A year ago today

Last year we spent November and part of December in the small coastal village of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Through November the village is winding down. The tourist season has ended and hotels and restaurants are closing up, taking a break until the next spring.

Eden Roc Hotel was our second home. The Casola family who own the hotel also own Villa Greta – our place, and extended the hospitality of the hotel to us. On hot days we could lie by the pool and evenings out often started or ended with a drink in the hotel bar looked after by the lovely Carlo.

Eden Roc hotel closed at the end of November so on the 30th it only seemed right for us and the dogs to wander the 500 metres along the road and say farewell to what had become our “mother ship”.

Everyone at the hotel seemed relaxed and the wine was flowing a little freer than usual. The family patriarch (who had been quite ill but seemed to be on the mend) was in the hotel and insisted on buying us a drink or two or three. It ended up being a big night.

Which explains the photo – taken about 3pm the next day – when all the Mowday girls were sound asleep on the bed, one of them nursing a sizeable hangover.

It’s Hobbit premiere time


This gallery contains 15 photos.

Today Wellington will come to a standstill for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s movie The Hobbit. There will be stars, screaming fans, air kisses and autograph signings by the thousand. This morning I had a meeting in that part … Continue reading

Wellington’s wonderful waterfront


This gallery contains 24 photos.

One afternoon last week I took a walk along Wellington’s waterfront. It was a glorious day and it seemed like most of Wellington was out to enjoy it. When I say I walked along the waterfront, in actual fact, I … Continue reading

Partial Eclipse of the Sun

Today at 10:47am everything around our place went a little dark. The culprit was a partial eclipse of the sun – where the moon gets between the sun and the earth and we see the sun partially obscured. It was a little eerie as a beautiful sunny Wellington morning regressed to post dawn light and the temperature turned chilly.

To me it was the ideal opportunity to try solar photography. So my tripod, laptop and camera were set up in the front yard to capture the event.

Now we all know it’s not a good idea to look directly at the sun. Well it’s an even worse idea to look at the sun – even one partly obscured – through a camera eyepiece when a 300mm zoom lense is strapped on the front.

In fact, almost 6 hours later, I still seem to have a mysterious spot of intense white light obscuring part of my vision.

But, good news, I actually got a shot or two and after a wee bit of Photoshop correction it’s a fair representation of the event – nothing spectacular, but up close an eclipse is, fundamentally, just an eclipse.

Having said that, I probably could have simply generated the same thing in Photoshop and saved myself the temporary blindness.

For those who are into the detail, this shot was taken at ISO 100, f32, 1/8000 of  a second.