Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand

New Zealand: Gannets at Muriwai

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Six years ago today I took many pictures of Australasian gannetsMorus serrator, at their colony in Muriwai on the west side of New Zealand’s North Island. While we don’t usually get to see birds in flight by looking down, this is one place where we do. The Māori name for these gannets is tākapu, and in English we call a breeding colony of them a gannetry. Rest assured that during courtship there’s gallantry in a gannetry.

And here’s a tip for those of you interested in science and history (presumably anyone who’s reading this): for just $20 you can get a whole year’s subscription to Curiosity Stream, which offers thousands of programs to watch on your computer, tablet, or phone; with appropriate cables or equipment (Apple TV in our case), you can stream from those devices to a full-size television. We spent a good chunk of yesterday learning about the ancient ruins at Mes Anyak in Afghanistan; genetic engineering’s promises and perils; finding and exploring ancient shipwrecks in the Black Sea, along with evidence that only gradually did it change from a smaller fresh-water lake into its current larger saline state; the British artist and humanitarian Lilias Trotter, whom we’d never heard of.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2021 at 4:35 AM

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Pūkeko standing on one leg

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On February 4th I photographed this pūkeko,* Porphyrio melanotus. Okay, so it wasn’t the February 4th that we had two days ago, but the one in 2015 when I happily took my first-ever photographs in New Zealand. I found this pūkeko in Shakespear** Regional Park at the eastern tip of the Whangaparaoa*** Peninsula north of Auckland.

* A bar (technically called a macron) over a vowel indicates that the vowel is to be pronounced for a longer time than regular vowels. Many languages (but not English) make a distinction between long vowels and regular vowels, so that  would be a different word from pa and have a different meaning.

** That’s not a typo: there’s no e at the end of Shakespear. The name that’s now most commonly spelled Shakespeare was historically spelled in various ways.

*** In words of Māori origin, wh is pronounced f.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 6, 2021 at 4:32 AM

New Zealand: Cathedral Cove trees and textures

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Probably the most visited bit of nature on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula
is Cathedral Cove, where we spent several hours three years ago today.

Leaning out over the cliff in the first photograph are pōhutukawa treesMetrosideros excelsa.

Me being me, I was taken with all the appealing rock textures.

I took dozens of pictures, of which you’re seeing a few.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 7, 2020 at 4:51 AM

New Zealand: our best sunset

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I believe the best sunset on our 2017 New Zealand trip was the one we watched in Napier on March 4th.
The first view is one of the few pictures I’ve ever shown here that includes the moon.

The fiery follow-up came just a minute and a half later, so I assume I aimed in a different direction.

©2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2020 at 4:38 AM

New Zealand: Crossing the Cook Strait again

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The Cook Strait, named after the adventurous Captain James Cook, separates New Zealand’s two main islands. Three years ago today we rode the Interislander ferry from Picton on the South Island to Wellington on the North Island. The first photograph shows the last rocks the ferry passes as it leaves the South Island and enters the Cook Strait. I took the second photograph out in the strait 12.5 minutes later.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2020 at 4:31 AM

New Zealand: Shadows and light at Riccarton Bush

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Three years ago today in Christchurch we visited Riccarton Bush,
where dense foliage created interplays of shadows and light.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2020 at 4:28 AM

New Zealand: another look at Little Manly Beach

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Five years ago today I spent some morning time—in fact the last morning in New Zealand on that first trip—at what turned out to be one of my favorite places for abstract photographs, Little Manly Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula north of Auckland.

You’re looking at some of the beach details that fascinated me.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 27, 2020 at 4:41 AM

New Zealand: up and down at Tunnel Beach

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Three years ago today we visited Tunnel Beach about five miles southwest of Dunedin.

I took the first picture from the edge of a cliff looking down at some bull kelp in the surf below.
Doesn’t it remind you of the long, flowing hair in a Botticelli painting?

The next two photographs, taken from the beach, show natural designs on the walls of a cul-de-sac.

And here’s the view looking back up at the adjacent sculpted rocks:

Living in Texas, I can’t help but be reminded of a pair of outsized cowboy boots.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2020 at 4:40 AM

New Zealand: swirling Stirling Point again

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Three years ago today we reached the southern end of New Zealand’s South Island in a town called Bluff.

At Stirling Point, which for my purposes should have been called Swirling Point, I set my shutter speed to 1/640 and photographed the bull kelp (Durvillaea antarctica or D. poha) surging in and out with the waves.

Not till this week did I notice that a gull had flown into the corner of one frame:

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2020 at 4:41 AM

New Zealand: February 21, 2017

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On this date in 2017, during our second visit to New Zealand, the day began in Wanaka, where we looked out from our apartment and saw this morning mountain clad with a cloud:

Later that day we reached what ended up being one of my favorite places in New Zealand: Lake Wakatipu.

The shore between Queenstown and Glenorchy had me turning this way and that, looking for pleasing compositions both vertical and horizontal. The first shoreline view looks southwest, the second northwest.

Even without the lake and the mountains, the patterns and textures of the rocks intrigued me.

I made various abstract portraits of them, including these three.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2020 at 4:46 AM

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