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November 20, 2020 … Persistence

One hundred and ten years ago, G.K. Chesterton wrote “a thing worth doing is worth doing badly“. I find this famous paradox resonates with me in the context of my photographic aspirations. It’s not that I think my photographs as especially bad. Rather, it’s that many of them are simply not as good as I would like them to be. When I like what I see in the viewfinder, I press the shutter. Sadly, when I see the image on the screen at home, it is often less pleasing than I hoped it would be. Life is full of those little disappointments.

Nevertheless, the process of making images still gives me much pleasure. The essence of it, for me, is using the viewfinder to frame the subject of my picture. Whether by means of a zoom lens, or by walking closer or further away, I try to ensure that the viewer knows exactly what was supposed to be in or out of the picture. It sounds so simple, and yet seems so difficult.

Atmospherics

Heavy cloud and strong winds have characterised the last few weeks. This image was made near the wind turbine at the top of Brooklyn hill in Wellington. As you will see from the green grass at the bottom, this is not a monochrome image.

From Makara to Mana and Kapiti Islands

On this day, the sea and sky were hazy, but I rather liked the mystery quality that the weather gave to Mana and Kapiti Islands to the North while I looked from the car park at the West Wind windfarm at Makara.

Celebrating the failure of a terrorist plot

Back in 1605, in London, England, a terrorist/patriot attempted to blow up the King James I in House of Lords, but was discovered with the stash of gunpowder before it could happen. The conspirators were executed. Guy Fawkes Night has been celebrated in former British territories ever since. It is fading in New Zealand in favour of Matariki, the Maori new year which comes with the rising of Pleaides in Late May or early June. Some people still do Guy Fawkes and can legally purchase fireworks between November 2 and November 5 if they are over 18. I suspect that in future, fireworks will be restricted to professional licensed displays.

Chris Church in Taita

Occasionally, my wandering takes me through the Eastern Hutt Road , Taita, where I pass Christ Church, the oldest church in the Wellington Region. It was completed in 1853 (we are a young country). These days it is still a consecrated church and serves both as an historic place and venue for weddings, baptisms and funerals. The sexton is a real gentleman who, on seeing me photographing the exterior unlocked the back door and kindly gave me access to the interior.

Rain

When the weather outside is miserable, I often resort to still life. In this case, a yellow rose which our kindly neighbour allows Mary to hijack. Roses lose their perfection all too quickly, and even at their peak, there are flaws. Even so, the rose always brings me pleasure.

Into the rain

When the weather outside is miserable, I sometimes go the other way and defy the conditions. On the day this image was made, there was some steady rain. For some reason, I like rain shots so I went around Tarakena Bay along Moa Point Road and saw the Strait Feronia leaving the harbour mouth on its way to Picton. The wall of rain she was heading into was sufficient to blot out Baring Head and the background hills.

Sparkling

Spring leaves should not be on the tree and not on the ground. However, a strong gale ripped a few off the Japanese maple. The wind died away a little so as I went out I was attracted by the glistening drops of water on the fallen leaf.

Downtown architecture

How much the waterfront architecture has changed since first I came to Wellington in the mid 1960s. This building was completed last year, and is quite distinctive. To the best of my knowledge, it features very advanced earthquake resistant engineering. To my eye, it looks best during daylight hours. In the evening hours when the cleaners are at their busiest, the geometry of the structure disappears and the illuminated interior divisions make it quite untidy. This intersection on the corner of Customhouse Quay and Waring Taylor St is always busy, so I made multiple shots and then used the statistics feature of Photoshop so that anything that was not present in most images simply disappears. No traffic!

Knitted blanket

Looking for some still life options, my eye fell on one of Mary’s current projects. Mary enjoys knitting as a way of retaining mobility in her wrists and fingers, and she always has at least one item in progress. This is a baby blanket.

Nature’s knitting

The wetlands in the Pauatahanui Wildlife reserve reminded me of Mary’s knitted blanket, with seemingly random splashes of colour. I was disappointed with the image which I had hoped to achieve with focus stacking. Unfortunately, the stiff breeze moved everything about, so I chose to focus on the Royal spoonbills having a siesta in the pond.

Escort duty front and rear.

At the back of the pond nearest Gray’s Road is a bird viewing hide, donated by the Thorpe family. I am grateful to them, and have spent many happy hours there, watching various waterfowl enjoying the pond. Canada geese are increasing in numbers and watching these proud parents escorting their brood of six cygnets I can see why.

Old school boating

Mary was walking from Pauatahanui village around to Paremata via the Camborne Walkway so I was looking for images in the Ngati Toa domain until it was time to pick her up. The local scout group had hauled their dinghies out ready for some old fashioned rowing with heavy oars.

Young pups 🙂

Our youngest son, Anthony and his family have just acquired a puppy. It is a golden retriever/poodle cross which is apparently called golden doodle. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I held Ants with that same big grin. The puppy is called Rascal.The other one answers to “Ants”.

See you next time, people.

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