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Photography has changed the way I see the world around me.

Through it I discover new things and rediscover old ones. Like my island, New Caledonia.

This blog is just me sharing my world through my photography.

Hope you enjoy.

Posts tagged river
GION DISTRICT

Kyoto, Japan

After a very long day visiting the Monkey Park and Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama then the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, it was time for us to relax a little. First we headed back to the motel for a shower, dressed up and came down to the Gion District.

We love this neighbourhood. Especially it’s little streets and alleys that run along the back of all these restaurants. Everywhere actually, on both sides of the Kamo River and the main road that lead up to the Yasaka Shrine. In fact, the restaurants’ front doors are in those alley. Lively little streets with lots of, well, restaurants but also bars, cafes, boutiques, people everywhere and the occasional Gaisha or Geiko, as they prefer to call themselves in Kyoto, and Maiko, apprentice Geisha. You’ll also see many Japanese wearing traditional attire.

After wandering the streets and alleys for a couple of hours, we had dinner at Ponto, the third place along on this photo. Not haut cuisine like some restaurants here but what they call an Izakaya restaurant. A type of informal Japanese pub but Ponto looked more like a restaurant than a pub as we know it. Anyway, great food and drink, service is good, the view is magnificent and the atmosphere just wonderful. Oh and some restaurants have Geisha performances but you have to book in advance for those.

Gion District, a must when visiting Kyoto.

28 mm, 1/500th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL

Hiroshima, Japan

Continuing from my last post, once we had finished lunch, we made our way to the Peace Memorial Park to see for ourselves the remains of the atomic blast of 6th August 1945. The Atomic Bomb Dome or officially the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

We checked both Google and Apple maps for directions and they both us it would be a 25-30 minute walk. It took us 45 minutes. And we weren’t dragging our feet either. Go figure. We did get to see the city and especially liked the side streets with their small restaurants and boutiques, and beautiful old buildings.

When you think about the impact of an atomic bomb and the sheer destruction it can cause, you start to wonder how it is possible for this building to still be here, standing. I can understand why some would want it torn down but am glad to see it stand. A memorial of the bombing and a symbol of peace. To me, it’s also a reminder of how far mankind is willing to go to destroy each other. Very sad.

This photo was taken from the Motoyasu Bridge looking through it’s guard rail. At the time of taking the shot, there was no way of avoiding it, I wasn’t content having the modern building as a backdrop. Once home though I quite like it. Actually, now I’m a little pissed at myself for not having centred the dome with the Hiroshima Chamber Of Commerce building. Too late now. I went with a split-tone edit after I had edited another photo of the Dome beforehand. I liked it so much I applied it here.

40 mm, 1/640th second @ ƒ/5.6, ISO 100

NEW ZEALAND: NORTH ISLAND

WAITOMO CAVES

day 11

A fresh, foggy morning on day 12 at the Taumarunui Holiday Park. Alain and I went for a stroll to the Whanganui River. Today we keep heading north to Waitomo to check out the glow-worm caves.

We didn’t have far to go so we weren’t in a rush this morning. After breakfast we tidied up the campervan and all the necessary maintenance before hitting the road. We thought it was going to be overcast today, which didn’t bother us as we were going to be underground most of the day, but the clouds broke up and the sun peaked through throughout the day. It was a nice drive. We arrived in Waitomo before lunch but ate anyway because we didn’t know if we were going to have the time between caves visits. And we’re all glad we did.

Our first cave was the Aranui Cave. The tour group was small and our guide was fantastic, right from the get-go. We started with a little walk in the forest before arriving at the entrance. A fairly narrow cave that opens up into some high ceiling areas. A lot of small stalactites hanging from the ceiling and much larger ones on the walls of the cave. There were some beautiful formations. We were assured none would fall on our heads, hence no helmet, but nonetheless we were a little apprehensive.

