September 15, 2019 … stop! breathe in! think! try harder.

Looking back at the last few posts, I have noticed a slide back towards mediocrity. I let images get in that really did not deserve a place in this blog. What do I mean by that? I want each image to reflect my own emotional response to what I saw through the viewfinder. Too many recent images are merely a record of my presence at a particular venue rather than an interpretation of the scene. I have no easy solution. Of course no one promised it would be easy. So, I must take a deep breath, grit my teeth and try harder.

The texture of the city

The very word “landscape” suggests to some, a view of open pastoral or wild countryside. My own interpretation is much wider, including seascapes, cloudscapes and cityscapes. All are, in my opinion, legitimate interpretations of the landscape genre. In fact, I have a particular fondness for cityscapes, and love the contrasts, colours and textures of our cities. Each era tends to have a way of expressing itself in wood, concrete, steel and glass. In a seismically prone landscape such as ours the structures are somewhat constrained in height and in other ways.

Last minute grab-shot

Every year, at the beginning September, the Masterton-based newspaper, the Wairarapa Times-Age sponsors a steam-hauled rail excursion from Wellington to the Wairarapa so that the passengers can gather daffodils in Carterton. I believe that this results in donations to the Cancer Society to support cancer research. I was caught by surprise this year, and saw the distant plume of smoke and the scream of the whistle as the train headed North. What goes up must come down, so I was ready for it’s return. I got greedy and tried to operate two cameras, and consequently did well with neither.

This image was the best I could salvage. Unfortunately I chose a vantage point where the upgrading of the overhead catenary system was still in progress, so there were twice as many posts as there would be a week or two later. Nevertheless. Ja1271 obliged with an impressive blast of smoke and steam as it came thundering out of Woburn station.

Inner city repairs

As I observed earlier, each era has its own architectural style. Some have withstood the test of time very well, and others are no longer up to current standards in the event of an earthquake. I believe that all buildings in the city must be up to at least 33% of the current seismic building codes. So some of our more elderly structures have to be strengthened. This is Toomath’s Building on Ghuznee St in downtown Wellington. The modified shipping containers are used as a safe walkway for passing pedestrians.

Beach-side wildflowers

When I go out looking to make pictures, I could end up almost anywhere. My mind flits hither and yon, and my driving follows. It would be maddening for any passenger who wanted to get purposefully from A to B, so most of my wandering is on a solo basis. In this instance I was in Worser Bay on the Eastern side of the Miramar peninsula and I caught a glimpse of colour among the green succulents that protect the dunes. I imagine someone planted them deliberately.

I have no idea about the egg

While wandering North of Waikanae, I followed the road from Pekapeka beach back to SH1 when I encountered this sadly decaying Bedford J2 school bus. These were built in some numbers to serve small rural communities. It wasn’t until I first got the image on the large screen at home that I saw the “egg” under the rear of the bus. Very odd! I can offer no explanation.

Can you smell the lavender?

Several days of greyness and persistent rain caused me to play with some still life. Mary has some nice robust lavender plants at the back door, so with permission, I “borrowed” some. This image is a composite of seven images to gain depth of focus.

Eventually, regardless of the weather, still life is insufficient

At the end of the Wainuiomata coast road, there is a good view of Baring Head and on a clear day, across the strait to Tapuae-o-Uenuku near Kaikoura. The weather on this day was not so generous and so the clouds themselves became the subject of my picture.

Beautiful but not very smart

While I was walking across the pebble beach on the Wainuiomata coast, I saw one of the banded dotterels (Charadrius bicinctus) that nest in the area. They seem to choose wide flat stony beaches on which to nest, and the nest is nothing more than a shallow scraping in the sand. It is prone to attack by larger birds, or wandering cats and dogs, or even the clumsy foot of wandering photographers. It is such a beautiful little bird that I can overlook the stupidity of its nesting habits.

Seeing a scene within a scene

While I was watching (in vain) for more dotterels, I enjoyed the stillness of a small pond on the beach and noticed a small outcrop with rocks and grass. They seemed worth a second look. The area in the photograph is a tiny fragment of a much larger scene.

Yellow carpet

On the way back up the coast road, I encountered a paddock that seemed to be more gorse than grass. A few sheep and a horse were grazing the small patches of grass and the rest was a riot of yellow flowers. A plague upon those early settlers who thought it would make a good hedge plant. It grows so well in New Zealand that it takes up all the space it can get as it has in this paddock and up the hills behind it.

That’s all this time. As always constructive comment is welcome

About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Birds, Cook Strait, flowers, Landscapes, Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to September 15, 2019 … stop! breathe in! think! try harder.

  1. Margaret Jorgensen says:

    Well done getting the dotterel They are hard to shoot

  2. I can understand your comment about gorse. Here in Oregon we have a similar issue with Scotch Broom in that they are not native, troublesome and next to impossible to eradicate. Great photo just the same.

  3. Lila Nixon says:

    Nothing wrong with that train shot Brian. It has a great feeling of immediacy and I can almost see the engine driver. And as for the gorse, you just have to look at it from the point of view of being a nursery for all the native tree seeds just waiting to come up through it; if we could just leave it to do its job. Nice to see you back. Ellen

  4. davidgsi says:

    I understand your frustration Brian – I have similar challenges with getting more than a record photo. I find I first need to be VERY clear on what the scene is trying to say to me, then work out how to emphasise that component so the viewer is drawn to what I was responding to.

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