Moke Lake

One often heads to Moke Lake for the reflections, and today was no different. However, after I got my fill of reflections, I decided to climb up as high as I could before sunset. The hills around the lake had always intrigued me, so I thought it was time to explore them. Below is what I saw once I had reached a good vantage point. There was still more climbing to be done, but there wasn't enough light left to guide me to the top. This allows me the opportunity to head back for a true summit.

Adventure fitness is for everyone! Get out and play!


Sony A7rII - 24-70 2.8

6 sec | f5.0 | ISO 100 | 40mm



Stargazing in Dunedin City

We are quite fortunate to live in a city where light pollution doesn't completely obscure the stars in the night sky. I often head out into darker regions of the surrounding countryside, but thought it would be fun to test the limits of my camera with city lights in full effect.

As you can see, the skies are still dark enough to allow almost a full view of the Milky Way. If I had gotten up a little bit earlier, I could have captured the complete arch. Saving something for next time!

I hope you enjoy the photo!


Milky Way over Dunedin City

Sony A7RII - Sony Zeiss 16-35 f4

30' | f4 | ISO 8000 | 16mm



Milford Magic

It has been quite some time since my last post. Work life getting in the way of creativity should really never be an excuse, unfortunately, this is part of the reason why I've been absent. This fact, along with a fairly involved travel schedule.

Alas, i am back, for now. I thought I'd share one of my favorite moments from a Great Walk myself, Angela, and our friends Susan and Rory set out on back in early March. The photo is one I took while standing in the middle of a river. Mind you, the river was quite low at the time. The extra time in the water finally gave my waterproof boots their first true test. They were not all that waterproof after 20 minutes. This left me with wet feet for the remainder of our walk, which was fortunately only an hour away from being complete.

If you have an opportunity to hike the Milford Track (need to reserve this July 2017), I highly recommend doing so. A winter, or early spring excursion might be fun as well.

The photo below is from Giants Gate Falls. Happy exploring!

Sony A7rii - 24-70 2.8 f4.5 | 1/60 | ISO 500 | 30mm

Sony A7rii - 24-70 2.8

f4.5 | 1/60 | ISO 500 | 30mm



Milky Way Photography

The Milky Way photography season is upon us, and I couldn't be more excited. From November until February, the core isn't visible, so there is less effort made to head out in the middle of the night to shoot. Fast forward to March, and we are back in business.

The new moon, over the past few days, has allowed for brilliant night skies. It should also be noted that the weather has been fairly cooperative. The first shot below was from March 23, 2017, at Hoopers Inlet. The benefit of Hoopers is that it is surrounded by reasonably-sized hills, which prevent most of the Dunedin light pollution from affecting the briliance of the starry night sky. After locating the Milky Way, with the PhotoPills app, I proceeded to find the best spot to capture it with the most interesting foreground. It turns out this was actually in the water at Hoopers. I've included screen captures from the PhotoPills app, the planner and night AR.


Hoopers Inlet

Sony A7Rii - 16-35 f4

15 sec | f4 | ISO 6400 | 16mm

PhotoPills Planner

PhotoPills Night AR

My most recent astrophotography mission was this morning at 5am. A planned Aurora Australis shoot didn't materialize due to heavy clouds invading the night sky over Dunedin. The orignal plan was to shoot the Milky Way from the top of Mt Cargill, looking down over Mt Chalmers, and Blueskin Bay. All looked good (clear skies) until I reached the top of Mt Cargill, where a thick cloud bank was waiting for me. There was zero visibility at the top, so down I went. Fortunately the cloud clover was located primarlly at the top of Mt Cargill, and not much lower. This photo was taken on Mt Cargill Rd, just above a beautiful green farm pasture. The wind was far more powerful than I was expecting, and nearly didn't get a shot without tripod movement. Like the previous mission, this one was also planned out using PhotoPills.

You are a stunner Dunedin!


Milky Way rising over Port Chalmers

Sony A7Rii - 16-35 f4

15sec | f4 | ISO 6400 | 16mm



Teleport Yourself

Often when I look up at the night sky I think back to old Star Trek movies, and how wondrous they made space travel appear. Moving between galaxies, interacting with alien life forms, and exploring the 'great beyond'. What young kid wouldn't want to be a part of those endeavors.

When shooting astrophotography I am filled with that same sense of wonderment, and intrigue. Until we find a way to travel at the speed of light, this will most likely be the only way to experience other worlds in their most raw form. Then again, if Elon Musk has his way, there is a chance we could be colonizing Mars before the end of my lifetime.

Focus on where your feet are planted now, but don't forget to look up and dream about where life could take you. Often celestial bodies can help remind us that our hopes do not have to be bound to a terrestrial mindset.

Thankful for each day on this beautiful blue pearl we call Earth. Peace, and love, to all my fellow earthlings.


Sony A7ii - 16-35 f4

20sec | f4 | ISO 6400 | 17mm




Ride the Wave

This beautiful planet we call home, offers us so many joys. The water we surf is just one of those treasures most take for granted. If we assume someone else will take up the call of protecting the places we hold sacred, most likely those places won't exist, as they once did, for much longer.

Natural beauty surrounds us in New Zealand, with some of the most beautiful mountain lanscapes just a 3-hour drive away. The east coast of the South Island is also home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world. Instead of going off on a long rant about how global warming will adversely affect these natural wonders, I am going to just make a simple request. Stop and think about how you live your daily life. Most likely, if their is room for improvement you will find it quite easily. In the end, my hope is that this extra thought about "the world" will help you consume less. By consuming less, we can hope to take pressure off the earth's finite resources. If we do this now, there will stil be some left for future generations (I hope!).

By all means go out and enjoy every wonder this amazing planet has to offer. Please just be mindful of how you treat it when you're done playing.


Sony A7rII - 24-70 2.8

1/160 | f9.0 | ISO 125 | 53mm



Cloud Sea in Paradise

If you've ever wondered what heaven looked like, this might be one of the closer renditions the earth has to offer. The photo does offer a good depiction of what I saw in person, but there is something to be said for having seen it in person.

In the two years I've been in Dunedin, this is the first time I've ever seen this phenomenon. Potentially the weather patterns from the north clashing with those from the south? A few hours before, where I was standing to take this picture, was covered in cloud. I feel quite fortunate to have seen this cloud sea while it was still flowing over, and around, the hills of Dunedin.


Sony A7Rii - 24-70 2.8

1/80 | f4.0 | ISO 1000 | 45mm



Peace on the Highway

Often those two words, peace and highway, do not co-exist. Well, in New Zealand, the land of enchantment, anything is possible.

The number of times I have passed through this same stretch, without a photo, was approximately 100%. That is, up until a week ago. It was getting late, and my mind was focused on getting home before I fell asleep at the wheel. This would have gone as planned had I not passed through Cromwell just as the sun was setting. Watching this scene unfold in front of my eyes was quite exhilirating, but it was also frustrating. You see, those driving towards Alexandra (from Cromwell) have zero places to stop along the highway. I did what any photography would have done, cross over the center line and park on the other side. This might not be the safest idea, but during the time I was shooting (5 minutes, max) I didn't see a single car.

What you see below is the result of 2 years of contemplation. Hoping to be back here again, and soon, to take some proper photos.

Keep on making those great photos(and getting outside, as well)!


Sony A7RII - 24-70 2.8

1/40 | f2.8 | ISO 1000 | 32mm