The Golwworm Caves were our next visit. The entrance to the caves is a cocoon-like architecture over a wooden structure. There are cafes and souvenir boutiques and a large area sitting area. Unfortunately photos and filming are not permitted in these caves. A shame really because it’s beautiful but I understand why. There are at least three groups in these caves at once and if they had to wait for everyone, they would never get out of there. Apart from the cathedral area, a huge chamber, the rest of these caves and pathways are very narrow indeed. We finished this tour aboard a small boat in pitch darkness and silence, under millions of glowworms. Absolutely stunning! It would’ve been impossible to take photos anyway. Moving boat, low light (no light), handheld... impossible. Hence no video nor photos. This cave is very different to Aranui Cave. Though there’s limestone everywhere, there is very little stalactites and stalagmites. Very impressive nonetheless.

Our last visit was the Ruakuri Cave. The entrance to this cave is spectacular. A spiralling walkway heading down, I don’t know, about 40 metres deep. This cave is a combine of the last two. You get stalactites and stalagmites and glowworms, small passages, cathedral ceilings and great history to go along. You’ll notice there’s no video of it, that’s because my phone died. It pretty much confirmed the possible battery problem I thought I was having on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. I had a touch more time for photos on this tour as there was quite a bit of narrative. I was very lucky though, my second and last battery died just as we were leaving the cave. I didn’t think I took that many photos but I think the cold used them up quicker.

So the caves are a must and I highly recommend doing all three. It takes about 4 hours to do the walking tours of all three but may take longer if you intend on doing the abseiling or tubing in the caves. They cost more too.

It was mid to late afternoon by the time we’d finished so we searched for a free campsite for the night and found the Roselands Restaurant. They offer free parking for campervan in their carpark. Which is pretty smart because I think every campervan that was there ended up eating at the restaurant. We did too. They had a buffet but you could also pre-order your meat for a bbq that they cooked. It was well worth the price and delicious. We were pleasantly surprised.

Once again, the end of the day has arrived. Tomorrow we keep heading north back to Auckland. Goodnight.

p.s. you know what this is all about, a big thanks to Alain for the use of his material.

TAUPO - NEW ZEALAND

TAUPO

We spend the majority of today, day 9, in Taupo visiting a couple of boutiques, falls and a extreme experience for one of us. We end the day thought, in Tongariro National Park.

As we were taking photos at the end of day 8, I saw a lookout from the bridge just in front of the Aratiatia Dam and a sign indicating a trail that may lead to it.

So this morning I though I’d checking that out. And I’m glad I did. It’s a beautiful, easy going walk that lead to two lookouts. Great views of Waikato River and the valley towards the Aratiatia Power Station, and beyond. Unfortunately the light was flat due the thin layer of clouds. The sun had a hard time piercing through. It did come out eventually but we were already on our way by then.

Our fist visit for the morning was Lava Glass. A glassblowing gallery and cafe. I wish I had filmed the inside of the boutique to show you the stunning glassware on display. When you see all the beautiful, vivid colours and designs, and the owner of the place tells you there’s nothing painted, it’s all coloured glass... that’s very impressive, even amazing. For a small fee you have access to the workshop where they do all the glassblowing and to the glass garden where you can wander around hundreds of glass sculptures. It’s not a long visit so if you have a little time to spare, stop by the Lava Lass for a visit. You won’t regret it. 

Our next stop was the Huka Honey Hive. I’ve never seen so many products with or made from honey. You’ll have to visit to check out their website for their line of products. I was equally surprised at the array of honey they had at the tasting stand. A must, is all I can’t say. An interesting place just to walk around. You’ll discover the materials used in the old days to extract honey and see the little bees at work. Fifteen minutes is all you need but I’m sure you’ll stay longer.

I have to apologies for not having any photos of the Lava Glass Gallery nor of the Huka Honey Hive. I filmed those two place which you can check out the video here or the links above. Sorry.

Huka Falls was our main objective today even though we were a little sidetracked. Now the falls are impressive in themselves but the surroundings are just gorgeous. If you get the chance to visit, don’t just stop at the bridge nor the lookouts, wander upstream a little and duck down little tracks to see the peaceful shores of the Waikato River just before it turns into a torrent of water. 

Paloma, my friend’s daughter, wanted to have an extreme experience. So Taupo Bungy was our next stop. She didn’t know which to choose from the Cliff Hanger or the Bungy. In the end she wasn’t too enthusiastic with her choice, the Cliff Hanger, even though we could hear her emotions as she swung (giggle). This part of the Waikato River is just as beautiful as upstream. The cliffs, the river, the vivid colours... just stunning. Even if extreme experiences isn’t your thing, just the beauty of the area is worth a quick stop.

