Little Red Rooster

Belladonna Lily

So, I was going to change direction today away from flowers however I got a message that changed my mind. I received an email from a viewer saying they didn’t like to leave comments on blogs, however she was loving the images of flowers. She then went on to ask if I had any more I could post. Well, I promised one more flower photo so today by special request here is a Belladonna Lily, a species of Amaryllis. 

Green River

Mediterranean Spurge

This is another image from my social media channels which you might not have seen. Once again, turning to my marvellous Picture This app I can tell you this plant is a Mediterranean Spurge and it symbolises purity, protection and wisdom. Why that is, I can’t say, however I do know that it is used in Mediterranean cooking such as with salads and cooked with vegetables. Interestingly, the plant is also toxic so working with it would be rather dangerous I’d imagine. 

Oh, incidentally if you want to follow me on Facebook you can find me here (@fromasmallcity) or on Instagram right here (@fromasmallcity).

Purple Rain

Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum)

Just in case you need a little more purple in your life!

This is the image I shared on one of my social media channels yesterday however, since not everyone is not signed up to the various online communities, I’m sharing it here as well. If you’ve already seen it, you get the delight of seeing it again! I must say, I don’t really know plants and flowers, so identifying them is a bit of a mystery to me. Yet, I can tell you that it’s a Garden Mum, a species of Chrysanthemum. I know that thanks to my marvellous Picture This app on my phone. 

Oh, incidentally if you want to follow me on Facebook you can find me here (@fromasmallcity) or on Instagram right here (@fromasmallcity).

Street Art By Phlegm

Street Art by UK artist Phlegm

The Dunedin street art scene kicked off in around 2014 when local and international artists were invited to add colour to some of the city walls. Since then, murals have appeared all over the city. It’s really not hard to come across street art in Dunedin. One of the earlier pieces was this one by Welsh-born Sheffield-based muralist and artist Phlegm that can be found on Vogel Street on the exterior wall of Vogel Street Kitchen. 

School of Dentistry

School of Dentistry

The other day I was feeling a bit creatively uninspired. So, to spark my thinking I spent some time reading a bit of poetry by William Blake before going for a walk listening to Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf,  BB King, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Blind Willie Johnson and Robert Johnson to name a few. At some point on my walk I passed the University School of Dentistry which I decided looked interesting in Black & White.

Otago University Library

Otago University Library

I found my way to the Otago University Library. Mainly because it was raining and I was wanting to wander around somewhere interesting. The rain had started while I was walking down Dunedin’s Castle Street and by the time I was approaching the Otago University, it was getting responsibly hard. Needing to find some shelter, I ducked into the Otago University Library where I figured I might as well see what creative angles I could find. 

The Town Belt At Night

City & Silgo Walkway

It’s fair to say that at the moment, here in Dunedin the mornings aren’t exactly tropical! In fact, they’re simply cold! Fortunately the rain passed through overnight, however the wind that has been present since Friday remains. On this occasion, for some silly reason I decided to go for a walk, I left my car near Sligo Terrace in the Town Belt and made my way in the wind along Scarba Street before turning on Leven and Ross Streets. From there and with the wind at my back, it was a short downhill canter before joining the walkway heading back up City Road to Sligo Terrace. Along the way I took several photos, one of which is featured today. Note to self, wear gloves next time!

In The Depths Of Morning

Braid Road

There’s a strange time of morning at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter when it’s not quite light, yet not completely dark. It’s a curious time of day, the depths of morning. This is a time where shadows creep and the night lingers on paths that seem twisted with form. The wind whispers, dark corners betray our thoughts yet light seems to have a friendly, welcoming glow.

The ‘Tiger Tea’ Bus

The ‘Tiger Tea’ Bus

The trouble with modern museums is that they are beautifully presented with only selected exhibits on display that get rotated occasionally. Usually the exhibits are placed with a detailed information board with lots of space and around the item for the eye to take everything in. Personally, I prefer museums that are presented like a hall cupboard. Stuffed full of things that you have to spend hours sorting through before finding what you’re looking for. The fun part is generally on the way to the back of the cupboard you get a pleasant surprise by finding something you lost years ago. I wish museums took on this philosophy.

