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This New Zealand Dunnock or better known as a Garden Sparrow dropped by for a visit while my wife and I were staying in Wanaka. They say this little, feathered friend is not all that attractive but I believe when you get close enough he/she is very photogenic. Another one of God's little creatures.

Pukaki, doing its thing: being ridiculously beautiful.

 

These days, you're better off seeing all my photos in "L", as I've reduced substantially the resolution of the images I upload. Your honest comments and critiques are very much welcomed. Favs too! ;) Please refrain from posting awards and groups' "comment codes". They're really not my thing.

 

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L for best view & F for faved!

 

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Do not use or reproduce this image without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.

Wild animal

 

New Zealand fur seals can be distinguished from sea lions by their pointy nose and smaller size. In New Zealand, fur seals also tend to be found on rocky shorelines, whereas sea lions prefer sandy beaches.

 

This pointy-nosed seal has long pale whiskers and a body covered with two layers of fur. Their coat is dark grey-brown on the back, and lighter below; when wet, kekeno look almost black. In some animals the longer upper hairs have white tips which give the animal a silvery appearance.

 

Adult females: maximum length 1.5 m, weight 30-50 kg.

Adult males: maximum length 2.5 m, weight 90-150 kg.

 

In New Zealand, fur seals are found on rocky shores around the mainland, Chatham Islands and the subantarctic islands (including Macquarie Island). They are also found much further afield in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

 

Source: www.doc.govt.nz/

More of my pictures on my new website: www.marcgcphotography.com

 

I went to New Zealand for work a few years ago and just outside my hotel rooms, we had this amazing view of Lake Taupo. One day, when I arrived at the room after a long day of work, the sky and the water were amazing I jumped from the car, grabbed my camera, and I shot this picture.

Here's another shot from Milford Sound, in New Zealand. I had a great time dodging the incoming tide and the persistent sandflies one morning with 20 or so friends. The way the morning fog and mist clings to the mountains here is absolutely breathtaking.

 

I've been having a lot of fun playing around with different processing techniques on my shots from Milford Sound. I think the fact that there's no overly bright light source combined with the reflections and the interesting texture in the sky make this a great scene to experiment with.

 

Speaking of experimenting with different processing techniques, are you a Nik Software user? If so, you might know that Nik was recently acquired by Google. You might also know that this week they announced a DRAMATIC price drop on their suite of photo editing plugins. I used Color Efex Pro to make this image, but all the products are excellent. If you're a B&W person, Silver Efex Pro is for you. Prefer bright colors? Then Viveza is for you. If you don't know what you need (or if you need it all) you're in luck because for $149 you can get all six (I think it's six) plugins. Before this week you would have paid $499, so it was a big price drop. I'm not a spokesperson for Nik, but I realize this sounds like an ad. It's not -- I'm just excited that they dropped the price to make these products more accessible and affordable. Plugins have become a bigger and bigger part of the evolution of my processing. I think they're pretty awesome, and I'm thrilled to see such a big price break on these.

 

In case you're new to the plugin model, a plugin basically integrates with an existing photo editor (Aperture, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc) and allows you to actually launch files from your editor into the plugin, where you make your plugin-specific edits. When you're done, you click save, and the image gets stored back in your editor ready for the next processing step. In this photo, I did some initial work in Photomatix and Lightroom (my usual workflow), but once I was in Lightroom I launched this into the Color Efex Pro plugin. I used a few options in the program, adding some polarizer filter effect, a multi-color filter for the blue/orange toning and finally a bit of vignetting to really focus the eye on the center of the scene. Once I was done I saved it and it popped back into Lightroom, where I did a few more small adjustments, and voilà, done!

 

There are other companies making plugins (onOne, Topaz, etc) as well. Most have 15- or 30-day free trials so you can see whether you like them before making an investment. I encourage you to try them.

 

OK, well, I've been home sick the past few days (killer allergies). I'm feeling better and hoping to be able to go back to work tomorrow. Hoping....

_________________________

 

Thank you for your visits and comments. Please feel free to add notes to any of my images.

 

I do a lot of HDR processing. All of my HDR photos can be found here.

 

I shoot with a Nikon D800. All my D800 photos are right here.

 

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We found this lovely scene in the ski fields above Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand. Some scenes of the "Lord of the rings" trilogy were shot here. Do you remember?

From Forest Hill Reserve (Near Winton, South Island, NZ)

Map coordinates are approximate.

This large and distinctively-coloured pigeon is a familiar sight to many New Zealanders. This is because the New Zealand pigeon (or kereru) has a widespread distribution through the country, being present in extensive tracts of native forest, and rural and urban habitats, including most cities.

 

Foods include buds, leaves, flowers and fruit from a wide variety species, both native and exotic. In addition, they have been seen feeding on the fruiting bodies of the parasitic strawberry fungus Cyttaria gunnii found in beech forest.

 

Photographed Bushy Park Homestead, Kai Iwi, New Zealand.

 

Steve Hitchcock © All rights reserved

Taken near Curio Bay, South Island, New Zealand

Sunset in Milford Sound, Mitre Peak (1692m) and Mt Pembroke (2015m) We arrived late afternoon and it was getting cold, when suddenly the sky exploded in these incredible colours. It would be funny to see me taking the picture, wrestling with other photographers for the best position

New Zealand Landscape - Matukituki Valley - Wanaka

Explored: Sep 2, 2009 #148

 

This is another one of my favourite places in the world. The Matukituki Valley, winds its way back from the western bays of Lake Wanaka. Here it follows the braided Matukituki River up the centre of the valley. This leads directly into the heart of Mt Aspiring national park. Tall mountain ranges tower in on all sides, leaving you the insignificant viewer humbled in the centre - I get the impression it would have been a spectacular sight to see the glacier that carved this hillside apart.

