Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

Archive for August, 2011

Takapuna Evening

I looked out of the window several evenings ago as the sun was lowering in the sky and knew I had to get down to the beach.  The tide was out, a small surf was breaking, and the light was turning to a light gold.  Because it has been so wet in Auckland this winter the land is saturated and the ground water seeps onto the beach and glistens in the evening light.  People on the beach were taking advantage of the fine spell of weather, getting in their evening walks before dinner.

These four images attempt to capture the mood of the evening.

Evening light on Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Takapuna Evening - Man & Dog

Surface water reflecting surf and sky, Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Takapuna Evening - Surf & Beach

Riding the last wave before dinner - Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Takapuna Evening - Standup Paddler

Evening sky & cliffs reflected in the wet sand as Lady in Red walks on Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Takapuna Evening - Lady in Red


Motorway User

They say you should start them young, but I ask you!

Father teaching child to drive on new motoway - Hobsonville, Auckland, New Zealand

Motorway User - Starting them young!

Over the weekend in Auckland the public was given the opportunity to walk a new section of motorway before it opened to traffic.  This father took the next step and launched a new driving career on a “safe” stretch of road.

Family Tree

I don’t know whether it is age or curiosity, but lately I have again become engaged in trying to trace my family origins.  One of the fascinating aspects of this is Norwegian ancestry on both sides of my family.  Through work carried out by a second cousin the Norwegian connection has been traced on my father’s side, but tracing my maternal grandfather has been very problematical.

My paternal grandmother Hanna (Annie) Anderson (photographed in 1924) who had a Norwegian father

In the course of trawling through family records I have discovered photographs taken through the years of various generations dating back to the late nineteenth century.  Its a fascinating record of a social history that forms part of the fabric of who I am today.

I have only one photograph of my maternal grandfather Gustav Jacob Dahlin who was born in Norway in 1881.

My maternal grandfather Gustav Jacob Dahlin with my grandmother Maud Rebecca Dahlin (1953)

Family record of his life before he arrived in New Zealand in about 1909 is sketchy, and has been gleaned from recollections of conversations that my late mother had with him when she was a child.  Story has it that he was born in or near Arendal (Bygland is another possible birthplace) in Norway and was sent to a naval school at Dartmouth in Devon in the UK at the age of 13 years.  This may have been the Royal Naval College Osbourne, but this is conjecture on my part. At the age of 21 years he supposedly deserted the navy at Zanzibar after an altercation with a senior officer when he took exception to an injustice being dealt out to a fellow seaman. He is said then to have travelled in North, East and South Africa working in or around the mines, before travelling to New Zealand at the age of 27 or 28 years. He was naturalised as a new Zealand citizen in 1910.

My problem has been tracing him back to Norway.  This may be because he possibly changed his name to escape detection by the Royal Navy. His marriage and death certificates both show his father as being John Dahlin of Norway and his mother being Jean(ie) Dahlin (Munro[e]). He had a sister Christine (maybe Kristina) and an older brother who drowned as a child. For many years my parents had a fire screen that had as its centrepiece an oil painting by my grandfather of a Norwegian lake scene, with a white wooden house on the shore surrounded by fir trees, and a moose at the water’s edge.

Al my research to date on the name Dahlin in Norway has drawn a blank, as have my searches on the names Gustav, Jacob, John (Jon, Johan) and Christine (Kristina).  Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I should look next?

Three and Free

Imagine.  You’re a three-year-old who has been cooped up at home for the last week with chicken pox.  You’re bored out of your tree and just want to be out enjoying yourself like everyone else.  At last you are able to go outside and enjoy the open air, to run on the beach with the wind in your hair. Freedom – at last!

Three and Free - Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Shower of Spray

Its great watching kids play on a beach.  There is so much opportunity to explore, dig, splash, build, or just run around.

Shower of Spray - Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

I watched my grandson for ten minutes while he investigated the waves rushing up onto the beach, and then receding again.  Sometimes he would just stand and let the waves wash around his legs. Next the game became waiting until the last minute then running ahead of a wave to beat it to the dry sand, or trying to jump over them as they came towards him. Sometimes he cupped his hands to capture some water, then let it escape through his fingers.  This image caught him as he experimented with creating an arc with a shower of water scooped up from in front as a receding wave passed from behind.  He was fully absorbed with the waves for the whole time.