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Old Jul 31, 2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Auckland, NZ ("City Of Sails")

After a 3 1/2 hour flight from Sydney we reached Auckland, New Zealand. If you were to drill a hole straight through the earth at Boston, MA the other end would come out in the Bay Of Islands located at the tip of the North Island, only a short distance from Auckland.

Before embarking on this trip I did a lot of reading to learn as much about the native populations of both OZ & NZ as I could. The book I read about the Maoris’ was titled “Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You” by Christina Thompson. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the Maori culture and history as well as gaining personal insight into the Maori’s distinct personality traits.

The beauty of NZ should speak to you through the pictures. It is a remarkably beautiful country with fabulous farms and ranches as well as lakes, mountains, glaciers and fiords.


We took a ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island where we toured an Olive Plantation and had lunch at a beautiful Vineyard overlooking the harbor.

View from vineyard taken with k-7 & Sigma 10-20 lens

As we headed back to Auckland the weather changed. It got windy and we could see rain in the distance. Our ferry sailed into a regatta and as we went through I put my Tokina 80-400mm on the camera and began shooting in a wild frenzy. Everything was taken in TV mode.

Watch Your Step!




A rainbow appeared and the boat was "sailing for the pot of gold".

We made a stop at Devonport and while there a giant rainbow appeared so I changed back to my Sigma 10-20 and shot this from the bow of the ferry.
Returning to Auckland the 90 story tall Sky Tower dominates the skyline. It is the tallest structure in NZ.

They bungee jump from the top observation deck. The individual is lowered upside down to the observation window below for a photograph and then released. The fall takes all of 12 seconds.

Want to see a picture of me hanging there. Don't hold your breath! LOL

Lou



More pictures including night shots taken from the tower are in my Zenfolio link below:
http://keltech.zenfolio.com/p893958499
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Old Jul 31, 2010, 10:52 PM   #2
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beautiful series! love the pano with the rainbow. Excellent job
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 12:38 AM   #3
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I've been looking forward to you starting your NZ tour ! My sister moved to Tauranga, North Island just over a year ago and absolutely LOVES it there.

Off to a great start ! My favourite is the gold coloured yacht with the rainbow. Sharp & great colours. I like your stories too (no pun intended) ! How do you like the Tokina 80-400 ?
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 1:00 AM   #4
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Lou, any comment I make has to wait till I pick my drooping chin off the floor. Amazing! Wow! Hoorah! ... or to use a colonial Massachusetts toast....."Ladies...Gentlemen....I say thee, Lou!"

All of these are great and I will have to find the book you recommend on Maori culture, but #6 has everything....the heeling boat, the sheen of the sails, the prominent rainbow in the upper left corner, the counterbalancing expanse of green on the right (Is that a golf course?). I only have one question....well maybe two.....how long did they have to practice before all the elements achieved perfect timing, and how much did you have to pay them to do everything so perfectly?

I'm struck by how Mediterranean #2 looks. You could easily sell it as an Aegean view or a Tuscan estate. The catch of the deck of the board heeling over as it tacks in #4 is great. I might argue for a portrait crop to achieve a closer focus, but I can just as easily justify the way you cropped to show movement into the right section of the frame. The rainbow in #7 is really nice, but on #8, if you're going to tease us, I want to see terror....the look on a guy's face as he briefly has time to contemplate that he's going to be dropping out of control for the next 12 seconds and hoping that someone he doesn't know has properly measure the elasticity of the rubber band.....lol

Great job

Paul
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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We went to NZ a year ago and did almost exactly the trip in the your pictures. You captured the beauty and feel for the area perfectly.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 2:52 PM   #6
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Beautiful scenery captured very well Lou. Do not know much about NZ except that it is a popular place for movie making where vast scapes are needed. I've read that the Lord of The Rings was filmed there. The waters look very rough...is that typical? The rainbow is spectacular!
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 4:21 PM   #7
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Wow, Lou! Your Australian shots were excellent but these are just outstanding. Makes me want to pick up and go immediately. Great shots, the weather makes them even more dramatic and I love the rainbows. Also loved the night shots from the tower in your album, such well-done pictures.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 7:35 PM   #8
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NMRecording - Thanks for the nice comments!

Kevin - Thanks! The 80-400 is like all large zoom lenses a compromise. The advantages of this lens are its reach, its light weight, and for me a very acceptable image quality and great color rendering. I have also had success using it with a Tamron 1.4 TC.

Pboerger - It was nice to have received your kind comments after hearing that you had visited and seen the same areas. Where else did you go in NZ?

Lou
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 7:45 PM   #9
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Jehan we did stop in the town where the Hobbit is being filmed. There were also many shots from the Lord Of The Rings filmed in Fiordland NP.

I can't comment on the rough sea as I was only on it for an hour or so. It was a windy day, so that contributed to the chop.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 8:05 PM   #10
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Paul thanks for your response.

The pictures that I took from the deck of the ferry were a wild series of shots taken with the camera in TV mode . The shot you commented about like many of the others in Zenfolio, were taken at 400mm and cropped to boot. The ferry was pitching so I put my back against a pole to brace myself and fired at will.

Getting good shots in portrait mode was difficult as in a lot of cases I got a nice picture of a boat and a poor horizontal background. I could not straighten the shots without expanding the canvas and cloning in sky and sea. Too much work!

Lou

P.S. I am impressed you can write in proper Bostonian!!!!!
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