A word a Week Photo Challenge – Lines

Lines 3

Good morning from a  sunny Hastings,

This weeks challenge by A Word in Your Ear  is lines.  So I went through my photos and found these photos from last winter taken at Cornwall Park.  I liked the way that the shadows of the trees continue over the bank of this stream and into the water.  I also framed all these photos with the Lines frame from ImageFramer. Rather appropriate I thought.

Lines 5Lines 4

You can see the shadows on this pond as broken lines.

Lines 2Lines 1

These two photos are taken at the same time, but from different view points.

Lines 6

Final watermark for blog

Look Up, Look down Challenge, Week 13

Good morning from another grey Hastings morning.

This weeks Look Up, Look Down Challenge, Week 13 is an abstract one for me.  I spend a lot of time on my walks either looking up or looking down, on the hunt for interesting things to photograph.  This week I have gone for a New Zealand theme.  I love walking through the native bush at Cornwall Park and seeing the silhouettes made by the ferns when looking up.

 DSCF3700 DSCF3702

DSCF2920

I have gone for a surreal, abstract look for the looking down photos.  As usual they are the reflections on the water.  They fascinate me and even when taking a series of photos together, no two photos are the same.

P1090706P1090716P1090714

Final watermark for blog

Photography 101: Shooting in Black and White

DSCF2300Vintage Hastings

Good morning from a cool Hastings morning.

This weeks challenge from     Photography 101: Shooting in Black and White    was a great one for me.  I love black and white, having done a lot of old fashion dark room printing, but the digital age now takes it so much further than I could have done in the dark room.

These photos were taken last night in the CBD of Hastings.  My daughter had to take a last series of shots for her portfolio for her final assessment at school.  So, of course, I went along for moral support, but also to take my own shots.  We had to be careful not to get in each other’s way.

I used Aperture to change to black and white or sepia and then went to FX Photostudio Pro to add the frames and other affects.  The first set of photos show the Art Deco lighting around the CBD.

DSCF2303Hastings black and white light

I used the medium contrast conversion to give a sharper look, but not take too much of the detail away.  I pixilated this photo for the grainy affect.

DSCF2306Hastings lights black and white 1

For these chandeliers I inverted the image so that the background got lost and the focus went onto the lights themselves.

DSCF2353Hastings train

The train tracks run directly through the centre of the CBD, right bang smack in the middle of this water feature.  I used the vintage setting and a grunge frame to give an antique feel to it.

DSCF2391Hastings train tracks

I had already converted to black and white, and then sepia tone to this image looking north.  Then I added another sepia tone to it to change the colour tone completely and then added the grunge frame to give this a more rural setting.  Not an urban setting as it is in real life.

DSCF2461Hastings statue

For this one I went for the Noir blue conversion.  I wanted to give this a more surreal look about this sculpture.

DSCF2477Hastings nuts

There are some tall sculptures to the side of the main square with some really interesting nuts and bolts which make for some interesting photos.  I used the vintage filter for this one.

DSCF2481Hastings chain

This photo had a vintage green filter applied to it which I think enhanced the texture of the iron on this link.

I love black and white, but also enjoy adding filters to make completely different photos.

Cheers from Raewyn

Daily Prompt – Dawn

DSCF1661

 

Good morning from a sunny warm Hastings.

Today’s     Daily Prompt: The Golden Hour    is right up my ally.  During the winter the dawn is at a civilised hour so I was able to head out around 7 AM in the weekends to take these photos while my family were snug and warm in their beds.  The downside of course is the cold.  The upside is the light was amazing and it was a serene experience watching the sunrise.  Spiritual really. Anyway this first shot was taken as I was talking to a friend and watching the sun rise at the same time.  He was understanding that I was slightly distracted by the view in front of me and having to take photos at the same time as trying to talk to me.  I am quite proud of this photo as it was shown on national TV that night.  We can upload our photos to the TV station website for the weather report.  It can be anything.  I had only been doing it for 3 or 4 days so was totally shocked when this was shown at the end of the weather report with my name.    it was a nice feeling.

Anyway these photos have been taken over several days with a Fujifilm X-S1 on the SP sunset filter which brings out the orange and red light a lot more.  It adds a sepia filter to the photos, while still maintaining some colour.

DSCF0645DSCF0693DSCF0723DSCF0742

 

As you can see the light was very magical.

DSCF3586DSCF8392 2DSCF2876DSCF8493

 

Another day and the light was completely different.

DSCF7825 2DSCF7821

 

Another day I drove to another park – Pakowhai Park to catch the sun there.  The mists were amazing.  Again a very cold morning.  It was like stepping into another world.

 

 

Another day and the light is completely different.

DSCF3460

For this photo I went to the Rose Garden at Frimley Park and sat there waiting for the sun to rise and managed to catch it through this rose.

DSCF0931

 

Finally this photo is showing the colours of the sunrise in a large puddle on the side of the road.

