Some of my regular subscribers may have wondered why I’ve been slow at posting lately.
I’ve been busy building a new blog for the joint venture between Katrina and I.
I shall keep this going, and have further plans to move this whole blog across to the root directory, of warrenwilliams.co.nz with a new design etc.
In the meantime, please keep checking by our new site,
http://www.williamsphotography.co.nz – which has larger splash images, funky designs, and ability to do built in flash galleries.
My friends and I decided we needed a larger challenge to conquer, than just a small Waitakere bush walk. We’d been talking about re walking the great Tongariro Crossing over the past couple of summers, but only just managed to put into action. Road trip ahead, as we tested Pete’s new wagon. We bunked down in National Park for two nights, whilst spending much of the time trekking over the mountains of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom), and Ruapehu.
Lake Taupo from the southern end
First sight of Tongariro coming from Taupo and Turangi
Bayview Chateau Tongariro (nestled on Mt Ruapehu)
Bayview Chateau Golf Course – New Zealand’s highest course
Road tripping with Mark, who previously ascended Cradle Mountain, Tasmania with me
Pete’s new car – too bad about the motor?
From one of the stream crossings driving up Mt Ruapehu
Zooming upwards on Mt Ruapehu – North Island’s tallest mountain and volcano, at 2,797 metres
We parked late in the evening at the Bruce carpark, and found the place deserted. Free roam of the mountain! We ventured up around 1km up the rocky slopes, as the temperature quickly dropped.
Mark, Warren, Kat & Pete against the barren rock of Ruapehu
Strangely, the clouds around us descended beyond our elevation, revealing the glowing sunset across the west. Was quite amazing to witness a sunset with a cloud base lower down.
Amazing light being filtered around Ruapehu
Defining ridge lines on Ruapehu
Various volcanic rocks and high altitude plants
The following morning, we had to wake at the crack of dawn to catch the shuttle to the start of the great Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Witnessing an amazing sunrise across all three mountains certainly made it worthwhile.
Sunrise over Mt Doom
Sunrise from National Park / SH47 intersection
Amazing New Zealand Beauty
Arriving at the Mangatepopo carpark, we were now ready to tackle the 19.4km long mountain crossing.
First steps along the 19.4km long Tongariro Crossing
The intital track starts deceptively easy!
Great view of Mt Ngauruhoe
The final 1km stretch leading to the saddle, connecting Tongariro and Ngauruhoe.
This section was the hardest, with a steep incline, and noticeable difference in breathing
The camera was put away for the next 45min as we climbed the Mangatepopo Saddle
Following the Saddle, we drop again, in the enormous South Crater of Tongariro, before climbing one of the ridges offering great views
Sheer cliffs, along the ridge
Climbing out of the South Crater, with cloud cover blocking one side of the mountainside
Reaching the Tongariro Summit, at 1,967metres
From Tongariro summit, peering into South Crater
360 degree panoramic from the additional Tongariro Summit walk
View looking down to the Emerald Lakes and Red Crater
View down the fun scree slope, with Blue Lake in the backdrop (perfect place to moon jump)
One of the Emerald Lakes, caused from leaching minerals
Tongariro Emerald Lakes
Further views of the Emerald Lakes, with steam rising from the ridge
Low cloud cover at the Ketetahi Hut (well, over 1,400m isn’t exactly low!)
With some much needed Red Bull
And away with the camera it was, as the rain came down for our last hours walk downhill.
Dusk over Mt Ruapehu and the winding highway
The following morning we made the short walk to to the lovely Lake Rotopounamu – an easy walk, however we were all suffering from fatigue and muscle pains after a full day of walking the previous day.
Mark, chilled out
The drive home was non eventful, although we did try our luck at the Hole in One challenge on Lake Taupo. Out of 25 balls, I managed to land 6 very close to the hole on the floating pontoon, 102metres out.
Spent much of the past week visiting several beaches, including taking an English friend to the tranquility of Whatipu near the mouth of the Manukau Harbour. Here’s just a snippet from the recent beach adventures:
Whatipu Beauty – Short walk from the gravel road
Kat and Shirley shooting spiders in the gorse
Spent the following few days at Kat’s farm overlooking the hills of Bethells and Waitakere.