The Chingford Stables

The Chingford Stables

If we could bring Percival Clay Neill back to life, I’m sure he would be mighty impressed with how his stables now look in autumn. Having died in 1936 at the age of 94, he might wonder what happened to some of the buildings on his once extensive estate which included a homestead, stables, dairy, and coach house. However, I’m confident any disappointment over the loss of some of the buildings on his estate would be overshadowed by the lovely autumnal scenes that now encompass the grounds. 

St Clair Sea Wall In Orange & Teal

St Clair Esplanade

Feeling in a bit of a creative mood, I decided to have a little bit of fun with this photo I took of the sea wall at the St Clair Esplanade. Starting in Lightroom, I gave it an orange and teal feel before exporting it to photoshop. At that point I hit it with a kind of black and white-bleach effect that I washed over the top before finishing it with some old school scratches for a bit of texture. Of course, it took a lot longer to do than I’m making it sound but you get the idea. I hope!

The Meridian Mall

The Meridian’s glass dome.

To get this angle of the glass dome in the Meridian Mall in Dunedin I had to shoot while on the escalator. It took several attempts to get one I was happy with and by the third time I had been up and down the escalators the security guards were starting to show some interest in what I was doing. It was at that point that I decided it was best to leave. The thing I love about this angle is the way all the different shapes interplay with the circular domes; however to be under the dead centre you need to be in a certain spot on the escalator.

Channeling Ansel Adams

Blackhead Beach in black and white.

A few weeks ago I spent the afternoon at Blackhead Beach. While most of my time was taken up with stumbling over stones and splashing through rock pools, I did find time to admire the local Sea Lions that were playing close by. I also spent time photographing the scenery, which is when I felt the inspiration to take a black and white photo or two. So, channelling the great American landscape photographer Ansel Adams, I switched modes on my trusty camera to black and white and set to work attempting to control the contrast between highlights and shadows.

The National Bank of New Zealand

The National Bank of New Zealand 

This is another of Dunedin’s wonderful historic buildings and like so many others there’s an interesting wee story to it. As a result of the Otago gold rush, the Bank of Otago was established in late 1863. The first chief executive of the bank was a 54-year old Scottish solicitor named John Bathgate who diligently set about his work with the bank in Otago and Southland upon arrival. That was until 1866 when a financial panic in London set in. Believing that banks might fail, and wanting to protect their funds, a large number of investors withdrew their money causing numerous banks to slump. One of which was the Bank of Otago. Needing a scapegoat for the failings of the bank, the London-based directors singled out John Bathgate who reluctantly agreed to resign.

Needing someone to take over the running of the bank, the directors turned to a person by the name of William Larnach. Who, at the time, was branch manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Geelong, Australia. Having moved his family to Dunedin from the Australia gold fields and needing somewhere to live, Larnach moved his family into the upstairs rooms of the bank where he worked. The Bank of Otago lasted under William Laranach until April 1873 when it was finally absorbed by the National Bank of New Zealand with the building becoming the main branch for the Bank. Originally only two stories, a new four story building was constructed on the site in 1911 and is the same one that graces Princes Street in Dunedin today. William Larnach eventually moved out of the banking business and among other things, went on to build a nice wee home on the Otago Peninsula and had a career in politics. As for John Bathgate, he too went on to become a politician, holding the position of Minister of Justice and was Commissioner of Stamps which I’m sure at the time was a very important position!

Welcome To Autumn

Autumn in Dunedin

Here in this part of the world it’s that lovely time of year when all the colours of trees start to change. The sun is now a fraction lower in the sky, the mornings and evenings are becoming a tad colder with a definite autumnal feel to the start of each day. Around the city, the autumn colour palette of warm yellow undertones mixed with oranges, reds, ochre and olive colours is starting to appear. Before long the inner city will be covered in leaves.

Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch

Bridge of Remembrance In Christchurch

You would never know that the Bridge of Remembrance was once damaged in an earthquake. Located over the Avon River in Christchurch, it stands as a memorial to both World War I & II,  along with the conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. Structurally damaged in the February earthquake of 2011, when it was repaired, an 8 tonne beam was used to reinforce the arch and 27 metre piles were built so in any future earthquakes it rocks rather than twists. 

Fleur’s Place For Naturally Good Food

Fleur’s Place in Moeraki

While I was in the seaside village of Moeraki I called past Fleur’s Place, a rustic style restaurant that specialises in fresh seafood. Unfortunately, it closed during the Covid 19 pandemic when the whole hospitality industry struggled to stay open. In fact, I don’t know if it ever reopened? 

