Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fence decorations

I found this on my walk and its way beyond the now defunct Bra fence in the Cardrona Valley or Inglewood's once was - bicycle fence.

It is the most eclectic collection of objects I've ever seen woven into a domestic fence - a true marvel in a completely public space.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Team New Zealand and boat rescue in Devonport

Yesterday I happened to be watching a sunken boat being lifted - a result of a collision with a yacht ( Stuff - speedboat-beaches-after-auckland-harbour-yacht-collision ) when Team NZ whizzed by in their foiling catamaran - in practically no wind.

Murrays Bay

Murrays Bay - Auckland's North Shore - the only wharf in the east coast bays. 
The wharf is popular with swimmers for leaping off and ever hopeful fishermen although the afternoon I was there I didn't see anything landed. Somehow those two activities seem incompatible ?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Low tide on the west coast - Muriwai Regional Park

Starfish at maximum low tide near Flat Rock (below) 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Coffee explained

There was a time in Auckland NZ (1980) when the nearest place you could get a decent coffee was Sydney (Australia), I know that because I lived in both countries that year.

We are now awash with good coffee thanks to our many small roasters and our quality fresh milk.

One of my favourites is Altura in Albany ( and even though I lived next door to one of its founders for 15 years that doesn't make me biased - they serve an excellent brew and their cafe food is outstanding.

Another of the local brands is Columbus , these operate on a slightly different model with franchise cafe's often found inside our also locally owned Mitre10 hardware outlets.

(Eggs Benedict with Salmon - excellent ) 

I was in Columbus Albany (Mitre 10) this morning having lunch (above) and finally I found the real answer to a question my other half has been pestering me about for some time "what is the difference between this coffee and that" in the form of a large poster on their wall, which I can't do justice to here.

However here is what I could glean:
  • Short Black - 30ml shot expresso
  • Long Black - 60ml shot expresso and 90ml hot water
  • Americano - 30ml shot expresso and 120ml hot water
  • Flat White - 30ml shot expresso and 145ml hot velvety milk 
  • Vienna - 60ml shot of expresso, 80ml hot water , add whipped cream
  • Macchiato - 30ml shot expresso and half a tablespoon of velvety milk
  • Cappuccino - 30ml shot expresso and 145ml steamed milk - thick textured milk
  • Mochacciono -- 30ml shot expresso , 145ml steamed milk, 15grams chocolate powder and top with thick textured milk
  • Latte - 60ml shot expresso and 165ml steamed milk
  • Latte Royale - 60ml shot expresso, 150ml steamed milk with 15ml flavouring syrup
  • Mocha Latte 60ml shot expresso, 165ml steamed milk with 20grams Belgium chocolate
  • Ristretto - A shot that has been stopped half way through its extraction - an upfront, sweet expresso shot 
Of course this is the starting point as most cafes I know will for sure serve you double and half strength brews of Flat Whites and Latte's etc. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Monday, 6 March 2017

Where it all started ........

The Super Kinax - The camera I used first - my dads before he got his first 35mm. These were of French manufacture between 1949 and 1952, this one with the "top of the range" Berthiot lens. More info 
Now my dad has passed away I now have this camera (pictured below) - as far as I can tell it is still fully functional. At f8 and 1/125th I'm sure it could still turn out a very passible image on "6x9" roll film.

Kinax interior 

The Minolta HiMatic 7s .

The 7s was a great little camera, very fast lens and really sharp. I put a lot of slide film through one in the late 1960's when I was at high school and later when I started work, mainly Kodachrome II and 64.

Then came the secondhand Nikkormat Ftn which lasted me all the way through from the mid 1970's to the mid 1980's although I do remember having to get repairs done to the metering system at great expense for the time. It was built to last and one of my friends said you could use one as a football and it wouldn't break.

That was followed in 1985 by the Nikon 301 Nikon F-301 which was a fantastic camera although without AF but it did have a built in three frames per second motor drive (but not rewind) running forever on four AAA cells. I liked it so much I bought a second body, both are still in good working order today.

Then came the digital age. At work we had a  Sony Mavica which used a 1.44mb "floppy" disk as its media (it could hold 30 or 40 images) and I guess was revolutionary in its time but not enough to tempt me away from film.

The office later had an early Fiji digital camera, I can't remember the model, but since all three we purchased across our regional offices developed faults and the service wasn't very good I was not  tempted in that direction either.

Then in 2002 Canon came out with the Power Shot G3, (DpReview) which in many ways felt a lot like a digital version of the HiMatic.  It got DPReview's "Highly Recommended" rating so I took the leap to digital. Lots of controls, light to carry, build like a tank, a fast lens and enough megapixels to do a presentable A4 print. Much later it developed a fault in the folding LCD which I repaired thanks to YouTube and a soldering iron!!
Mine is still working and it uses the same battery as my first DSLR the Canon 20D.

Then arrived my DSLR's, first the Canon 20D (2005) (DPReview) , the 50D (2008) (DPReview), the full frame 5Dmk2 (2010) (DPReview) and most recently I traded the mk 2 in on the  5Dmk4 (2016) (DPReview) which is by far the most versatile and advanced camera I've ever owned.

When I don't want to lug around something big or be a bit more discrete there is my trusty G16 (DPReview) which fits in your pocket. It still has a view finder (no LCD's are much good in bright sun) and lots of controls - very much the smaller smarter version of my old G3 and it has a battery that lasts forever. 
You can see the comparative sizes below (G16 lens retracts) !!


Although there are some phone camera pictures on this blog (mainly the food ones) the rest have been taken with the G3, Canon DSLR's and the G16.

These days I use Photoshop CC, a far cry from the dark room, the smelly chemicals and the red light.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Its been a while ........

Its been a while since I posted a food photo.

Sashimi from a very good Japanese in Milford - the best I've had in a while.

Rock pools

Right in the centre of Auckland

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


 Convalescence pool for returning WW1 soldiers.