Kaitarakihi beach is one of my favourite spots in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland, just a short drive outside of central Auckland. It’s more sheltered than the more popular west coast beaches of Piha or Bethells but in my opinion is just as special. This photograph was taken between Christmas and New Year, the height of summer here. The Pohutukawa is also known as New Zealand’s Native Christmas Tree, as it flowers between November and January with these very bright red flowers.
One of the first photographs I took from the top of Mount Victoria in Auckland. I wanted to capture a night shot but this was actually taken early on a winter’s morning. There’s often hundreds of boats in the harbour but obviously at this time of day there isn’t anyone sailing. This is from the North Shore area of the city and in the bottom right of the photograph you can see a couple of the larger New Zealand Navy ships. In the centre of the photograph is a huge container ship and often there are big cruise ships to the right of the port. The skyline behind the harbour is dominated by the 328 metre tall Auckland SkyTower. Behind the city centre are the mountains of the Waitakere Ranges.
Zooming in on the camera can change perspectives and views dramatically and this is an example of that. When going to view points (in this case the lookout out at the top of Mount Victoria in Auckland) we are often drawn to taking a wide, panoramic view. I often focus on capturing such views but when you zoom in the camera on details as I have done here you can get just as dramatic results. Here we see part of the centre of Auckland. It was taken with a 200mm lens, early on a winter’s morning.
In the foreground we can see the Ports of Auckland containers, one of the main ports for the whole of New Zealand. Behind the flood lights we can see the central suburb of Parnell, which is where I used to live. The large building on the left side of the picture is the Auckland War Memorial Museum with Auckland Domain in front of it. To the right in the distance is the Mount Eden domain, which is an extinct volanco. The distances here is roughly 1km between Mount Eden and the museum. It’s probably another kilometre between the museum and port. So whilst here everything looks very compact, we’re looking at over 2kms or roughly 1.5 miles distance from foreground to background.
A panoramic photograph from the top of Mount Victoria in Auckland. This is the highest volcano on the North Shore side of the city, raising to 87 metres. It’s one of the favourite views of the city. From here we get a lovely skyline looking across the water. Here I choose to show a wider view than normal, I usually would zoom on part of the central business district of city off to the left.
This wider view shows the whole of Stanley Point looking directly west from the top. To the left we see the ever dominant Sky Tower. In the middle of the frame we can see a couple of ships on this side of the harbour, which is the Ministry of Defence Navy Base. In the distance to the right, we can see the harbour bridge, from this angle we get an idea of how long it is. This was taken in the early evening in January (a summers evening).