Friday, June 24, 2011

Graffiti 'Show and Tell' Day

Blimey the days fly by in this city lately. Am sure it has nothing to do with getting older!!
My 'Coffeeshot' girls went back to the Addington Sale Yards yesterday - I turned up for 10 minutes to check they were comfortable with the environment and had an escape strategy in case of a big aftershock. I couldn't resist a few photos before heading to the gym.
This morning we all met up (coffee included of course) and evaluated each others work. It never ceases to amaze me how 5 people in a relatively confined space can find such differing subject matter to photograph. They captured some excellent images.
This image here kept drawing me back. She is obviously a young girl who died at the tender age of 21. Someone dear to her has produced this stunning graffiti art in memory of her. If I have offended anyone by posting this here, my sincere apologies. My intent was to honour her. Contact me and I will remove the image from my blog if this upsets you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Graffiti Day

The city is falling down about us almost as we speak!!
We have endured two major aftershocks a week ago resulting in ~150 more buildings in the CBD being condemned to demolition. There's not a lot left to speak of.
I loathe tagging, but am quite amenable to good graffiti. Some of it is quite clever - if only the artists could be channeled most of the time.
With many graffiti walls disappearing in the demolition dust and an article in last Saturday's Press, together with aerial photograph, stating that my favourite graffiti area (the old Addington Sale Yards) be also demolished to make room for cafes displaced from the central city, I set my 'Coffeeshot Girls' the challenge of photographing some of the city's graffiti - before coffee of course! I met up with them half way through their assignment. These crumbling walls are not for the fainthearted with the frequent aftershocks in recent days, but we survived - and some are heading back there before we have 'show and tell' this Friday.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Connecting Cultures

I received this book by courier a few days ago. It was written by my friend Mark who is the founder of Connecting Cultures. Roughly 80% of the images in the book are mine, having accompanied Mark on three of his Connecting cultures expeditions. Mark's Connecting Cultures website is well worth a visit to understand what CC is all about -

The journeys with Connecting Cultures reminded me of a very special person - Jaber Al Wahebi, a bedu who has lived with his family in tents in the Wahiba Sands of Oman all his life. A happier man you would struggle to find. I have had the good fortune to meet up with Jaber on several occasions. He has a 4WD vehicle and occasionally does visit the 'big smoke' of Muscat, but prefers the simple desert life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Godley Head

We got there 24 hours later. In total darkness, the stars twinkled and the Southern Cross pointed out South in the last moments of the night. As the dawn crept towards us, so did the clouds - fast. The wind picked up off the sea. Undeterred, two of us beavered away for a few hours, with me almost totally devoting my time within the gun emplacement. I was finally defeated by my camera batteries - three fully charged batteries giving up the ghost in two hours. But they were given a hard time with long exposures and occasional fill flashes.
We arrived home to learn of a big aftershock and the demise of my computer - possibly related.
Funny how much you miss your computer when it goes into hospital.
Now fortunately back up and running with nothing lost.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Blob out day and a new Blogger

Queen's birthday Sunday.
I was meant to be up well before sparrowfart and off out to Godley Head to capture the dawn with a photography friend. Alas, last night's weather forecast did not look good.
The alarm was off but I still awoke at the crack of dawn. Damn - not a cloud in the sky and the stars still twinkling in the early dawn. Bother!!
So, what to do? Chris and I slung the bikes on the back of the 4WD and off we went - the weather was deteriorating already. An hour after leaving the vehicle we were sitting on a log at Spencerville beach having a brew - as you do on a Sunday morning at 1000!!! What a wonderful track. Next time we won't stop until we get to the mouth of the Waimakariri River, Canterbury's iconic and well respected river.
Last evening my big brother, Barry, announced to me that he too has finally set up a blog. Now this guy - my big brother - is worth following. He is an adventurer, an artist, a poet, a photographer, and mountaineer - and good all round chap. He is very special to me. Check out his blog - He describes his blog as an "old chap's reminiscences"
So there you are - two brothers mutual admiration society!! Follow us at your peril. :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dead Munted

It's Friday - the day the 'Coffeeshots' girls meet up. I'd set them a task last week - two in fact - 'munted' and 'single tree'.
I was out having a coffee with my brother in law this afternoon and had my camera and tripod in the vehicle. I felt a little guilty having set them the tasks and me doing nothing, so decided to drive home via the Sydenham Cemetery. I bike through there quite regularly and had previously spotted this - and others - as a result of the earthquake in February.
Sad thing is, the Christchurch City Council are now saying that most of the damaged headstones throughout the city's cemeteries may never be repaired. Mmmmm...........
It is amazing how quickly you attract attention when you set up your camera and tripod in the failing light and start poking around headstones!!

Sick Note Moment!

I have been meaning to rework this image for ages - and the blog has finally inspired me to do it.
The original image was captured in December last year. I'd made a plan to take the campervan up to Mt White Bridge near Arthur's Pass with the aim of doing some late evening monochrome photography. By the time I got there late afternoon I was feeling 'rat shit'.
Ah well, I'd made the effort to get up there, so finally forced myself out of the van and armed with tripod and camera bag, set off into the dusk. Well, despite how I felt, it was one of the better photo shoots I'd had in ages. I've been struggling with my photography for ages, so was hoping this might be one of the 'kick start' moments - and indeed it was!
One of the four photographic societies I belong to is PPNZ (Photography with Pixels NZ). With this group it is possible to post images for others members to critique. This they did with this image and I've just now worked on it some more with Lightroom and Photoshop and am now pretty happy with it. I'm sure with time and more expertise on my part, it could be further improved.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On the First Day of Winter.........

1st June - officially the first day of winter.
Well, not here! Just completed a 2 hour jaunt along the estuary, around the end of the spit and back along the beach at low tide - 5 of us plus 3 dogs. Certainly more autumn than early winter. Long may it last! This last month (May) has been fabulous weather wise.
Last weekend up at Glenthorne, Lake Coleridge, the weather was perfect as I have previously said. But early on the Sunday morning, it was certainly a little chilly as this image testifies.