NZ-DAY 09-TAUPO

Once the adrenaline settled (giggle), we headed into town for lunch. Then the boys and girls split up for some last minute shopping. Alain and I looked around for hiking shoes as his weren’t adapted for the hike we’re going to do tomorrow. We had pretty much given up when we decided to browse the Hunting & Fishing New Zealand store and found a pair there. Nice, helpful and, most important, knowledgeable staff. He took their advice and didn’t regret it. Also had a great conversation with another staff member about a variety of things. A very nice experience in all. 

NZ-DAY 09-TAUPO

So now that we had the necessary equipment  it was time to head farther south to Tongariro National Park. We stopped at a lookout just south of Taupo Lake that had a view north. A sunrise or sunset shot here would be nice. Kept going till we saw the gorgeous Mount Ruapehu. Just stunning! That’s when Alain told me about a chateau at the base of the mountain. Chateau Tongariro, we had to check it out. A beautiful, 200 year old building. A scene I had never seen before, mesmerising. We were going to stay just up the road then check out the chateau but the campsite was full. We ended up finding a spot at the Discovery Lodge Tongariro. Actually, there wasn’t a spot for our camper-van but the they were very accommodating. And very helpful with details about the hike we were going on tomorrow.

And talking about tomorrow, early morning means an early night. So that’s it for day 9 my friends. Hope to see for the next video where we seem to hike Mars. Goodnight.

p.s. I always have to thank Alain for the use of some of his material. Without it, some of these videos wouldn’t make sense.

NEW ZEALAND: NORTH ISLAND

TAUPO

day 09

We ended day 8 in Taupo and stay in Taupo today but end the day in the Tongariro National Park.

An early morning start, as I wanted to checkout a track I saw last evening. It lead me to a couple of lookouts that I could see from the Aratiatia Dam bridge, which is what I was hoping for. And what gorgeous views, from beyond the dam, down the valley past the Aratiatia Power Station. Magnificent! Pity I didn’t get nice light for my photos.

Our first unplanned visit of the day was at the Lava Glass gallery and cafe. For a small fee you can visit the workshop and watch the glassblowers do their magic and visit their private glass garden. Well worth the fee. Just stopping by for a coffee and browsing the gallery is worthwhile.

A second unplanned stop was the Huka Honey Hive. If for nothing else but the honey tasting, this place is worth checking out. There is so much more though. From well-being and beauty products to lollies and ice-cream. And much more. You’ll end up leaving with something, for sure.

Our first planned visit, Huka Falls. Impressive! Not just visually but the noise and velocity of the volume of water travelling beneath you... you can feel it’s power vibrating through your body. Quite an experience. But don’t stop at the bridge and the lookouts. Wander upstream a little and the atmosphere is quite the opposite. Calm, tranquil, peaceful. Beautiful. Worth the stroll.

Next stop was Taupo Bungy, for Paloma wanted an extreme experience. She went with the Cliff Hanger instead of the Bungy but later regretted her choice just a little. The Cliff Hanger wasn’t as extreme as she had thought, even though her cries say otherwise haha she did enjoy it.

After all that adrenaline, it was time for lunch and last minute shopping in town. Then it was direction Tongariro National Park, where we were staying the night. Oh what a scenic drive. Stunning views of Mount Ruapehu and just magnificent as the backdrop to the Chateau Tongariro.

We stayed the night at the Discovery Lodge Tongariro. We’re staying in the area because tomorrow we’ve planned an all day hike. So I hope to see you for day 10 where we walk 19.4 kms. Just to be precise. Goodnight.

p.s. once again a big thanks to Alain for his contribution to these videos.

WAI-O-TAPU AND TAUPO - NEW ZEALAND

FROM WONDERLAND TO TAUPO

As you know from the video, day 8 brings us to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland then onto Taupo.

As I mentioned on my video post, if you’re traveling between Rotorua and Taupo, the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a must visit. And do take the time to check out Lady Knox Geyser, while you’re there. It doesn’t take long and you’ll also learn about how it was discovered.

