02.08.10

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – Conquering Mt Doom

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People, Travel at 4:52 pm by Warren Williams

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
Lake Taupo from the southern end

Tongariro from car
First sight of Tongariro coming from Taupo and Turangi

Chateau Ruapehu
Bayview Chateau Tongariro (nestled on Mt Ruapehu)

Chateau Golf course
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

Driving 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.

Ascending Mt Ruapehu
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.

Mt Doom Sunrise Lord of the Rings
Sunrise over Mt Doom

Sunrise over National Park
Sunrise from National Park / SH47 intersection

Amazing New Zealand Scenery
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

Tongariro Crossing Boardwalk
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

Mt Doom and tussock grass

The camera was put away for the next 45min as we climbed the Mangatepopo Saddle


Success!


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

Mt Tongariro 360 degree Panorama
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)

Emerald Lakes - Tongariro
One of the Emerald Lakes, caused from leaching minerals

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro


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.

Lake Rotopounamu
Lake Rotopounamu


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.

01.26.10

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People at 12:00 pm by Warren Williams

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.

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
View from down below

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
Houheria Stream and waterfall

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
Kat holding a stick insect

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
View from lookout

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

01.24.10

Maori Bay – Fish n Chups

Posted in Landscape, Nature at 7:30 pm by Warren Williams

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

Maori Bay Muriwai amazing sunset

Maori Bay Gannet Colony

Maori Bay HDR
HDR of Maori Bay

15 minute shutter
15 minute exposure after dark

01.18.10

Wonderful Waters of Whangarei Falls & Uretiti

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People at 4:00 pm by Warren Williams

Driving back from Kaikohe to Auckland, we decided to detour slightly to the Whangarei Falls for lunch, followed by an afternoon swim at Uretiti.

Whangarei Falls, New Zealand

Whangarei Falls, New Zealand

Warren Williams
Self portrait, within a wave at Uretiti Beach


Kat after our swim

Uretiti, New Zealand
Warren & Kat, shot by younger sister Candace

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

01.17.10

Tane Mahuta – Lord of the Forest

Posted in Animals, Nature, People at 7:15 pm by Warren Williams

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, Largest Kauri in New Zealand
Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)


Roof structure, amongst the dense NZ vegetation


Kayleigh


Nicole, Candace & Katrina, with Kayleigh


Fern frond

Driving back to Kaikohe, I shot a few photos of the family dog and Kayleigh with Nicole and Katrina


Katrina

01.09.10

Introducing Katrina – Kiwi Farm Girl

Posted in General, Nature, People, Wedding at 5:15 pm by Warren Williams

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.

Katrina Elton


Feeding Bailey, one of the horses on the farm


Ziggy, their Shetland Sheepdog


Katrina amongst the daisies in the bottom paddock

Katrina Elton


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.

01.05.10

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Posted in Animals, Landscape, Nature, People, Travel at 4:00 pm by Warren Williams

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聽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! 馃檪


Lioness in the park

Rhesus Macaque Monkey

Rhesus Macaque Monkey


Baby Rhesus Macaque Monkey

School children Kanheri Caves, India

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India


Large caves of Kanheri

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India

Kanheri Caves sculptures

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India


Angus standing against the 7m tall Buddhist statue


Large Chaitya with great Stupa

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India
Low light filtering behind the Stupa


Textured Basalt floor


Walkway to more caves on the hill

Kanheri Caves movie
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

Friendly SIS Security India
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?

Deer in Mumbai

Goat incredible balance
Goat with incredible balance, walking on a branch!


Overflowing water tank


Last shot from India

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12.29.09

Rural Adventures of Goa

Posted in Animals, Birds, Landscape, Nature, Travel at 3:30 pm by Warren Williams

Returning back to Marcela the following morning, Raju was keen on showing more of the bush in the neighbouring areas, including his own property and yet more fruit! 馃檪 It was a great walk, seeing a beautiful, peaceful view of India, as we encountered many various animals and workers in the field.

Banana Tree Goa
Bananas on Raju’s property

Millions of Ants

Dog with Mange
The sad face of a local dog with mange

Caterpillar Goa

Red Dragonfly Goa

King Cobra Nest
Massive King Cobra nest


One of the many tropical birds


Yep, another

Pineapple growing, Goa

Chameleon
Cameleon


Rich Paddy Field


Wilderness adventures, reminiscent of “Stand by Me”

Water buffalo, India
Water buffalo

Water buffalo, India

Stunning Kingfisher
Another stunning Kingfisher

Indian Shack

Paddy field worker

Wasps India

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12.17.09

Giant Golden Orb Spiders

Posted in Animals, Nature, People, Travel at 9:03 pm by Warren Williams

We took an hours drive to the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, only to find it was shut on Thursdays! Just nearby we had noticed the Pascoal Spice Farm – offering a view of the spice plantations and a restaurant set amongst some tropical forest. After a massive meal of chicken, fish curry rice and various drinks, we decided to wander amongst their walkways to burn off the food. Early on the path, we came face to face with this monster of a spider.. the size of a hand, it looked rather intimidating but was in fact quite harmless – something I only found out after shaking nervously a few inches away.

