Kaikōura Range from Kaikōura Peninsula

Kaikōura is a small town on New Zealand’s east coast of the South Island. It is famous for whale watching and seal colony. Both of which are popular with tourists. It’s also famous for the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake which cut off train and vehicle access to the town. Exploring the rocky coast around Point Kean Viewpoint, I was looking for Seals to photograph. It was dawn and the sun was rising but the seals were few and far between. Seeing the pink hues that the light from the sunrise was casting on the Kaikōura Range, I wanted to capture this. So I started looking around for a pool of water. This rock pool in the foreground was only about a metre across. Getting on my knees and putting the camera almost on the surface of the water, I was able to capture the mountain range reflected in the water.

Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth

Driving through the centre of New Plymouth it would be impossible to not see this building. Day or night it stands out as an extreme contrast to the surrounding architecture. This is the Len Lye Centre. A modern (2015) extension to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. This is New Zealand’s first gallery dedicated to a single artist. Taken from in front of the Clock Tower On Devon Street West. If you look closely you can see the clock tower, lit up in green and purple lights reflected in the building. It was dusk when this was photographed. Using a 30 second long exposure helped capture the blur of car’s white headlights and red tail lights as people drove past. Designed by architect Andrew Patterson. It has a highly polished, stainless steel exterior that curves around the sides of the gallery. From almost any angle this looks futuristic and so unusual. The only difficulty I had was not photographing myself or my tripod reflecting in the building.

Mount Taranaki reflection

I had been seeing photographs from this tarn for many years and really wanting to go there myself. It is one of the most well known views of Mount Taranaki. The stillness of the water makes the reflection of the mountain so clear. Pouakai Circuit Reflective Tarn is not, as I had hoped, a short stroll off the highway. On the map, it looks like an easy enough day hike of 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) there and then the same back. It is uphill, all the way with around 700 metres (2,297 feet) of aviation gain. This took a 2-3 hours each way but well worth it for this photograph. About 15 minutes before the tarn is Pouakai Hut. A Backcountry Hut with 16 bunk beds, cold running water and a containment tank toilet. This could be an option for people wanting to photograph this view at dawn, dusk or even at night under the stars. Which is my plan for my next hike up to the Pouakai Reflective Tarn.

Loch Lomond

Next to Balloch Pier is a small beach used by the local kayak club. It was from here that I took this dusk photograph. Looking north west up Loch Lomond. The rocks in the foreground were little more than tiny pebbles. Getting the camera as low to the water as I could and using a wide angle lens make them seem bigger than they were. I like the colours and textures in the sky and clouds. Especially the reflection of the sky in the calm waters of the Loch. Less than 50 metres off to the right was the very picturesque Maid of the Loch, a 1953 paddle steamer. The sun was setting behind the ship and so casting it in shadow. I’d have to come back at dawn for the best photo of that.