Autumn on Water Street

Autumn on Water Street

Late last month before autumn officially ended and winter began, I went on one last search for some autumn colour. There’s still some last pockets around the city however in general the trees are pretty well bare now. Fortunately around Queens Garden in Dunedin I found a few trees the still maintained a hint of the autumn colour palette.
#lovindunners #majesticdunedin #johncaswellnz

Into The Shimmering Light

Surfer at Day Break

Into The Shimmering Light
Wandering finding curious and creative views as of Ōtepoti  I amble down each charter’d street.

This is one of my favourite beach/surfing photos. I haven’t spent much time down at the beach recently, I really should change that. With this image I was fortunate with the timing. The National Surfing Champs were due to start that morning and I was following the light and making my way across the rocks at St Clair. As I did so one of the major female contenders for the Open Section just happened to launch herself into the surf at the same time. I kinda like the end result.
#lovindunners #majesticdunedin #johncaswellnz

Tyler Stent Street Art

Ed Sheeran by Tyler Stent

Is Tyler Stent a local Dunedin artist? I always assumed he was however it recently occurred to me that this is a piece of information I should know for certain. I know he has had art on show at the The Artists Room on Dowling Street and you can find more of his work on Carroll Street (Ralph Hotere mural) and at the cafe the Morning Magpie on Stuart Street. Which is your favourite?

Here’s a few hashtags for you to link to #lovindunners #majesticdunedin

Set On Foundations

I’ve photographed the Steeples Of First Church before. Usually it’s in the early morning or late in the evening. However, I’ve been meaning to taken a day time image of First Church for a while. It’s one of those land mark locations here in Dunedin that’s an important part of the city. It’s primary congregation was the Scottish Free Church settlers who first landed in Dunedin in the 1840’s. Plus, it’s got an awesome gothic feel to it. There’s little wonder it’s is regarded as one of the most impressive nineteenth-century churches in New Zealand.

Reflections & Colour

Season of colour and warmth

In yesterday’s blog post Autumn In The Inner City I mentioned that after identifying an Autumn colour palette, I then went out in search of Autumn in the inner city. My goal was to find Autumn scene’s that also showed parts of the city. This is an image I found at Otago University with the old University clocktower reflecting in the windows of the Centre of Innovation with a Japanese Cherry tree sits in front.

Autumn In The Inner City.

Cadbury World with Autumn colour

I was watching a home decorating show the other day. Just why I was doing such a thing I can’t recall however it was one of those shows where a designer is given a hopelessly inadequate budget in which to update a mammoth amount of rooms in the space of only a few weeks. The project, from memory, was started in November and of course the family wanted it to be finished in time for Christmas. When they presented the designer with this timeline and budget, after much rolling around on the floor laughing, she politely told them they were being a tad hopeful and optimistic. This I discovered was interior designer code for not standing a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it done. 

To sum things up and skipping to the end of the show, they went massively over budget and apparently two years later the job is still not finished. However, I did learn a few things from this programme. Firstly, I have no understanding how to place furniture in a room. If furnitureplacementdyslexia was a thing, then I’d have it! Secondly, I wanted to start thinking in terms of colour palettes. 

It turns out that in home decorating, colour palettes are extremely important and while I wasn’t too fussed about home decorating with delicately placed objects or cushions, transferring a seasonal colour palette into art form seemed a very interesting idea. I thus set myself a mission. To identify a autumn seasonal colour palette and then use it in a photo. 

A few days later after much reading I identified my autumn colour palette as based on warm yellow undertones mixed with oranges, reds, ochre and olive colours. It is also offset with earthly brown’s taken from the natural world such as rusts. I also discovered that this colour palette mixes wonderfully well with textures. And so, with my palette identified, I went out in search of autumn in the inner city.

Autumn In The Inner City

Meet On The Ledge

Where do the autumn leaves go?

I’ve been out hunting the Autumn vibes around Dunedin recently. Usually I head out into the bush and take in a few walking tracks while listening to bird life. This year however I’ve been more focused on finding signs of Autumn in the inner city and seeing how I can combine the two elements.

Taking photos in the city always feels rushed for some reason, no matter how much time I take. I think it’s the constant flows of traffic and people. For a change of pace I headed up to Ross Creek to watch and listen to the bush. After sometime I found part of a stream where the Autumn leaves kept getting trapped in the rocks before getting swept away. I wander where they end up?

Autumn on the rocks

Let Them Eat Vegan


I spent a pleasant morning casually wandering around various buildings that made up the city centre. I’m not sure when, but at some stage I headed through a mall that seemed to have a very interesting structure to it. In it I found this very funky ceiling. It’s outside the vegetarian and vegan deli Let Them Eat Vegan. It’s a very popular locally owned vegan deli here in Dunedin with lots of yummy homemade meats, cheeses, mayos, sandwiches and baked goods. If you wanted to call in and see them here are the details:
What’s Good? The Baguettes are outstanding! The great thing is their menu changes everyday so you knows it’s fresh and never boring.
Address: Albion Lane, Dunedin, New Zealand 9016
Open: Tuesday to Friday 11;00am – 8:00pm, Saturday 9:00 – 3:00pm

Monday Glow

Monday GlowA Moment of Mindfulness

I wandered past the various eating establishments that had an abundance of offers for foot traffic like myself. They all seemed very enticing but considering I hadn’t actually done anything that morning beyond get up, they all seemed a bit lavish. In the end, after wandering in the delicious warmth that can only be provided from the sun on a public holiday I settled for a coffee from a local cafe called Star Fish. Happy and content I went on way.

