Out & About: Western Springs Birdlife

In the last several years living in Auckland I have never gone to Western Springs Park.  During the kids school holidays I took the kids there to explore and was surprised at the abundance of bird life that was there.  Here are just a few of the local residents that I captured while wandering with the kids.  I plan to get back there more often and try and capture some of the more elusive birds when I have a chance.

Out & About: Northland

During the last holidays we went on a family holiday near my family in Northland at Te Ngaere Bay.  I packed my camera and snuck early a few mornings and dragged the kids out for a drive some afternoons to give me a chance to do something I enjoy.  As always I when I am around home I was not disappointed.

Out & About: Bay of Islands

Growing up in the Bay of Islands I was very spoilt it is sometimes easy to forget how stunning it is… Here is a compilation of some of my favourite images I have taken over the years. I hope to find some time during my family visits to pop out and capture some more of the stunning places it has to offer.

Digital Workflow

One of the most important things to consider in the digital age is your digital workflow with your images from shooting, to editing to back-ups and storing your images.  Everybody has a different system that works for them, and I am not exception – this is what works for me.

Download images to computer – I put these into an “Ingest” Folder that is in my dropbox, this means it will then be available on both my desktop and laptop computers as well as stored off-site. I have found the most effective way for me to do this is using Photo Mechanic – it is fast and quick to give previews (my desktop computer also has an external drive for back ups)

Sort Images – At this stage I go through and delete the obviously unusable images – (blurry, out of focus, bad composition etc).  I do this in photo mechanic as well.

Edit Images – Then to the exciting part, making the images shine.  I import the remaining images into Lightroom by syncing my ingest folder, renaming, keywording and editing the images before exporting the completed images to the appropriate folder (also in dropbox).  If further edits are needed in Photoshop I go on to do that after the export.

Archive Images – Once I have finished with my raw files I archive them.  I never really got into working with the date system for finding images later, so I like to archive them in categories. I have folders, some with sub folders, for things like food, places, family, events and jobs.  My archives are on my desktop computer, backed up on the external hard drive as well as linked in dropbox.

I have found this the easiest system for me, everything is automated and I do not have to remember to do any backups and I have backups of all my main photos accessible online from any location.  The only downside of this system is if you travel a lot.  But for someone who is based in one location this system works for me.

Out & About – Butterfly Creek

After finding the Butterfly House at West Lynn Gardens and enjoying taking photos there I decided to head over to the Butterfly Creek Butterfly House for a chance for a more diverse selection of butterflies.  Shooting there was a lot more challenging than the first one as the butterflies were more active and the butterfly house was hot and humid to allow for the tropical butterflies to survive.  Here are a few of my favourite shots. Continue reading

Out & About – Zoo

This year again my daughter wanted to go to the zoo for her birthday.  At about the same time I bought myself a little telephoto lens that I wanted to try out, so the zoo seemed like a good testing ground.  I was nervous about going with just one lens so added a wide angle one to my bag which ended up being a deadweight for my day.  I am looking forward to heading out to the Zoo again soon to enjoy the diversity of the animals and catch a few more shots.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

As a photographer it took me a long time to understand what type of photographer I was.   My grandmother had given me her SLR camera when I was a teenager and I loved taking photos with it, but as a broke teenager and young adult I was put off by the cost of it.  When digital photography arrived and I got my first digital camera, and pretty quickly afterwards a DSLR I feel in love with the medium and started my journey in photography.  In the beginning I didn’t excel at what I did, I struggled through different types of photography, trying out all sorts of things but not coming back with the results I wanted. Continue reading

Out & About: West Lynn Gardens Butterfly House

Last year my son got invited to a fairy birthday party at the West Lynn Gardens & Butterfly House.  He turned the invitation down (at that age where he’s not that interested in going to a girls fairy party), but since I had never heard about the gardens before I put it on my list of places to visit.  We finally got there during the holidays and I enjoyed it so much I snuck down there to do photos another morning while the kids were busy.