Business class, cabin class, er … eagle class?

Super-size Weta Workshop-made model of Gandalf. Wellington Airport terminal. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Wellington Airport: offering new ways to fly. image: Su Leslie, 2017

Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Six Word Saturday: busking for Hospice, despite the cold

Braving the cold to fundraise for Hospice, Cuba Mall, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Brightening a grey afternoon. Dancing to fundraise for Hospice, Cuba Mall, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Street fundraiser for Hospice, Cuba Mall, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Dancing to fundraise for Hospice, Cuba Mall, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

… a cube of sunlight

 

Black and white shot, Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald's church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald’s church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

I recently spent a long weekend in Wellington; the world’s southernmost capital city and one of my favourite happy-places.

Wellington is a small city, full of art and culture and great places to eat and drink coffee. Bounded by the sea and the hills, it works on a human scale. Everywhere is walkable, even in one of the howling gales for which Wellington is famous.

I arrived in the midst of such a storm. Throughout the flight from Auckland the captain warned that we might be in for a “bit of jostling” as our plane approached Wellington airport. He wasn’t joking.

Girls pose with the Max Patte sculpture, 'Solace in the Wind.' Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Waterfront sculpture. Max Patte, ‘Solace of the wind‘ — with admirers. Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Although the wind dropped a little over the weekend, it remained a grey and windy time — perfect for black & white photography.

Wellington street sculpture. Terry Stringer, 'Grand Head', Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Wellington street art. Terry Stringer, ‘Grand Head‘, Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Sculpture on Wellington waterfront. Michael Tuffery, 'Nga Kina', sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Michael Tuffery, ‘Nga Kina‘, sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

'The Beehive', NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

‘The Beehive’, NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Indoor sculpture. Francis Uprichard, 'Mandrake', from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

More sculpture indoors. Francis Upritchard, ‘Mandrake‘, from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

The title of this post comes from the Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s poem ‘Blue Rain.’ An extract, below,  is included in the Wellington Writers’ Walk — a series of “typographical sculptures” placed around the city. It occurs to me that the phase “cube of sunlight” might also be applied to photography.

“Blue rain from a clear sky.
Our world a cube of sunlight –
but to the south
the violet admonition
of thunder.”

— Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. From ‘Blue Rain’ in The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems, Hazard Press, 2003

Posted to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, at Lens and Pens by Sally.

 

 

Snapshots from an afternoon by the sea

Wellington harbour, from Eastbourne. Afternoon clouds threaten. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Wellington harbour, from Eastbourne. Afternoon clouds threaten. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed.

In Wellington recently for the LUX Festival, I found myself with a spare afternoon and decided to visit the seaside village of Eastbourne, across the harbour. I’d once before caught the ferry to nearby Days Bay, but this time decided to travel by bus.

It bus takes about an hour, travelling through Petone and Lower Hutt. For the last 15 or so minutes I was the only passenger, and so was able to chat with the bus driver. I had no idea where I wanted to go. He he suggested a walk along the shoreline and even made an unscheduled stop at the most convenient place for me  — demonstrating once again that Wellington bus drivers are the nicest in the world.

It was a pretty gloomy afternoon, with whipping winds and huge clouds rolling across the harbour. The threat of rain meant conditions weren’t ideal for sightseeing (or lingering to take photos) but it did ensure my walk was brisk.

The few shots I have of that afternoon were snapped on my phone, while walking, and later from the bus on the way back to Wellington. None were particularly good at first sight; too dark and indistinct, which of course makes them perfect for an exercise in editing. I applied a HD filter to each shot and then played with a few filters in Aviary Photo Editor, to alter the mood a little.

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Wellington harbour, from Eastbourne. Afternoon clouds threaten. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed and Aviary Photo Editor.

My main memory of that afternoon (apart from the friendly bus driver, who also took me back to Wellington), is the dominance of the cloud formations blanketing the harbour. Behind them, small bands of colour

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Harbour entrance and distant Eastbourne. View from the bus back to Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed.

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Harbour entrance and distant Eastbourne. View from the bus back to Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed and Aviary Photo Editor.

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A break in the clouds. Wellington seen from the coastal road, York Bay. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed.

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A break in the clouds. Wellington seen from the coastal road, York Bay. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed and Aviary Photo Editor.

It’s out walking that I tend to listen to music the most, and my visit to Eastbourne prompted me to find The Front Lawn‘s Tomorrow Night on my playlist. This is a kind of anthem for Kiwis abroad, especially on their OE (overseas experience) in the UK — as I was once.

She loves Wellington she was born there,
She grew up out in the Hutt valley,
Then she left home looking for something,
She thought she’d find it in the city.
She’d go dancing in the weekends,
Her friends were starting up new bands,
Tight black dresses and hairspray,
Talking about,
Tomorrow night,
About 8 o’clock,
Tomorrow night
When the town starts filling up,
Tomorrow night about the time when the pubs start jumping,
And the drunks start fighting,
We’ll start dancing.

Tomorrow Night, Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair (The Front Lawn)

 

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.