The thermal wonderland truely is a wonderland. And might I add, out of this world. You really have the impression of walking on another planet as you make your way through the park. The steaming holes in the ground, the mud pools and the stunning, vivid colours of the lakes make it equally hard to believe your eyes.

We didn’t do much in Taupo. It was towards the end of the day and shops were starting to close up. We took a short stroll along the shore, a quick visit in the town centre and did some grocery shopping.

We ended up staying at the free parking near the Aratiatia Dam. It’s also where the Huka Falls Cruise departs from on the Waikato River. We were only three camper vans staying the night in this peaceful area.

That’s it for the photos of day 8. Please join me for the next post where we see lava glass, bees, falls, a chateau and cliffhang. Goodnight.

p.s. again, Alain’s contribution was a big help in telling the story.

NEW ZEALAND: NORTH ISLAND

FROM WONDERLAND TO TAUPO

day 8

We ended day 7 with rain and start day 8 under blue skies. Today we leave Rotorua for Taupo but first we visit a Lady and New Zealand’s wonderland. 

We arrived in Wai-O-Tapu just in time to see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt. It’s quite remarkable they can induce the eruption simply with soap. We got about a ten metre eruption. Impressive! The whole show last only about half an hour from the time you arrive to when you leave. It’s a must see so if you’re ever in the area, don’t even think twice about it. And that’s even more so for the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Give yourself plenty of time as this can take easily a couple of hours. More if you’re into photography. Not only will the colours astound you but the beauty of the area as well. OK, you’ll have to deal with the smell of sulphur but you quickly get used to it. The mud pools are just as interesting and make you want to jump in. Not a good idea though. And there are plenty of signs to remind you too. Anyway, if you’re traveling between Rotorua and Taupo, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is on the way and a must visit. I highly recommend it. 

Taupo isn’t too far from the wonderland. We didn’t do much apart from having a coffee and wander around town a little before doing grocery shopping for the next few days. We’d decided to stay at a free campsite for the night that was just at the entrance to the city but it was packed so we went a little farther to a parking next to the Aratiatia Dam on the Waikato River. A beautiful area and it’s where the Huka Falls Cruise takes off from. We got a couple of photos

Manu prepared a delicious dinner, mussels in white wine with wedges. We went with wedges for a change from the usual fries we would have back home. I tried to record it but quickly realised I wasn’t doing it justice. Sorry. I mean if that was a restaurant advertisement, I wouldn’t go there. But I can say that it was deliciously. Thank you Manu.

Time to go to bed my friends as day 8 comes to an end. Join me for the next video where we see how lava glass is made, cliffhang, visit bees, falls and drive by a chateau. Goodnight.

p.s. must not forget to thank Alain for his contribution to these videos.

NEW ZEALAND: NORTH ISLAND

The Cathedral and The Gorge

day 5

I want to apologies for the time it took to get this video out. I’ve been having difficulties colour correcting the videos and am still not happy with the outcome. I thought I’d better stop fussing about and just get it out.

So here we are, day 5 of our little trip around the Northern Island of New Zealand. Again, picking up from the last video , today we do a small hike to Cathedral Cove, visit the Hot Water Beach and explore the Karangahake Gorge.

As with every morning, I got up early to explore the surroundings. Cooks Beach in this case. It was an overcast morning but warm nonetheless. It was sooo quiet and calm as I walked along the river to the beach. Even there it was surprisingly tranquil. Not a soul to be seen. 

Though it was a beautiful area, I had great difficulty finding a composition. So I snapped a couple of photos just to document the area. I did find a wild mushroom, which took all of my attention. I must have taken half a dozen shots of it. Trying out macro photography. I quite like the photos.

After breakfast we headed to Hahei Beach where the track to Cathedral Cove starts. An easy walk that anyone can do. A couple of small, steep hills but take your time and you’ll be just fine. The breathtaking views make it worth the effort. The first thing you see as you arrive at Cathedral Cove is the Smiling Sphinx Rock, seemingly floating in the water not far from the beach. Then you notice the hole in the cliff and wonder how it’s possible. At low tide you can make your way through it,to the other side, where the Te Hoho Rock sits, just like the Sphinx, in the middle of the water. The late morning and the amount of tourists, including us, didn’t make for beautiful photos. Quite happy with what I took but I’ll have to come back here to get the shots I was looking for.