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Sunday Avro

St Clair SundaySunday white peaks

I passed the morning by ambling about in town along George Street trying to remember where I parked, an event that took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Having left the town centre behind, and not feeling particularly warm, I headed for the Esplanade at St Clair. Upon arrival, with the wind dropping and the clouds breaking I stepped onto the Esplanade in bright but chilly sunshine.

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A Walk At Dawn

I went for a walk at dawn the other day. Here in Dunedin there’s been a few good sunrises recently so I thought I should capture at least one of them. The great thing about being surrounded by so many hills is that there’s always lots of good options to view them from. Personally, I enjoy the beaches at St Kilda and St Clair. I took this looking over the Long Dog Cafe and Salt Water Pool on the Esplanade as people were coming and going for their early morning dips. It’s not a bad spot to have a coffee and read the paper on a Monday morning.

Farm Field In Mist, Otago Peninsula

Farm Field, Otago Peninsula

Yesterday I mentioned how wonderful the Otago Harbour is and a few of the things that make it simply splendid. Well, the Otago Peninsula is just as good. There’s all sorts of tracks and paths to adventure along, old buildings to explore and sights to be seen. If you’re after wildlife, a little bit of preplanning is the way to go but as long as you have good walking shoes there’s heaps to see and do. Even on days like the one above when the low cloud, mist and drizzle take hold it’s a unique experience. It’s little wonder so many artists have used it as inspiration.

A View Like This In Dunners

Ravensbourne Tracks

One of the best things about Dunedin is the Harbour. It’s simply splendid in so many ways. It may not be the big, grand showpiece that is Sydney Harbour, however there’s something close, personal and intimate about Dunedin’s Harbour. In one day you can see Albatrosses, Seals, Sea Lions, Penguins, go for a ferry ride, go fishing, visit art galleries, undertake any number of water sports, enjoy the many picnic areas, walk, run, cycle and of course enjoy any one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants that can be found at various locations.

Also, if you get up early in August you can have a view like this from the Ravensbourne over bridge as the sun comes up.

Who Is Adam Scott?

The Adam Scott Jetty at Sunrise

I’ve got a number of ideas on how to photograph this small jetty however all of them involve either sunrise or night time. So, I’m having to be patient.

This jetty here in Dunedin is called the Adam Scott Jetty. I did some digging but I couldn’t find any reference to further information about it. It left me wondering who Adam Scott is. The only one I know of is Adam Scott the Australian golfer. Thanks to Google, I am now also aware of an actor called Adam Scott and I now know there are at least 317 (that’s when I stopped counting) people called Adam Scott on Facebook. There are also many more many more called Scott Adam. I also found out that in White Cloud, Michigan there is an annual rodeo held for Adam Scott who at the age of 18 passed away during a bull riding accident in 2002. While it seemed unlikely that any of these Adam Scott’s was the person the jetty was named after, I need to come to some conclusion to satisfy my curiosity.

So, I’ve decided to make and believe the following widely untrue assumptions about the naming of the jetty. In 2013, having been so impressed with Australian golfer Adam Scott’s 2013 Masters win at Augusta, Dunedin residents named the Jetty after him in recognition of his wonderful achievement. The jetty was chosen as a symbol to the famous 16th hole water hazard on the Augusta course.

I ask again, who is Adam Scott?

Te Whanaupaki/Flagstaff

The Otago’s hinterland from Flagstaff

Having spent a good period of time in the city visiting something that isn’t there and imaging what the most important building ever lost to Dunedin used to look like, I decided a walk in open space was in order. The most interesting and open spaced place I could think of that wasn’t beyond my lung capacity and would be achievable within 30 minutes was The Flagstaff Track. 

It wasn’t soon after I started along the old bullock track up a short but steep walk up to Dunedin’s Skyline that I realised maybe a bush walk would have been more sensible. Before long the manuka scrub gave way to tussock land that stretched over rolling hills into Otago’s hinterland. 

To an outsider I’m sure the meaning of The Flagstaff Track is perfectly clear. It’s a track that leads to where the staff of a flag was raised. They would be right of course, however it’s the purpose of the flag that seems to depend on which story you follow. Some definitions indicate that the flag signaled a ship had arrived in port meaning new supplies could be purchased. Other stories tell of when a flag was hoisted on Flagstaff Summit men would flock into the city in the hope of finding a wife.

