Sunset on the Mornington Peninsula

Note to self, spend more time on the Mornington Peninsula! I rented a beach house near Rye (about an hour from Melbourne) for three days and it was amazing! The coastline is beautiful down here and perfect for photography. A storm rolled in on the final afternoon and really brought the sky to life with intense lightning in one direction and a gorgeous sunset in the other. I found this cool little cave and did a little bit of exploring, slowly backing out of the cave as I remembered about all the dangerous animals here in Australia… Haha easy to forget when you’re from NZ, there’s nothing dangerous back home!

Posted in Australia, Melbourne Tagged , , , |

The Road from Queenstown to Glenorchy

Is this the most beautiful drive in the world? I wouldn’t argue if you thought so! We spent about an hour at this special spot on the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy watching the colours change as soft, puffy clouds floated over Lake Wakatipu. Naturally I took way too many photos and had all kinds of problems choosing the one I liked best, haha classic first world problems!

Posted in New Zealand, Queenstown Tagged , , , |

Squeezing Through Antelope Canyon

We stopped at a number of cool spots on the way to Burning Man, including beautiful Antelope Canyon. We were a little late for the ‘pro tour’ so had to squeeze through the canyon with all the other plebs 🙂 haha not too bad but I can only imagine the shots you could get with a little more time and space to work with, the colours are mind-blowing!

Leaving my tripod behind I cranked the ISO to around 800 and experimented with various shutter speeds to see how good the Sony A7r II steadyshot feature is… turns out it’s pretty good! Not all my shots we’re crisp but I found enough to work with including this one right here.

Posted in Arizona, USA Tagged , |

Under the Santa Monica Pier

This is my first photo taken with the new Sony a7r II and I quite like it! 🙂 I don’t think it would have looked much different with the original a7r (or any other modern digital camera for that matter) but it at least helps me justify the ridiculous price I paid haha! Well kind of anyway… Obviously I need to play around with it a lot more but at first glance it seems pretty similar to the a7r, a little bigger, a slight bump in stats (more megapixels baby!) and with some of those weird software quirks thankfully fixed (bracketing/timer limitations etc).

As for the photo, I went for a casual stroll along the beach in Santa Monica ending up underneath the pier at sunset. The light blasted through creating all kinds of awesome shadows, just a really cool scene.

Posted in Los Angeles, USA Tagged , , , |

Lumphini Park in Bangkok

Lumphini Park caught my eye when I was looking for a place to stay in Bangkok, it’s always nice to find some greenery amidst the concrete jungle. I ended up at the Sofitel So which is a little pricey but look at the view! Plus the breakfast is amazing! Haha what more could a guy want!… Well one of my taxi drivers seemed to think I wanted a lot more, like “for good price”, haha thanks but no thanks sketchy taxi driver 🙂

Posted in Bangkok Tagged , |

The Cricket World Cup Final

We had an amazing run but my dreams of New Zealand winning the Cricket World Cup were ultimately dashed by a dominant Australian team in the final last night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I was bummed with the result (really bummed) but even in defeat the team were a class act, they are great role models and sitting with so many other NZ supporters I felt proud to be a Kiwi!

I climbed to the top of one of the stands after the lights came on to get a nice wide angle photo of the MCG but came to the conclusion that it looked best about two-thirds of the way up where you could see both the roof and the lights. I probably should have brought my 12mm lens with me but the corners are so much sharper with the Sony full frame 16mm that I rarely use the wider one anymore.

Posted in Australia, Melbourne Tagged , , |

A Night at the Burj Al Arab

Trey and I headed out to the beach to finish our time in Dubai and it felt a lot more relaxed than the downtown area. We stayed near the Burj Al Arab which is apparently a 7-star hotel, I’m not even sure I understand what that means, do they have extra towels? Maybe higher minibar prices? Who knows. It was fun taking photos along the beach and we even had a few drinks way up there at the Burj Al Arab’s Skyview Bar. It was expensive of course but still totally worth it! YOLO baby!

Posted in Dubai Tagged , , , |

Atlantis The Palm from a Helicopter

Wow this was amazing! Today we took an open door helicopter flight around Dubai, circling around the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and other amazing buildings, so much fun! I hung my feet out the door, blasted music and went photo crazy! Happy I didn’t drop any lenses from the helicopter, that would have been kinda awkward… We swung by Atlantis The Palm at one point and got a great perspective of the resort, what a project that must have been! OK I will take deep breaths now as I return to planet earth, I really felt like a kid again up there! Thanks to Dubai Films for organizing.

Posted in Dubai Tagged , , |

Big Boats at the Dubai Marina

Time for a leisurely stroll down at the Dubai Marina, just me and the ‘tripod police’, haha how romantic! I can’t believe how much energy is put in to stopping people taking photos here in Dubai, aren’t pretty photos of your city a good thing?? Anyway I did manage to take this photo (yay for me!) and I really like it! What a cool spot, I wonder how often these boats leave the marina? Possibly never to answer my own question, owning a big boat is all about owning a big boat, have you seen my big boat? It’s in the Dubai Marina. It’a a big boat.

Posted in Dubai Tagged , , , |

Under the Burj Khalifa

I’ve been walking around downtown Dubai today taking photos of the Burj Khalifa, it’s fun trying to come up with interesting compositions and also really challenging so I got a little creative with this one. I’m here taking photos for a few days with my pal (and photographer extraordinaire) Trey Ratcliff, let the good times roll!

