Pecha Kucha-style photography presentation in Alexandra, 2012
Where I live in Central Otago, New Zealand, has various festivals during the year with the seeming objectives of
bringing the area to wider public notice, and simultaneously giving the many artists and other skilled people oppportunity
to publicise what they have to offer.
This month we are having the Thyme Festival which uses the excuse of the attractive and all-pervading invasive small shrub
and culinary herb Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_(genus) and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_vulgaris ) which is in flower now, to have yet another festival.
These festivals are very well organised.
The current one is at http://www.thymefestival.co.nz , and i have been invited to do a Pecha-Kucha presentation.
You can download a doc file about it at Pecha Kucha2012.doc
Here, formatted as a web-page, is the 6 minutes 20 seconds talk I am scheduled to give tonight, and the 20 images
that will be shown, each one for 20 seconds.
Photography, and coming to Central Otago
After living for thirty years in Christchurch, and many other places before that, I have come to live in Clyde. Here itís quite different from Christchurch.
Christchurch actually is a kind of photographerís heaven - thereís just such a lot of photogenic variety there. Banks Peninsula, Lyttelton Harbour, the city, the sea and beaches, the wide plains and rivers, and the mountains to the west.
For example :
North Hagley Park trees.
The autumn colours in the European deciduous trees in whatís called "Little Hagley Park" are wonderful.
The Botanic Gardens.
I especially like the main Rose Garden there - it is world-famous, and this is a photo of a stunning and
prize-winning German-bred rose "Die Welt", called in English, "The World".
I didnít do many of these. This photograph is of New Regent Street, and it was taken prior to the earthquakes.
On the road from Christchurch to Clyde, which I have come to know very well, for the first few trips
at least, the travel time was very long because there were SO MANY new scenes I just had to stop and photograph.
There is the road itself.
This shot is looking north from the roadside somewhere south of Lindis Pass.
Mount Cook over Lake Pukaki on a fine day is a stunning sight.
And of course as twilight neared, the stops grew longer because late afternoon shots are so much more satisfying.
The flats and interesting landscape from the top of the Cluden Hill
part of the road can be modelled beautifully by the slanting evening light, and sometimes the over-all effect is really nice.
Once one begins to live in Clyde
and to explore the landscape in all seasons, thereís a lot to see.
Here I show a winter view over the Clyde cemetery with old trees of Pinus pinaster framing
some headstones, and the distant western bank of the Clutha providing a backdrop which, while interesting in
its own right, does not detract from the foreground interest.
If you are lucky as I was, you may see Young Lane carpeted with golden leaves of roadside poplar.
In this case a fresh westerly was making them dance across the road, and illuminated wonderfully by the late
afternoon sun. I raced home for my camera and while I missed the best of the action, there was enough left
for this image.
Not far away, looking into the autumn light towards Waikerikeri Valley Road
from the side of Springvale Road I was able to compose this image as a car raised dust on Waikerikeri Valley Road
to provide an unusual focal point of interest.
But the main topic of this talk is the many and often unusual images that can be found in and along the
flooded Cromwell Gorge which has become Lake Dunstan.
I begin this short tour with a shot taken below the Clyde Dam as they were spilling a huge excess of
water to keep the lake level constant. Clyde Dam is the third largest dam in New Zealand.
The next shot gives some impression of the absolute size of the dam with these daring young men
posing unwittingly close to the channel.
The remaining images deal with the lake landscape.
The design of State Highway 8 encourages drivers to concentrate on the road and drive at close to 100 kmh.
If one ignores all that and uses what few off-road parking places that there are, significant opportunities
can be found to capture great scenes..
I have tried to show the range of colours, of landforms and of vegetation that there is. And I have not finished yet.
I have Autumn colours flowing down to the lake
Followed from close by but from another angle, a really captivating shot of the same trees in Spring and grass reflected in a
calm lake surface.
Next, autumn trees and blue lake surface, composed at an angle which challenges convention; but I think it works..
Modern zoom lenses enable me to isolate and compose a satisfactory image without having to
move position as much as once was necessary.
A very calm morning saw me find a place to take this mirrored reflection. Itís been done before,
but I did this one myself.
I really like looking at a landscape when thereís good light, and hopefully finding a great picture
through my eyes amongst all there is to see.
The next two images are from many I have made of the brutal enduring cliffs and steep valley sides on parts of the western lake shore. Lake water colour and adjacent ochre-coloured rocks provide an interesting contrast.
At Italian Gully the little stream is dammed off from Lake Dunstan, and the hydro-scheme engineer saw fit to
plant poplars along some of the shore in a way that provides a stunning show of colour in some seasons.
A little further along some exploring provides a vantage point for an east-looking autumn view of willows and
distant lombardy poplars, with a blue cloudy sky, blue lake, and implacable cliffs.
The final image is of one of my favourite hills, just west of the fabulous beach where Hartley and his mate
found 80 pounds-weight of gold before reporting their find. The wonderful clothing of that rocky knob by
resilient pine trees provides a great visual signal that the gorge has ended, and in the right light,
lombardy poplars and other deciduous trees give a wonderful splash of golden colour; and the Pisa range in the
back closes off the image.