19 April “13
Last night the kids and I attended a preview performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at the Regent on Broadway. That’s Broadway, Palmerston North, New Zealand. And we really enjoyed it. This was a ‘family and friends’ complimentary performance/final rehearsal type deal, Mum’s in the cast. (Thanks for the tickets, Mum!) We are far from a regular theater goers – though each time I see a show I ask myself why we don’t go more often.
I always enjoy any excuse to visit the Regent. I have fond memories of sitting with my school friend and watching movies in the Stalls, with the whole floor to ourselves. Anne’s Dad was a good friend of the theater manager, back when it used to be a movie theater – we had the Stalls to ourselves because all the other patrons sat in the upstairs Circle seating. The manager used to tell us the story of the Lady in the Blue Coat who haunted the theater, a benign figure who had been seen by many people over the years. All very cool for a pair of teenage girls.
Since the theater has been restored it is more beautiful than ever. It surely must rival any theater in the country. From the Foyer and the Grand Staircase to the Auditorium it is olde worlde opulence at its very best. Dear old Palmy has a habit of hiding its light under a bushel, so to speak. The city has a reputation around the country for being provincial and rather backward. In fact we have a thriving and vibrant arts community, if only some of those ‘others’ would bother to come and have a look around. As a child I recall seeing The Sound of Music, Annie and Chess all at the old Continue reading
14 Feb ’13
I was reading an article in the Herald earlier in the week about living ones life to the fullest – taking opportunities as they arise and making adventures. A suggestion was to always wonder if what you’re doing is worth photographing. I like this idea. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve found that I have been actively seeking activities that will make interesting photographs. The offshoot of this has been that we’ve taken the kids to many local events that we’d possibly not have bothered with otherwise. I hope that we’re making good memories for them.
We’d noticed the advertising for the annual Medieval Market held in Levin when we traveled down to Wellington a few weeks back. As we were going to be heading down to the capital again to farewell my brother and his partner, leaving on a new Aussie adventure, we decided we’d stop in at the Market on the way south.
Medieval Market, Levin
I didn’t actually see any men in tights – but there were plenty of men in helmets, chain mail and robes. Not to mention Friar Tuck, the Cat in the Hat (I hadn’t realised he was Medieval) and Morris dancers. Lots of women too, some in flowery hats and others in warriors costumes.
Pillow Jousting! Now that sounded like fun. Billy could not be convinced to give it a go. Once assured that it would hold them up, Jake and his Dad climbed on to the pole and proceeded to beat each other with half-stuffed pillows.
The horrible white sky doesn’t do much for this shot, photographically speaking. But I love the energy, fun and determination that are captured here. One for the family album, me thinks. Oh, and note the little unicorn who was giving rides, he’s snuck in to the corner of the shot. Continue reading
20 – 26 Aug ’11
The annual Honours Night for the Ashhurst Volunteer Fire Brigade was held this week at the RSA in Palmertson North. As always, a big thanks goes to the crew from the Feilding Brigade who made the trip over and slept on station to allow our guys some time off and a night out, secure in the knowledge that our community is well cared for.
Honours and Awards
Each year we take the time to honour the achievements and celebrate the successes of Brigade members. This year we farewell DCFO John Bragg, who is retiring after serving over thirty years in the NZ Fire Service. I am very proud to say the my Lovely Man has received official word that he will be promoted to Deputy Chief Fire Officer on JB’s retirement.
Honoured and Invited Guests
The Man of the Moment - DCFO John 'JB' Bragg
I’d taken my lil’ nifty fifty with me for the evening. Knowing that low-ish light was likely the extra aperture would come in handy, and also feeling more comfortable with the short lens over the zoom when photographing candids. I feel that the little lens is less obtrusive and people relax more than they can with a big zoom shoved in their faces. I also kept the flash to a minimum, and have upped the exposure of all these shots in post. I’ve learned over the last year that I really enjoy candid event shooting, and a more photo-journalistic style over posed shots. I try to keep my eye out for ‘moments’, such as the shot above of John holding his grandchild.
Among the honours handed out during the evening, three members received Continue reading
Sadly I have had to remove all my images of the Barn Dance. Which is a shame because the opportunity to sell them might have been a great further fund raiser for the Scouts.
7-13 May ’11
This is the second year that Ashhurst has hosted a barn dance. Hundreds of people turned up, dressed in checked shirts, jeans and cowboy hats. Families had a blast, the kids and adults alike having a great time learning the steps to the folk dances guided by Elayne of the Battered Hats band. Proceeds from the ticket sales are going to the Ashhurst Scouts and Cubs.
A few days before the event I’d asked Jane, the organiser, if they had a photographer lined up for the dance. She hadn’t, so I volunteered my services on a purely ‘no pressure, get what you can’ basis, with thoughts to publish in the Village Voice. And of course as something interesting to use for my blog.
I have avoided any type of flash photography up until now. I know that the built in flash on my camera is virtually useless for flattering portraiture. But I figured I’d give it a go and see what I could get. I had read about rigging up a home made diffuser to soften the light from the flash. Hunting around the house on Saturday I found a nice little square of opaque white plastic that sits on the front of a little slide viewer. With a bit of a twist and gentle pressure I managed to remove the front bit from the viewer. It’s the perfect size and shape. A further hunt turned up a couple of rubber bands. So, after a bit of fiddling about with rubber band placement I have a make-shift diffuser.
D90 with home-made flash diffuser
Consulting my camera’s manual I discovered that I can dial back the power on the flash – who knew?! I really need to read more of that book…
I also carried out a little research in to the use of a bounce card. The idea is to mount a piece of white card under the flash, bent at an angle upwards, to bounce the light from the flash up on the ceiling, or sideways to a wall, and then back to your subject. I would have liked to try this out, but I knew that the ceiling in the Village Valley Center is VERY high. And the dance action was going to take place in the center of the auditorium, with the walls too far away. I really did not think there was much chance of success. I will give this idea a go one day when working in a room with normal height ceilings.
Off to the dance we went. I am pleased with the shots that I was able to get. The sharp shadows on some of the pictures are bad, but unavoidable with the gear Continue reading