25 April 2012

I was here this morning [Ngamoko hut]

Yesterday I climbed Shorts Track, battled the gale southwards along the Ngamoko Range and descended the overgrown track to Ngamoko hut in the headwaters of the Pohangina Valley. I had the place to myself (and the rat) and after a relatively good night's sleep rose early. I made unsmoked Lapsang Souchong tea and drank it down by the river, hoping a whio might visit. No luck, but to drink excellent tea at dawn in a place like this must be one of the best of all ways to begin a day.

[25 April 2012, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 28 mm, ISO 100, 1/10 at f16]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor

19 April 2012

Hummingbird (sparkling violetear); el colibri

Sparkling violetears are probably the most commonly seen hummingbirds in Quito. At the aptly named Colibri cafe, these gorgeous little birds patrolled the foliage overhead — a delight, but nearly impossible to photograph against the bright sky. I never managed to get the fill flash on the GH1 to work properly, and the autofocus on Panasonic's lenses is shockingly slow and inaccurate. I longed for the 20D and the 300mm f4 L, but if I'd had that with me I'd probably have been too apprehensive to use it. This, with a lot of post-processing, was about as good as I could do. I'm reasonably happy with it, given the bird wasn't much bigger than my thumb.

[15 August 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/400 at f5.6]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor

10 April 2012

Kereru (New Zealand pigeon), Akaroa

In July last year, shortly before I left for South America, our family gathered in Christchurch and spent a couple of days at Akaroa, on Banks Peninsula. It's a lovely place, even more lovely in winter when the hordes of tourists have abated. On one of our walks we spotted this kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae). I guess it's a pretty straightforward photograph, but I think it shows something of the typical character of these big birds, one of the largest pigeons in the world.

[23 July 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/320 at f5.6]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor