scattered light

Scattered Light 105

buggy

A visitor checking out my Firstman synth, shot today Feb 19th with Canon 5DmkIII and 100mm macro lens…

BTW does anyone in NZ have a reccomendation for a good synth tech, who might have a look at the Firstman for me? It was dead when I bought it & I’ve had someone have a look at it, but we only got so far without a circuit diagram (got it to power up but no sound) – I have a PDF of circuit for it now… email me?

Scattered Light 104

Tui

one of the locals… the Tui near here have quite a strange song, a resonant filter sweep rather than a longer song, I’ll record them once the cicadas quieten down…
Shot 18 February at my Plimmerton house, Canon 5DmkIII and 100-400mm lens

Scattered Light 101

Little Huia

shot Friday 7th February with Canon 5DmkIII and Canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 lens

Scattered Light 100

looking....

 

Shot 24th August 2013, up the top end of Lake Tekapo. I was drawn here primarily to do some recording, but when I saw the beautiful structure of the gravel I had to jump out & shoot photos as it so reminded me of the beautiful karesansui dry gardens in Japanese Zen Temples, except I was imagining a zen monk with a very large rake!

 

looking....

 

I also shot some very wide versions & love them cropped to 2.35 but it doesnt really work on such a small screen as this blog – load this 1600px wide photo for the full effect (its ungraded & other than being cropped for 2.35 it is ‘as shot’ with my Canon 5DMkIII and 16-35 F2.8L lens)

 

looking....

 

And having reached one hundred Scattered Light posts I will be taking a break while I travel to Shodoshima, Japan to start my Artists Residency. This involves moving a lot of atoms – first driving to Picton, catching the ferry to Wellington, unloading the 4WD and VERY carefully packing the essentials. Then flying to Auckland, stop for a night and then on to Kansai via the Gold Coast… And then catching the ferry from Kobe to Shodoshima!

 

A whole new adventure is just starting!!!

 

Scattered Light 99

looking....

 

 

Amazing how a crop and colour grade alters the mood and feel of a photo – these are the same photo, shot at Lake McGregor Aug 24th 2013 (the latter graded with Topaz BW)

 

 

 

looking....

 

Scattered Light 98 St Bathans

Saint Bathans is a location with a lot of history, dating back to the gold rush with estimates that by 1870 over 2,000 people lived & worked there! Now there are just six permanent residents but it is a spectacular landscape and an incredibly peaceful place, especially in winter! The apparently haunted Vulcan Hotel was built in 1882 – must have been before Spocks TV career!

St Bathans!

History casts long shadows…

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

shot a beautiful time lapse of sunset of this little pier – will upload it when I get time

St Bathans!

St Bathans!

This last shot was taken 9pm at night (f/16 iso200 107 second exposure) – I headed out to do some recording, as I wanted to capture the very quiet lake waterlap without any birds present… I’ve been reading a great book on shooting landscapes at night (Seeing the Unseen – How to Photograph Landscapes at Night, great value at $8 for kindle version) so this was a little test that came out beautifully…. It was a full moon and I took my torch along but it didn’t take long to realise it was mostly unnecessary – had totally forgotten how light it is outside under a full moon!

Shot Aug 20th 2013

Scattered Light 97 Danseys Pass

Getting there is half the fun, right?

The initial getting there of this particular field recording trip involved a slightly surreal excursion into the clouds! I have traversed Danseys Pass (935m) once before, but it was maybe 5+ years ago & it was summer (a QTVR I shot at the summit is here)

This time it is/was winter, I kept my fingers crossed.. the forecast was good so I first made a quick side trip to Lake Aviemore to do some recording…..

the mainland!

I drove back to the east to Duntroon, then turned south, and started climbing…. gravel muddy roads, leading into the clouds…

the mainland!

At a certain point it became apparent the mountains were disappearing into the clouds! And not just discretely, completely!!! Driving along I started to wonder at what point would the road meet these clouds….

the mainland!

 

the mainland!

