Last week my trusty Nikon D70s decided that after 8 years of being thrashed that enough was enough.
This post is a dedication of sorts to all the fun we have had together over the last 8 years…
This is the last shoot it ever took… Finishing up the shoot for Spook The Horses on a rooftop in Wellington… You will be missed 😦
Constructed in 1891 to support Wellington’s main coastal defense site at Fort Ballance, the Kau Point Battery is a rare remaining example of an unmodified battery constructed to protect New Zealand from attack after the second Russian scare of 1885.
During the first World War, Fort Dorset became Wellington’s main bastion of defense against attack. Despite this, Fort Ballance and its supporting batteries remained operational throughout the War. In 1922 the gun at Kau Point was decommissioned and removed. The site was then used solely as an ammunition store, and from 1942 served the new emplacement at Mount Crawford Anti Aircraft Battery on the next promontory of the peninsula. The fort fell into disuse after the Second World War and, now surplus to army requirements, is not maintained. (http://www.historic.org.nz/TheRegister/RegisterSearch/RegisterResults.aspx?RID=7542)
I have been looking for this one for a while as its the last fortification in the Wellington region that I haven’t been to… Lets just say that it didn’t let me down.
The entrance (not the best photo but have still got to develop the other films) is a small hole just behind the pit where the disappearing gun sat is the only entrance but after you have slid down it opens out to full height tunnels and rooms.
The still glowing glow-stick meant that someone had been there in the not to distant past and it certainly had an eerie feeling especially the side room that had obviously had a fire and then been written all over…
All shots were taken with a tripod and a 10W torch 🙂
Emily had her ballet show last weekend and she want me to take some pictures of her in her costume before it had to be taken back. Sam got in on the act also 🙂
(Sorry to Facebook people who have already seen these).
The start of my Mustache for Movember 🙂
Last night Fergus (Cunningvision) and I revisited Fort Buckley for a bit of night shooting. Aside from camera malfunctions (D70 is definitely on its last legs losing about 10 shots and having to have the battery removed a couple of times to make it work again) it was a pretty good shoot. Although none of the images are spectacular, they definitely have promise and with a bit more planning could be pretty cool.
It’s unusual for it to snow enough for it to settle in Wellington but we had a couple of storms pass through and there is still snow on the ground this morning.
Yes I took some on the Rollei and Half Frame but you have to wait for them 🙂
Ok so this isn’t a normal type of post but it was a fun experience so I thought I would share.
About a week ago Emily suggested that we make gingerbread houses (I’m pretty sure she meant real life sized ones, or at least dolls house sized ones) since every couple of weeks we make gingerbread men while Samantha has a lunch time sleep and then decorate them the next day at the same time. Sam usually wakes up once we have done most of it but there are always things left for her to do as well (usually eating the decorating things and left over dough as well as cutting the last few shapes out).
So I thought what the heck lets give it a go…
I drew out a quick sketch (thank you 5th form technical drawing) to make sure it was kind of what Em was thinking and then made up a small model to check it would work and also to be used as a cutting template.
We made the gingerbread like normal and just after we had finished making it Sam woke up so she got to help ( I secretly think that she knew we were doing something fun and woke up so she wouldn’t miss out).
We made enough parts to make 4 gingerbread houses (since this was a trial run) and the rest got turned into a conglomeration of Christmas trees, teddy bears, people etc…
Into the oven they went and 15 minutes later we had some slightly distorted but still entirely usable house pieces …
At this point the story was put on hold due to the fact that the next day when we were due to ice and decorate them Samantha had a blinding 30 minute tantrum and didn’t go to sleep and was grumpy for pretty much the whole afternoon.
Friday comes round and things go to plan, Sam goes to sleep and we mix up some icing ready to decorate (I was going to make the usual pink icing but Emily insisted that I make chocolate icing). I put together the first house but made the mistake of putting the walls on the inside of the ends which meant the roof didn’t fit so it had to be pulled apart and re-done which made it look a bit messy before we decorated them.
After they were all put together we put them in the fridge for 30 minutes so they would set and started decorating the rest of the gingerbread.
We each decorated 2 houses and I think for a first try at making them they turned out pretty well.
So there is a bit of a winter storm happening over New Zealand at the moment so when the first snow flurries started to hit I decided it would be a good time to head to the south coast and get some images as the storm rolled up from the south island.
Its school holidays which meant that Amanda was home to look after the kids as I put on as many clothes as I could find and headed out.
The great thing about owning an aging digital SLR is that you don’t mind so much if it gets a bit wet so even though the spray off the waves was pretty bad I still got some shots. I also took my F5 which was pre loaded with some expired Ilford Pan F+ 50 ISO film so it will be interesting to see how they come out since I was getting up to about a 10 second exposure, hopefully I will develop that roll in the next day or two.
Some shots of Fort Buckley. I stress these were just test/location shots as the day I went the light was super bright 🙂
Fort Buckley at the entrance to the Kaiwharawhara gorge housed a couple of guns for defense of the inner harbor and was originally built around 1885.
When I was there at the end of 2009 it looked like the area was getting an upgrade with a new walking track down to the gun pits.
More location shots of bunkers again today. This time above Seatoun, these were to protect Port Dorset which lay on the other side of the ridge and the harbor entrance.
There are some old images of it HERE although the two gun pits are pretty much just rubble.
These were by far the most overgrown battlements and it looked like someone had been living in one of them. I especially liked how the metal shutters on one of them had rusted to look like lace.
In some places houses have been built only meters away from some of these structures so it makes you wonder how much longer they will last…
On the front of Fridays Dominion Post there was an article about the military wanting to sell off the land that a number of the historic fortresses are on. A few years ago I decided to go and investigate all of the old forts and battlements around Wellington and found this one while looking for something else… I think these were taken around 2008… I have kept meaning to try and get actual permission to go back since this one and a couple of others are on Military land but have never got round to it… Possibly because I have no idea where to ask 🙂
Here are some shots of Fort Balance which was built in the 1880s. There is a good article HERE which details most of the history of the fort.
As I have mentioned a couple of days ago this Alley has been gated off and the graffiti painted over. A friend sent me THIS ARTICLE which says the whys and hows. I have to say the whys are pretty dumb…
Anyway here goes some shots from the last couple of years…