Fleur’s Place gained a great reputation for fantastic sea food and regularly received rave reviews by visitors from all over the world, including Britain’s own popular TV chef Rick Stein. In fact, when British newspaper the Daily Mail offered to fly him anywhere in the world to eat, he chose Fleur’s Place! That’s impressive.

The Taieri River at Henley

The Taieri River at Henley

After passing through Outram Glen, the town of Outram and ambling across the Taieri Plains, the Taieri River arrives at Henley. At Henley, the river merges with the Waipori River which then flows to Taieri Mouth. In the early days of Otago, as settlers were pushing inland searching for gold, there used to be a river barge at Henley. It took travellers and their belongings across the river as they headed into the gold fields of the Tuapeka and the Dunstan.

The Taieri River Across The Plains

The Taieri River across the Taieri Plains 

Speaking of the Taieri River, as far as rivers go, only three in Aotearoa are longer! It starts from seemingly nowhere in the Lammerlaw Range and flows north, then east, then south-east on its 288 kilometre journey to the sea at Taieri Mouth. It passes through at least six towns, two gorges, it links with two lakes, the fish are plentiful, there are some lovely picnic spots along its banks and it is part of the fabric of the farming community. So, with all that in mind, I thought I’d follow it through various photos I’ve taken with different cameras.

The White House on Portobello Road

The White House on Portobello Road 

166 Portobello Road, aka The White House, aka The Waverly House, aka The Dandie Dinmont was constructed in 1880 for businessman and politician William Larnach. Designed by Dunedin architectural firm Mason and Wales, the building was intended to be a hotel with transport across the harbour being by way of a harbour steamer. However, due to an economic depression and the failure of the steamer service, along with the building failing to get a liquor licence it was instead used as a stopover for guests travelling to Larnach’s Castle further down the Peninsula. William Larnach eventually lost interest in the venture and after the death of his first wife, he started to focus his attention on other projects.

Weeping Willow By The Taieri River

Weeping Willow by the Taieri River

One of the places I visited recently was Taieri Mouth, a small fishing village at the mouth of the Taieri River. There are a number of walking tracks there, one of which is the Taieri River track. The track passes through forest that arrives at the John Bull Gully picnic area. From there, if you’re feeling energetic you can continue further to Taieri Ferry Road, near Henley.

The Dunedin Gasworks Forge

The Dunedin Gasworks Forge

While I was at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum the forge was working which was surprisingly interesting. I really didn’t think much of it when I was told it was operating at reception, however it was fascinating to see. After several minutes I decided that it isn’t often you see something made from a lot of heat and physical labour these days.  Also, on a side note the gasworks are the oldest in the country being the first in New Zealand and also the last to cease production operating from 1863 – 1987.

Tunnel Beach In 1907 Autochrome

Tunnel Beach in Autochrome

Next stop on the tour of Dunedin, seen through early colour film is Tunnel Beach. The hidden beach is an amazingly popular spot for tourists. For this photo I used a preset based on the process called Autochrome. The early colour photography process of Autochrome was introduced by the Lumière brothers Auguste and Louis of France in 1907. In this process a colour image is created by combining microscopic layers of dyed potato starch grains on a glass plate.

“Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus”

The Octagon, Dunedin Buy 

If there’s one text you should read at Christmas time it’s the letter eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the editor of New York’s Sun newspaper in September, 1897. The response by Francis Church has since become one of the most reprinted newspaper editorials in history. Here it is in full: “Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus”

Have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

The Regent Theatre

The Regent Theatre – Buy 

This is the view from the stage at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre. It must be a surreal feeling to walk out on stage when the place is full with its 1600 seat capacity. In fact, the theatre’s stage was the largest in New Zealand until the Aotea Centre in Auckland opened in 1990.

Dating back to 1928, The Regent Theatre was registered as a Category 1 historic building in 1987 meaning it is a national place of outstanding historical and cultural significance and value. It’s also reported to be haunted with ghost stories including tales of “the lady in the dressing rooms.”

The corner of Cannongate and Serpentine Avenue

The corner of Cannongate and Serpentine Avenue Buy 

When I had last walked around this area of Dunedin it was the middle of winter and the area had a bit of a drab feel to it. Now that the trees (and bush) are full of summer colour and life it looks completely different. Actually, this image is more of a test run to see how the composition sits. I like the curved shapes, it’s something a bit different. I think I’ll revisit it at some point as I have a few other ideas I want to try out.