This is right near the summit (although thats easy to say in retrospect) I pulled over to shoot this power pylon, mostly for the way the cables disappeared into the cloud…. Two minutes after I stopped a BMW 4WD pulled up: ‘is this the top??’ – I could only reply; ‘I’m going in the opposite direction & have been climbing for the last half hour..’ This seemed to cheer them up… I asked if he was in 4WD ‘no….’ – I had been for 15 minutes, not because I needed to be but I’d rather reach the other side having not needed 4WD, than get in trouble ‘cos I wasn’t…. and it had been muddy, with severe drops/cliffs off the side of the road….. and there had been two or three signs saying DANSEYS PASS: OPEN 4WD only which made me be glad to not have to take the 2-3 hour redirect…

the mainland!

I presume they got there safely…. ‘slowly & safely’ were my last words to them… They looked nervous, I was loving it – how often do you get to see things like this!?!

the mainland!

the mainland!

the mainland!

This was out the other side – descending to the south…. It was about 5pm by then, so despite it being winter the land would normally still be well lit… And I was still about 45 minutes from my destination, Saint Bathans… And for all that remaining time driving, seeing the golden dusk lighting the Central Otago landscape, I kept trying to remember the poetry/text from a particular Colin McCahon painting….

I never remembered it, but the universe provided the answer for me. I arrived at St Bathans, just before it got dark… Picked up the key to the jail where I was staying for a few nights.. Unlocked the door and walked into the bedroom, to be met by a print of the exact same McCahon painting I had been thinking about…

the mainland!

view/buy a print here

the mainland!

some photos from St Bathans to follow – a deeply surreal landscape!!

Scattered Light 96 CHRISTCHURCH

Yesterday I sent my parents along to see Anthony Powells film ANTARTICA – A YEAR ON ICE which I worked on in February, March & April this year… Its a film full of Anthonys beautiful time-lapse, along with fascinating insights into Antartica and the humans who live there. Check the trailer out & some other great footage by Anthony on vimeo HERE.
So while they were in the movie, I went for a drive around Christchurch thinking I might enjoy some nostalgia for favorite old locations (I went to secondary school, university and film school in Christchurch) So I thought I’d share some photos & thoughts about the city…

From the point of view of someone not living in Christchurch, there were two big quakes – first on September 4, 2010 and the second more destructive one on February 22, 2011. Two quakes, right? Wrong, so wrong…. This site perfectly illustrates what each of those two quakes actually consisted of, quake 1 = 12,595 individual events and quake 2 = 8,167… And to get an even better idea, check this link – it replays the events, on the top right you can see minutes ticking over… nothing much happens, but wait… approximately 30 seconds & see how fast that first quake hit & was followed by shake after relentless shake… and it doesn’t stop… Imagine experiencing a big quake like that – people often quote that the primary destruction occurred in 15 seconds – only to be followed by 8,000 after shocks!! Unreal, if only it was…

Having spent over a decade of my earlier life in Christchurch I know my way round, or I used to. I visited the city a year or more ago, but at that stage much of the city was inaccessible due to the destruction. Now, coming up to three years later, most of the city is accessible but what struck me on this visit the most profoundly, was the empty spaces…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Streets that contained thriving businesses are deserted – much of the centre of the city, which was always the life of the city, is empty….

Kia Kaha CHCH!

I drove past a location where I had a studio for a year or two, an old church (the big 1200 sqft room had a tap in the corner, I always wondered if it was divinely sourced!?!) but the church was long gone, now just an empty flat site. But beside my old church was a massive building, its also long gone. In fact everything on that block, and the block beside it was gone. Just empty flattened spaces…..

Driving around I started to appreciate the process – if a building was still standing, there is hope it may be restored, at least in part. The street in the photo below made me think it was in the too-hard basket presently, or at least on someones to-do list…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

But the sites that provide hope, are where facades have been preserved. It must be an incredible place to be an architect at the moment. I have visited Kobe, in Japan a number of times and it is a beautiful city, with a fascinating mix of traditional and modern architecture. It was the war & relentless firebombing that motivated the fantastic architecture in Tokyo, but like Christchurch it was a massive quake that destroyed Kobe, the great Hanshin earthquake, richter 7.3 in 1995. So visiting Kobe a dozen years later provides hope for the future of Christchurch.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

There has been much debate about the Christchurch Cathedral – should it be saved? Its an emotive subject as in some ways it represents the identity of Christchurch, but as a non-religious person a church that I think of much more fondly was the State Trinity Church.
I don’t know, or particularly care if it was used for religious bizo, but back in the day it was regularly used as a beautiful venue for music. I remember seeing Bill Direen play there, and the John Paul Satre Experience and many others that I have forgotten… So it was heartening to see it still standing…

Kia Kaha CHCH!