Apart from the sepia filter on the camera I haven’t edited any of these photos as I think they are strong on their own.

Cheers from Raewyn

A sunny day at Cornwall Park

DSCF7677

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.

DSCF7614DSCF7617

DSCF7618DSCF7619

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.

DSCF7620DSCF7627

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

DSCF7717DSCF7718 2

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.

DSCF7708DSCF7710

DSCF7711DSCF7712

DSCF7713DSCF7714

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

DSCF7723DSCF7721DSCF7728

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

DSCF7823DSCF7824DSCF7827DSCF7828DSCF7528DSCF7832

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

Discovering the gradient map on Photoshop

Seat with gradient map DSCF6351

 

Good morning from a chilly but sunny Hastings day.  The tail end of yesterday’s spring storm.  At least the rain and strong winds didn’t last long, but boy it was a doozy.  Not as bad as down south.  I feel for family and friends caught up in this latest storm.

Soooo, last night I spent some time just exploring Photoshop and discovered the gradient map.  Wow.  Another way to manipulate my images.  This bench at Frimley park was just the image to start with,  The starburst design on the side stands out more than in the original.  I moved onto floral photos.

White and green lines and texturesGradient mapping

 

DSCF6047Gradient map camellia

 

The thing with the gradient map is that the colours are limited to what there is so I turned to the colour enhancement to adjust the highlights, shadows and midtones to change the colours.  Basically I went for the affect that I liked for the image and then adjusted the colours.  So it was a matter of trial and error with the different gradient colours as well.

DSCF7347Moon

 

It didn’t have much affect on this photo of the moon, other than increasing the contrasts of the contour of the moon.

DSCF7339Water puddles

 

This photo was taken after the storm had abated and while I was talking to my husband outside I noticed the strong light and these reflections.  It took a bit to keep the colours in the reflection but the editing has given the puddle a three dimensional feel to it.

Raining hardRaining

 

I got caught in the rain at Cornwall park but used the opportunity to take some photos of the ripples created by the rain drops on the water.

BubblesGreen ripples

 

 

With these two photos I really wanted to show up the lines of the water.  That was quite hard to do and I need to work on them more.

Fern linesFerns with gradient map

 

Finally this is my favourite of the night. By adding the gradient map the background is less intrusive and makes the ferns really stand out.

I find that just by playing around with photoshop and trying out the different functions I am learning a lot.  Plus it is soooo much fun  to change photos into something completely different.  In the camera club I was the only one to manipulate my images with toning, the others were purists.  The photo had to be perfect.  I love going out and taking photos, but the fun really starts for me on the computer.  My next step is to learn how to do word art.

So have fun moving around Photoshop.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

Napier, Art Deco

Te Pania, Napier

Good morning from a grey Hastings day.

Yesterday the weather turned out to be sunny, though not that warm.  It was a great day light wise for photography.  I had to go to Napier as my son was having his braces fitted.  He didn’t want me around for that so I headed down to the Sound Shell for some photos.  Too short a time, but still I was happy with what I got.

Napier was destroyed in a large earthquake on February 3rd 1931.  It was then rebuilt in the Art Deco style and now it is a well known Art Deco heritage city.  I love the architecture and the colours of it.  When I am at the Sound Shell I can imagine people walking around it in the 30’s and having picnics on the lawn.  During Art Deco week there are all sorts of activities relating to that period, including a Great Gatsby Picnic on this lawn.  That is on my must do list one day.

This statue is of Pania of the Reef :-

Pania of the Reef was a beautiful maiden who lived in the sea on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. By daylight she swam about with creatures of her reef world but after sunset would go to a stream that ran into the bay where the city of Napier now exists. She would travel up the stream to an area where she could rest among the flax bushes. Karitoki, the very handsome son of a Māori chief, quenched his thirst every evening at the stream where Pania rested because it had the sweetest water. He was unaware she was observing him for many weeks until one night she whispered a faint spell. It carried on the wind to Karitoki who turned around to see Pania emerge from her hiding place.

Karitoki had never seen someone so beautiful and instantly fell in love. Pania fell in love also, and they pledged their lives to each other and were secretly married. Pania and Karitoki went to his whare(house), but because it was dark no-one saw them enter. At sunrise, Pania prepared to leave but Karitoki tried to stop her. She explained that as a creature of the ocean, when the sirens of the sea called her each morning, she could not survive if she did not go to them. She promised to return every evening and their marriage continued on that basis.

Karitoki boasted to his friends about his beautiful wife, but no one believed him because they had never seen her. Frustrated by this, Karitoki consulted a kaumatua (wise elder) in the village who believed Karitoki as he knew ocean maidens did exist. The kaumatua told Karitoki that being a sea creature, Pania would not be allowed to return to the sea if she swallowed cooked food.

