Portage

From Picton we moved on to Portage, a bay in Kenepuru Sound. Kenepuru’s not as lively as Queen Charlotte Sound where Picton is, so we just had a nice relaxing time.

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Mum and Hilary

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This is called Pohutakawa and it is otherwise known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree, because of the colours and the fact that it flowers around Christmas time. It’s a beautiful tree and attracts many native birds such as tui, bellbirds, waxeyes, and kereru (native wood pigeon). In the mornings we heard these birds sing their dawn chorus, which was really the most profoundly beautiful thing. Here is a recording of the New Zealand dawn chorus I have found.

Incidentally, you should watch this video of Woof Woof the talking tui: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TqF33vc_q68&feature=related. It’s pretty cool, and a good example of what a New Zealand accent sounds like!

Still on holiday…

We spent a few more days in Picton. One day we went to one of the wineries in Marlborough for lunch. In fact we drank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc nearly every day – I’m going to miss that! There is plenty of Marlborough Sauvignon available in the UK but it costs more and some of my favourites aren’t available.

We took a day trip to Nelson, where we did a little shopping and then went to the beach.

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Self portrait in light and sand.

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Me and my mummy!

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This photo brought to you courtesy of my new polarising filter. There was a fun fair next to the beach.

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Back in Picton. This photo pretty much sums up small town New Zealand.

Remember, remember the 5th of November

So this is where the training wheels came off. I’m currently on Chapter 2 of the Canon 450 for Dummies book (yes, it is a real book and yes, I did buy it), which is about the automatic modes, so I hadn’t even read up on what button does what in manual. But turns out, if you fiddle around it’s easy enough to figure out.

I spent the fireworks display fiddling around with ISO, aperture and shutter settings to see what I liked best. I probably took about a hundred photos on continuous shooting mode, but here are a couple of my favourites:

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I’ve been holding out on you…

You see, on Friday I caved and ordered my new camera, a Canon 450D. And on Saturday it arrived! Then it poured with rain all day and there was nothing to take photos of. I’ve been gradually getting used to it during the week though and tonight I took the training wheels off and used it in full manual mode for the first time! But more on that later. First you get a photo I took of my lovely flatmate Kashmira:

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Isn’t she beautiful? (and pink?)

I also sort of ran a dorky competition on facebook to come up with a name for my camera. So now thanks to Ben it is called Henri, after Henri Cartier-Bresson. Awesome idea.

I promised a photo to the winner so Ben gets some pudding:

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(yeah, I could have stuffed around getting the lighting right but my pudding would have gone cold!)

Um, sorry you didn’t get to actually eat any, Ben.