While the future of the main Cathedral remains to be decided, a new temporary Cathedral has been built by the innovative and genius Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and as with all great architecture there has been much debate & proffered opinion about this new cathedral, the ‘cardboard cathedral’ as it has come to be known. I have bit my lip a number of times as I heard people criticise it, and yet it was only completed and opened last week. And if there is one thing I know about architecture, it is that it must be experienced. So, for anyone in Christchurch, I ask you to put aside your preconceptions and go and experience it, with an open mind.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

I can’t speak to its function as a church, but as an architectural work it is fantastic. As you can see from the photos, I visited it on a very overcast winters day – light outside was totally diffuse. But the light inside that cathedral is so incredibly beautiful, and instantly emotionally warm. And the construction is a work of genius, quoting: “The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material,” says Shigeru Ban. “Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily. But paper buildings cannot be destroyed by earthquakes.” It’s also consistently low-cost. When the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’ project was announced, many were concerned that the structure would ‘go soggy in the rain’ Quite the contrary. The over 90 enormous 600mm diameter, 20 metre tubes are protected by a polycarbonate roof above, and very solid concrete floor below. Sturdy LVL (laminated veneer lumber) inserted beams, lend further substantial support to these tubes. The Cardboard Cathedral will also be one of the safest buildings in the city. It is being built to last 50 plus years and to 100% of the earthquake code.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

The remaining thoughts I had about the city were that it felt inspiring. I cannot imagine living here and not being directly influenced and inspired by the city, as it is rebuilt and becomes a new city. Clever works of art appear to be embedded in the city, some of the work is intentional and the direct result of creative human input while some isn’t – its just a reflection on the fundamental change the city is going through. And the conclusion I came to as we drove south was that Christchurch is becoming a new city, and it will be a beautiful city of the future. Congratulations to Shigeru Ban for his beautiful contribution! Arigatou gozimasu.

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

Kia Kaha CHCH!

shot in Christchurch – Sunday, 11th August 2013

Scattered Light 94

Scattered Light 92

Shot in Milford Sound July 18th, 2013 – the boat shows the scale, they backed our boat right under the waterfall!

Scattered Light 92

Scattered Light 92

Scattered Light 92

Scattered Light 89

Stream of consciousness

Shot 19th July 2013 – love the bokeh with my 100mm f2.8L macro lens!

Stream of consciousness

Stream of consciousness

Scattered Light 87

Waiti Bay

Infrared image of some very old trees near Westport, shot 30 June 2013

Scattered Light 86

Waiti Bay

shot May 31st 2013 at Waiti Bay
iso100 f20 54 second exposure, using Lee Big Stopper and Lee soft grad filter

Scattered Light 77

14th March, 2013, Seatoun – Wellington Harbour Heads

Scattered Light 76

Shot 16th February, 2013, South Coast from Wainuiomata

Scattered Light 75

Scattered Light 75

 

 

Above shot 26th January in Akaora, below shot 27th January in Castle Hill

 

Scattered Light 75

 

Its such a similar feeling; shooting photos with a macro lens and recording sound with a contact mic – instantly lost exploring an intricate parallel universe….

 

Scattered Light 73

 

Scattered Light 73

 

Rest in peace Mr Kudelski

 

Scattered Light 73

 

Late last year I finally got a Nagra 4.2 (the 4.2 was the favourite model of many people I spoke to, and the local tech who serviced it said it was the best spec’d machine – significantly more so than the IV-S) and I’ll be using it on one of the next HISSandaROAR libraries, but I also bought a manual for it off eBay, partly out of nostalgia as much as anything else…. Turns out that its not only a manual, its also both a practical and a philosophical guide to production sound recording! Highly reccomended reading for anyone interested in film sound: Guide to the Nagra 4.2 and Production Sound Recording by Fred Ginsburg Theres a couple of copies on eBay now for US$20 or so…

 

Scattered Light 73

 

Scattered Light 73

 

Scattered Light 72

 

Scattered Light 72

 

The high tide mark? Must have been some storm!

