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Birds Cook Strait harbour Khandallah Wellington

November 13, 2013 … mixed weather

Exploring unfamiliar parts of the city is something I enjoy.

Looking East across the harbour froom Khandallah
Miramar and Mt Victoria on the upper right, Eastbourne on the far side

It allows me to see Wellington from different angles, and to some extent, with new eyes. Yesterday I went through the East facing slopes of Khandallah, in the area that is often referred to as “the dress circle”.  This area is characterised by large houses which are very close to the necessarily narrow roads that wind up and down hills and round some very tight corners. These roads have their origins in the days of horse-drawn transport and you really could not take a large bus or truck along them.

Every so often they offer a view window where the houses are placed such that you can see over or between the neighbouring structures. Yesterday there was a very solid Southerly in play and the result was a deep green harbour decorated with white caps. The clouds were getting along at a good clip, and this image (which is a panoramic stitch) had to be made quickly so that the cloudscape was not too different between each of the six images.

Inner harbour
The ferry terminal is in the centre

A little further round the hill to the South, where Karori begins to turn into Ngaio or Wadestown, there was a nice South-facing view over the inner harbour. The interisland ferry, Arahura (nearest the camera) is backed into her berth, and her crippled sister, the Aratere which recently had the misfortune of having a propeller shaft break, is tied up on Aotea Quay.

Royal spoonbills
The feed or they sleep

Back in the valley, I dropped in at Hikoikoi reserve and found a cluster of royal spoonbills grazing.

Oystercatchers
Washing their plumage

Around the edge of the inlet a bunch of oystercatchers had gathered for communal ablutions.

That’s it for the day.

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harbour Khandallah Landscapes Light Wellington

December 7, 2012 … scrambling for the high ground

There’s brief, and then there’s terse.

Today’s blog entry may veer towards the latter end of the spectrum.  Even as I was writing about the weather yesterday, I was using up the precious allotment of sunlight for the day. Many photographers claim to prefer flat overcast light. I am not one of them.

Anyway, I had just hit the “publish” button on yesterday’s blog, and I looked out the window to see a build-up of cloud. With a lunch appointment in town there was little time to lose, and rather than taking the bus as I originally intended, I threw my camera gear and tripod in the car and took off. Following my nose, I went up Onslow Road into Khandallah, and turned into Homebush Road which seemed likely to offer some good viewpoints. It did. Inner Harbour from Homebush Road

My first shot is a simple landscape looking from Khandallah towards the city. As you can see, clouds are building and the light is somewhat flat.

I went a little further up Onslow Road and near the crest of the hill found a lookout which offered commanding views over the harbour. Whether it worked or not, I leave to your judgement, but I attempted high dynamic range images with three different exposures and then using software to optimise the best result. I think that, despite the brief interval between exposures,  the moving clouds resulted in some odd effects in the sky.

Looking to EastbourneThe first shot looks across the harbour to Eastbourne.

The second is another view of the inner harbour. Inner harbour from Onslow Rd

If you enlarge this image you will see three yachts near Miramar. I think there was really just one.

That’s all for today.