By the time I got back to the campervan, where my friends were waiting in hunger, it was already past lunch time. We took off for Hot Water Beach for lunch and the hot springs, of course. Lunch was delicious and so was the local beer at Hotties. The hot springs though, we never got to try. Though the beach is, I don’t know, a kilometre long, the hot springs’ area is tiny. There were sooo many people there in a frenzy digging up holes everywhere that the wonder of it all had quickly disappeared. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a must do but maybe in a period of the year where there may be less people. What did amaze me though, were the large boulders on the southern end of the beach. That was beautiful.

Once over our disappointment of the hot springs, we made our way to the Karangahake Gorge. There are a handful of tracks ranging from an hour walk to eight hours. I can’t remember if we did the Rail Tunnel Loop or the Windows Walk Loop but, either way, it was absolutely amazing. A wonderful walk through tunnels with beautiful views down the valley and the Waitawheta River. It’s a pity we didn’t have more time, I would’ve loved to do the four hour track.

It was late afternoon and we needed to find a spot for the night. We chose the Paeroa RV Center because it was close and had powered sites and most importantly, a laundrette.

That’s it for day 5. I hope you enjoyed it. I know it’s not easy with the jumpy footage. I hope to see you on the next video where I receive my Masters in Milking, dip our feet in hot water, race downhill and visit a Maori village. Goodnight.

p.s. special thanks to Alain for the use of some of his photos and videos.

KERIKERI - BAY OF ISLANDS - NEW ZEALAND

THE CLOUD & THE TOWER, THE STORE & THE FALLS

I thought I’d share the photos that were in the video of my last post. I’ve wanted to share them for a while but wanted to get the video out first.

You might have noticed that the first two photos are not from Kerikeri but Auckland (New Zealand). This was on our first full day in New Zealand, I got up early, before my friends, to check out the Piers at the end of Queen Street, where we’d eaten at the night before.

Later that morning we were picking up our camper-van and heading up to Kerikeri. We lost three hours at the camper-van company because of a problem with their system, which made us arrived in Kerikeri mid afternoon instead midday.

We headed straight for The Stone Store and Kiroripo Pa. A beautiful area along the Kerikeri River. We spent a couple hours there then visited the Rainbow Falls (Waianiwaniwa) a little farther upstream.

Unfortunately that’s all we had the time to visit. The next day we were off to Paihia. Kerikeri is a large town with plenty to visit and do, and absolutely beautiful. Well worth a visit.

POURING A RIVER

I took a few photos along Route De Prony (Mont Dore, New Caledonia) heading back home from the Néocallitropsis refuge. I wanted to try out the welder’s glass as a filter on flowing water. I found this bridge interesting with it’s huge tube-like holes and as I headed down stream I found this composition. I love the way the water flows from the holes of the bridge and over the rocks in the foreground. And the mountain in the background adds depth to the image. I really like this photo.

The light was nice due the the overcast day. It helped to extend the long exposure with the small aperture used. I think I focused on the rocks in the foreground which I think was a mistake as I find the bridge slightly on the soft side. Not as sharp as I would have liked. Otherwise very happy with the exposure and composition. And the edit. You may not know but welder’s glass has a strong green tint which, I find, is very difficult to remove completely. Not impossible but more work than I’d like to do in post. The reason why I convert these images to black & white. Next to no colour correction needed.

10 sec @ ƒ/11, 55 mm, ISO 100

NÉOCALLITROPSIS REFUGE FALLS

Cockington Miniature Village was the last of my photos from Australia. And even though I’m heading to New Zealand this weekend, I won’t be sharing photos from there but from home, New Caledonia. The reason being I don’t have a laptop to edit my photos on the go. I promise you’ll get to see them as soon as I get back in a couple of weeks though.

Néocallitropsis Refuge Falls is located in the Yate municipality in New Caledonia. A small waterfall ending in a nice waterhole, especially appreciated after a long walk. A few of us decided to hike the first stage of the GR NC1. Which is a fourteen kilometre hike that starts from the Prony refuge in Baie de la Somme (Mont Dore) and ends at the Néocallitropsis refuge (Yate). The refuge (hut) is located just off to the left of this photos. The hike doesn’t loop so either you retrace you steps back or drop a second car near the Néocallitropsis refuge to head back to the start once finished. I stayed the night in hopes of capturing a couple of sunset and sunrise photos. Unfortunately I missed out on sunset. I drove a couple of ladies and their dog, who thought the track looped, back to Prony refuge. By the time I got back, all the beautiful light had vanished and rain clouds were rolling in. It poured down pretty much all night so a shot of the stars didn’t happen either. I woke up to an overcast and drizzling morning. I want to pack up and head home but I didn’t know when I was going to be back here. I told myself “You’re here now, make the most of it. Go home with at least one photo.”. It stopped raining long enough for the ten minute walk back to the refuge (I didn’t anticipate the bad road to the refuge so I camped next to my car) and take a couple of photos before it started raining again. I got back to the car drenched but happy with myself for not giving up earlier.

Getting the long exposure time that I wanted for this photo wasn’t difficult with the lack of light from the overcast skies. The small aperture to get everything in focus helped as well. My aim was to get a silky smooth waterfall and it’s exactly what I got.

Never give up. You never know what lies in store.

1.3 sec @ ƒ/11, 55 mm, ISO 100

A DAY IN THE SNOW

My friend decided to kill two birds with one stone by visiting Sydney for the first time and keeping her promise to her daughters that they would see and play in the snow. So we headed down to Jindabyne, just south of Canberra (Australia). We stayed two nights there so as to have a whole day in the snow at Thredbo.

These are the only photos I took and I’m the first to admit they’re not very good. I was busy taking souvenir snapshots of the kids. The first couple of photos were taken on the beach at Jindabyne Holiday Park. The rest are from Thredbo.

LANDING

From across The Last Dock you can see this magnificent building. I have no idea what it’s called nor it’s exact location. I don’t think it was finished long ago as I couldn’t find it on Google Maps but it looks like it situated around Wharf Landing Park in Docklands (Melbourne, Australia), not far from Bolte Bridge. No other buildings around it for now but I’m sure that won’t last long.

I took a few photos of this building at blue hour and in broad daylight. I preferred the later because it had a lot more contrast, which suits the subject better. This is one of those times I wish I had filters. I think this scene is perfect for a very long exposure to smooth out the clouds and the water. The image would’ve had an out-of-this-world kind of mood. And produce a cleaner photo. The filters are on my list of things to buy.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 100

THE LAST DOCK

So now that we’ve reached the end of Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia), we arrive at the last dock. A quiet, little getaway spot. Day or night. With wonderful views of Bolte Bridge, Yarra River, Docklands piers and Melbourne’s skyline.

I had taken a couple of photos here very early one morning but, unfortunately, they came out slightly blurred. It was very windy and the movement of the dock on the water didn’t help either. So I though I’d come back and a get a day shot of the bridge. Just  snapshot for a souvenir.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/4.5, 36 mm, ISO 100

BLUE ARCHITECTURE

As I was waiting for my golden hour shot, I wanted to take a photo of these blue buildings before the end of blue hour. And I love those pillars so much I had to include them once more. They do make a great foreground. Love those purple windows too. At the end of the pier and the bottom of the buildings is the beginning of the Newquay Promenade which runs to the left of the photo. It’s a nice stroll along the pier and you can dine in wonderful restaurants and stay in beautiful residential apartments. And a great place for photos too.

As I mentioned before, the pillars make a great foreground, leading the eye to the buildings. I decided to compose my shot in between the pillars so as to show more of them and these were the only ones with crossbars. I was hoping for a more golden sky on the right side but I guess it just wasn’t time yet.

0.4 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 100

GOLDEN BOLTE BRIDGE

As golden hour slowly arrived, my extremities slowly thawed. If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, check out my last post. By the time the sun rose above the horizon and illuminated the top of Bolte Bridge’s pillars, I was able to push the shutter button painlessly. Capturing this photo made everything worthwhile. So glad I waited and didn’t head back to the hotel to warm up.

I shifted my composition a little to concentrate more on the foreground and the bridge but I think I should have placed the pillars of the bridge on the left third of the image instead of the right. The photo doesn’t seem balanced and it bothers me a little. I have to be more careful with my compositions but I’m still very happy I captured this photo though.

