Most of my photography is for my personal enjoyment.
Every so often, I do some shots for the local hospice where Mary works, so my day began yesterday with a piece of greenstone which I was asked to photograph for them.
In Maori, greenstone is known as pounamu and has a special status as a treasure or taonga in the Maori culture. Known to jewellers and mineralogists as nephrite jade, it is often used in the production of various pieces of jewellery and works of art. This piece, about 15 cm in length is in its raw, unprocessed state, but even so, was a pleasure to hold and to handle.
Outside, the sun was shining, so, lacking any other inspiration, I went to see what was happening at the Porirua harbour. I had been told that the white heron had been seen in the lagoons beside the motorway, so I began there. No luck. Perhaps the blustery conditions were a deterrent.
I lingered a while but saw nothing more exciting than this Little Black Shag. Most other local shags have yellow bills, but the Little Black has a lead-grey bill according to my trusty field guide.
Disappointed, I went on round Gray’s Road to Motukaraka Point. At first there was a whole lot of not very much, but I sat and waited. After a bit, several kingfishers appeared. Since I had not set myself up properly I was not in the best place for shooting. As I was lining up on this one perched on a stump, its companion flew across the shot, albeit below the line of the reeds.
Last week sometime, I posted a long exposure shot of a train crossing bridge. My friend and fellow photographic blogger, Toya suggested it would be interesting to try the same kind of shot at night. So I did. (Toya’s blog is well worth a visit, by the way, and she really does birds superbly).
My daylight shot of the train required a neutral density filter to allow a long enough exposure to achieve the required blur. I decided that this would be superfluous in the dark. This was true up to a point. The picture was complicated by the presence of fixed lights across the bridge and along the adjacent walkway. I had consulted a timetable to see when trains would cross, and was there in the chill of the night for about five minutes before the first train arrived.
With a five second exposure, you really get just one shot at each train. Even if I set the camera on burst mode, the train has gone by the time I am ready for the second shot. That’s why I looked for a spot on the time-table where there was an up train and a down train within minutes of each other.
My first attempt was just too bright so some hasty adjustments were completed just as I heard the train blow its whistle coming through Woburn station. A minute later, it was clattering across the bridge. This is the better of my two trains last night (click to enlarge). The next train was an hour way so that was the end of my efforts for the day.
Another spring gale is predicted. What will blow my way today?