I went for a long walk along the Boulder Bank this afternoon. I was hoping to do some kite aerial photography of the lighthouse but by the time I had walked two hours along the rocks to get there, the skies had gone from blue to grey and the wind was too strong for me to risk putting up a kite. I took a few shots from the ground then began to leg it back along the breakwater. By the time I was halfway home the rain was coming in harder than I think I've ever seen before. It was bouncing off the rocks so hard it formed an errie looking mist two feet deep. I tramped for an hour and a half through it with a 16 foot kite drapped over myself and a rubbish bag over my back pack. A refreshing afternoon out. I will certainly have to return when the weather is more favourable.
The tree in the picture above is a KAP subject just waiting for a photographer. The King Shags roosting in the branches are only part of its attraction. There is a strange ring of bright orange lichen surronding the tree. In the photo from the ground you can only see part of the ring but is goes around the whole tree in almost a perfect circle. The orange growth does not grow at all directly under the tree but rather starts aburptly several feet from the reach of its branches, and forms a ring several feet across fading in concentration away from the tree. A photo looking directly down from above the tree should look interesting. I will be back, but in the mean time here's a shot of the lighthouse. I was two hours walk away from shelter when I took this and it was just beginning to rain...
All loaded up for a quick camping trip on my Xtracycle. On the right I
have tent, mat, clothes, and on the right sleeping bag and Kaycee. Food
and camp stove are up front. We headed out to Riwaka (about 3 and a half hours ride at a cruisy pace) to camp in my tent for the night.
This was a bit of a trial run to see if Kaycee would like touring on
the Xtracycle. Shes been in the carrier once or twice before but just for short distances. See seemed completely relaxed about it and got plently
of attention from other roadusers. It was funny watching her watching roadkill go by so tantilisingly close.
A rest stop from biking in Ruby Bay.
Under the Appleby bridge sheltering from the rain for a while on Kaycees first overnight bike trip.
Day two of the 2007 Nelson Summertime Kite Festival was another mixed bag of wind conditions. Thankfully, in the middle of the afternoon, just when the crowds were beginning to arrive, the grey clouds parted, and the northerly sea breeze kicked in juuust enough to put on a show.
The breeze was a very light southwest for most of the morning. Here the Kimono kite is caught resting during a lull in the breeze.
A Peter Lynn Ray flying high above a rainbow-coloured fish.
As the clouds broke up and the blue sky appeared, the wind shifted around to the north and suddenly the sky was filled with kites.
At the end of the afternoon, after most of the crowds had gone, I managed to get enough of a wind to launch my KAP rig and get a few shots looking down.
The wind started off light and got lighter throughout the day. Unfortunatly the grey skies kept the sea breeze from ever really kicking in. The few kites that could fly did, but most things dropped from the sky mid-afternoon. There certainly wasn't enough wind to kite buggy so there were a few bored kite buggy pilots around who resorted to towing buggys around the field with a minivan.
Tommorrow (Sunday) is the big public display day, so I hope the weathers better! At least it didn't rain today...
This kite reminds me of the space invaders games of my youth.
Because of the lack of wind I had no chance to do any kite aerial photography today but the gear is all ready to go, so maybe tomorrow.
Another year gone. I like to look back over the photos I've published over the year and pick out my favourites. So without further ado, here's my top ten CoffeeWaffle photos for 2006.
The winner. Taken just last month this is my first real successfull shot using a kite to loft a camera. It is the public Japanese garden here in town. The thing I really like about the image is the purely serendipitous way it was captured. When triggering the shutter from the ground (via radio control) I really don't have much idea what the camera is looking at. I don't think I could have composed this better if my eye was against the viewfinder. (and then there's the red fish which are just the compositional icing on the cake).
Number 2. This sunset was taken from right outside my front door. I like how the clouds look like a large planet or moon passing very close to earth.
Number 3. This shot of Port Nelson and the lighthous out on the Boulder Bank makes a great dual-screen wallpaper and is also now the banner for this site (although only readers with a screen wider than 1280 pixels get to see the lighthouse).
Number 4. Marsden Valley Creek. This is one of those scenes I pass often, but rarely notice. One rainy day in March I stopped to photograph this inconspicuous little creek and have had a new appreciation for it since.
Number 5. I really like the mood and soft colours of this picture. I find seagulls to be very under-appreciated creatures.
Number 6. My mate Craig jumping his big-foot kite buggy on 9-mile beach in Westport. Kite buggying is quite a difficult sport to photograph mainly because its difficult for a the photographer to keep up with them. From a photographer perspective its nice to find a buggy pilot who knows how to play for the camera.
Number 7. Taken just a few weeks ago, this afternoon had some wonderful light. Sun and patchy clouds meant the light was bright but difused. Recent rain meant everything looked clean and green. It wasn't hard to find good pictures that day.
Number 8. Ok its blurry, and over exposed, but it like it anyway. This is my friend Mark paddling his kayak out of a cave mouth on Pepin Island. I like how the long exposure has captured his movement.
Number 9. Couldn't have a top ten without a Kaycee shot. My dog is sooo cute.
Number10. A typical mid-winter sunset in Nelson. I find this shot very peaceful.
I have a few cacti that I keep along my window sill. One of the things I like about cacti is the flowering efforts. This cactus in particular I have had for about four, maybe five, years. It has flowered twice in that time. When it does flower the blooms are huge in comparison to the size of the rest of the plant, and they come and go in about 48 hours. Its like a stage performance that the performer has spent a year (or even several years) preparing for, and then its over in a blink (but a spectacular display, none the less). The fleetingness of it makes the display even more dramatic. Like any good stage performer, it knows to leave the audience wanting more.
This is the first time this cacti has acheived two blooms at one time.
To show how quickly they arrive and disappear, this shot was taken yesterday morning, only about 6 hours before the shot of both blooms above. Now, less than 24 hours later, both flowers are all but gone. One is hanging down the side of the pot, limp and lifeless; the other barely keeping its wlited bloom above the pot. Fleeting.
Its happening all over the world. Cycling and the car-free lifestyle is back. After reading these two stories this morning I felt like I was part of something bigger as I jumped on my bike to ride off to work this morning...
...and check out this page of photos of those crazy europeans and their cargo bikes. Seriously it is incredible to me to see how the humble bicycle has been adapted to so many tasks. Photos curtosey of Cleverchimp who has just released the news that Clevercycles is now the first importer of Bakfiets (Dutch workbikes) in the US. I hope they catch on and I wish someone would bring them here to New Zealand... or better yet, start manufacturing them here! I'd have one in my bikeshed.