28 February 2011

Driftwood stump

The annual bouldering competition at Baring Head (eastern side of the entrance to Wellington harbour) took place on Saturday. A strong, cold southerly hadn't quite blown itself out and numbers seemed down a little, although that might have been partly because most of the Christchurch climbers hadn't come north, for obvious reasons. Still, the event ran smoothly and, as always, I found it delightfully social — the spirit at these competitions is wonderful. I'm working through my photos and will eventually post them on the Baring Head Bouldering blog, with a few here too. In the meantime here's one from the beach on the walk back to the car.

[26 February 2011, Canon 20D, 10–22 mm F4 at 10 mm, ISO 200, 1/1000s at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

24 February 2011


So many things change when kelp dries, but the difference between the supple, strong fronds of the living plant and the hard, brittle texture of the now dead plant always seems particularly striking. This was partway through the transition, on the South Coast near Baring Head.

[29 December 2010; Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 105 mm, ISO 400, 1/30 at f16]

[Update: I forgot to mention — new post up on Pohanginapete: "From the Makaroro"]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

21 February 2011

Roan antelope

On the Nyika Plateau one evening I stopped near a small group of roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus). The low sun lit the big animals from the wrong side but I photographed anyway. I'm glad I did.

[23 May 2007, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS, ISO 200, 1/1000s at f5.6] 

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

18 February 2011

Knife shop, Paris

Knives have so many connotations, so many rituals. Of all our tools, knives might be the oldest, perhaps developed after only the thrown stone, the wooden club. Even the most sophisticated among us can't fail to appreciate a beautifully designed and finely crafted knife. On the other hand, to use or even carry a knife for a wrong purpose seems like a desecration — knives designed for fighting and killing give a shape to evil.

How do you respond to the look and feel of a fine knife?

As always, I'm interested to hear your thoughts about things other than knives. This, I suppose, is the downside of captions, and even titles: they direct the viewer's thoughts.

[16 June 2007; Canon 20D, 10–22 mm f4 at 10 mm, ISO 400, 1/60 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

15 February 2011

Glenn Colquhoun

Another commitment meant I missed poet Glenn Colquhoun's reading at the Palmerston North City Library last year, but I'll be keeping an eye out this year for what seems to have become an annual event. Looking forward to the publication of another of his collections of poems, too.

If you get the opportunity to hear Glenn read, do take it up. You'll be pleased you did.

[20 August 2007; Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 84 mm, ISO 400, 1/20 at f4]
All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

13 February 2011

Boat builder, Mandvi

At Mandvi on the coast of Gujarat near Bhuj, wooden ships are still built using the old methods (even the electric drill seemed ancient). This small fishing boat would take about six months to build, he told us. I know little about boat building, but a little more about carpentry and joinery, and I liked the look of this. It seemed organic, as if it were in the process of coming alive.

[9 February 2007; Canon 20D, 10–22 mm f4 at 22 mm, ISO 200, 1/30 at f8]
All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

11 February 2011


Been a while since I've heard Slate Row playing at the Celtic — fortunately, not as long ago as this photo.

[24 November 2007, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS, ISO 3200, 1/80s at f4] 

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

09 February 2011

Cloud forest, No. 1 Line

At the No. 1 Line road-end yesterday afternoon, looking into the southern Ruahine range.

[8 February 2011, Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 58 mm , ISO 200, 1/200s at f8. A touch of grain added.]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

07 February 2011

Mudstone flake, Pohangina river

This is a photograph of a black-and-white print of a photograph from the late '90s. I remember little about the technical details, other than the film was Ilford Delta 100, the camera a battered Nikon F3 and the lens might have been the legendary Tamron 90 mm macro. None of that matters, of course, at least in part because this is a photo of the print. I don't know how long the flake survived, but it had gone by the time I returned a few months later.

This is about ten minutes upstream from the Piripiri bridge over the Pohangina, not officially within the Ruahine Forest Park, but close enough to begin sensing the change.

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

05 February 2011

African storm rolling in

Almost every day a thunderstorm broke on the coast of Ghana. Welcome, albeit partial and temporary, relief from the tremendous, debilitating humidity.

[7 April 2007, Canon 20D, 10–22 mm F4 at 16 mm, ISO 400, 1/30s at f10]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

02 February 2011

Tiger lily

I recall someone a long time ago saying photographing flowers is an act of desperation in an attempt to compensate for the absence of inspiration (or something like that).

That probably says everything I need to say about this.

[27 January 2011, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS with EF 1.4x teleconverter, ISO 400, 1/250s at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor