Going feral for the day

By Brendan Moyle 09/05/2014

At the moment I am trying to write three papers at once on the research I’ve been doing on elephant ivory. It’s a bit ambitious, and it’s on top of a lot of other things.  So yesterday, I went ‘feral’ and disappeared into the Pohuehue Reserve up to the north of here.  The area has a waterfall I haven’t seen yet, and I hoped the stream would also give me some interesting shots.

So, gearing up.  Well, first there’s the tripod.  The tripod I have is heavy, it is actually the heaviest I could buy at the time because not only do I want it holding some heavy camera gear, I also want it to stay stable in extreme cases.  Then there’s the tripod head.  I run with a geared head.  This allows for precise, three way positioning of the camera and once the shot is there, it won’t budge, or drift down or anything. The camera stays exactly where you want it to be.  These aren’t light either.

Then its the lenses.  I’ve got two vintage Minolta lens.  One is the 20/2.8 RS and the other is a 28/2.0.  They’re compact.  Good to carry.  The 70-200/2.8 G isn’t.  That’s closer to 1.5kg.  I like my Minolta lenses.  They have a colour fidelity that I just can’t see in others. 

Two cameras- a Sony a900 and a Minolta Dynax 7.  The Minolta is a film camera by the way.  Plus filters to get long expsoures.

Then we need some good hiking boots for slippery conditions, some gaiters for the wet and muddy ground, and we’re away. Part of the fun here is being out of the office, away from computers, and just doing something physical with a bit of heavy gear to manage.  Conditions were pretty slippery.  The rain, leaf litter and rocks combine to force a slow and steady pace in places.

So, here’s the falls.  This is with the 20mm lens.  I don’t think it is the most spectacular falls in NZ, but I liked the lines on the shot and the light and dark areas.  I’ve avoided the front-on ‘post card’ look.

The second is with the 28mm lens.  As you can see, I got wet :).  This is one of my favourites.

And last of all, something with the 70-200/2.8.  A rivulet, done as a long exposure.