Tag Archives: Vehicles

ANZAC Air Show 2013

04 May ’13

Last weekend, almost on the spur of the moment, the Lovely Man, Jacob and I attended an air show.  I’d seen it advertised a few days before, we had no other plans so figured “Why not?”  It was the Vintage Aviator‘s ANZAC show, held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton.

Saturday morning at home was very windy, so we had doubts as to whether the air show would go on – little planes made of wood and cloth surely can’t fly in a howling gale.  From the Vintage Aviator’s website:-

“Our primary aim is to build WW1 aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards they were originally made over 90 years ago.”

We kept checking the show’s info line, but it seemed they’d forgotten to update it past the 12 o’clock “assessment of the wind” schedule.  So we decided we’d head on over, if nothing else it would be a pleasant drive.  Amazingly as we headed south down the eastern side of the Ranges the wind slowed and dropped away, it looked good for flying.

I enjoy air shows.  I’m not a plane fanatic or a petrol head, but I love the challenges that photographing planes in flight bring.  It seems to me that I’ve been attending air shows and taking photos of planes for as long as I’ve owned a camera.  Here’s one I found that I took with a little Kodak Instamatic in 1987.

Aerobatic plane

Ohakea Air Show 1987

Twenty five years on, same air field,  and the same plane to0, I suppose.

Air show

RNZAF 75th Anniversary Air Show, Ohakea, 2012

 There’s something awe inspiring about the roar of powerful engines skillfully controlled by the clever men and women who fly them.

Of course I wasn’t expecting so much of the powerful engines from WW1 planes.  We arrived in good time, so had a look around the planes parked on the grass.


One thing I noticed, if you want to see an array of  heavy duty cameras with big lenses, head to an air show.  Man, was there some fire power hung around the necks of a lot of people!

Once the show got going we were treated to a display of precision flying as pilots Continue reading

A Shy Smile

22 April ’13

Sunday before last I was given the opportunity to take photographs at the annual IHC picnic organised by the Fitzherbert Lions at the Ashhurst Domain.  This is an event that the Lions Club organise to give the clients a fun day out, and also to give the carers a day to relax and know their charges are well entertained.

The Lovely Man was going to be driving the Fire Engine, giving the ‘guys’ rides around the park – always a hit with everyone, young and old.  He invited me along in my capacity as unofficial “Official Photographer” for the Ashhurst Fire Brigade.  At first I was thrilled, and started thinking of shots I could get.  But once we were in the appliance and heading to the park I began to have doubts.  I am not at my best with strangers in social situations, and the idea of strangers with special needs was beginning to feel daunting.

As soon as we arrived I was adopted by the sweetest little lady.  She kept coming up to me and taking my arm, never saying a word.  But she stroked my arm and nodded that, yes, she would like a ride in the fire engine.  A real sweetheart.

Happy faces

A sweet little lady

Loading people with physical as well and mental disabilities up in to the truck is a bit of a mission, but there were plenty of strong and willing helpers on hand.  The expressions of sheer happiness on the client’s faces when they returned from their rides made all the effort worthwhile.

Fire engine ride


One chap named Micheal seemed painfully shy, I could not get him to look at me for a photo.  The look of sly delight on his face as he climbed down from the fire engine was priceless.

Ride in the fire truck

A Shy Smile

Micheal’s friend was telling me all about how they are fund raising to get to the Special Olympics in Dunedin.  He told me about his flight to Nelson, where he won medals for weightlifting.  The men’s carer told me that this gent is indeed a Continue reading

Steam Attraction

 28 Feb ’13

The romantic era of steam. It holds an irresistible attraction for both the Lovely Man and I.  I’m not any sort of petrol head, but I’ve long held a fascination for all the shiny brass bits, the might and the power of steam driven engines.  I love the fact that you can see all the working parts, pistons and cams and gears.

The Steam Traction Society, based just outside of Feilding, held its Great Manawatu Steam Fair over the last weekend.  We packed up yet another picnic (I’m getting well practiced at baking up goodies on Saturday afternoon for our Sunday excursions.),  gathered up our kids and  a couple of hangers-on and headed over.

The Steam Traction Society Feilding

Steam Traction Engines

Wow.  The sight of a field full of working traction engines is quite something. I didn’t count how many, they kept moving around, but there must have been at least eight.  Which might not sound like much, but truly it was a sight to behold, all chuffing and smoking stacks.  And huge wheels.  Awesome.

First up we all jumped in the people carrier trailer for a turn around the paddock behind  a smoking, steaming beast.  Even Billy had to smile as we lurched along.

Steam Traction Society Feilding

Trailer ride behind old smokey

That’s smoke in the air, not lack of focus.

And the best bit was yet to come.  We could have a turn at actually driving them! Continue reading

WeekTwelve – An Engineer in Training

18-24 March ’12

To celebrate 100 yrs of the railway station in Woodville a vintage train traveled through the Gorge and was giving rides.  The Lovely Man and I stopped in to check out the action on our way through to Greytown.

This young man was one of the train engineers.

Train Engineer

F-stop                f/7.1
Exposure time   1/200sec
ISO speed         ISO-200
Focal length      65mm 

Possibly not really a portrait, but I felt the train needed to be in the picture to add context.

Week51 – A Cheat

17th – 23rd Dec ’11

So busy with Christmas preparations, I did not pick up my camera this week.  So instead I’ve created a video slide show of the shots from last weekend’s Ashhurst Christmas parade.

Ashhurst Community Christmas Parade 

Week50 – MIRs (Men in Red)

10-16 Dec ’11

The Christmas season is upon us – the community parade on Saturday, then the Fire Brigade family Christmas party on Sunday.  And the weather gods smiled on us.

A Tale of Two Santas

 Wanting to relax and enjoy the days, I decided to set my camera on Aperture priority.  I set the aperture such that the depth of field would allow a wide area of focus.  I could relax knowing that the shutter speed would look after itself as the sun was playing chasey with the clouds.

The parade was fantastic.  And of course the star of the show is Santa.  I walked along with the end of the Parade until Santa’s sleigh was backed by trees (the other background choices are not very photogenic).

Ashhurst Parade

Christmas Parade Santa

 F-stop                  f/7.1
Exposure time     1/1250sec
ISO speed             ISO-200
Focal length         42mm 

The bright mid-day sun meant the camera chose a fast shutter speed.

My Lovely Man volunteered to play Santa at the kids’ party.

Ashhurst Volunteer Fire Brigade

Fire Brigade Santa

 F-stop                 f/8
Exposure time     1/50sec
ISO speed           ISO-200
Focal length         55mm 

Under the trees, shaded from the hot afternoon sun, the camera chose a much slower shutter speed.  It is somewhat slower than I would choose myself for shooting handheld. Luckily it worked out OK. Lesson learned – when letting the camera choose the settings, make sure those settings are actually going to  produce useable pictures.

Week46 – Promotions

12 – 18 Nov ’11

The retirement of the Deputy Chief has meant some promotions and a reshuffle of the Brigade hierarchy.   A get-together with family members was held at the station to present the new ranks.

On Parade

I knew that the Parade was to be held outside, and expecting to need a wider angle capacity, I went with the 18-125mm.  I still lack faith in this lens, and it’s tendency to warp horizontals is annoying, but I knew the nifty-fifty would not comfortably give me the coverage I needed.  And also I wanted to be able to get close in to the action of the presentations, without having to be right up there.

Blake thought Daddy needed a hug before proceedings got under way.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Junior Cadet

Exposure time   1/200 sec
F-stop               f/8
ISO                   ISO-250
Focal length      55mm

This kind of candid, moment-in-time shot is the type that I love to capture.

My Lovely Man, the new DCFO, was presented with his  rank epaulets and helmet by  John Bragg, the retired DCFO.   I am very proud of him, of his commitment Continue reading

Week 41 – A Week in the Land of the Aucks.

