Happy New year to Everyone

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The sun has set on 2013.

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Time to reflect on what has been.

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Time to set new resolutions.

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Time to forgive.

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Time to let go of the past.

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Time to start afresh in 2014.

(Photos taken last night and this morning. )

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope it is successful, happy and fulfilling and filled with love and laughter.

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iPhoneography Challenge: Architecture.

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Good morning from a sunny Hastings.

I love this challenge byLens and Pens by Sally as it makes me use my phone a bit more, not just as a source of music when out walking.  I had corrupted my memory card so I had to use the phone the other day.  It is hard to go for a walk anyway without a camera.  I have itchy fingers and get frustrated when I see something interesting.  I drive my family nuts.  At least I have my iPhone 4S on me.

Anyway as usual I digress.  I thought about this challenge while out walking and decided to take some images of these houses just down our street.  Our house was also built at the same time – the 1920’s.  What makes these houses so interesting is that they survived a big earthquake in 1931.

Here is what they say in Wikipedia. (They say it better than I can.)

The 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, occurred in New Zealand at 10:47 am on Tuesday 3 February 1931, killing 256[1] and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region. It remains New Zealand’s deadliest natural disaster. Centred 15 km north of Napier, it lasted for two and a half minutes and measured magnitude 7.8 Ms (magnitude 7.9Mw). There were 525 aftershocks recorded in the following two weeks. The main shock could be felt in much of the southern half of the North Island.

Nearly all buildings in the central areas of Napier and Hastings were levelled (The Dominion noted that “Napier as a town has been wiped off the map”)[4] and the death toll included 161 people in Napier, 93 in Hastings, and two in Wairoa.[1] Thousands more were injured, with over 400 hospitalised.

The local landscape changed dramatically, with the coastal areas around Napier being lifted by around two metres.[4] The most noticeable land change was the uplifting of some 40 km² of sea-bed to become dry land. This included Ahuriri Lagoon, which was lifted more than 2.7 metres[4] and resulted in draining 2230 hectares of the lagoon. Today, this area is the location ofHawkes Bay Airport, housing and industrial developments and farmland.

Within minutes fires broke out in chemist shops in Hastings Street, Napier. The fire brigade almost had the first fire under control when the second broke out in a shop at the back of the Masonic Hotel. The hotel was quickly engulfed in flames. The wind at this point also picked up strength and began blowing from the east, pushing the fires back over the city. With water mains broken the brigade was unable to save many buildings. Pumping water from Clive Square they were able to stop the fires spreading south. Only a few buildings in the central Napier area survived. Some withstood the earthquake only to be gutted by fire. Trapped people had to be left to burn as people were unable to free them in time. By Wednesday morning the main fires were out but the ruins still smouldered for several days.

In Hastings, the fires were quickly brought under control.

The death toll might have been much higher had the Royal Navy ship HMS Veronica not been in port at the time. Within minutes of the shock the Veronica had sent radio messages asking for help. The sailors joined survivors to fight the fires, rescue trapped people and help give them medical treatment. The Veronica’s radio was used to transmit news of the disaster to the outside world and to seek assistance. The crew from two cargo ships, the Northumberland and Taranaki, also joined the rescue works, while two cruisers, HMS Diomede and HMS Dunedin, were dispatched from Auckland that afternoon with food, tents, medicine, blankets, and a team of doctors and nurses. The cruisers sailed at high speed overnight, arrived on 4 February and provided valuable assistance in all areas until their departure on 11 February.

A group of prisoners working at Bluff Hill in Napier had four of their number buried in a landslip by the quake. The remaining prisoners dug them out, but two had been killed. The prisoners re-assembled without any attempt to escape and were locked up in the Napier Jail. In Taradale, Mission Estate missionaries accommodation block had been built and opened in February 1931. The next day the Hawke’s Bay earthquake struck, causing serious damage to the entire Mission. Two priests and seven students were killed when the stone chapel was destroyed. In Havelock North, St Luke’s church was damaged (but not destroyed) just before a wedding was due to take place. The couple got married later in the day, but outdoors.

Within four days of the quake, cinemas around New Zealand offered news specials about the disaster.

Another casualty of the earthquake was the Napier trams. The tracks were twisted by the earthquake, and were never restored.[5]

New Zealand’s first commercial air disaster occurred six days after the quake, when a Dominion Airlines Desoutter monoplane crashed near Wairoa. The small airline had been making three return trips a day between Hastings and Gisborne, carrying passengers and supplies. All three on board were killed.

The Napier Daily Telegraph had recently celebrated its diamond jubilee with an article describing Napier as “the Nice of the Pacific”. The newspaper office was destroyed by the quake. The Hawke’s Bay Herald offices in Hastings were also destroyed.

It is still possible to see the original path of the earthquake from Napier Prison.[6]

 The rebuild of both Hastings and Napier were carried out in the Art Deco style which I love.  Every year in February we have the Art Deco Festival with Great Gatsby picnics, cabarets, vintage car parades and other activities.  We all dress up in Art Deco costume which is so lovely to see such colour.  The atmosphere is just brilliant.  So much fun.

We do still get earthquakes but thankfully nothing as bad as this one.

I used FX Photostudio Pro for the post editing.  I thought the sketch filter suited the images and gave a more timeless look to them.

Sorry about the history lesson – this is for lady sighs.

