Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘sea

New Zealand: crossing Cook Strait again

with 12 comments

3:23 PM

A year ago today we sailed eastbound on the Interislander from South Island to North Island. I took the first photograph when the ferry was almost out of the Marlborough Sounds, and the second one four minutes later after the ship had entered Cook Strait.

3:27 PM

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2018 at 4:48 AM

New Zealand: Tunnel Beach

with 15 comments

A year ago today we visited Tunnel Beach a little south of Dunedin. In addition to the man-made tunnel through the rock that allows people to walk to the side of the headland that’s shown above, weather and waves on the other side have created the natural tunnel shown below. Some good wave action was in evidence while we were there.

And look at the colors provided by minerals, mosses, and lichens in one of the shaded areas that was behind me when I took the first photograph:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2018 at 4:00 AM

New Zealand: Stirling Point

with 48 comments

A year and a day ago we reached the southern end of the South Island in a town called Bluff. At Stirling Point, which for my purposes should have been called Swirling Point, I watched the bull kelp (Durvillaea antarctica or D. poha) flowing in and out with the waves. Last year I showed one of the more than 270 (!) pictures I took of that. Here are a couple more. Because the kelp moved fairly rapidly in the water, I set my camera’s shutter speed to 1/640 of a second for closer pictures like the one below.

By the way: in addition to this New Zealand retrospective, you might enjoy scrolling back through the New Zealand series that appeared on the Fotohabitate blog in 2016. The text of each post there is in German first, followed by English, so you’ll be able to follow along. The photographs speak their own language.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 25, 2018 at 4:42 AM

New Zealand: Doubtless Bay

with 30 comments

A year ago today we followed State Highway 10 along the south shore of Doubtless Bay in New Zealand’s Northland. One spot where I stopped to take pictures was Coopers Beach.

The prominent trees on the promontory are pōhutukawas (Metrosideros excelsa). Facing in the opposite direction, I concentrated on the intricate roots of one at the non-sea edge of the beach:

If you’d like, you can see Austin’s answer to those pōhutukawa roots.

The image which comes next reveals a brook that cut and curved its way across the beach till Doubtless Bay became its place to cease to flow:

The best colors and textures I found along Doubtless Bay were a few minutes farther west in the area called Cable Bay:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 13, 2018 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: Matapouri

with 36 comments

I took so many pictures on our 2017 trip to New Zealand that I never got the chance to show a lot of them here, especially because we bounded off on a couple of other big scenic trips last year. Over the next four weeks I’ll make amends and fill in some of the gaps with more than two dozen posts. While most of the photographs will show things for the first time, in a few cases you’ll see a different take on a place or thing that appeared here last year.

On the way from the Auckland Airport to Paihia a year ago today (going by the calendar and ignoring the time difference between Texas and New Zealand), we detoured over to Matapouri on the east coast of the North Island so we could get our first good look at the ocean on this new adventure.

At one point I noticed a young gull hunched down on the sand. As I slowly approached, the bird flopped around a little but didn’t fly away. It was injured, as you can see here. Fortunately for it, I wasn’t a dog, cat, ferret, weasel, or stoat. Ah, the benignity of the nature photographer.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2018 at 4:49 AM

New Zealand: three faces of Te Hoho

with 5 comments

On March 7th we visited Cathedral Cove, a scenic tourist attraction on the Coromandel Peninsula. The ThousandWonders website says this: “The cliffs surrounding Cathedral Cove are made of white massive ignimbrite, a rock produced by explosive volcanic eruptions about eight million years ago. A little offshore is a pinnacle of pumice breccia rock, known as ‘Te Hoho’. Centuries of wind and water has shaped this rock to look like a ship’s prow approaching the beach.”

How you release your inner pareidolia depends on the place from which you view Te Hoho. As I kept moving to the left of the position from which I took the first photograph, I saw the rock take on a second and then a third shape.

From the second position I seemed to see a giant cowboy boot. Nothing particular suggested itself to me from the first position or the third, but you may have visions you’d like to describe.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: Views from Cape Reinga

with 8 comments

On February 14th we drove from our base in Paihia to the northern end of the North Island. After stopping at the Te Paki dunes, we continued up to Cape Reinga. While not technically the northernmost point on the island, it’s close, and it has the virtue of a highway that takes you right there. You won’t be surprised to hear that there’s usually a brisk breeze at Cape Reinga, which whips up sea spray and makes distant places look hazier than closer ones, as you can confirm in the landscape/seascape above.

At a relatively bright moment, even with some clouds drifting low, I recorded a view of cabbage trees and flax high above a span of sun-saturated sea.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 27, 2017 at 5:01 AM

New Zealand: variable oystercatchers

with 35 comments

Driving north from Thames on March 6th along the eastern shore of the Firth of Thames, I stopped to photograph a colony of birds whose bills were conspicuously long and orange. I later learned that the birds were variable oystercatchers, Haematopus unicolor, and that the species is endemic to New Zealand. If many of the oystercatchers look as if they were turning away from me, they were, because even with a long lens I’d approached the limit of their comfort. Nevertheless, I did manage to get closer to a few more-tolerant birds, like this one:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2017 at 3:55 AM

New Zealand: Moeraki Boulders

with 13 comments

I was sorry not to get to see the Moeraki Boulders during our first New Zealand trip, so I made sure to go there on the second trip. Once I finally arrived on February 27th, I didn’t find the boulders as impressive as they were cracked up to be, but cracked most of them certainly were.

Downright dilapidated, in some cases:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 11, 2017 at 4:51 AM

New Zealand: shags on an Oamaru pier

with 20 comments

Click to enlarge.

We spent the night of February 27th at a B&B on a hill in Oamaru. Before settling in for the evening we went down to have a look—a rather distant and indistinct one, as it turned out—at some blue penguins coming ashore at dusk. On the way there we walked past an old wooden pier that now hosts a large colony of shags. If you’re not familiar with the shag, as I wasn’t until I photographed one during our first New Zealand visit, it’s a kind of cormorant.

The shags on the Oamaru pier that evening might have been Leucocarbo chalconotus, which zoologists recently determined to be a different species, now called the Otago shag, from the Stewart Island shag.

Plans to refurbish the pier and reopen it to people have understandably met with some opposition.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 8, 2017 at 4:54 AM

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: