Destinations Magazine – online now.

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note with these two links – I am absolutely thrilled with this article about my trip to Greenland. Comments always welcome and please do share with your travel minded friends.

The first link is to the magazine, the second link is directly to my story.

http://destinationsmagazine.com/category/stories/

http://destinationsmagazine.com/stories/eastern-greenland/

Destinations Magazine is free to subscribe to so feel welcome to tick the appropriate box.

Mark this date in your diary 13th June..My exhibition ICE  opens at Exhibitions Gallery, 19a Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland until 2nd July.

Double Exposures in camera –

Creating double exposures in camera is a lot of fun..one is never sure what the result will be, it is akin to waiting for a roll of film to be processed.  Double exposures are one of photography’s most creative techniques, giving photographers endless possibilities to produce unique and inspiring photographs. 

Experiment and enjoy the surprises. Funnily enough I have sold a few of my doubles and won awards too so there is method in my madness! Simply put, double exposure is a combination of two different images in one frame to create a unique photo. Continue reading

Expedition Greenland

passportOne of the worlds sought after Passport stamps – Greenland.

Somehow I’ve booked myself on an ‘expedition’ to East Greenland. I have no idea what I have let myself in for other than an adventure and a chance to see Icebergs!! It is my 70th birthday present to me!! We keep being told ‘you’ll never do it younger’ so I did it!   – Greenland is the largest island in the world but also one of the worlds most sparsely populated regions. It originally belonged to Denmark.  Pop.approx. 56,483 and only about 150  live on East Greenland. I am publishing my personal diary here so please enjoy and put this trip on your bucket list!

Day 1

We arrived at a small airfield and joined our charter flight, duration  90 minutes to Constable Point in our twin prop plane…. We flew over vast  flat waste land before seeing a few mountains to the north-west of Iceland. Suddenly below us were small white dots , actually icebergs and as we approached Greenland the sea was dotted with hundreds of icebergs sunbathing beneath a clear blue sky. We dropped onto a dirt runway and were ushered into a half-dome shaped shed with 58 pairs of rubber waterproof boots neatly lined up!lmc-04657

Continue reading

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY & YOUR FUTURE.

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From where I am sitting in New Zealand the advent of phone photography has contributed to the understanding and appreciation of Photography as an art form. Some would disagree but I think people are realising that they can make images with their phone and that some people do it better than others. Photography as an art form is coming of age.  Galleries are happy to show photography and the public are flocking through their doors. The fact that I sold 10 fine art images at my recent exhibition in Auckland supports this statement. I know two other photographers who have sold works these past few weeks. Photography is collectible. Continue reading

Spring Break in the USA

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 Float plane &  Luxury Fishing boat The Lady Di –  a 74 footer at Boca Grande.

Boca Grande Florida is the upmarket  holiday resort on Gasparilla Island in the Gulf of Mexico. B.C. became known when The Presidential  Bush family purchased property there. The homes are palatial water edge properties boasting all day sunshine and sparkling blue water. One home I noticed had everything, almost everything anyway: open the front door step into the pool, exit the pool and board your yacht moored at the gate, say good morning to the Manatee or the Dolphins swimming past and perhaps chase the tall White Heron out of your pool. This is Boca Grande – – I didn’t stay there – I cruised past!

Below: The Boca Grande MarinaFullSizeRender12 jpg

 

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Nearby is a lesser known holiday destination… Little Gasparilla Island where I did stay.  Continue reading

Auckland to Great Barrier Island – 35 minutes!

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Above: Native Rata and Awana Bay.

How many folk who live in Auckland have never been to Great Barrier Island? Yes; I thought as much…dozens of you. You’ve been to Paris, London, Istanbul, New York and Queenstown though haven’t you??? It’s OK…”it will still be there when I’m old” I hear you say… well it will be but trust me it will have changed by then. Currently Great Barrier Island is a hidden gem 35 minutes away by small plane or 4-5 hours away by boat. Great Barrier Air are an  excellent airline. Last time I visited, about 15 years ago, the roads were all gravel, windy and dusty, the rental cars were scarce, the shops could be counted on one hand and the population was maybe 400. Today it has 852 laid back residents. The population decreased when the property market hiked its prices. It has had as many as 1000 residents over the years. Tourist numbers reached 5000 a couple of years ago but exact numbers are hard to obtain. The main road is tar-sealed and they even have a very good local Art Gallery run by enthusiastic volunteers.

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Shoal Bay Pottery above is the gallery of Sarah Harrison Continue reading

Christmas Gift Ideas

Happy Christmas time everyone.

It is that time of year when our thoughts go to buying our loved ones presents, that is those of us who can afford too. Spare a thought for those who cannot celebrate Christmas with any luxury items. We are blessed. Today I am  being indulgent and listing items for those with spare $$ to spend.I have a heavy heart because of the world situation and the hate and murder going on around the world. We have to celebrate more than ever our lives and family. We are the lucky ones.

