Up with the sun this morning

A wonderful dawn


A colourful good morning from a windy Hastings today.

This morning I managed to catch the sunrise for the first time in months.  I normally miss it as I never wake up in time.  It had been windy overnight, and there is another bad weather front coming over the North Island so I woke up with the weather.  As I was opening my blinds I noticed some colour in the sky so just grabbed the camera and took off outside and I wasn’t disappointed.

I love watching the sun rise.  In the winter, although it is cold it is also later so that I don’t have to wake up at an unreasonable hour.  There is something special about watching a new day dawning and the colours that it brings.  My favourite photos are from last winter down at the duck pond at Cornwall Park.  Especially when it is icy and the mists rising from the water make for some really great photos.



What is great about shooting sunrises is that even though the photos might be just seconds apart they are never the same.


Just moving slightly changes the perspective and focal point of the colours as well.  These photos are shot towards the opposite direction of the sun rising.  This is what caught my eye when I got up.


Going from portrait to landscape mode also changes it.



I use the zoom a lot for sunrises as I love the way it really brings out the colours and also with these photos it plays around with the depth of field a bit.



All in all it was an awesome sunrise.



By this time it was starting to fade.

Cheers and have a nice day.




A reflective time at Cornwall Park



Good morning from a misty grey Hastings.

Yesterday was such a beautiful spring day, not a cloud in the sky and no wind either.  Perfect weather for photography.  So I headed down to Cornwall Park and wasn’t disappointed in the range of photos I took.

The waters were so still so that they became mirrors and the reflections were just awesome.  I am fascinated by how ripples can distort the reflections and turn them into something resembling nightmares or have a gothic feel.  I take a lot of photos like that as they make great backgrounds for digital scrapbooking after they are edited.  With the light yesterday I got a lot of great photos to add to my collection.  My son and I plan to develop an app to use these as background papers for smart phones.

Anyway this above photo is taken at the Chinese Garden.  Hastings has a sister city in China and this area is dedicated to this.  There are a couple of pagodas and bright red colours which reflect really well.


I have taken a few photos of this bridge where the reflections are totally distorted which are rather striking but yesterday it was just like a mirror.  A perfect reflection.



Here you can see the ducks enjoying the sunshine.  This is a great peaceful place for a picnic lunch, a serene sanctuary in the middle of the city.



Here is another angle of the same pond but focusing on the Chinese trees that frame this pond.



Around the park are small ponds which little fountains.  As there wasn’t any wind the reflections with the bright sky were just breathtaking.

Bathing beauties


I just managed to catch these bathing beauties before they flew off.  They were really enjoying their bath.



Everywhere I went there was so much to take in.  I have a polarising filter on my camera, but I can rotate it to get the maximum images on the reflections.



We have small canals running around the park with hobbit like stone bridges.  These two photos are taken from one bridge but looking in both directions.

Since the light was rather bright and harsh it make taking photos of flowers very difficult, but with no wind the reflections I caught made my day.  That said, I did get some really great backlit flowers and leaves, but they will keep for anther day.

Now,  though, I have to be careful as I managed to get a bit sunburnt, even though it is only October.  So I will have to go out earlier now to avoid the full sun.

So cheers and have a nice day.





Gorgeous spring colours



Good morning from another beautiful spring morning in Hastings.

It has been so warm and windless the last couple of days and it makes going for a walk a pleasure.  Spring has well and truly arrived and the gardens are really starting to show of.  The senses are been inundated with the sweet smell of new blossoms as well as the vibrant colours which is so lovely after a grey winter.  I am now just discovering what a beautiful flower the peony is.  There are a couple of gardens that are just a mass of colour.  They make a fantastic show.



What can spoil a lovely walk is not having enough battery juice in the camera or too small a memory card.  Everywhere I looked there was something to take.  I left at around 10 am but by midday the light was getting too harsh, leading to hard shadows so maybe it was just as well that the battery had died.



I did try and use the strong sun to silhouette the flowers a little to get different textures on the flowers themselves, or as in the second photo to highlight the hairiness of the plant.


I also worked on my focusing skills.

DSCF4255 2DSCF4109


Then there are the hazards.  The bees are out in force.  I have to stand right back and try and zoom in on flowers when the bees are around as I am allergic to them but they epitomise what spring is about.

It is a real pleasure to go out and see the perfusion of colours and signs of life, and with my favourite music helping me along it is a great way of relieving stress.  A way of living in the moment and trying to capture the memories on a memory card.

Cheers and have a nice day.



Welcome to my little world, Cornwall Park in Hastings, New Zealand

Page 2 2

This is my first real post so I have decided to introduce the world that I live in and what inspires me.  I live in Hastings, within a 10 minute walk to Cornwall Park.  I love going there as it is like a separate world within the world.  I walk there and there is the constant drone of traffic and noise from our busy lives.  But I get inside the park and all I can hear is the sounds of the native birds and the more common sparrows and black birds.


The is the duck pond from Toamoana Road.  I collect the crusts from our bread and go there to feed the birds.  It is never the same.


Depending on the time of day there is can be a frenzy of ducks diving for the bread.


I have learnt to look out for certain behaviour as well to see if I can take more interesting photos, rather than just ducks and more ducks.  In saying that my iPhoto is clogged up with duck photos.


At the moment it is spring so that the ducklings are starting to appear. I also love the way the mirror affect of the water is so interesting.  The ducks are almost lost in this photo.


These photos were taken around 1 PM with no clouds in the sky so that the water reflections were just awesome.


As I said before there  are a lot of birds as well.  Once I had sort of mastered taking photos of ducks I moved onto birds.  The bird in the scrapbooked image celebrating New Zealand is our native Tui, also called the parson bird for the white feathers under it’s beak.  As it is spring time the birds are really going crazy with their mating calls and swooping around the trees.


Further down from the pond is the Chinese Garden.  Hastings has a sister city in China and this celebrates it.  It is a very peaceful place with little picnic areas.


As you can see the reflections are just amazing.


This is a little area with native bushes, in particular the golden kowhai which the tuis love, along with the sparrows.  I have been spending a lot of time here hunting down the elusive fantail but so far I haven’t been able to catch them to my satisfaction on camera.  They are like butterflies and just flit around from tree to tree.


On leaving the native bush area you follow a small man made canal where the ducks also hang around as well.


There are just so many opportunities for taking great photos.  I have been focusing on the reflections lately.  They make great scrapbooking paper.

New Zealand has a different light to other parts of the world and the colours of our native bushes are quite distinctive.  I have discovered how easy it is to do digital scrapbooking with iScrapbooking.  The only problems was finding colour ways  that match or coordinate with my photos.  So I am now using my own images as background paper and have also learnt to do my own embellishments so that I can give my scrapbooking a distinctive kiwiana feel to them.  Here are a couple of other pages I have done with my own images.

Page 4

This is a silhouette of a tui among the kowhai branches.  Even the accent papers are images I have edited using Photoshop Elements 11.

Page 3

This image just struck me when I was looking back towards the native bush area.

Page 1

The daffodils are nearly finished now.

Page 2

We don’t really have a good garden, just the same flowers everywhere.  So I have a reputation of being this dodgy snoop going around with a super zoom and taking photos of other peoples gardens.  Even the embellishments are from other gardens.  My husband is waiting for me to get arrested sometime.

We had such a lovely warm day today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be different.  Rain.  The problem you may well ask?  We have our annual blossom parade tomorrow.  Hastings is known as the fruit bowl of the country and every year in September we have a festival to celebrate the coming fruit season and harvest.  It is a great carnival and family event and the atmosphere is just brilliant.  Not the same though, if it rains. I will be there with my camera to record it so watch this space.

Cheers and have a great night.