8-14 Oct ‘11

A few month backs we planned a week away with the kids. The only time Nathan and I could both get off work turned out to be second week of October. We wondered at the wisdom of spending a week in Auckland during the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup combined with the school holidays, but decided to take the plunge.

These are a selection of the shots I took over the course of the week.

Hamilton Gardens

Years ago we discovered the delights of the Hamilton Gardens. There is a section of the park that has been developed in to a series of themed gardens. Each small area is planted and landscaped in a particular style – a Japanese tea garden, an English perennial border, Renaissance Italian, American modernist and more. My favourite is the Chinese scholar’s garden with its turtle pond, arched stone bridge, and ‘mountain’ path through a towering bamboo grove up to a pergola with a view to the mighty Waikato River.

A quick snap, handheld without too much thought to composition. It was the reflection of the hump-back bridge in the pond that caught my eye.

F-stop                 f/5 
Exposure time    1/200 sec
ISO speed          ISO-200 
Focal length       34mm

Cropping to correct the composition, I decided to go for black and white to focus attention on the reflections and textures. I sent the file to edit in Photoshop. There I could mask out the lower areas in order to lighten up Continue reading

Week33 – A change in the weather

13 – 19 Aug ’11

A week of summing up, deliberation, and snow. And the discovery that absence is no excuse.


After carrying out my duty as a citizen of this country to serve as one of the ’12 good men and true’, I have some thoughts that I need to share.  I need to get them out of my head so that I can sleep.

An open letter to all those involved in the Bacon trial (the jurors know who they are).

To the complainant, we believed you.  We all have no doubt that the account you gave is an accurate retelling of your memory of the events. We are sorry that you were so grievously injured, and we hope that you are able to get on with your life now in peace.

To the accused, you are guilty of violence.  We know that you are guilty. But we cannot say beyond reasonable doubt that you were ‘colonel mustard in the library with the candle stick’. It is our belief that the Universe will have its revenge.  Keep looking over your shoulder for Karma is surely out to get you.

To the lawyer for the defence, we saw through your smoke and mirrors.  Endlessly repeating mis-information does not make that information true.  Your red herrings Continue reading

Week30 – Playing with Fire

23-29 July ’11

I’ve been in a bit of a photographic slump the last few weeks.  Maybe a touch of the winter blues.  I just seem to have lost the excitement I usually feel for taking pictures, and seeing what I’ve got once I get to the processing stage.  It was this mid-winter lack of interest that caused the demise of my 365 project last year.  It took me most of the week to get around to processing these shots. Meh, I’m sure this funk will pass.  Just have to keep plugging on and wait for spring. I’ve finally got my zoom lens back from the repair shop, so maybe this will give the injection of enthusiasm I need.

This weekend we made for Mangaweka – middle of the school holidays, no rugby, no other commitments.  Trev collected the kidlets early on Friday morning, the Lovely Man and I traveled up after work.

Fire light

The children have small pot-belly stove in the garden that they are allowed to light and use to cook snacks.  They seem to have learned a healthy respect for fire, whilst learning how to control it and put its power to good use.  Handy skills to have, and ones that many kids probably miss out on.  Later in the evening the opportunity arose to play around with some longer, night-time exposures.  Light writing using a glowing stick, Billy had loads of fun making squiggles in the darkness.  I hadn’t taken my tripod with me, so I rested the camera on the back of a chair for stability.

Drawing with light

Cat found herself a stick to light, too.  It needed a little extra oxygen to get it glowing.

Cat in the stars

F-stop                   f/1.8
Exp time              1/60sec
ISO speed           ISO-800
Focal length     50mm

The low light made this a very noisy image.  I liked the starry/sand effect, so I pushed it further.  I’m pleased with the results.

Lighting a Fire

The middle of a damp winter is the safest time for a bonfire.  We had a pile of prunings and clippings from various garden tidy-up projects to dispose of.  The Lovely Man will take any excuse to have  a play on Oliver the li’l’ bulldozer.  He pushed all the old branches and bamboo in to a heap for burning. Continue reading