Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

Archive for January 9, 2010

Sea Shells


When I was young Boy Scouts use a piece of sea shell as a “woggle” to hold their neck scarves together at the front instead of having to tie a knot.  I suppose this made it easier to get the scarf on and off.  Often when at a beach I would go in search of “woggle” shells along the sea-shore.

While walking along the rocks under the cliffs at the northern end of Mangawhai Beach in March 2009 we came across this mass of “used” shells washed up by the tide.  There was a large bank of them that stretched for about 20 metres. And yes. there were “wogggles” among them. Of course, the “woggle” is the hard opening in the shell remaining after it is broken and worn smooth by constant agitation of waves crashing against the shore. I still don’t know what type of shell it is!

Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/1000 sec, F 13, ISO 400, Sony DT 18-70 mm lens at 60 mm



Magical Mangawhai

The locals call it Magical Mangawhai. It is a vibrant beach community with local shops, galleries, a surf club, long sandy beach, cliff-top walk with views out to the Hen and Chicken Islands and Whangarei Heads, as well as an annual walking weekend.  Aucklanders drive an hour north to spend the weekend there in their holiday “baches” to go fishing, surfing, play golf and sample the growing number of food delicacies. Who would want anything better?

This image is toward the southern end of Mangawhai Beach near the Surf Club.  A stone breakwater at the estuary entrance gives a clear passage for the fishing and pleasure boats that anchor or are launched there. It extends to the small haystack island just off the shore.  Beyond the breakwater are sand dunes that lie between the estuary and the ocean that is the nesting area for a colony of Fairy Turns.

Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/1000 sec, F 13, ISO 400, Sony DT 18-70mm lens at 45 mm


Fire in the Sky

Mangawhai Heads is one of our favourite places in New Zealand to visit. In March 2009 we were there both to visit friends and to take part in the annual Mangawhai Walking Weekend.  I woke early on the Saturday morning, which is something I normally do when sleeping in a strange bed, and discovered this magnificent red and orange sky silhouetting Little Barrier Island in the distance. The street lights in the foreground were like Christmas tree fairy lights twinkling in the remains of the night. Early morning mist envelopes the valleys between between me and the sea.

Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/10 sec, F 29, ISO 400, Sony DT 18-70 lens at 45 mm