Shot at Birdlings Flat Jan 26th 2013

 

Scattered Light 72

 

There are some classic old baches on the beach, some derelict, some lived in…. and a few that are somewhere between those two states….

Love the old guy with his lunar patrol unit parked out front!

Scattered Light 72

 

Scattered Light 72

 

Scattered Light 72

 

Scattered Light 72

 

I love the optimism in the bright blue of that wrecked interior… the northerly wind was making all the broken windows rattle & creak…. I was wishing i could rent one of the functioning baches for a few days & leave my mics recording in the derelict one overnight….
Last time I would have been to Birdlings Flat was as a kid with my grandfather (RIP) who used to collect gem stones from the beach and polish them… Such a magic place…

 

Scattered Light 72

 

Scattered Light 71

 

Scattered Light 71

 

Made a wish lately?

Shot 20th January with 60mm macro lens, Lyall Bay Wellington

Scattered Light 69

Scattered Light 69

 

Photo of OysterCatchers shot 29th March 2012 at Oakura Bay, sound is from Kaikoura 21st August 2008 recorded with a pair of 416s and my good old DAP1 Dat Machine!

 

Scattered Light 67

Scattered Light 67

 

Shot October 1st 2012 on a back street on Shodoshima, Japan – the air was rich with the aroma of the nearby Soy Factory – there’s a bottle of their Soy Sauce in my fridge….
I take the lid off, inhale and am instantly back on that rainy street…

 

Scattered Light 65

Scattered Light 65

 

Shot Jan 3rd 2013 at White Rock – 48 second exposure

 

Scattered Light 64

Scattered Light 64

 

Scattered Light 64

 

Shot in Tora (on the east Coast of the Wairarapa) today; 6 January 2013

After recording the Seal Vocals Library I know it is very likely that you smell the presence of a seal before you see them… that second photo I stood there looking at that weird rock outcrop, sniffing for about ten minutes, until I finally noticed him on the left of the photo – blends so well with the environment…. but not someone you would want to step on by accident!

 

Scattered Light 62

Scattered Light 62

 

Shot January 3rd 2012 – love that colour pallet!

Scattered Light 62

 

Scattered Light 61bw

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Shot today, January 3rd 2013, the day we said goodbye to Hoppy…

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Shot today, January 3rd 2013, the day we said goodbye to Hoppy…

 

Scattered Light 61

 

Scattered Light 56

Scattered Light 56A

Scattered Light 56

Scattered Light 56C

shooting long exposures at Buckleton Beach, Matakana – December 2nd 2012

Scattered Light 55

Scattered Light 55

Shot 1st October 2012 on Shodoshima, at the location where the movie 24 Eyes was filmed

 

Scattered Light 55

 

Scattered Light 55

 

Keisuke Kinoshita’s Twenty-Four Eyes beat Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai as Kinema Junpo’s Best Film of 1954 and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film in 1955!

Scattered Light 54

Scattered Light 54

Shot last Sunday November 18th in Otaki when I was out recording material for the next HISSandaROAR library… Here is the promo video for it:

WHITE WATER from tim prebble on Vimeo.

A HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS and a ROARRRRRRRRRRRRR is right!

Scattered Light 53

Scattered Light 53

shot in Takaishi, Osaka on October 25th, 2012 – I imagined this was the stairs the woman climbs down in chapter 1 of Haruki Murikamis 1Q84

Scattered Light 52

Scattered Light 52

shot in Takaishi, Osaka on October 25th, 2012 after a long, tiring but excellent day recording industrial ambiences…

Scattered Light 50

Scattered Light 50

Teshima, Japan on 8th October, 2012

nature imitates Andy Warhol?
first image has no post processing, second saturated via SnapSeed…

Scattered Light 50

Scattered Light 46

summer starts here

 

Summer starts here!
I heard the first lone cicada of summer

Scattered Light 042

ah so

shot in Tokomaru Bay, East Cape on 12th May, 2007

imagine how proud the first owner of this car was….
and the lives lived in it

Scattered Light 041

ah so

shot at dusk on 24th February 2007 at Raglan – was there for annual reggae festival SoundSplash, the year Dub Syndicate played!