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Secrets to better photos – iPhone or SLR

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Above: an example of Snapseed processing

I  want to share a few secrets with you today to make your iphone and or digital photos look more professional. Continue reading

Youthful, Chinese and enthusiastic to succeed.

 

“My way, I loved, I laughed, I cried, get satisfied and down. I never feel ashamed, cause I live in my way. I have regrets, but only a few. I have done things I have to do, although didn’t avoid anything. Yes, a few times, I face challenge. I swallowed them, standing with my head up. I will leave this world one day. Say goodbye to all ones I loved, loved me or hated me. But I have had a complete life, in my own way”. – ‘ Remember English  her second language’.

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Photo by Lynn Clayton – Vivian relaxing without a special ‘face’.

Vivian Tian Yuan left mainland China aged 18 to travel to New Zealand to study. Thousands of young Chinese do this annually and many of them return home, however many find a way to stay here.  Vivian hopes to stay here – or make it to Hollywood. Now aged 20 she has found her mojo and is enthusiastic about her future. She has also found her faith which plays a large part in her life and influences her choices daily. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs. I was intrigued as to how a young Chinese girl manages  to survive and get noticed in the city of Auckland.

Vivian’s parents, despite the fact this is their only child, have supported her adventurous streak. Her mother lectures in maths at a university and her father is in ‘investments’. Back in China Vivian did modelling and photo salon makeup. This is her passion and by all accounts she is making her mark on the New Zealand scene. She is found  most weekends painting faces whether it be for Ghosts and Ghouls parties or a model shoot; she is in demand.

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Photo by Manasee Joshi – Model makeup by Vivian Tian Yuan.

I persuaded her to paint herself ‘crazy’ for our weekend shoot and I tell you she can transform a face in minutes. Something about Vivian reminded  a few of us of an Oriental Dawn French. I wonder if she can act??

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Photo by Lynn Clayton – Vivian in her ‘crazy’ face

I asked Vivian a series of questions largely to understand her life in NZ. Living in a University hostel in the bottom of Whittaker Place is not her dream home but will have to suffice until she graduates her BA in Marketing.  Then she will take on the world.

Vivian, why did you decide to come to New Zealand and not Australia? “I decide to come to New Zealand instead of Australia, just because I heard that there is no snake and other scary animal here before I come.”

Do you have family in New Zealand? Not many family, but just an aunty which is my dad’s cousin. Our family blood relationship is far away.

How hard was it on arrival here if you knew no one? I didn’t feel it was hard at all. Life is much easier in New Zealand. I have more freedom to do what I want. I have ability to express myself and choose the right thing to do.

 Did you already speak good English? Yes, I have been training my English for ages before I move to New Zealand.

What lead you to study art and design? “I like art, I think it’s a way to express myself. All my design inspiration come from my day-dream and my politics perception.”

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Vivian posing in her ‘crazy’ face  and below arm ‘tattoo styles’.

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IMG_4904-EditOne of Vivians’ Halloween creations on model ‘Emily’. Photo Lynn Clayton

Are your parents artistic?  No, they are not. But they mostly support my art, although they don’t understand my art meaning.

I know you are very talented as a makeup artist, what other art forms do you enjoy? Tattoo art, illustration, photography and jewellery making.

Where do you hope to be ten years from now? I will have been traveling around the world and probably have my freelance job or company and running really well.

You are someone with your own individual style which is a great asset I am sure. How did you develop this? Just keep trying new things, in my own style.

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Photo by Lynn Clayton

Vivian is available to paint faces at your next event – email her.  vivianyuan20@yahoo.co.nz

Please leave a reply below –

 

Up close and Personal with Bears

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A Mama Grizzly walking past my lodge.

A Mama Grizzly walking past my lodge.

Silver Salmon Creek Lodge 45 minutes by fixed wing from the Anchorage plane hub. I have never seen so many small planes in one place, sea planes, old planes, new planes, red, yellow blue planes. ( Apology to Dr Seuss) Every colour and model parked alongside either the gravel roads..(runways) or estuaries for float planes. My chosen plane was literally a tin box… And after a lengthy warm up period we took off west along the main land of Alaska. We flew over river mouths looking for and spotting beluga whales below us. They chase the salmon into a river mouth before having a feeding frenzy but schedules prevented us witnessing this massacre! The pilot pointed out all the volcanoes and the scenery beneath us kept unfolding. Vibrant green meadows, pools of deep midnight blue water, trees, braided river mouths, turquoise water channels, islands and eventually a long sandy beach where our pilot touched down perfectly.

Typical scenery on the flight in.

Typical scenery on the flight in.

