This has been a month for confronting old possessions and deciding what we really do and do not need......turns out that we really don't need/want a lot. It has also been a month to catch up with friends we haven't seen for almost two years and share my passion for photography through talks and mentoring.
Firstly lets address the issue of possessions. When we hit the road two years ago we thought that we'd be in our caravan for no more than 3-5 years. After 2 years I am happy to say that I really can't see an end to our travelling especially when New Zealand has so much to offer. If the North Island can keep us occupied for almost 18 months then I'm sure the South Island with it's incredibly diverse landscape and weather patterns can keep us occupied for years! About a year into our travels we were struggling to remember what we had put into storage that was so important, after two years I can honestly say I had very little idea and was quite shocked at how much we considered we must keep. A month later we have either sold, donated or dumped at least 90% of the 10% of our stuff we kept from 2 years ago on our initial clear that feels good :-)
A couple of talks to the camera club allowed me to really share my passion for the wonderful world of image creation and I hope to do more of this as I travel the country. Being back among photographers that I know has also allowed me to spend some time in a mentoring role, again, something I will pursue further in the coming months and year as I would love to work with more budding photographers to help them realise their vision through photography.
Even with all of that going on I have still found time for my photography over the last month and have enjoyed visiting old areas with new eyes. Some particularly enjoyable days walking around Christchurch and enjoying the arts centre and art gallery which are finally back open again. There is still lots to do in this city but you can certainly see areas where the rejuvenation is happening and it's great to see the difference after a couple of years away.
In addition to revisiting the local area I did take in a weekend trip with some fellow photographers to the West Coast. The West Coast on the South Island of New Zealand is renowned for unpredictable stormy weather with waves crashing onto the shore. Strong winds threaten to part you and your equipment at a moments notice and send your beloved camera gear hurtling down the rocks. These are the conditions that I love to photograph in :-). However, for about 3 days of every year the coast is completely calm with stunning blue skies.......yep, we were there for that weekend! Oh well, there's always next time :-)

I real benefit to staying on a friends farm is that there are plenty of old bits of machinery laying around to be photographed

New Brighton Pier, which I have photographed on many occasions was bustling with people. Great to see it being popular again.

First dusting of snow we have seen in quite a while meant a day trip with the camera.

Saw this old barn on a road trip. Amused me how the building and the plant were both sagging.....winter must be coming ;-)

The remnants of cyclone Cook made its way down the east coast of the South Island, quite interesting to watch

During a mentoring session to capture images of toadstools these cows came over to see what was going on. Curious creatures.

These particular toadstools looked like stepping stones

Racers in action at the Methven Street Racing over Easter.

Spectators enjoying being close to the action at Methven

Soo long since I've been for a walk on Leithfield Beach. 

We've had a few spectacular sunsets over the month.

Autumn colours, that is something we really missed on the North Island

Arthurs pass is pretty at anytime, but especially so when dappled light hits the valley like this.

Keen fisherman enjoying the calm coast on the west of the island for a change. Typical West Coasters, full of banter and tall stories :-)

Bluring the waves to get some movement into them as the sun was setting

Almost dark as we parked on the side of the road to capture the final light of the day

As a blue sky day awaited I saw the opportunity for a very simple composition on the hill above me

When faced with a sky full of blue and a fierce sun causing bright reflections there are two options, put the camera away or find a way to encompass the elements.

A friend taking in a different vantage point for the scene

It's been a long time since I ventured out into the night to get an astro shot. Cape Foulwind lighthouse is not the most elegant of structures but still worked under the majesty of the Milky Way

Almost unbelievable that 3 days on the West Coast and we were still seeing perfectly calm seas off of the coast.

The west coast has great rocky outcrops.......definitely an area to come back to

Just wonderful to be back in Christchurch and have access to some of the Art Centre again

It is the school holidays and this family were enjoying some of the artwork by Francis Upritchard in the Christchurch Art Gallery

Just love people walking into harsh shadows. Taken from the balcony in the Art Gallery

"Great bales of Fire" on the farm. Yes I know, lame title but I couldn't resist.

A very delicate pink rose from the botanical gardens which were being enjoyed by lots of families at the end of the school holidays

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