That night, as Pania slept, Karitoki took a morsel of cooked food and put it in Pania’s mouth. As he did so, Ruru the morepork (owl) called a loud warning and Pania was startled from her sleep. Horrified that Karitoki had put her life in jeopardy, Pania fled from the whare and ran to the sea. Her people came to the surface and drew her down into the depths as Karitoki swam frantically about the ocean looking for her. He never saw her again.

When people now look deep into the water over the reef, some say they can see Pania with arms outstretched, appealing to her former lover. It is unknown whether she is imploring him to explain his treachery, or expressing her continuing love.

The sea off Napier is now protected by Moremore, the son of Pania and Karitoki. He is the kaitiaki (guardian) of the area, a taniwha (spirit) who often disguises himself as a shark, a stingray or an octopus.

Anyway I have a lot of photos today.

Enjoying the water

I noticed these two girls enjoying the water.

Garden Clock

This is near the water fountain.

Great background for a photo shootColumns and poppiesLooking through to the oceanNature versus manPalm treesSun and shadows in Napier

I love the way the shadows made these columns more interesting.  The columns also framed the Pacific Ocean.

Light shadowsGreen seats

The shadows were great and made for more abstract photos.

Contasting time zonesReflections at Napier's Museum

These two photos show just how diverse the architecture is sin the city.  Up on the hill is a house built probably around 1900, while in the foreground is the Art Deco building. The second photo is the most modern building in the Napier CBD, having only just opened it’s doors – the new museum. The reflections on the glass are interesting.

Next time I go I must allow myself more time.  There is just so much to photograph.

Cheers, and  have a nice day/

Raewyn

A reflective time at Cornwall Park

DSCF5260

 

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.

DSCF4918

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.

DSCF4889

 

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.

DSCF4903

 

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

DSCF4874DSCF4878

 

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.

DSCF5263DSCF5261

 

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.

DSCF5075DSCF5040

 

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.

Raewyn

 

 

 

Impressions of Hasting’s Blossom Parade

DSCF9498

As I woke up this morning my heart sank as I heard the rain falling.  Today was the day of our annual blossom parade.  We just didn’t need the rain.  No need to worry.  By 10 AM the rain had stopped and the sun was out in full force by lunchtime.  By the time the parade started it was sweltering.  What a relief.

I was totally impressed with the spirit of the participants and the time and effort along with imagination that was put into the floats.  My husband takes part every year with various groups.  For the past 3 years he has been entering for his work place.  This year he constructed a pirate ship on top of a tandem trailer and because he works at an early childhood centre the them was pirates and princesses.  So far he has only managed a highly recommended but this year he improved on that by coming runner up in the schools section.

DSCF9071

What impressed me the most was the colours.  The primary colours were everywhere, predominately red.

DSCF8857

I loved the colours in this sari.  It is hard to see but the spangles really glittered in the sun.

DSCF8858

DSCF9224

There were plenty of red vehicles such as this old fashioned firetruck.  What I latter saw when going over the photos is the fireman in the passenger seat is playing with his phone.  What a contrast of technology.

DSCF8846

DSCF9114

This red mini was sooooo cute among the flowers.

DSCF9110

This float was the winner of the school section.  Each of the large flowers was a hat for the children with only their faces showing.

DSCF9119

This float won the peoples’ choice award.  I love the way the balloons make up the grapes.  There was definitely a lot of work that went into that one.

DSCF9140

This year we had some horses, these are from the Clydsdale Horse Club.

DSCF9278

DSCF9302

These are kaimaramara horses.  A special breed.  It was funny when we were looking at the programme and found an entry for the Harleys and Horses.  These were the horses, while the harleys were the Harley Motorcycle Club.  Rather a contrast.

DSCF9298

Then there was this shetland pony.

DSCF9096

As well as this fibreglass horse.

DSCF9245

But this horse wouldn’t have hooves and hair like the Clydsdale.

DSCF8989

Blue and yellow was around as well.

DSCF9227

Balloons were everywhere.

DSCF9391

These were amazing.  Balloons were joined together to make up a child that sat on the shoulders of the walkers for this kindergarten.  How do they get their ideas?

DSCF9188

This was very impressive.  As Hastings has a sister city in China this float by one of our city councillors always feature a Chinese flavour.

DSCF9213

The soft colours on this float stands out against the square building in the background.

DSCF9307

This  bubble float is always the last one.  It is a real crowd favourite.

DSCF9492

As I was walking through town to get some lunch when it was finished I noticed these flower arrangements in the fountain right in the middle of the CBD.

All these photos were taken with the Fujifilm XS1.  Today was a photographer’s heaven.  So many photos to take.  I was surprised to find that I had only taken 680 photos.  I thought I had taken more.  I did bump into another photographer who had two cameras on hand, one the ZS1 and the other MX1.  He said he liked the versatility of have a fixed lens but also one with the zoom.

Time to go.

Cheers and have a good night.  Go the All Blacks!