Week37 – Totara Reserve

10 – 16 Sept ’11

The forecast of a beautiful spring day prompted us to  plan a re-visit to the fragment of native bush in the Pohangina Valley.

Forest Giants

Recently I saw some photos taken looking straight up between a group of tall trees.  The wide angle lens used caused a curved effect, making the trunks appear to lean inwards over the viewer.  I was inspired to try some ‘up the trunk’ shots myself.

I’d taken only my 50mm lens with me, so I didn’t get the same leaning-in effect, but I still rather like the results.

Totara Reserve, Pohangina Valley

Luminous Leaves

Totara Reserve - Pohangina Valley

Looking Up

Totara Reserve - Pohangina Valley

Nature's Majesty

Walking amongst these giants, laying hands on the mossy bark, leaning against their solid living trunks to get these shots, I was awed.  We were dwarfed beneath their towering branches, and yet walking in the bush does not feel oppressive. Glimpses of fleeting clouds, the beautiful song of the tui, raucous Australian cockatoos, tiny unfurling fronds, a tinkling stony brook and the laughter of the children.   It feels cool, welcoming and alive.

Totara Reserve - Pohangina Valley


The following two tree shots have been manipulated in post, producing a result similar HDR, but using only one image.

Totara Reserve Fern Walk - Pohangina Valley

The Mighty Totara

F-stop              f/5.6
Exp time        1/200sec
ISO-Speed    ISO-200
Pohangina Valley - Totara Reserve

Cabbage Tree

F-stop     f/11
Ecp time     1/200sec
ISO Speed   ISO-320


The sausage sizzle over a drift wood fire is becoming a family tradition.  The sun kept going in and out of the clouds, making constant re-setting a must.

Rangitikei River - Pohangina

River cook up

I wanted to get a slower shutter speed to catch the movement of the flames from the fire.  The bright light and lack of an ND filter meant this required low ISO and the narrowest aperature possible.  I was working hand-held, sitting on our seat log, bracing my elbows on my knees to improvise a tripod.  I went with f22, ISO-100, 1/15sec and got the look I was after.

With the slow-shutter-speed idea in mind, I went for a wander to see if I could capture a bit of ‘silky waterfall’.  This time I set the camera up to a 2sec delay on the shutter release and balanced the camera on a rock.  I’ve also played around in post processing with this one.  I like the almost painting-like look.

Pohangina River - Silky

F-stop               f/22
Exp time         1/25sec
ISO Speed       ISO-100   

PS – I am almost certain that I was using the lower ISO settings, down to L1.0, but the computer’s properties information lists ISO100.   


2 responses to “Week37 – Totara Reserve

  1. nathan@sdlnz.com

    Very nice, I am sure Billy the kid will think so having his picture taken with no pants on.

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