Sunset from the farm
More views over the hundreds of acres towards Bethells Beach
Ziggy on guard by the pool, amongst amazing lighting
Further rich skies over the farm and one of the houses with shearing shed
The following evening, Kat and I decided to head down to Bethells Beach, and capture some fun portraits before a couple of sunset landscapes.
After being unable to shoot Shaila & Rajiv’s recent wedding, due to being in London for much of the past year, I was privileged enough to shoot some portraits of their families. The location was the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial near Mission Bay, overlooking the city and harbour. Shaila was beautifully adorned in her colourful sari, along with henna scribed over her hands and feet. Katrina was also along for some awesome creative shots herself, and occasionally lending her skill of holding the light reflector to make use of the golden evening light.
Shaila applying the final touches to her mum
Shaila with her brother and sister
Rajiv with his sister Suhani
Overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island
Katrina having some fun between shooting
Rajiv’s mum – Saroj
Shaila’s younger sister, Shainal
Shaila’s lovely earring which was momentarily lost
Golden light at Okahu Bay
Orakei Wharf for sunset
Swaying down Orakei Wharf
Macro shot by Katrina
On the morning of a scheduled evening shoot, Kat and I decided to walk down to the beautiful falls of Mokoroa. Located just a 20min stroll from the end of Kat’s road, the recently upgraded track offers a brilliant sight into some rarely touched Waitakere Ranges beauty. Being mid summer, the water flow was a little low, but will increase as winter approaches, and no doubt capture some more shots.
View from down below
Houheria Stream and waterfall
Kat holding a stick insect
View from lookout
Kat was chosen by one of her fellow makeup artists, Sam Steel, to shoot his portfolio amongst the backdrop of urban Auckland. Whilst Kat was directing the models, I was taking some candids, whilst also making good use of the light reflector.
Kat in action, down by Fort Street
Rush hour on the busy Queen St/Customs St intersection
Waiting his turn
Making use of colour
In the jungle on Queen St
Sam Steel in action
Stealing a Vespa for a prop
180° panoramic from roof of Quest Apartments, Auckland
Well as any good kiwi would, Katrina and I headed off to Maori Bay, loaded with some snapper and chips, to devour along with a great strawberry milkshake from the takeaway in Kumeu. (A great personal recommendation from Kat). After the great meal on the rocky shore, it was time to take a few snaps of the setting sun, before finally doing a 15 minute exposure after dark.
Kat, silhouetted against the sunset at Maori Bay
HDR of Maori Bay
15 minute exposure after dark
Driving back from Kaikohe to Auckland, we decided to detour slightly to the Whangarei Falls for lunch, followed by an afternoon swim at Uretiti.
Self portrait, within a wave at Uretiti Beach
Kat after our swim
Warren & Kat, shot by younger sister Candace
Standing an impressive 51 metres tall, Tane Mahuta is New Zealand’s largest known Kauri. The trunk girth is even more impressive at 13.77m, with its estimated age being somewhere between 1,200 to 2,500 years old. Tane Mahuta is just one of the many large Kauri’s around the Waipoua forest, north of Dargaville. We made a little road trip with Katrina, youngest sister Candace, cousin Nicole, and her new daughter, Kayleigh.
Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)
Roof structure, amongst the dense NZ vegetation
Nicole, Candace & Katrina, with Kayleigh
Driving back to Kaikohe, I shot a few photos of the family dog and Kayleigh with Nicole and Katrina
Settling back into New Zealand life, Katrina and I decided to venture out to the west coast beach of Piha. The strong westerly breeze brought in some quickly changing conditions, resulting in some dramatic sun beams as the sun was setting over the Piha swell.
Kat, treading on water
High tide over a gloomy Piha
Arriving back into New Zealand, first agenda was to catch up with friends and family. During my time away in London, I had also been discussing future business plans with photographer, and make up artist, Katrina. I’ll also formally introduce her now as my girlfriend and business partner. She’s currently working for a top photography studio, doing mostly black and white portrait shoots, and also assisting award winning photographer, Brett Lees from Unique Visions on some wedding shoots. We spent the afternoon at her farm near Bethells Beach, overlooking the rolling Waitakere hills landscape.
