Monday, November 29, 2010

First post-exam weekend

This is an exciting time. It is my first weekend of freedom. I feel like i should put up a flag and sing the national anthem, haha. But instead, i had a few glasses of Riesling, nicely chilled in the fridge and found some outdoor tasks to keep myself busy since i am alone at home.

On Saturday (which was yesterday), i visited the Auckland zoo.  I tried visiting around 3 weeks ago and had to return home disappointed because i could not find a parking. The carpark was full by 11am and all the nearby street parkings were full too. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that's Auckland.  So this time, i have learnt my lesson. I woke up early, had a quick breakfast and arrived at the zoo entrance by 10am. The carpark was already half full by then. Shocking. I spent a solid 4 hours there. The weather was glorious. Perhaps a bit too warm. Some of the animals like the lions, the Serval cats and Lemurs were all in hiding in the shades. But still i had a really enjoyable time and got a lot of nice photos.  Things i have found most challenging were shooting through the enclosures' glass. The sunlight on the glass causes glare and led to some ugly flares on the photos. Some people said wrapping a black cloth around the lens will solve the problem but i did not have a cloth with me then. Shooting photos of caged birds was also tough because the cages for birds were all made of closely placed wires. Despite my very wide aperture of f2.8, my depth of field was still not shallow enough to throw the cage into blur. So i ended up taking very minimal photos of birds. Here are some of the shots.

Sunday morning, woke up at 8am and found myself fully awake and unable to sleep (8am was the usual time i start studying when i had exam). I watched a bit of TV. Q&A with various talks about the recent Pike river mine tragedy was the only show on TV. Ate breakfast at home and headed down to Queen street early for the parade. Queen street was absolutely packed with people.  It was extremely difficult to find a good spot to snap photos. So i went "downstream" and ended up on Albert street (the end of the parade), managed to find a decent spot there. I was very trigger happy, snapped around 250 photos. I was mainly photographing the crowd and the people in parade costumes, not so much the balloons etc.  In a way, i am testing my own skills in people photojournalism.  My conclusion from today is it is very tough. It has made me realised hard hard wedding photographers have to work. Half a day of shooting in  the sun really drains your energy away. when you get home, you have another half a day of photoshop editing to do.  I use to complain about how wedding photographers overcharge their client.  I don't think that anymore now.

Anyway, here are some of the shots from the parade. Lots of kids around.

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