Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Makara is always a good spot for taking photos... it can be so bleak out there or on nice days, it is just stunning.

I was using the Makara landscape to practice panorama shots for stiching together in photoshop. I also took what I though was a perfect wildlife shot. There I was with a 300mm zoom lens focusing on some seagulls. I was so excited about getting a great shot (below) that I didn't realise till afterwards that they weren't real birds... doh...

Just a different atmospheric shot out at Makara:

An older couple heading out in their rowboat.

A surfer heading out. It wasn't great surf that day, pretty churny and messy, but surfers seem to head out in anything.

Pretty self explanatory... a shed and boat.

Some practice panorama shots out at Makara.

New hobby- rainy day in Wellington

We were very fortunate to have the use of Jason's parents camera while we were away in Canada and it really opened up a whole new world for us (well me really)... I have found out that I really love taking photos. So two weeks ago Jason and I went and got a nice new camera for ourselves. Its really great. I have taken over 1000 photos already (arghhh the wonders of digital photography). Here is some of the first few photos... I will post more as they happen. This day was a wild Wellington Southerly storm that most sensible people were staying inside for. We decided it would be perfect for photos.

Jason was the driver and I was the photographer. I think lots of other people thought that we were very strange being out and about with a camera. Our first stop was breaker bay, here are some footsteps in the sand.

Jason at Breaker Bay looking out to the waves.

An artistic shot of flax at breaker bay.

After we left Breaker Bay we carried on around the South Coast. I have been round the bays so many times on my bicycle and I have NEVER ever seen these chairs before. Crazy, but true. A nice spot, even in the wind!! Looking out to the lighthouse across the channel...

All that's missing is the two oldies wrapped up in blankets drinking hot chocolate!!

The next step was the wall at the airport. Its really hard to capture the water but here are a few shots.

The water crashing over the wall from Lyall bay beach

There were hundreds of other photos from our three hour jaunt around the bays, but here is one of my last shots of the day. This is of the mini toi toi in our back garden.

Last two days of the holiday...

We arrived back in Vancouver for our last night and planned all along to stay somewhere really nice. We chose the Sutton place hotel and it was great. It had a great swimming pool (about 13 m long) so we had a bit of a swim which was really relaxing.

We had a great last meal at an Italian restaurant with a lovely bottle of wine and then headed to our last night's treat... For our last night treat we got to see the Cirque Du Soliel's Corteo show. Corteo, which means "cortege" in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music, by turns lyrical and playful, carries Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality. Here are some photos from the show.

Some of the acrobatic feats were amazing and it really topped off our holiday to see this show.
Our last day in Canada was pretty quiet. I started with an eye brow shape at the hotel spa (very good and a luxurious treat to get it done) and then we headed over to Kitsilano pool for a swim. This is no ordinary pool it is 137 m long!!!! Massive. Here it is.

And here it is.... the last shot from Canada... a great holiday!

Rocky Mountaineer tour: Lake Louise and Banff

Here we are at the Chateau Lake Louise in one of the many hall ways... let me tell you, one could get very lost in this place.

Jason and I decided to pick up a quick easy breakfast from the chateau deli (chocolate croissants, bircher meusli, coffee and diet coke)....and then we did another little walk before our tour was due to start. You decide who had what.
Here are some shots of the Chateau (looking into the sun sorry).

And Jason and I with another timer shot.

This is one of my most favorite shots ever. The reflections are just purely amazing.

Some arty shots with the lake in the background. What great colours!

And a black and white arty shot.

This is the view from one of the cafes.

We left Lake Lousie and I really felt like we didn't get enough time there at all. i would have loved another whole day to explore the many other walks and go kayaking on the lake etc. So it was a bit sad to leave the Lake as it was just a purely awesome time for us.

We got back on the bus and were taken back to banff for a tour of a few spots. One of the first was a trip up to the top of the Banff Goldola. We were up really high. Here is one of our first views from the top.

There was a great walkway to head alone, you can see the bad weather coming in from the right.

Another view from the top.

This is one of my favourite shots of me and Jason from the holiday.

More of the impending bad weather.

You will see a lot of this little fellow (and his mates). He thought the camera strap was food and was trying to grab it.

The birds in the tree (if you can call it a tree)

Here he is again....

Here is the Banff Farimont Hotel as seen from the top of the banff Gondola.

My favourite photo of jason!

Here I am.

There were so many photo opportunites from the top, we packed a lot into our 20 minutes up there.

More wildlife.... here's mummy goat.

And little baby goat....

We finished at the top of the Banff gondola and then headed to the Bow Falls. These falls are illegal to go over in any mode, but Marilyn Monroe went over them for one of her movies in the 50's.

After we finished at Bow falls and had lunch in town, we had one last stop, this was at the Hoodoos. A hoodoo is a rock formation which is caused by differential resistance to erosion. This means that some parts of the hoodoo are harder than others and these hard parts last longer. In the hoodoos above, the tops are the hardest part and they protect the soft rock below from wearing away.

Here's our little mate again (or actually one of his family)...they move really fast and we had lots of misses with the photos.

After we left the Hoodoos we were on the last leg of our tour. Just a 90 min bus trip to Calgary to go... Sad.
Calgary was not that great after all the awesome places that we had been to and we actually didn't take any photos at all. We ended up using the time in Calgary as down time and relaxing. We got in room dining, an in room movie and slept late.
On the Saturday afternoon we flew back to Vancouver, we only had one more night for our holiday.