On the weekend I got the chance to photograph the enthusiasts that make the Nelson Trolley Derby possible, in a one-off opportunity. A new stretch of highway has been under construction west of Nelson for quite some time now. One particular stretch look to be perfect for a trolley derby: 45 m vertical over 740 m, with a good run out. It required some courage, the thought of gravel burns from unswept new seal was not pleasant. This will give you the general idea of the course:
Let’s have a look at some of the racers.
Last week I went out on a photo expedition, determined to get some good shots of a block of larch about 70km south of Nelson. They are looking great right now in their late autumn colours, but I’m running out of time to catch them. So I planned the day quite carefully, using the “Photographers’ Ephemeris” to check out the sunrise and sunlight angles at various times of the day. The larches look their best in late afternoon light, but there was a good chance of some early morning mists creating other opportunities. And so it proved, along the Buller River near Kawatiri:
Hokitika has a cluster of carvers working with jade, both the local pounamu (Greenstone) and imported jade. One of the larger galleries in the main street is run by Ngati Waewae, the Maori tribe with controlling rights to all pounamu from the Arahura River area (a sub-tribe of Ngai Tahu, who were granted rights to all pounamu as part of their 1997 settlement with the Crown). Another, the Jade Factory, is laid out to encourage customers to watch the carvers at work.
Yes, I know this is not Sweden. I just wanted to get your attention by starting with the best shot first. I guess I was a bit more agile then, ready to lie down on the ground for a good viewpoint. This is a good example, at dawn on 1 January 1974 during our long trip back to New Zealand. Our one and a half year old son was very obliging.
I spent an afternoon last week with Deirdre Mackay, who’s been commissioned to write the history of the Cawthron Institute. Lot’s of stuff is coming back to me, so get ready for a string of Cawthron stories.
It’s successful turnaround in the early 90s owes a lot to many different people. One of them celebrated his 70th birthday a few years back, an occasion we thought important enough to celebrate with an appropriate gift. We chose to give the commission to Darryl Robertson, another painting on ceramic:
Again, the back story is fascinating. Read on if you are interested.
In March I read of the passing of Sir Ian Axford, a scientist who spent much of his working life outside New Zealand but nevertheless made a huge contribution to this country. I met him briefly when we invited him to present the annual “Cawthron Lecture” in 1996. It was the 75th anniversary of the official opening of Cawthron Institute.
To grab your attention, I’ve included a photograph of the present we gave Sir Ian that night. You may well think that’s a bit crass, but the story that goes with it is well worth telling. Here it is: