Kicking Around Brooklyn in the Snow

I’ve been beating myself up lately for neglecting this blog… sigh… the reality is I’ve been doing so much travel and making so many pictures, I’ve really not had the time to develop or share them. Just got back from the US on Saturday. There’s over a thousand photos to process…

Let’s start with a Fabulous Snowy Day in Williamsburg! We rented an Air BnB apartment on Berry St and waited for the world to happen. The World did not disappoint!!!

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It’s kind of sad that the smokers are really the only ones out there savouring the moment. Everyone else was in a rush to get somewhere out of it.

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Looking down the street.

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And up the street!

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And just not going to be going anywhere, really… Better get back inside where it’s warm. (And I mean warm! Why are all New York apartments so bloody hot???)

I just love Williamsburg ūüôā

Utopia is closed for repairs

I doubt it will ever reopen. It’s just a matter of time until Utopia is condemned and then torn down. Someone will come along and put up a Walmart…

Utopia - what once was...
Utopia – what once was…
Utopia - the interior view
Utopia – the interior view
Utopia, rear view
Utopia, rear view

Having a wee look – Milkweed in Manhattan

Visited the famed Highline Park in Manhattan last month – end of autumn, all the wild flowers gone to seed. A wee bit desolate. Snapped these two shots of milkweed – and a bunch of other stuff… but haven’t got to them yet. Had to share these…¬†Manhattan1-15Manhattan1-13

Santa Monica Pier on a Cold and Lonely Night

The view from our budget hotel on Redondo Beach Drive was a bit surreal. The beach was many miles away and there was no shopping or nearby attractions, making me wonder what might have possessed anyone to build a hotel in such a place…LA1-3But having settled in, we decided to go to Santa Monica Pier for dinner in the evening. And that’s when things got really strange…

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It seemed a bit ghost-y, all candy coloured, but somehow toxic… and if this was an amusement park – where are all the people???
There were a few stragglers and lost souls wandering around, including a little girl looking for some answers wherever she could find them…
But she couldn’t tell me what it was all about either since I have forgotten how to speak Threeish.

LA1-37Even the beach has gone mad,

LA1-39Yeah… I know… first Big and then Forrest Gump… it is LA we’re talking about here… I felt a wee bit of relief when we left… I mean, it was cool, but kinda creepy… like everyone was out of town……….

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Sometimes it’s just black & white

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… and sometimes a bit of sepiaSE2-28

Shooting Skaties

Skaties-1I’ve been hankering to shoot skateboarders for the last while. Went down to Victoria Park in the Auckland CBD¬†yesterday and gave it a go. Reasonably happy with the results, though I am certain there’d be substantial improvement if I went again.

Maybe next weekend…

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Shooting steampunks again

Well, I’ve been shooting a lot of things to be honest – film premieres, streetscapes, my super-giant baby cat and… yes, more steampunks… the love affair continues. What can I say? I think I’ve reached some new ground though – it’s not the same-old, same-old… Here are a few of my favourites. They were taken At the Auckland AetherCon – some are vendors, others are friends I dragged out to the hallway for a little different lighting and less jangly backgrounds…

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Poor Garnet – Getting dumped on her coffee break…AetherCon-23The Inquisitor, there can be only one

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Lovely and lost

AetherCon-20Tinkerbelle and Digitalis Ellulose travelled from the Other Side via a Coromandel Gold Mine – steam-powered, illuminated by Firefly light!AetherCon-22¬†¬† Desperate street urchins, hawking their wares…AetherCon-10Truly the most fabulous of all!

The Daring Debauchery of the Decadent Stinkhorn Fungus

Stinkhorn-fb-1I was so enthralled by the discovery of these Stinkhorn Fungus at the Auckland Domain yesterday shooting the sad flowers of winter, I returned today with my tripod and macro lens – though they are not really macro subjects averaging 10-12 cm high (4-5″) and when fully extended 25-30cm across (12″). But the macro lens goes to f32 (I’m using the Tamron 90mm) which is much better for close ups than the usual f22.
Spending a couple of hours shooting these, I was a bit overwhelmed by their¬†stink – a bit like a fishkill on a hot summer day – heavy and very rank… You would think that a patch of bush between the cafe and toilet block that was overrun with giant red fungus would get some attention, but my fell ow humans continue to dismay me – even when I pointed it out to them, most people looked and dully and moved on, including a boy of about 7 who shrugged his shoulders and ran off. Fortunately I was able to get a couple of folks excited enough to snap a few shots of their own.
The skinny on the Stinkhorn Fungus for the mushroom geeks: The fruiting body of a stinkhorn fungus emerges from the ground as an egg-like structure. It then splits open, revealing a stalk with a number of coloured arms. This species, Anthurus archeri, is growing in a clump of moss in native forest. Stinkhorn fungi produce a smelly mucus mass full of spores at the base of their arms. Flies feed on the stinking mucus and in so doing help to spread the spores.
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Even the flowers are depressed

Wintergarden-fb-18I’ve had enough of winter already, thank you thank you…

It’s never really been my cuppa, even when I was a kid in the northern hemisphere in the wilds of upstate New York where the snows fell 4 feet deep and snowdays meant you got to play outside in it all day long in the middle of the week. Yeah, for me it meant the other kids would leave me alone while I curled up in bed with a book.

But that was then and this is now and there is no snow, no endless expanse of white to gaze at in the morning. Instead it’s this endless y-light, the colour of the light that manages to squeeze itself through heavy blanketing rainclouds, fat a soggy with endless drops of rain. Endlessly dreary and sad and cold and damp and, well… duh… I’m not enjoying it.

Hauled myself over to the Wintergarden in the Auckland Domain today and discovered the flowers are feeling pretty much the same as I am about the whole thing. Kinda wretched, kinda beautiful… we’ll all be happy when October gets here… but that’s sooooooooooooooo far away!

 

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St Patrick’s Church, Hawea Flat, New Zealand

My daughter’s friend lived in this charming historic church in Central Otago, which was designed by the renowned George Gilbert Scott. He was the architect of the Christchurch Cathedral which was destroyed by the earthquake of 2011. It was the first church in the area (soon followed by St Ninyans and another near Tarras). It was deconsecrated around 1980 (I think) and has been used as a community centre and now a residence.
It would be wonderful to see it restored sometime, but the current owner seems to be doing a fairly decent job of preserving it.
The light was quite amazing the first day we photographed it, but we went back a second time and got some more, equally interesting shots.

The view from the road as we approached.Wan14FB---15

The light was just amazing that day – it was very cloudy, but there were breaks to the west, giving the church a very warm, welcoming look.Wan14FB---9

The cross at the front of the building.Wan14FB---10¬†¬†¬†¬† Some little girl’s shoes left in the window a while back…Wan14FB--60

When the sun disappeared, the church appeared almost Gothic, with brutal detail. This is the rear view – the altar would have been just behind those windows back in the day. It is the kitchen area now. StP-ext-fb-2Similar view to the golden light a few images up. Not so welcoming here.

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Let me introduce you to two of the residents. Straw men, wearing old prisoner and guard of the local work camp. I don’t recall how they were obtained exactly – but they were sold to the local Moari after the prison system shifted to the much more fashionable day-glo orange.Wan3-StP-7 FB

Last light of day – a bit Wuthering Heights… it doesn’t really get much more romantic than this…Wan14FB---13

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