Last month, on the 25th of May, I called in sick due to the sniffles (which is still bugging me 2 1/2 weeks later). While I was snuggled up like a bug in bed, hoping for the sniffles to disappear, my mobile phone rang. It was a private number and I immediately knew that it was Westpac. You see, I just changed banks a few weeks back and the only “Private Number” calls I receive are from Westpac. I picked up the phone, silently wondering if I had forgotten to sign papers and needed to pop in a branch immediately to sort things out. I was relieved when it was not KW (the lady I usually deal with), but … someone else. Our conversation went something like this …
About two years ago, a couple of members of the APPS, the Photography Club I’m a member of, decided to go off and photograph the boat houses lining the wharf at Mana. I have honestly never been to Mana (well, I may have driven past it on my way up to Auckland, but that doesn’t count) so I’ve never seen the boat houses they were all raving on about. My curiosity got the best of me so I decided I’d tag along to see what the big fuss was all about.
Guess who spent three full days out in the bush on Easter Weekend? Yes, you got it! Pretty little princess me! I know! I can’t believe that I went on another tramp – a real one this time (Tramping Partner insists that the first one he took me on was just a sampler, and not the real thing) – and guess what. Not only did I enjoy the Holdsworth-Kaitoke Track (well, I think I did anyway), I have … once again … survived to tell the tale.
Who would have thought that Pretty Little Princess me would survive three days in the bush! I honestly wouldn’t have thought so myself, but I actually did it. I went on an honest-to-goodness tramp (level of difficulty: Medium) and survived — without a hairbrush!
In about 5 hours I will be, once again, boarding a train and will head off to the 2nd to the last stop of my journey. I’m actually still lounging around in bed, savouring Basel’s atmosphere as much as I can, without having to go out – Basel had a scorcher of a weekend with highs up to 32C! In the last 3 days, I swear I wanted to either just jump into the Rhine or wallow in the cool waters of every fountain I see. It was sooo warm!!! It’s not bad – I know I will miss the warmth once I set foot on NZ soil – it is, after all, the middle of Winter in Aotearoa when I return in a few days.
So … Basel. What’s Roger Federer’s hometown like? Well, the city’s just exactly like it’s most famous citizen – quietly unassuming but definitely packs a wallop. Basel’s not a mainstream tourist-y town which was great. For me, I didn’t have to stand in line to see attractions or jostle my way from one place to the next. You can walk around in silence and admire the scenery in peace.
The city’s quite small – you can wander about on foot (pretty much what I did) and get lost in all the little alleyways and passages. Every time you turn a corner, you are greeted with charming shop fronts or quaint architecture – there’s always a little something waiting for you here in Basel.
So that’s Basel. What I liked most about the city is that you can drink from almost all of the water fountains; and that they don’t put the watches and jewellery away after the store closes. Was able to admire various expensive watches from the window display while walking around at night. Yes, I’m shallow like that.
Anyway … I get back to NZ, and when I find the time, I’ll post more information on and more photos of Basel. Right now, it’s time to prepare for my next destination.
Bis Bald Basel!
A few weeks ago, the APPS, the Photography Club I’m a member of, held a workshop on Black and White Photography and today, we had a Photowalk where we were given the chance to put into practice all that we’ve learned. We met up at 2:30 pm at the Johnsonville Community Centre and drove over to Island Bay, a coastal suburb about 5 km south of Wellington. We started taking photos at the small basketball court next to the children’s park and headed off towards the beachfront.
Craig, the gentleman who conducted the B&W Workshop (also a member of the APPS and the PSNZ – an amazing photographer) patiently showed me a few tricks of the trade and helped me to “see things in a different light” – to see shapes and patterns and textures instead of seeing a tree, a rock or a plant. It was a wee bit difficult, because I tend to see things as they are … a tree, a rock or a plant, but I think I managed. Here are some of the things I “saw” at Island Bay.
Afterwards, some of us went to a coffee shop at Newtown for a bit of R&R. It was while we were sipping our respective drinks (I had Chai Latte because I can’t have caffeine after mid-day) and talking about photographic gear and techniques that Craig gave me a “creative” assignment for tomorrow. I’m supposed to take 36 images wherein the subject is at least 50% out of the frame and that none of the images would be of a straight horizontal or vertical orientation. I’m not allowed to have a re-take and can only adjust the tonal curve and convert the image from RAW to jpeg on Lightroom. Dave countered this by giving me another assignment: he’s asked that I take 5 photos at the Waterfront every day for the next work week. What have I gotten myself into?
So there! Tomorrow, I will take 36 random images and will post these here. And next Saturday, more photos from waterfront. I can feel my head starting to hurt.
My long-exposure filter kit arrived last week and I drove up to Paraparaumu (about 50 km north of Wellington) to get the parcel. Since I don’t really know how to use those gitchy-gadgets, my friend decided to spend a few hours with me so I would learn the ropes. We spent some time at a park in Otaihanga and then headed off to Paraparaumu Beach. I’ve never been to that area of Wellington before so I was surprised to see such gems in that area (for those not in-the-know, I’m new to Wellington and I haven’t had the chance to explore the surrounding areas just yet). Bernie helped me set the camera up and tried to take long exposure photos. Here are some of the images I took.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to take a lot photos and these are not too exciting. I’m still getting used to my new toys and besides, it was getting quite chilly. It was also quite unfortunate that, even though the weather wasn’t that great (cloudy and windy – typical Wellington weather), the brook and the sea were relatively calm so the effects of being able to keep the shutter speed open for a long period of time can’t be seen. AND – it’s not easy huh? I think I need to bring a book with me the next time I attempt to do this (Game of Thrones, maybe?) so I won’t get bored out of my gourd. I’ll give it another try, perhaps sometime this week. Anyway – back to work tomorrow!