Thank you for visiting and have a nice day for the last one of this year.

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Sunday Stills: White

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A good evening from a warm, muggy Hastings.

I was just playing around with my photos when I saw the email from Sunday Stills come in with his challenge –     Sunday Stills, the next challenge: White!      .

So of course I searched out for some of my white flowers.  Since we don’t have snow where we are the next best thing I can do are these images.

White flowers are actually quite hard to get the textures etc when there is a strong sun.   Just like red, it gets bleached out.

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Of course I have my favourite roses.

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Then there are other white flowers around.  I am not sure what they are.

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These have been edited with FX Photostudio Pro, but only minimally with vignettes and frames.

Thanks for visiting and take care.

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Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Continuous

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Good morning from a drier sunnier Hastings morning.

I have been enjoying this challenge by Ese’ s Voice where we find quotes to go with our photos.  It makes me think a little about what my photos are about as well.  Anyway this weeks challenge is     Ese’s Weekly Shoot&Quote Challenge – Continuous      .  I first searched the internet for quotes before searching my archives for photos to suit it.

My quote this week is:-

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.

Alan Watts.

My photos were taken a few months ago in Napier.  The beach here is just pebbles and rather wild.

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They have been edited with the cartoon filter with the GIMP editing programme.  I found it made the images look a bit sharper and adding some drama to them.

Thanks for visiting and take care.

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Travel theme: Birds

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Good morning from a grey, overcast day.

I loved the post this  morning by Cee’s Photography for the Travel Theme is birds.

So here is my contribution to it.

I have discovered a new editing programme which I saw on lady sighs entry for     Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge ~ Nature      .  The GIMP.  Anyway I have been playing around with it and have not really progressed past the round edges.  But as always it is fun to try.

Thank you for visiting and have a nice day.

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The Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Joy

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Good morning from a  grey overcast Hastings.

This weeks The Daily Post‘s challenge is Joy.  I get a lot of joy – enjoyment out of going for a walk and just seeing what is beautiful around us.  Yesterday when I went for my walk the sun was shining and people were generally in a good mood.  It is not just seeing but also smelling.  Some of the roses I went past smelt heavenly.

Another joy I get is when I get home and see what I have taken and then see what I can do with the editing.  A lot of the photos I am showing today only need minimal editing – just the vignettes as seen in the above photos.

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Then nothing compares to snapping that moment that is just fleeting.

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Pure joy!

Thanks for visiting and take care.

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Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Happiness

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Good morning from a sunny but windy Hastings morning.

Yesterday I was thinking about this challenge by Ese’ s Voice.  I love the challenge that Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge gives me.  Soooo, this weeks challenge is happiness.  I was thinking about some of the photos I already had with mother ducks and her ducklings and just going over which photos I would use when I came across this little scene.  A mother duck with her ducklings hiding under her for protection.  So  I searched for a quote.  I couldn’t really find what I was wanting – that is both family and happiness.  But found this quote.

To us family means putting your arms around each other and being there.

Barbara Bush

Happiness to me means my family.

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What you can’t hear obviously with photos is the sound the mother duck makes.  She constantly quakes in a soft tone to keep in touch with her babies.  I stood there for a while taking photos. As you can see.

They are all edited with FX Photostudio Pro.

Thank you for visiting.

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Sonel’s Corner Photo-Editing Challenge: Nature

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Good morning from a cloudy Hastings Boxing Day.  Some will still be celebrating Christmas Day so I will still wish you a Merry Christmas.  My day yesterday was spent quietly with my parents and then skyping family.

Now it is back to some challenges.  I am so happy to see Sonel back with a new challenge –Sonel’s Corner Photo-Editing Challenge.  Her  split toning challenge was the first I took part in and it taught me a lot about photo editing.  So now the challenge has been broadened to include all areas of editing.  Right up my alley now.  It is sooooo much fun to play around with images.  They may just be so so but with editing you can add the wow factor.

These photos were taken yesterday in my mother’s garden.  I couldn’t help myself even on Christmas Day.  Actually it is a routine that when we visited her we had to go on a tour of her garden.  But she has been rather sick lately so that both the tours and her garden has been neglected.  So it was nice to see her out in her garden and showing me around.

I did quite a lot of editing last night and some of them went crazy when I uploaded them onto ViewBug.Com.

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These have all been edited with FX Photostudio Pro.  I just upload the image and then go through the different filters to see what I like and what suits it.  As you can see I tend to use the vignettes a lot.  Mostly the black one.  I find that a lot of my photos are of flowers in the centre of the image.  So by using the vignette I really bring  the focus to the flower and the background really fades away.

I chose these ones for the different filters I used.

So enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

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iPhonegraphy Challenge: The Fourth Monday

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Good morning from a cloudy Hastings.

The subject of the fourth Monday Phoneography Challenge is the photographer’s choice from the following:  Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel.

I have chosen Street Photography, or is it night photography or even travel….  These photos were taken on the road to Napier at twilight on the 26th April this year.  The sunset was awesome and I was happy to use my iPhone 4S so as not to miss it.  These were all taken in a moving car – my husbands 1972 Pontiac Firebird which you can see the bonnet of.  He thought the photos were great – he really meant the ones with his prized car in them.

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They haven’t been edited, I have just added the frames.

Thank you for visiting and enjoy your Christmas Eve.

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