1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, 55 mm, ISO 100

YARRA'S BOLTE

I got up early on my first morning in Melbourne (Australia). I was eager to get some sunrise photos of Docklands. There are two areas where you find these pillars. They’re divided by the Central Pier. Unfortunately, on the left side of the pier, the water is quite dirty with rubbish. Such a shame. I was surprised to see this side was so clean. Might have something to do with the currents. My composition was pretty obvious or so I thought. I wanted these poles in the shot as well as the bridge.

My original shot was a 3:2 which included some of the Central Pier on the left side of the image. It didn’t look right to me though so I decided to get rid of it and ended up with a square crop. I like it better but it still looks unbalanced with the buildings on the right. But I like the buildings… Long exposure to smooth out the Yarra River, as there was a little breeze, and to capture a better reflection of the posts and the lights from the bridge. No drama in the sky but I think I like it that way as it reflects the calmness of the water.

Talking about a little breeze. It was freezing! I didn’t have any gloves and anyway, I thought my jacket pockets would be enough to warm them up. Nooo! Not at all. It got so cold that it was painful to manipulate the camera buttons. I’ve never experienced anything like it. And I don’t think I ever will again. I bought gloves that morning. Not before the sun came out though. I got blue hour, I had get golden hour.

6 sec @ ƒ/8, 25 mm, ISO 100

BANKING REFLECTION

A very different shot of the National Australia Bank (nab) building. I was wandering around Newquay (Melbourne, Australia) on a beautiful winter’s day. There was very little to no breeze at all. I saw the colourful reflection of the nab building on the Yarra River and thought it would make a nice photo. As always, my first instinct was to capture everything. The building, the reflection, the blue sky, everything. But again, as I was framing my shot through the viewfinder, I realised it wasn’t what really attracted me to the scene. The reflection is what I want to show. I included the bottom of the building at the top of the image because that part is very dark and blurred in the reflection. And I liked the semi abstract look it gave the image.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5, 44 mm, ISO 100

CROWN

I had decided to capture the Crown Melbourne casino from this side of the Yarra River where you’d find the Crowne Plaza Melbourne hotel. It took me a long time to find a composition I liked though. I found these cleats (I think that’s what they’re called) to use for the foreground but I was having trouble with the focal length. So I tried a number of them and found this perspective more appealing. I was hoping for a nice, colourful sunset but it was too cloudy. Didn’t even get a golden hour. Once the sun set though, the clouds cleared a little and blue hour was just magic. So happy I got this photo.

As I mentioned before, I tried multiple focal length, trying to bring the background closer and keeping the same perspective. Starting from 18 mm to 24 mm, 35 mm and 55 mm. I only have a kit lens so it’s all I had to play with. I chose the 24 mm focal length in the end as the image was better balanced and more pleasing to the eye. A long exposure was perfect to capture all the flickering lights on the Crown panel and it smoothed out the water too. After all the trouble and frustration, I’m very happy with this photo.

2.5 sec @ ƒ/8, 24 mm, ISO 100

HIKE ON THE CHEMIN DES BAGNARDS
Hike On The Convicts' Path

Another little recon on this beautiful little path situated in the municipality of Yate (South Province, New Caledonia). The path starts at the Kanua Terra Lodge in Port Boisé Bay. About an hour an a half's drive from Noumea. The road down is descent enough for a small car to make the journey. You will hit a couple of bumpy dirt roads but not to the point of needing a 4X4. Beautiful view are to be seen and also the huge Goro nickel mine (which brings up mix feelings).

Once at the lodge, it's an easy going 5 km walk inland following the Trou Bleu River. The path is mostly shaded, which is great, as the sun can be quite harsh but humidity very high, nonetheless. The whole area is preserved with fishing, camping and fire prohibited. At the end of the path, if you wish, you can go farther (much farther) but you'll have to cross the river. Not a difficult task but a very slippery one. If you're not careful you'll get wet or, worst, hurt yourself. Otherwise you take the same path back to the lodge.

I'll definitely come back for sunrise and sunset shots but this is an area with no light pollution so it's perfect for astrophotography. 

Oh and I thought I'd add my friend's dog Lycan. Trained for security but loves to play.