Posted in Dubai Tagged , |

A Church Under the Stars

Tekapo is famous for it’s crystal clear night skies so what better place for some astrophotography! The last time I was here was probably about 7 years ago when I worked for a science centre in Christchurch called ‘Science Alive!’. Some of the educators and I did a field trip to the Mt John Observatory, staying a few nights so we could get the full blown astronomy experience. I remember seeing Saturn through one of their telescopes and having my mind completely blown, it was so beautiful! The guy in charge also had the most epic laser pointer, which the 8 year old in me found equally compelling.

Anyway here I was again, this time staying closer to the township so I could take photos of the Church of the Good Shepherd. This is a popular landmark (by New Zealand standards) so there were tourist buses constantly coming and going. It was quieter at night but I was still surprised by the number of people there taking photos, which was kinda fun!…and kind annoying! Haha mostly because of the car headlights, but even they could at times be useful for illuminating the church.

I don’t have a good lens for astrophotography at the moment but the Sony A7s is so freaky fast that I got away with some wide angle shots at f4 over about 20 seconds. Including this one that benefited from some whispy clouds that were lurking that night.

Posted in New Zealand, Tekapo Tagged , , , , |

Inside the MCG Cauldron

Here’s a wide angle shot from the MCG last night in Melbourne on the first day of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. There was a great atmosphere with a crowd of over 80000 in attendance and I managed to squeeze most of them in at 12mm. There’s some crazy distortion with a wide angle shot like this so I wasn’t exactly THIS far from the action! Australia beat England of course, again, but I’m cheering for NZ so wasn’t too worried about the result, just happy to be hanging out with my big sis who was in town from Sydney.

Inside the MCG Cauldron

Posted in Australia, Melbourne Tagged , , |

Timeless Split Apple Rock

While over here in Tasman Bay I got up early to take photos of Split Apple Rock (just around the corner from Marahau). It was close to 5am and still dark enough for a long exposure which helped smooth out the water. I don’t have an ND filter so to drag the exposure out for as long as possible (94 seconds) I maxed out the settings at ISO50 and F22. This brought out all the dirty spots on my lens but l gobbled up those dots in post like the Pac-Man you can kind of see in this photo if you tilt your head a little 🙂

I then ditched my camera, jumped in the water, swam over to the rock and did all those fun things you should remember to do in between taking photos!

One last thing you might find interesting is that a well known scientist was born around 40 minutes drive from here in a small town named Brightwater. His name is Ernest Rutherford, famous for splitting the atom…

Timeless Split Apple Rock

Posted in Marahau, New Zealand Tagged , , , |

The Bend at Tahunanui Beach

I took this photo during a walk around Tahunanui Beach here in Nelson, New Zealand. I couldn’t fit the nice little tidal bend into one shot so ended up stitching 5 photos together to make a panorama, something that I’ve been doing more of lately using Photoshop. I export the individual shots through Lightroom and hey presto we’ve got a panorama! My computer churns through the process quite slowly and I might have to do a little adjusting when the algorithm doesn’t get it quite right but all things considered it’s surprisingly easy!

The Bend at Tahunanui Beach

Posted in Nelson, New Zealand Tagged , |

A Pohutukawa Tree on Christmas Day

Happy holidays everyone! I went for a walk on Christmas day near the beach in Nelson, New Zealand and found this Pohutukawa. We also call it the New Zealand Christmas tree over here because of the beautiful crimson flowers you see at this time of year.

A Pohutukawa Tree on Christmas Day

Posted in Nelson, New Zealand Tagged |

Melbourne from High Above

I love coming up here to the viewing deck at the Eureka Tower in Melbourne every now and then. If I’m not busy and it looks like it might be a nice sunset I’ll head on up and take photos for an hour or so, just casually strolling about looking for interesting shots. The sun sets at different locations on the horizon over the year (kinda obvious but still something to think about) so it’s always a little different. Right now in summer it drops into the ocean at the end of the Yarra River and I like the way your eyes follow the river past Southbank all the way out to Port Melbourne as the sun says goodbye for another day.

Melbourne from High Above

Posted in Australia, Melbourne Tagged , , |

Wild Eyes – A Leopard in Botswana

We came across this incredible leopard on our last day in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. She’d just dragged a warthog up a tree and was in no mood to share, dismissing a bird of prey before staring down at me with intimidating, wild eyes. What a badass!

We must have watched her for hours but there was no real sense of time passing at all, such a special experience!

A Leopard in Botswana

Posted in Botswana Tagged , |

Frozen in Finse

This morning I got up early and climbed to the top of a mountain near Finse, Norway. I watched the sunrise from lower down where it wasn’t snowing as much and then continued on to the summit which was pretty wild! My camera was close to frozen at this point but it got the job done 🙂

Wikipedia tells me that this is where they filmed the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back….this does not surprise me at all.

Frozen in Finse

Posted in Finse, Norway Tagged , |

Sunshine in the Fjord

The weather tends to change quickly here in the Norwegian fjords, which is great for photography! Clouds come and go as they please and it’s especially beautiful when the sun rays pierce through them, diffusing glorius light over a soft palette of colour and shape….haha too much? 🙂

Sunshine in the Fjord

Posted in Balestrand, Norway Tagged , , |

The Boatsheds in Balestrand

I’ve stopped in Balestrand for a few nights and already done a little photowalk that ended up here at these wonderful little boatsheds sitting on the fjord. When I take a photo from a wharf/jetty structure like this I review the photos by zooming in super close to make sure there wasn’t too much up and down movement going on in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re bobbing up and down a little so it always pays to check! In this case there was some up and down movement so I cranked up the shutter speed and compensated with a higher ISO, problem solved!

The Boatsheds in Balestrand

Posted in Balestrand, Norway Tagged , , |