December 22, 2013 … a breath of fresh air

It has been known for there to be wind in Wellington.

Silver fern

This tree certainly gets animated in the wind and the unwary can catch a hefty blow to the head if walking beside it in these conditions

Nowhere near as much as in the imagination of outsiders, but nevertheless, it can occasionally get windy here. Yesterday was such a day. Applying the principle of making lemonade when given lemons, I decided to make wind images. Mostly this was achieved by using very slow shutter speeds so that each picture shows things moving under the force of the wind.

Pohutukawa

This particular bush is new to us … it wasn’t visible over the fence last year, so I am unsure how firmly it is holding on to the steep bank down to the road.

It wasn’t really all that strong yesterday, though gusts up to 64 km/h were recorded. It was certainly sufficient to stir the vegetation. My first two shots were made without leaving home. The ponga, or silver fern (Cyathea dealbata) at the front door was waving its fronds about like a demented traffic officer. Similarly, the self-sown pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) on the other side of the fence next to the road appeared to want to leave us. Happily, it is decided to stay.

Decorative grasses

Unidentified grasses waving in the breeze

In the public park at the bottom of our road, there are some decorative grasses that I have often thought might be interesting to photograph in motion. This is not the shot I imagined, but it certainly suggests to me that the idea is worth trying again.

Mahina Bay looking South

The long exposure seems to flatten the water but even so you can see that conditions get more lively nearer the harbour entrance

I went down to the harbour, and despite the stiffness of the breeze, the water at Petone beach was flat calm. Perhaps it was being beaten flat, or perhaps it as in the lee of the buildings on the foreshore. On the other hand, looking across the water towards Eastbourne, there were white caps and some quite rough water. From Mahina Bay, I tried a slow exposure with the neutral density filter, and once more came up against that limit where the very long shutter opening produced lens flares. I have attempted to remove the most obvious of them, and hope you get the impression  of the wind beating the water down, and driving the waves to the South.

That’s all for today. I have to go to the airport and do my best Bob Cratchit imitation as my elder daughter Catherine and her husband Mark fly in for Christmas. Of course, with five children, each with their own extended family, getting everyone in one place for Christmas is less likely than in days gone by. I am glad that three of them will be here this year, and we shall celebrate at the home of younger daughter Helen and her husband Vasely.

Two more sleeps.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
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3 Responses to December 22, 2013 … a breath of fresh air

  1. Greg Barton says:

    I thought I saw the “face behind the lens” setting up on the windswept roadside as I headed round the bays yesterday afternoon! Merry Christmas Brian.

  2. i have tries those grasses thinking “easy peasy’ But I have never been happy with the result. Really like the first image.

  3. Adam Rosner says:

    Your ND filter – how many stops is it?

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