Tuesday, February 24, 2009

End of a journey (New Zealand Day 7)

Nearly 5 months have passed since I came back home from New Zealand... finally this week I can officially say the journey has ended. I've just uploaded Day 7 of photos from my New Zealand trip (available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/pingc315/NZTripDay7RotoruaAndAuckland?feat=directlink). The trip itself was quite an eye opening experience for me, going to New Zealand, seeing all the beautiful sights there. But it was also quite an eye opening journey from a photography perspective as well, and not just because of the scenery. I took a lot of inspiration from fellow photographers like Joe and Alex, keeping their ideas, framing, and even post processing tricks in mind as I took and then processed my own set of photos. Granted I probably took far too long to go through the thousands of photos I took, I really learned a lot and found I took some of my best photos of my short photographic journey on this brief New Zealand trip.

Day 7 was an interesting day, my initial impression of the day was that there was nothing interesting, just lots of tourist and animal shots. But as I got to process through some of the photos, I discovered a few gems I enjoyed. Maybe they are still touristy, and while they aren't quite as grand or beautiful as some of the earlier photos they still capture fun precious moments.

A quick side note before the photos... remember how my flight had mechanical problems and had to be routed to Auckland instead of Rotorua directly? That ended up having a huge impact on the photos. We were suppose to visit Te Puia the Moari cultural center with the geothermal geysers during day 6 (afternoon) and take a boat cruise late morning of day 7. Well that all got turned upside down so we basically had to wake up extra early to catch a sunrise breakfast cruise...

While most of my sunrise shots weren't that great, I kind of liked the simplicity of this one (that and I'm a sucker for airplanes).

After the cruise, we drove over to Te Puia. When we first got there the geyser was pretty quiet, but that quickly changed as the geyser started spewing water maybe 20 or 30 feet tall. Thanks to the change in schedule, we arrived at the geyser at just the right time with the morning sun shining in the perfect direction creating a beautiful double rainbow for us.

After Te Puia, we drove on over to Agrodome for lunch and sheep shearing show (and farm tour). Got a few fun/cute animal shots that I was quite happy with.

This last photo was used as my May calendar photo titled "New born Curiosity". I rather liked using a super wide angle lens and get in close to the animals to create fun effects. This particular shot I was maybe 2 or 3 feet away... close enough that I was worried he'd lick my lens thinking it was food :p. I basically wasn't looking through the view finder for these shots and instead just held the camera out in front of the sheep and clicked away hoping it would focus and expose correctly. In this particular shot, the focus is a bit off but overall I thought it was still ok and ended up as one of my favorite shots from the day.

Finally on the way back to Auckland, the sun broke through the clouds for some dramatic "god ray" displays (in case you don't know, I'm a sucker for god rays as well ;))

I guess all in all, day 7 was a great ending to an already wonderful trip. Now that I'm all done, I can move on to my next destination... Hong Kong. :)