Muriwai Gannet Colony

8 May 2014

I bought the Nikon D800 (36mp) for this type of image. Because of the extremely high resolution, the sensor records any error in technique and deficiency in lenses. I made a point of bringing my tripod with me from Wellington to Auckland. The occassion was my Aunty Marions 80th Birthday. I purposely booked an extra day so I could drive to Muriwai . I discovered the Muriwai colony by looking at photographs from a wonderful bird  photographer Steve Richards . Judging by the scene I thought you would need to walk for miles and camp yourself on a precarious  slope. No he said, its just 5min walk above the car park. Talk about accessible! Great for an outdoors wimp like me.

 I mentioned in the previous article about shooting images that have been done before. Well this is another one…. Just Google the heading and see all the different images.

Well it was raining when we drove north of Auckland. The Occassional Photographer (see about me) doesn’t plan much, relies  on dumb luck and the presence of Sally, his wife as a good luck charm. Just like when we went to China , Yellow Mountain, the weather was overcast and raining. i was thinking dark clouds ahead and a waste of a tour. But that rain brought an unusual late snow to the mountain and when we got to the top it was like a white Chrismas. But thats another story…..

When we got to the colony after having lunch at the Muriwai golf course the weather started to clear up. Then I realised I left my tripod in the suitcase in the motel. I blame the jet lag. Thats me the occassional photographer. Anyway we walked around the various tracks above the carpark and I stoppped upon this scene. When fortunately there was a fence post to support my elbows at just the right place!  And the Sun was coming out! Thats me the occassonally forgetful but sometimes lucky photographer.

26 July 2013   Nikon D800   iso 200  18mm f 4.5  1/500sec  (no tripod!)  lens14-24 f2.8

Muriwai Gannet Colony

17 replies on “Muriwai Gannet Colony”

Thank you Chris,
That was was a lovely tribute to write about Dad (Brian Paul. Great website!
Kind regards
Denyse Saunders

Your mother was right when she described you as dreamy ( not in the romantic sense) and artistic – and that was when you were a baby…..

No, but now you mention it I
did wonder what the smell was! Sorry to lower the tone of your website but you did start it!!

As an ex cine photographer who over twentyeight years worked for many production company’s including the BBC in Bristol and finishing my career here in New Zealand with TVNZ, was able to bring my subject to life shooting 35mm film at 24 frames per second, you Chris use just one frame. It is known in the business as having the EYE.
All shots can be inhanced by using filters and gadgetry and any professional can be accused of this and most have and do use it but only a very few and you are one Chris, could bring a shot to life using a Box Brownie. I’m really jealous!!! Please bring them on as they bring pleasure by transporting us, through your eyes to another place.

Beautifully composed shot, Chris. The shafts of sunlight in the top right are balanced by the surf on the middle left. I love the flying gannet too. I might have cloned out the fence posts or whatever they are in the colony. Hell, I might even have increased the colony’s population the same way! I gotta say, though, who needs a tripod at 1/500s?

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