Photographs can haunt you and this is a good example of that. Back in the summer of 2008, I stood in this spot and took one of my favourite night photographs of London. With one flaw. There was a sign in the lower left side of the frame saying “Not safe for public use”. You can see this on my original Trafalgar Square Fountains at Night photograph here. As you can see they’ve now removed this ugly looking sign.
This time I put the camera much lower to make the statue in the foreground stand out more. I’m still not 100% happy with this new photograph. It was cloudy and I didn’t stay out late enough for the sky to get darker. Next time I’m in London and the sky is clear, I will get the version of this photograph that I have a clear picture of in my head.
Over Christmas I had a chance to get out with my camera and finally capture the Viaduct Basin at night. I had this location on my list for the last couple of years. Being Christmas, the Skytower on the right is lit up like a Christmas Tree in green and red which contrasts nicely against the dark blue of the sky. The super yacht on the left is Janice of Wyoming, a locally built yacht at 40 metres long. Just off frame to my left where I took this is the Wynyard Crossing, a footbridge which provided a great spot for my tripod.
When I first went to the lookout point at the top of Mount Victoria, I knew there would be a great view of Wellington harbour and city centre. What I was surprised by is one of the best views in my opinion is what I photographed here. Looking in the opposite direction of the city centre across Evans Bay to Wellington International Airport. On the right side of the photograph is the suburb of Kilbirnie and on the left is the airport runway. This was taken at 6:30pm on a winter’s evening. The sun had just set behind where I was stood over the city centre. I had my iPhone set up to capture a time-lapse of the planes landing and taking off.
The airport itself is the third busiest in New Zealand after Auckland and Christchurch. The runway length limits the size of planes that can land here, only international planes from Australia, Fiji and the Chatham Islands can land here. Larger, long hall planes need a longer runway. You can see from this view point that there is a plane coming into land over the Cook Straight in the background, flying over Moa Point just behind the end of the runway there. On the foreground side of the runway is Evans Bay as I mentioned.
One of the best views of New Zealand’s capital is from the top of Mount Victoria. In the foreground there is a lot of trees that hide the suburb of Mount Victoria. The area in the middle of the frame is Wellington city centre. The hills opposite are home to the suburbs of Kilburn and Northland. I wanted to capture the lights of the city with the after glow of sunset behind the hills. When composing this photograph it was important to include as much of the city centre and Lambton Harbour as I could. By using a wide angle lens I was able to do this but chose to crop the photograph into more of a panoramic format as there wasn’t much more of interest in the sky or the dark foreground.
This is an area of New Zealand that I knew nothing about. It’s a very remote place at the southern tip of the North Island. As you can see from this early evening photograph of the lighthouse it’s a very dramatic coastline. When I was there it was July (so mid winter) and it was extremely windy. I live in Wellington which is known as the windy city (much like San Francisco in the US) but this area was the wildest place I’ve ever visited. At one point my heavy 3kg+ tripod was picked up by the wind and thrown about 5 metres! Whilst this was being taken I was holding onto my gear very tightly. Cape Palliser is also known as a large seal colony. You can see the unsealed road just behind the beach and if you look very closely at the area of brownish green grass on the left third of the frame the black dots are all fur seals. There are hundreds in this area, it’s New Zealand’s largest colony.