A Walk In The Exchange

Lavender in the Exchange

I went to the Exchange on a city Orbus Bus that sped it’s way along the busy one-way system and clattered through orange traffic lights with growing momentum. It was very thrilling. I like the Exchange very much. It’s got everything a public space needs to make it an enticing location to connect people to the wider city. There’s bars, restaurants, hotels, a casino, monuments, historic buildings, useful information points, street art, public transport and even a busker or two if you’re lucky.

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Dunedin’s Future Focus

St Clair Sea Wall 

The St Clair sea wall seems to be back on the agenda once again as the Dunedin City Council recently released information on the St Clair-St Kilda Coastal Plan. Among the plans are a redesigned seawall at St Clair, moving an old landfill away from Middle Beach and improved dune management and access at St Kilda beach.

Personally, and this is just me, I find it completely mind boggling that a landfill was put anywhere near the beach/ocean in the first place. It has to be argued that even a hundred years ago it wouldn’t have taken a genius to look at the landfills location and proximity to the beach and draw the conclusion that something could go wrong.  One option that hasn’t been tabled, which I find a little disappointing is to import a family or two of Wombles to live in burrows around Kettle Park. Surely if wise old Great Uncle Bulgaria can’t sort it out, no one can.

Spots of Drizzle

Monday 1st March, 7:15am

Welcome to the 1st of March and autumn. There’s been an autumnal feel in the morning for a few weeks now. The air temperature has started to feel a bit cooler, it’s a tiny bit darker and the street lights seem to hang around for longer.

There were a few spots of drizzle with low cloud around this morning as I was out walking around. So, fingers crossed the day fines up. This is a 3 second exposureI took this morning as traffic headed along Great King Street. Have a good Monday everyone.

Things Kiwi’s Love.

Spartan 10s Charity TournamentIt’s a Kiwi Thing

There are many things New Zealanders love. If I had to name a few I would say walking and running on things, swimming in things and jumping off things. I would also add summer, trying to cook almost anything on a BBQ, the beach, Dave Dobbyn and Neil Finn, Pies, Ice Cream and Rugby. To be fair, not everyone likes rugby however you’ll generally find that people either talk about rugby, about how there’s too much rugby or about how they know nothing about rugby. 

So, when you take a hot summer day and add it to rugby, thrown in a BBQ with a wee bit of music you’ll generally get a day that pleases a lot of people. This just so happens to be how I spent the day at the recent Spartan X’s, annual charity rugby tournament.

A Walk To The Soldiers Memorial

Otago Peninsula Fallen Soldiers Memorial

Why is it that I always seem to end up walking up hills? It could be that I enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of reaching the top. Or, it could be that as Dunedin is surrounded by hills there’s always a better than average chance that I’ll end up walking uphill at some point. 

So it was that on a reasonably fine Saturday I decided to head up Dunedin’s 41 peg track from Tomahawk lagoon to the Soldiers Memorial on the Otago Peninsula. This seemed a simple enough plan, however it wasn’t till I was halfway up the first paddock that I realised it was all up hill! In hindsight this seems obvious however it really didn’t occur to me when I started out. 

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A Weapon of War

I’m not entirely sure what the Octagonal contest is. I know it involves bagpipes but details beyond that I’m a tiny bit lite on. Having stumbled upon the contest in Dunedin’s Octagon, I thought I’d have a go at summing the whole thing up. Here’s what I know, and I must apologize as even in these details I’m making a few assumptions. 

In Dunedin each year there’s a Pipe Band contest which is called the Octagonal contest. This involves Pipe Bands from around the South Island. From what I could gather, the bands spend a lot of time standing in a circle warming up by playing a tune and pulling strange faces. Each group then takes it in turns to walk down the street, stand in a circle and play the same tune as everybody else. While doing this, people (who I assume are judges) watch their feet and make lots of marks on paper before everybody claps and cheers. Once finished, the group moves off to discuss their performance while a few of the older gentlemen calm their nerves with a cigarette. This is then repeated by the next group. 

On a side note, I would like to mention how mind boggling it is that people who smoke can play the bagpipes. Just how a smoker would have the lung capacity to play the bagpipes for an entire afternoon is quite beyond me. Another mind boggling fact is that the bagpipes are the only known musical instrument to have been used as a weapon of war.

Farm House with Athene Noctua

Farm House with Athene Noctua

I spotted this little one happy resting on the window of an old shed between Tunnel Beach and Blackhead on Saturday. I wouldn’t have even knew to keep a lookout for it if it wasn’t for the Otago Daily Times. I loved the texture and age of the shed with the grass so much I just had to included them. Plus, I didn’t want to create a copy of the ODT’s image. I had planned to shoot this shed like this anyway so the Owl is a nice wee addition.

Steeples Of First Church

First Church, Dunedin

I found this awesome light hitting First Church here in Dunedin the other week just after 7am. I had loads of fun playing with the shadows and all the different ways the light was silhouetting the gothic structures of steeples and spires. The foundation stone for First Church was laid on 15 May 1868 but even before construction began, in 1862, the Otago authorities decided to lop 12 m from Bell Hill for the project.