OH HAI Interwebs! Apologies for the lack of posts recently but I have a really good excuse I have been away on HOLIDAY! My first holiday taken at Xmas in a really really long time. Back now with many many photos and stories to tell, so here goes:
Deciding where to go was a challenge but after seeing some amazing photos from other local shooters down south in The Catlins I decided to go there for a week, and stop off in Dunedin on the way back for a few days.
The Catlins is quite a big area and quite remote, it was nearly 8 hours driving one way from Christchurch, so I decided to do the trip down in two stages. CHCH – Oamaru first day (so I could have dinner at Riverstone Kitchen) and then down to Dunedin for lunch and then on to the final destination.
Weather closed in as I got close to Oamaru and the rain settled in fairly steadily by the time I got to my B&B. Had some time so went to the Old Town, drove up a REALLY steep hill to get some harbour shots, by now it was raining fairly hard.
Had a very enjoyable dinner at Riverstone, so much so that I actually *forgot* to take photos of the lovely food However on the way across the carpark I noticed a swallow flying in swoops and stopped to follow its path. Imagine my delight as I saw it fly in under the veranda of the restaurant.
Put my 70-200 lens on and quietly crept back to find the nest, fairly obvious perched on top of a handy power socket. The diners still inside must have wondered what the crazy woman out on the veranda was doing, steathily creeping up on nothing obvious they could see!
Due to the lighting I popped my flash up and took a sample shot, and the swallow and I looked at each other for a bit. Happy I wasn’t going to scare it off the nest I framed up several shots and went on my way, well pleased. Swallows are impossible to get shots of in flight, and often nest in hard to get to places. I have no idea if the owners even know the nest is there!
The rain had let up, so I stopped on the way back into Oamaru, they have two sculptures of note a few hundred metres apart.
Oamaru is noted for its fine white limestone which ages to lovely cream shades and is a noted building material in the country. Thats what the above sculpture is carved out of. There was a large ditch in the way so I couldn’t get close enough to shoot over the fence.
Interestingly, a lot of the Old Town – original victorian buildings – are now part of a thriving Steampunk culture, and there is a spectacular steampunk sculpture advertising that
Up early next morning, intending to stop at Moeraki Boulders, but several families with children were clambering over them when I got there and the light was very changeable, due to the weather still passing through. South to Dunedin!
The landscape south of Oamaru is beautiful rolling downs, patchworked with many shades of green, all farmland and some forest on the far hills. The above shot taken just south of Maheno. On the way back to my car, a lovely elderly gentleman advised me that the best high spot in the area was Herbert Cemetary, and gave me instructions on how to get there. Entirely unprompted but he had obviously seen me with my camera across the road
He was right, the view was stunning, and had the weather obliged, I would have had some lovely blue sky. Just off to the side of the cemetary were several large tree stumps, probably macrocarpa, providing a lovely foreground.
I also took the opportunity to take my new 10-22mm ultrawide lens for a spin, and the above image was taken using it.
On the way down the hill I stopped to view the headstones, and a break in the clouds lit up the white one beautifully.
Back on the road, south to Dunedin, where my next stop is the Orokonui Cloud Forest