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 :-)

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