Capture by A photoblog


Lucky Stars

by Jonathan Ganley

Don McGlashan and band (guitarist Tom Rodwell and drummer Chris O’Connor) performing the opening night of the 'Lucky Stars' album tour at Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland, on June 11 2015.

The tour continues throughout New Zealand this weekend and across the following three weekends until July 4. Details are here. Expect to hear a first set of the 'Lucky Stars' album in full, followed by a second set of Don's solo / Front Lawn / Muttonbirds material.


Auckland Festival of Photography 2015

by Jackson Perry

The Auckland Festival of Photography runs 28 May - 20 June. If you have picked up the festival book, you'll be wondering how you could possibly see it all within the allotted time period. There is A LOT on.

We're very grateful to the organisers for giving us some photos to share, relating to one of the main events, Whitecliffe Festival Tuesday. 

This is held over one night on Tuesday 2nd June at 10 different venues. There are "Complimentary Whitecliffe Festival vans" to ferry you between venues, running every 20 minutes.

Beyond this hyperactive one off event, I suggest you pick up the programme (link to online ISSUU version), and carve out some serious photography appreciation time.


April Come She Will

by Jackson Perry

Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.

Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.

So here's some floor sweepings from the month that was.

Black is Back

Using a dense black background for still life photography work can intensify the subject dramatically.

As Jos commented elsewhere, "the light, and only the light".

In these three photos I used a variety of light sources, including a torch as backlight, my phone, and bright sunlight with the backdrop in the shade.

As the days get shorter, and the light more eclectic, this could be a good autumn project. Have a go if you feel the urge to go out of the blue, and into the black (cough).

Hometown Habits

After thirty years in Auckland, you would think I'd have started referring to it as my 'hometown' by now, but without thinking or blinking, I still say 'Whakatane'. This includes Ohope beach, and even though I only actually spent a third of my 46 years in the Bay of Plenty, it remains uppermost in my mind as a place to call home.

A recent visit there to see Jos and walk on the beach reminded me how true this still is.

Apart from the family connections, friends, and other things that tie me to the place, it occurred to me that the nostalgia part is often associated with a series of firsts.

It is where I got my first job (thanks Jos), my first stitches, my first vinyl record, my first skateboard, my first kiss... well, that was apparently when I was 4 in Opotiki, but we don't count that one.

Where is your wākāinga?

St. James Theatre is Back

Thinking it was opening for business this morning, we ventured into the foyer coffee lounge, due to welcome customers from tomorrow morning (I'm reliably informed) at The St. James Theatre. We were given a special tour, and grabbed a few shots.

A number of the PA regulars will also be going to A Weird Night Out next Saturday at the St. James, which should be a hoot. More photos after the event.

Feel free to share your own April meanderings.

Capture away.


"They Were Doing A Pretty Good Job"

by Jonathan Ganley

Anzac Day 2015 will mark one hundred years since the landings at Gallipoli. This time last year, we published a selection of photographs taken by Sergeant James Read during that campaign. Although amateur photography was still a novelty in 1915, Sergeant Read was one of many First World War soldiers who carried cameras to the battlefield, in spite of the disapproval of their superiors. Soldiers in the Second World War continued this practice, and New Zealander Harold Paton was amongst them. When he joined the army in 1940 and embarked for Egypt, he took a camera with him.

Paton had been a cadet photographer for the Auckland Star before joining up, but thought that photography would only be an interesting diversion from the serious business of being a soldier. But in the wake of the 1941 defeat in Crete, Prime Minister Peter Fraser arrived in Egypt. Paton was told he was needed urgently to take photographs of Fraser with the troops. One shilling and sixpence was handed over for film, the resulting photographs from Paton’s Super IKONTA camera were satisfactory, and Paton found himself appointed as official photographer for the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Paton took thousands of photographs over the next two years, travelling alongside General Freyberg as the New Zealanders fought and helped defeat German forces in North Africa, and during the period the New Zealand Division spent in Syria. When his own camera was stolen the army replaced it with a Rolleicord, a camera he described as ‘sturdy’ but ‘lacking the bells and whistles that news photographers use today’.

In spite of the difficult conditions, and the fact that he didn't see most of the photographs until after the war (the processing was carried out in Cairo and the images were controlled by the British Ministry of Information) Harold Paton's eye for a compelling photograph that tells a story can be seen in the selection below. One image of note is of  General Freyberg lying wounded at Minqar Qaim, which was published in Life magazine and brought Paton's work to a global audience.

Harold Paton returned to New Zealand with the first furlough draft  in 1943, but later in the Pacific war he was employed again by the army as a cinematographer. He returned to the Auckland Star after the war and was appointed chief photographer in 1956, a position he held until his retirement in 1979.

Harold Paton died in 2010. A large selection of his wartime images can now be viewed on the National Library site:

The background information for the article above was sourced from the excellent 2002 Penguin book 'Private Paton's Pictures', published in association with the New Zealand Herald.



Aurora Australis

by Ian Griffin & Paul Le Comte

If you were in the vicinity last night, and got to see the amazing Aurora Australis first hand, you are indeed one of the lucky ones. I managed to enjoy it thanks to a few in my twitter stream getting out there and capturing its glory.

Ian Griffin and Paul le Comte were kind enough to share both their photos and some tips for capturing the Aurora Australis.

Capturing the Aurora

Ian Griffin

I generally use a 2 camera set up when shooting the aurora; I like to have a relatively “close up” shot of the main action, together with a more wide field set up that shows as much of the sky and surrounding landscape as possible. Presently I use a Canon 6D and a 5Dmkiii, and normally once I’m happy with framing and exposure I will set them running with an intervalometer to capture as much of the action as possible both to use as stills and also timelapses. I shoot raw, and use Lightroom/Photoshop to edit the frames once I have them.

This particular display was awesome, since there was really bright stuff going on all over the sky. I shot with a Canon 8-15mm F4 at 8mm on the
5Diii and with a Canon 16-35F2.8 at 16mm on the 6D.

Images 1, 2 and 3 were taken with the 16-35mm F2.8 lens, ISO 3200, 2.5 seconds exposure as part of a 600 shot timelapse sequence during the course of the display.

Images 4 and 5 were shot with 10 second exposures at IS0 3200 using the 8mm end of the fisheye. No processing, with colour balance set to AWB which to my mind closest matches what you see. This display was extraordinary with arcs covering the whole sky, which is actually rare in my experience.

I love that using a 2 camera system I have the ability to get the “big picture” story of an aurora display, while at the same time looking at some of the small scale beauty.

Paul Le Comte

The aurora last night was interesting in that a lot of people thought it had peaked after the 10pm display, and we all gave up at 1am. I literally got 5mins in bed and thankfully thought I’d have one last look at the data on iPhone app Solar Monitor, and it was going crazy.

So sure enough back out I went. Dodging showers all night. Kp8 Bz-22 & Bt-32 were all insane numbers. Best naked eye visual Aurora in about a decade, well sustained all night. This event is now over 24hrs long & still going with a Coronal mass heading our way again tonight - hopefully the 2 events will combine right above our skies - that’s what’s forecast anyways.

I made this illustration to help non-space weather folk. 

Image 6 below is Otago Peninsula, the rest are from up on Saddle Hill overlooking Brighton Coast of Dunedin.