March 23, 2014 … view from a high place

Plans sometimes change, and thus I found myself free in the late afternoon.

Part of the gun emplacement at Palmer Head

That path up to the main observation post has a coat of raisin-sized crumbs of hard clay … like a covering of ball bearings. It was a challenge to keep my footing.

This allowed me to join a group of like-minded friends from the camera club. We originally set out in pursuit of landscape opportunities. After a little bit of “fluffing around” , we settled on a  trip up Palmer Head to the old gun emplacements there. This was late afternoon, so we were hopeful of some good light. I should add that the graffiti-covered gun emplacements featured in a recent guest speaker’s presentation at the club, so we were all eager to see what we could achieve.

Wellington International Airport (WLG)

“not so much a small airfield as a large aircraft carrier”

From up here, you get a very clear view of Wellington Airport and realise it is not so much a small airfield as a large aircraft carrier.  The problem for Wellington will always be that extending it is likely to involve astronomical costs. Millions of dollars per added metre.

The other side of the observation post

Given the cost per spray-can, I wonder what that coat of many colours is worth.

I have said before that I dislike heights. The bunkers are surrounded by crumbling clay slopes, so in addition to heights, I had the added problem of uncertain footing. My insurance company has already imposed added penalties in the event of any further mishaps to my cameras, so in addition to my fears for my own safety, I was nervous about the camera as well. Nevertheless, I managed to quell my fear sufficiently to get the view I wanted.

Inside one of the lower chambers

Such a waste of talent (and paint)

While I dislike all graffiti in principle, I have to concede that some of it presents strikingly as an images. This shot is a “HDR” composite … a sandwich of three images each shot two whole stops apart, By this means I was able to capture both light and shadows  in a dark space without the use of a flash.

Oosterdam drops the pilot

The ship is in the shadow of Palmer Head, but the sun is still lighting up Pencarrow and Baring Head

While my friends were still scrambling fearlessly about the gun emplacement, I wandered off up the track that leads past the airport navigation system and the trig station. From there I could look down  on the harbour entrance, just in time to watch he Holland-America liner, Oosterdam pause to drop the pilot before resuming her voyage up the East Coast to Napier.

That will suffice for today.


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.
This entry was posted in Airport, Architecture, Aviation, Camera club, Maritime, South Coast, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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