Sometimes I have to work hard to find an image in otherwise drab circumstances, However, sometimes the effort pays off.
A moody evening in Wellington
We have had a lot of grey weather recently, but even in such circumstances I love our city.
In the heart of Lower Hutt on the Waiwhetu Stream
Even in dull weather, as long as the wind is absent, I can usually find something worth a look. This is the Waiwhetu Stream on Riverside Drive, near Gracefield. Just out of view above the trees is the Wainuiomata hill with its busy traffic.
Hutt Camera club’s annual exhibition
Every year at about this time, the Hutt Camera club (of which I am president) holds its annual exhibition, and as I have done before, I made a panorama that includes all sixty images. Three of them are mine.
Early morning drizzle in the Hutt Valley
And on the subject of weather, or indeed any other obstacle to my photographic endeavours, sometimes it is an idea to photograph the obstacle itself. This view from our house looks along High Street through morning drizzle to the Hutt Hospital.
Towards the setting sun from the water tower at Camborne
Then the obstacle disappears, and we get what with tongue in cheek, we call “a typical Wellington day at last”. This image was a panoramic stitch made from a small hill in Camborne, looking out towards Mana Island.
Banded dotterel just below the swirling wind and sand
Then the wind returned and outside shooting was just plain uncomfortable. When I say wind, I mean a North Westerly blast in which standing up was actually difficult. I chose to follow the coast road from Wainuiomata to the South coast which was, in many ways a stupid idea. Wind of that strength picks up a significant portion of the sand on the beach and attempts to inject it into any opening, eyes, ears, nostrils, lenses. Nevertheless I struggled down the beach and then lay flat on my back in the lee of a small sand dune. I could hear the wind shrieking and feel the sand bouncing off the back of the hood on my jacket. I lay still and pointed the camera downwind and was lucky to catch this banded dotterel. It seemed unperturbed by the wind and may in fact have been small enough to be in a relatively calm boundary layer.
High water levels in the fast flowing Waiotauru River
A day or so later, Mary and I went to Otaki forks. It was a grey day with intermittent rain, but we arrived at Boielle flat in a period of little wind and no rain. Mary explored the beginnings of the Southern Crossing which, for the fit and well-prepared is a three-day hike across the Tararua range to Featherston in the Wairarapa. While she did that I fiddled with my camera to catch this view of the Waiotauru River.
Good sailing days are not lost just because it rains
Later in the week we had one of those soft days. In fact it as the day on which I was to lead the Wellington occurrence of Scott Kelby’s 10th annual Worldwide Photowalk through Newtown. In fact the day was more than soft, it was downright wet. But, since this is Wellington, local sailors were undeterred.
Though it’s time to go, I shall really miss this view
My last picture for this edition is from a viewpoint that must be familiar to long-term readers. We have lived here since October 1980 … our five kids grew up here. There have been moments of celebration, of joy and of sadness as you would expect in any house you occupy for such a length of time. We have weathered various storms and remained shaken but not stirred through many earthquakes in the last 37 years, but now, recognising our changing circumstances, it is time to move on, and today we signed a contract with an agency to put our house on the market. We know exactly where we want to purchase, and it is exactly in the middle of that river mist down in the flat part of the valley.
Santa Rosa’s famous “round barn” in July 2012 …. looking Westward in the late evening. The flat grey roof below the ridge was the Fountaingrove Inn. Both are now destroyed along with devastation to housing and lives lost. Ironically the red sky in this image was attributed to wildfires near Clearlake, CA.
Well, it was going to be the last image, but I can’t let this issue end without expressing my sympathy and grief for the people of beautiful Santa Rosa and other parts of Northern California. In my past life, I spent many months on several occasions working with the New Zealand Dairy Board whose North American headquarters were in Santa Rosa. I spent a lot of time in the Fountaingrove Inn just below the historic round barn on the hill. A large part of this lovely town in the heart of the wine country is destroyed. Lives and homes have been lost and even from this great distance, I grieve with you.