Friday, June 29, 2012

Sydney Opera House and Ferry

Here is the first of several photos I took of this iconic Sydney landmark.  It was a beautiful winter day for sightseeing and we had a great time.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

G'Day Mate!!!

I've been MIA for awhile because we have been on assignment in Australia.  We've had a great conference, which we were in charge of organizing, and now are taking a few very much needed days off, since for a few days leading up to this conference I was averaging 4 hours sleep a night in order to get everything prepared.  It was all worth while as I think that everyone who attended had a great experience.

One day after our meetings, one of our local people asked if we wanted to go for a ride and see a bit of the area around Melbourne, then one of us said they wanted to see a kangaroo.  Our local man said it was doubtful, but he'd take us to a park where kangaroos have been seen at dusk foraging for food.  We drove through many lovely neighborhoods and just before dark, finally pulled into the parking lot of a park.  We were still in a suburb, not out in the bush, so I didn't think there was any chance we'd see a kangaroo.  We parked and walked about 15 feet from the car, and there were about 20 kangaroos.  They didn't seem too concerned that we were there and I managed to get my camera out, put on my flash and snap a few shots before they hopped off.  Another missionary couple working here said they had been in Australia 8 months before they saw a kangaroo.  What luck!

After our conference in Melbourne we flew to Sydney for more meetings, and now we have a few free days before returning to NZ.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Auckland Photo Contest

Say Cheese

Harbor Lights

June is photography month in Auckland.  They have special exhibits, lectures, etc. all over the area.  One Saturday is designated as a contest day.  All photos entered into the contest have to be taken on that specific day and must relate to the theme, 'My Day in Auckland'.  Last year I submitted several photos just for fun.

This year I submitted three photos, including the two above.  I was surprised to receive a call that I had won second place, (out of over 1500 entries), with the following photo:

 A Day in Bed

I guess it was just quirky enough to attract the judges attention.  After the fact, I felt a bit uncomfortable that I had submitted this, even though I had permission from the 'subject' to do so!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Takapuna Sunrise

It is Saturday morning in this part of the world and I wanted to go down to the beach before sunrise to take some slow shutter speed shots in low light.  Unfortunately, I forgot to set the alarm clock and when I woke up the sky was already light in the east.  Even though I hurried as fast as I could, I couldn't beat the sun.  By the time I had my tripod and camera set up and ready to shoot, the sun was already over the horizon and it was too bright for the picture I had in my mind.  I had to settle for a picture of this seagull taking a moment to enjoy the early morning warmth of  a winter day in New Zealand.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Characters on Queen Street - Auckland


We spent a couple of hours in downtown Auckland last Saturday, and I had fun doing a little street photography. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photography and Something More

The Magic of Photo Editing Software

I've been teaching a beginning photography class once a week after work.  Everyone seems to be fascinated with my post processing and editing workflow, so this week I'm going to demonstrate the magic of Photoshop and talk about how technology has changed traditional photography forever.  Making minor adjustments such as cropping, removing red eye or adjusting the exposure are done in a twinkle.  But when you are feeling especially creative, using photo software makes it possible to start with a photo and turn it into something more.  Here is one of my examples for the class tomorrow:



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Harbor Bridge, Auckland, New Zealand


This is my first photo of the Harbor Bridge.  We wandered in and out and around local neighborhoods until we came upon this little bay with a lovely view of the Harbor Bridge with the Sky Tower in the background.  Earlier, I found other views but they were boring because there was nothing of interest in the foreground.  And even though the tide was out,  (so there were no great reflections in the water), I still like how this turned out.

(I shot this at f/16 for 13 seconds.  Using a small aperture is what makes the lights turn into stars.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Moon Magic

The moon was beautifully framed in a pillow of fluffy cotton clouds tinged with the golden glow of Auckland at night.  Too bad my camera couldn't capture it all in one exposure.  But with the magic of computer editing, I combined an exposure of the clouds with an exposure of the moon and voila!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Auckland Skyline at Night

Yesterday was a holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday.  I celebrated by taking photos.  For the first time since we've been in New Zealand I went out by myself with no other purpose than to shoot pictures.  Although we've been to some amazing places with spectacular scenery, we are always on our way to an assignment or other activity and I always have to rush to squeeze in a photo or two.  And the times we do have free, Jeff is always with me and he's not keen on hanging around too long while I mess around with camera equipment, lenses, and filters or take time scouting around for the best compositions.  

I've wanted to get some pictures of the Auckland skyline at night ever since we've been here, so this was the day.  The Sky Tower shines with different colors and combinations of colors for special occasions and holidays and is the tallest freestanding structure in the southern hemisphere.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Walking the Dog

A little bit of street photography in New Caledonia.