Scattered Light 40

ah so

Shot on September 2nd 2004, soon after getting my first digital camera, a little Sony point & shoot…. dead & buried six cameras ago… but the photos live on!

Scattered Light 39

ah so

shot on 18th Feb 2005 in Bluff, bottom of the South Island of New Zealand

Scattered Light 038

ah so

shot over the Pacific, somewhere between Apia and Auckland on May 31st 2011

Scattered Light 036

ah so

Shot on January 4th 2011, West Coast of the South Island, NZ

Scattered Light 034

ah so

shot in Kobe, Japan 28th October 2007 (spotted this weeks theme yet!?)

A sidenote: Kobe is a very beautiful city, set around a port, with an incredible art gallery & waterfront designed by Tadao Ando. Other than some tributes & memorials you would otherwise never know in 1995 it suffered a devastating 6.8 richter earthquake aka The Great Hashin Earthquake with massive destruction & loss of life. There is always hope – kia kaha Christchurch!

ah so

Scattered Light 033

ah so

shot on my brothers farm, Dipton, Southland, NZ on 3rd December 2006

Scattered Light 029

light

Shot on 28th January 2008 at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan – this swimming pool is by artist Leandro Erlich

light

light

light

light

light

Scattered Light 028

light

The Creamoata Building, Gore, Southland, New Zealand – shot December 9th 2006
My Mum tells a funny story of how when she was a kid the local heated swimming pool smelt of porridge!

Scattered Light 023

Ozus grave

Paying my respects at the grave of Yasujiro Ozu near Kamakura on 6th October 2007 – grave found via this post and FWIW the cans of beer, sake etc are full – its a Japanese tradition to pay tribute by leaving the deceased some of their favourite beverages…

Ozus Guinness!

Ozu must have liked Guinness!

Scattered Light 022

trees as tines

Shot on 29th March 2012 near Piripua Power Station, Lake Waikaremoana

Scattered Light 019

waiting

Shot on 27th March, 2012…. random tourists… & my mics… waiting….

Scattered Light 018

The Fog

The Fog

Shot on March 27th 2012 on Mihi Bridge (halfway between Taupo & Rotorua) – the fog was changing rapidly & within half an hour was completely gone! Aside from the above photos shot with my Canon 7D I also shot some beautiful video with my s95 which you can see in the photo below…

The Fog

Scattered Light 017

TaiChiGull.jpg

Seagulls do Tai Chi? Who knew? Shot on 23 March 2012 at Oakura Bay

Scattered Light 016

Cloud Factory

I never really believed all that science malarky taught at school about where clouds come from – I just knew they were produced artificially & I finally have the proof! I was driving on State Highway 1 just north of Taupo & there it was: a Cloud Factory!!

Shot on March 27, 2012

Scattered Light 012

 

 

 

Shot on 22nd March 2008, in Levin – standing inside a hot air balloon slowly being inflated

 

Scattered Light 11

 

 

 

Shot on 12th May, 2007 at Tolaga Bay

 

later the same day…

Scattered Light 010

 

 

 

Shot on 28th September 2007 at the infamous Five G Synth shop in Harajuku, Tokyo – my first time in the presence of a Eurorack modular

 

 

My Japanese language skills weren’t up to asking ‘please can I hear the MS20 through that insane looking Philips tape echo?’

Scattered Light 009

 

 

 

Shot on 10th June, 2007 near the beach at Kamakura, Japan

Scattered Light 008

 

 

 

Shot on 16th August 2008, on the footpath in Ponsonby, Auckland

Scattered Light 007

 

 

 

Sigur Ros live in Auckland, with Amiina playing support – shot 17th April 2004 – the lack of focus is not surprising…