A sunny day at Cornwall Park

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Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings day.

Yesterday turned out to be a really warm, sunny day.  It was lovely but it isn’t ideal for photography.  By 11 AM the light was really harsh as well as it was getting a tad too warm for me so it was time to give up.  I had saved up some bread crusts so I headed down to feed the ducks as  you do.  I am getting rather well known down there and people tell me where to go for the good photos.  By studying the behaviour of the ducks I can see when they will stretch their wings for a more interesting photo than a duck just swimming around.  But then again the reflections are interesting as well.

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There are a lot of ducklings at the moment so there is always something new to see.  As I approached the duck pond I found this mother duck with all her many children asleep in the grass.  They really didn’t move when I came up to them.

It is interesting as well to see how protective the mother is of her children.  She is constantly quacking in a softer tone to reassure them and to warn them of danger.

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The duck on the right is always at the same spot and I love the rich colours of it’s feathers.

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Because it was so bright and sunny and there was no wind the reflections were just amazing but it is a challenge to capture what I saw on camera.  I have a polorising filter which I turn around to get the maximum affect of these reflections.

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I love the way the ripples can distort the branches and so the images are never the same.

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Later on though, the light starting bleaching out the highlights.  The contrast was just too much so it is time to give up.

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What was good about the bright light was the faster shutter speed for these photos.  Birds have a tendency to fly off quickly so you do need your wits about you to get them in focus.  i must look a sight wondering around with a camera but looking up into trees for anything to take.  That is what I mean by standing out and getting well known.  But it is a good way to work on my camera skills.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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As you can see the reflections are just amazing.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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The daffodils are nearly finished now.

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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.