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:
As we head into winter, I thought it would be nice to show a few pics from warmer days. Nelson is an ideal spot for kite surfing: good water and reliable sea breeze from mid- to late afternoon.
That was a weird day: a strong breeze but look at the sea mist over towards the Abel Tasman Park.
I’ve just spent a few days with some visitors from Sweden, a “Group Study Exchange” team sponsored by Rotary International. You can read about them in their blog here. For me was a great opportunity to brush up my Swedish language skills.
Two of the team were keen photographers so we left a few hours earlier than the rest of the team for the drive from Nelson to Murchison. We drove in a giant “S”, via Tapawera and St Arnauds. The weather had cleared up somewhat after heavy rain the day before, so the trip yielded some interesting images.
This week there was a small item on page 3 of our local newspaper announcing that the four major players in New Zealand’s mussel industry have joined forces to create a new company, Spatco. The four companies involved are Wakatu Incorporation, Sealord (both Nelson-based), Sanford and Pacifica Seafoods. Spatco aims to take baby mussels grown in the laboratory (“spat”) and grow them up to the size where they can survive on their own in the marine environment. The objectives are two-fold: to ensure a consistent, reliable supply of mussel juveniles and to take advantage of the ambitious selective breeding programme which has been going on at Cawthron Institute for the past five or six years.
Our household has gradually come back to normal after a period of high stress: my wife was on the local organising committee for a national annual conference, for the NZ Association of Psychotherapists. My role was that of support person and unofficial photographer.
One of the highlights was a guest speaker by the name of Michael Leunig. He has been described as Australia’s best loved cartoonist and social commentator, a modern day renaissance man and one of Australia’s 200 “living treasures”. By pushing my camera through the throng of his fans, I managed to capture some nice moments. One of the conference delegates (a jeweller as well) had prepared a beautiful little brooch featuring a couple of his characters. Michael appeared touched by its presentation.
More images here, along with coverage of the official powhiri (welcome ceremony):
March 21 is observed around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It recalls killing of 69 black protestors at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960. Here in Nelson our observance took the form of a celebration of our multicultural community, “Race Unity Day“.
The children were having a great time:
But not just the children. If you read on you’ll find a selection of images from the day:
A complete change from the noise and thunder of the recent powerboat weekend at Lake Rotoiti, the Antique and Classic Boat Show attracted a different demographic altogether. Nelson turned on a beautiful day, bringing out the best of a beautiful setting. Centre stage had been taken over by the aristocracy, the “Royal Kerr Bay Motor Boat Club” (but there was loads of room for the commoners).
For the past four years in Christchurch I have missed this annual event, when the upper reaches of a popular city street are taken over by racers. The residents are happy to be shut in for a day while the street is closed off. This year 79 trolleys and 90 drivers took part, the fastest reaching speeds of almost 70 km/hr. Serious stuff!