

Perhaps leave a comment and let me know what you think ... or if you fancy visiting the beach, request directions!