Wind, sea, rain, camera

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On the 20th of September 2010 the winds on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour were blowing at around 40 knots (74kph, 46mph), so I went out on the ferry Osprey in the hope of getting some good shots. When passing through the ferry terminal I found some pigeons that had apparently decided to stay indoors because they feared getting blown off the runway…

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The skipper of the Osprey took an unusual course, heading east alongside the container wharf…

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That’s the bulb on the bow of a cargo ship. After a few minutes we turned so that our bow was into the wind and made a straight course for Bayswater. Having the bow into the wind reduced the boat’s roll, but the boat still had an interesting motion and there was no shortage of fresh air on the foredeck…

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As you can see, the trip was a flop in terms of photographing the wind’s effects (obviously you can’t photograph the wind, only its effects). The skipper kindly invited me onto the bridge for the next trip across the harbour, but the light was flat and dull…

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That’s Stanley Point in the background. In Bayswater the graphic nature of a fire boat caught my eye…

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Once the light got low the photographic opportunities increased…

John Brady on Osprey 20Sep2010--075 by MandenoMomentsDotCom.

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That’s John, the skipper. And here he is again…

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By this stage I was using a tiny tripod that you can carry on a belt and the shutter was open for half a second every time – on a moving boat – so I’m amazed that I got any decent shots. Finally, here’s an impressionist view of downtown Auckland, taken through a bridge window:

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Photo Trip: Viaduct Harbour 5-9-09 

On Saturday 5-9-09 I went hunting for street photos at the Viaduct Harbour in downtown Auckland, New Zealand (click here to view a map of this trip).

After getting off the train at Britomart (click here for photos of that most unusual railway station) I went over to the Ferry Building, which is a pile that was done in the Imperial Baroque style and completed in 1912:

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

Outside the Ferry Building I caught this lady unawares…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

It’s times like that I’m grateful for a near-silent camera; she had no idea that I’d taken her photo, despite the fact that I was less than an arm’s length away. I’m almost certain that the book is in French. I then found this little girl who thought that dancing backwards was a great lark…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

Next stop was the Viaduct Harbour, which is almost entirely enclosed and contains both working and pleasure boats. The main area has a promenade beside the water, a string of bars and restaurants beside the promenade, and above it all apartment buildings.  Who would want to live in an apartment where the businesses below are pumping out music until the wee hours?

People parade on the promenade in unusual ways…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

I’d arrived in the city about two hours before sunset – when the light starts to get good –  and the sun was getting very low by the time I got to the Viaduct Harbour. This guy was at one of the bars, facing directly into the setting sun:

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

The colour of that photo is natural, and you too can get a similar effect in your photos by setting your camera’s white balance to Daylight (usually indicated by a sun symbol). If you were there at the time the scene wouldn’t have looked so strongly coloured because your brain knows what colour things really are and corrects colour casts so that you perceive things as they “should be”. When your camera’s white balance is set to auto it too will try to remove colour casts, so to capture the true colours of sunsets, street lighting, candle lit rooms and so on use the Daylight setting.

This kid enjoyed circling a tree but it would appear that he got his licence out of a cereal packet that very morning:

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

After the paternal tow truck rescued him he went looking for a wife…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

…and the rejection left him feeling rather stunned…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

Once the sun went down the photo opportunities dried up, so I went back to the Ferry Building and found these kids doing what kids do and trying to choose their gelato flavour (gelato is a type of icecream)…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

I also spotted these teens doing what teens do and cruising around town in a pack…

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Click on the photo for a larger view, then click again

That was enough hunting for one day, so I headed back to Britomart and found a train that would take me home…

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