Golden Orb Spider India


Shooting underneath, I was sure it was about to launch an attack

Golden Orb Spider India

Golden Orb Spider India


Angus and his nephew, Matthew

Jua Bridge, Santo Estevam
Jua Bridge, to Santo Estevam – the alternative longer route

Sant Estevam


Friendly villager of Santo Estevam, selling fried potato and samosa

Fried samosa Goa

Goan 85L
Another villager awaiting her order

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10.25.09

Deer of Richmond Park

Posted in Animals, Nature, People at 9:00 pm by Warren Williams

Richmond Park, is London’s largest Royal Park. Originally a deer hunting park, it has since become a great recreation and sightseeing ground to Londoners. Meeting up with several photography friends, camouflage outfits, and long lens – it was our task to capture the essence of the majestic Richmond Park.


Neal and Richard following the trails


Mushroom extreme close up with macro lens


First sighting of a deer


Stags

Stag Richmond Park


Ian – iesphotography.co.uk


Rutting stags

Running deer
Running from hoards of photographers


Why did the deer cross the road?

Deer in Richmond Park
In the dense forest

Sunday stroll in Richmond Park
Stroll through Richmond Park

Tilt shift TS-E 24mm 3.5L
Tilt shift effects with the TS-E 24mm

Brett 500mm
Brett – brettbutler.co.uk

Tilt Shift Effects TS-E 24mm
More Tilt Shift Effects

Tilt Shift Cyclist

Old Stag Richmond Park
Old stag

Large antlers Richmond Park
Large antlers

Bokeh Canon 500mm f4 L

Deer 500mm
Stag through the clearing at Richmond

Squirrel 500mm

Richmond Park is well recommended for a free walk around the 1000 acre woods and grasslands.

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09.08.09

Evening Stroll through Hampstead Heath

Posted in General, Nature at 8:00 pm by Warren Williams

As the sun was setting over London, took a leisurely walk through the expansive Hampstead Heath, en route to an Italian dinner with my friend Katie.

Hampstead Heath green trees
Golden light, just as the leaves were turning to the autumn colours

85L

1920's hat
Katie’s new 1920’s hat

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08.12.09

Capo Caccia Clifftop Sunset

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 9:56 pm by Warren Williams

After spending the night on La Maddalena, took a slow drive across the northern part of Sardinia, back towards Alghero, whilst stopping at some more great beaches for a swim and relaxation. With a final night with the car, decided to drive to the Capo Caccia cliffs, where we had previously seen Neptune’s Grotto 600 feet below. Watching a sunset, whilst precariously perched several hundred feet above the water is always great fun!

Capo Caccia Clifftop Sunset
Can you spot my tripod and camera bag?! Angled slippery surface, with large fractures in the cliff. Great idea. Not.

Capo Caccia
A view from where the tripod was in previous photo


The view behind

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08.11.09

Tranquility of Isola Caprera & La Maddalena

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People, Travel at 6:30 pm by Warren Williams

After a night under the stars at Capo D’Orso, we made the 10minute drive into Palau to catch the ferry to the beauty islands of Maddalena and Caprera. With very little planning done for this trip, with having no idea till the last minute we were going to hire a car, we asked around and checked some tourist guides, which unanimously advised us to head to this north-eastern corner of Sardinia. The ferries themselves run frequently, however seemed costly for the relative short distance from the mainland. The reward however was the some of the most amazing clear waters I have ever seen.

Isola Caprera
First stop for the day, Isola Caprera, in the early morning before the crowds got in

Isola Caprera Clear Water
Hazel, Adele, Ayla & Warren

85L Clear Water

Canon 85L Beach Sardinia

Isola Caprera Clear Water

Snorkelling Sardinia

Fishing Sardinia
Fishing in pristine waters of Caprera

Caprera Hues of Blue
Hues of Blue

Neck Deep in Clear Water
Neck deep in ultra clear water

View from Caprera looking back to Maddalena
View from Caprera back to Maddalena

Ruins on Isola Caprera
Ancient Ruins on Isola Caprera

Walkway to Cala Coticcio
Walkway to Cala Coticcio (So gobsmacked, I didn’t see my own shadow)

Cala Coticcio
Cala Coticcio – One of the best beaches in Sardinia, and possibly the world
Only accessible by boat, or an undulating 40min walk

Cala Coticcio, Isola Caprera, Sardinia
Clear Waters of Cala Coticcio

Cala Coticcio, Isola Caprera, Sardinia

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Awakening to Sardinian Beauty

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 7:00 am by Warren Williams

After a long previous day driving 400km cross country, we ended up sleeping under the stars on a beach at Capo D’Orso. As we arrived after 10pm at night, it was already dark, with only the moon illuminating the water of the lake and sea to give us a vague idea of our location. The droning hum聽from聽thousands of mosquitos from the lake area, awoke us just before sunrise, revealing the true beauty of the area.

Capo D'Orso Sunrise - Sardinia 2009

Lake in Capo D'Orso

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07.15.09

Lightning Storm over Krak贸w, Poland

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel at 10:51 pm by Warren Williams

The following morning, we left Budapest, heading northwards across Slovakia and into Poland. The air was thick, as the skies darkened over Krak贸w, as the heavens above decided to unleash a powerful two hour display of lightning and thunder.

Amazing castle on road through Slovakia
Stunning castle on the road through Slovakia

Bolt lightning over Ikea, Krakow, Poland
Lightning grounding over Ikea, Krakow

Massive bolt lightning
Massive bolt lightning over the fields

Red lightning over Krakow
Lighting up the sky over Krakow

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