Feeding Bailey, one of the horses on the farm
Ziggy, their Shetland Sheepdog
Katrina amongst the daisies in the bottom paddock
With one of the Jersey cows
It is now our goal, to work together using her great perspective of capturing moments and her lighting ability, to complement my own creative style of photography. In addition to her offering bridal makeup also. Feel free to contact us via my website.
After spending much of the past two and a half years based in London, I was finally making way to live back in New Zealand. I made an overnight stopover in Melbourne, visiting the house my mum has recently bought, and made great use of the swimming pool! As I was flying Emirates airline, the first ten hours was literally spent flying in a circle. Mumbai to Dubai, and then Dubai to Singapore, and onwards to Melbourne, with the flight path taking us directly over Mumbai some hours later. Alas, more airmiles.
Mountains in United Arab Emirates
Flying over Fujairah, U.A.E
After almost 20 hours travelling, we were flying over South Australia as the sunrise over the red desert lit up brilliantly.
Arriving into Melbourne around 8am, I had a day to chill with my mum, one of my sisters Tara, and their partners, around the pool and BBQ dinner. This is the summer I had been missing from UK!
Marlee, the cat my mum has recently adopted after its previous owners had abused her
Sunset over the back yard pool after enjoying a day with 32ºC
View from the Emirates Lounge, after being upgraded to business class (yet another early rise)
Views from in front of the wing, from seat 8A (front left of business class) – The food and drink available was far superior to what’s normally offered in cattle class.
The final day of an amazing trip through Mumbai and Goa had arrived, so after a little research, decided to take Angus to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in northern Mumbai. It is the largest urban park in the world, encompassing 104 km2. It is said to be the lungs of Mumbai, as it purifies much of the air polluition. Within the park you can catch a bus to see lions and leopards, whilst also venturing 6km along the park to the amazing Kanheri Caves. These 109 caves were built over 2,100 years ago, by Buddhist monks, into the solid hard basalt rock.
I’ve included more photos than usual in this last post from my Indian travels of 2009 & 2010. An amazing trip, that I couldn’t have done without the hospitality of my great friend Angus and his family. Thank you! 🙂
Lioness in the park
Baby Rhesus Macaque Monkey
Large caves of Kanheri
Angus standing against the 7m tall Buddhist statue
Large Chaitya with great Stupa
Low light filtering behind the Stupa
Textured Basalt floor
Walkway to more caves on the hill
More caves near the top, almost like the set of a movie
View in opposite direction showing the elevation (hard work in the Mumbai heat!)
First attempt at writing with a torch
Angus taking a break in one of the cool caves
Our friendly SIS security”guide”
Warren atop the caves and stairs of Kanheri
Angus walking back down the hill from the 109 caves
Spot the monkey?
Goat with incredible balance, walking on a branch!
Overflowing water tank
Last shot from India
I really thought nothing could beat the bus ride from Mumbai to Goa. Well I was wrong, with the return trip even more unbearable! I could have almost covered the length of New Zealand in the same duration of this trip. Alas, I was happy to finally make it, knowing only had another couple of days in Mumbai before being reunited with friends and family in Melbourne and Auckland.
Carpark around the back of our hotel in Malad West (not sure I’d park there?!)
Common non-AC taxi
Our last day in Goa was spent in Morjim after the recommendation from Darryl Baptista, which is home to many thousands of birds. It was also the least visited by other people, which was great news for us! I have noticed more recently, several news articles about the darker side of Morjim. Fortunately we never encountered any trouble during our three weeks in Goa, and would recommend anyone to FLY in and enjoy the cheap food, drinks and sun.
Local boy walking along the sandy banks
Morjim Fishing Boat
Thousands of birds in Morjim
Morjim boats lined up
Hawk on the lookout for smaller seabirds
Hermit Crab escaping
Really great water, much better than Calangute area
Angus in the crisp water
Thousands of birds flying north across the setting sun
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