 

There are still a number of glaciers in the area. At the top of the valley you can hang a right, and walk for around two hours in dense bush to the Rob Roy glacier. From a safe vantage point you can watch one of NZs most active glaciers. Literally hanging off the side of the Mount Rob Roy.

 

Few years back we'd walked the track on a bright springs morning. After finishing lunch (and fending off Kea - the local bird guardians) at the foothills of the glacier, we started wandering back for beers, and steak. Suddenly over my shoulder i heard a peel of thunder. This stopped us dead in our tracks. After listening in awe to another set of 'pings' and groans we bore witness to half the glacier tearing itself apart and cascading down the hillside in a mass avalanche of snow and ice. A few minutes after this soft cloud of ice gently enveloped us as it rolled down the valley, dimming the sunlight.

 

Thats about as memorable as daying walking gets.

 

Nikkor 18-70 I D70 I Scattered Sunlight I PP Lightroom.

Going back to some old images, before they become too obsolete... Plus, being less than 2 weeks away from going back to Ohau, I can't help but to revisit old pics of the lake and area...

 

I'd love for you to leave a comment and/or critique. Favs are welcome too! ;)

 

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The Blue Mountains

Well, this is one of my most prized photos, just because I've always wanted to visit, see and photograph this spot!

 

Getting to the Cove involves a long trail walk along Hahei's shoreline (Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand). Also, it requires a lot of patience while waiting for other people to have a look around, take their photos etc, so you can finally do so yourself :) It is not the best capture, but the best I could manage....it was late, the rock and cliffs were no longer lit by the sun, and I had to get going before dark...

 

Nevertheless, very happy I finally made my way here!

 

PS - Still busy catching up on everyone's streams...

Missing Glenorchy…

 

These days, you're better off seeing all my photos in "L", as I've reduced substantially the resolution of the images I upload. Your honest comments and critiques are very much welcomed. Favs too! ;) Please refrain from posting awards and groups' "comment codes". They're really not my thing.

 

Célia Mendes Photography on Facebook

Tiritiri Matangi, New Zealand-21

Here is my first edited pic from my recent Canon Photo5 Winners trip to the land of the long white cloud.

Thankfully the long white cloud subsided for a short while on Saturday evening (Sunday morning) and a few of us walked the whole 50 meters from the lodge to this tree

Quite happy with this and very little editing was required (I did post the SOOC version via the iPhone the other day that some may have seen to compare).

A slightly different composition would be nice, but I had to include the ladder and there is another very dull looking tent right on the right hand edge plus a car parked just out of frame on the left, so I guess its OK.

 

Canon 6D

ISO 6400

F4

Tamron 10-24 at 13mm

30 second exposure

 

Tent, tree and forground lit by reflecting a LEDLenser P7 Torch off the palm of my hand.

In the forrest, close to the big Humboldt Falls off the Milford Sound road, this bird just sat and posed until I was done. Great colours!

 

Please no use without my express permission.

 

www.desimage.com

A spot of house-keeping before I move on to some new photos. Whilst searching for images for my two interviews (this months Advanced Photographer and Digital Photography Enthusiast) I decided this crop of a previous upload would work really well as a double page spread, particularly as it had been published in Lonely Planet Magazine before. Unfortunately I then realised it's one of a limited number I've since submitted to the Getty Images Flickr collection and therefore to use it would be to violate my exclusive license agreement.... (still, having checked today at least by way of compensation they seem to have licensed it last month).

 

This is looking a touch dark compared to the original but I wanted to boost the contrast and saturation without burning out the cloud highlights, it looks fine on black.

The sun sets over Lake Ruataniwha.

 

These days, you're better off seeing all my photos in "L", as I've reduced substantially the resolution of the images I upload. Your honest comments and critiques are very much welcomed. Favs too! ;) Please refrain from posting awards and groups' "comment codes". They're really not my thing.

 

Célia Mendes Photography on Facebook

Up early for a morning walk around the lake... but I didn't get very far, can you blame me?

The strange (but beautiful) phenomenon of the Moeraki boulders, during a mostly gloomy sunrise.

The redeeming beauty of Ohau. Not easily surpassed.

 

Panorama taken from my bedroom at Ohau House (www.lakeohau.com).

 

These days, you're better off seeing all my photos in "L", as I've reduced substantially the resolution of the images I upload. Your honest comments and critiques are very much welcomed. Favs too! ;) Please refrain from posting awards and groups' "comment codes". They're really not my thing.

 

Célia Mendes Photography on Facebook

The full moon rises over the New Zealand mountains.

Sorry folks, it has taken a while for this upload..., I have just returned from New Zealand and I am excited to share some new images with you.

 

Lake Mapourika is located on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It lies north of Franz Josef Glacier, and drains into the Okarito Lagoon.

 

I was reading a bit about this Jetty before my departure and I am happy to let you know that I was the only photographer here this morning. Apparently this place can become very busy with photographers...no wonder why.

 

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My favourite out of the 4 - needs to be seen larger

Late May 2008

Highway between Waihi and Whangamata, New Zealand

Taken from a moving car

The day I met my niece Mia

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