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Our group of 14 required two planes and on arrival on the deserted beach 4-5 ATV’s hooked to trailers (with cushioned seats 😀) collected us for the short drive to the lodge through a couple of fords and plenty of mud! I thought, happily,I was back on the farm. By now the sun was shining and lunch was ready. Introductions all round: our group included a writer, a Scotsman, a Pom who lives in German, one Canadian, one Kiwi and a handful of Americans. Bankers, farmers, an horologist, two vets, a nurse, a neurosurgeon, a dentist and computer ‘geeks’s. I mean that in the nicest way😀and moi. All of our group were photographers from those with enough gear to sink a ship through to a point and shooter… The 12 -24 mm lens was the one that impressed me! The staff were fabulous, they included a half Kiwi, Alaskans and so forth- the chef Vinnie haled from Texas and was excellent…pork ribs to die for and fresh perfectly cooked halibut and of course the dark pink, very rich salmon caught 5 minutes away so it doesn’t get fresher than that. I have survived the week on a satchet of hot coffee topped up with the unpalatable filter coffee…tasted good, my friends know I have a coffee addiction! However the Russian River Chardonnay was perfection after a long day bear viewing! So what happens at Silver Salmon Creek.

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Silver Salmon Creek

Silver Salmon Creek

The lodge is set on 40 acres and surrounded by the Lake Clark National Park. The Park is 2.6 million acres, surprising how few people have heard of it! Dave the owner of the lodge owns a Cessna 172 and the signs as you exit the lodge that say “look both ways for aeroplanes” are not a joke! We were divided into a variety of groups depending on your days chosen activity.

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Bear viewing being the most popular, but salmon fishing was also popular… The limit is two salmon daily. I caught three and released two. The 14 pound silver was quite a fish- and she is still swimming upstream to spawn and then sadly unlike trout she will roll over and die. I fished with a rod and lure but some folk were fly fishing.

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My 14 pound Silver Salmon.

The streams are idyllic and every so often a bear wanders into the river and the fishermen retreat to watch the bear catch a couple of fish. Bears have right of way everywhere in the park. Bear viewing is an adrenalin rush.

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We wear muck boots (Kiwi gum boots) as the fields are swampy in parts.the lodge rents waders, muck boots and fishing tackle and tripods and large lens….a pretty darn good service. So we head out to the river mouth to look for bears, there are about 9 different bears in the region this week, lone females or females with cubs. The male Grizzlies stay in the woods fortunately. Sometimes we sit and wait, other times we spot the bears and drive so far then stealthily walk across the fields to where they are. We generally give them about 100- 200 feet between us but sometimes they’ve been as close as 8 feet, no kidding! These bears are the 6th generation of bears used to humans so they ignore us but we are always told to huddle together when the bear gets close.

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The Bears frequently stood up on their hind legs.

The Bears frequently stood up on their hind legs.

The bears are busy filling up on the salmon before winter. The cubs are around 8-12 months maybe and they can’t catch fish yet. One Mummy bear lay down on her back near us and her two cubs suckled her…then they went for a sleep and we just sat in awe and silence watching this intimate bear family moment. So privileged. Then Mother bear tries to catch fish, often unsuccessful…they expound huge energy fishing and cover miles every day. They see a splash and leap,often missing their prey. Then they snorkel looking for salmon, funny to watch. After an active dive or two they shake their heads like dogs, a site to enjoy and all one can hear is the clicking of 14 cameras! When she catches a fish she often eats half of it before sharing with the cubs, a few fish die as they have already spawned and the cubs sometimes find these. The human group size is limited and the gun toting park ranger was around most days checking his territory and visitors to the park; a very pleasant fellow actually. A film crew arrived one afternoon to document a fly fisherman. There is one other lodge further up the road. The roads are local, everything comes in by plane or boat. No jetties and a tide that can drop and does 30 feet! One afternoon we sat in silence listening to the stream bubbling across a stony section of river, the odd plop of a fish jumping and observing the bears wandering silently along the river bank…so special. At times the bears are very vocal, the noise is similar to a contented cow mooing! There are bear foot prints in the mud and trust me those feet and claws are massive. Back at camp a cub tore strips of the laundry door! They have a keen sense of smell and will come into camp and steal the empty aluminium fish boxes, and cart them off forty feet before giving up… Every day we have had the big old mama grizzly wander through the campsite.

The entire 6 days has been adrenalin filled with daily bear encounters. Thank you to Dan and Tanya from Natural Exposures who have been taking groups of photographers to this unique spot for many years. 

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On two days I went by boat to Duck Island where the Horn Puffins live, the first trip we only saw a few as it was very windy and they had taken to the ocean fishing. Trip two was calm and what a transformation, puffins on every rocky outcrop darting back and forth in great activity, photographing a puffin in flight was challenging but so rewarding when one succeeded. These birds have exquisite face paint…beautiful. On another coast was an ancient fish cannery now closed down and derilect. Sitting around the camp fire was a fun way to relax at the end of the day but most people were in bed early, these days are tough, walking in boots through swamps takes it out of you!!! And bed becomes a desireable destination so we can leap out of bed at 6-30 and do it all again.

imageAfter all the perfect bear shot always awaits us! I travelled with a company called Natural Exposures and it was an Invitational trip. However you can apply to them and they have some amazing trips on their agenda. They’ve won awards for their trips so seriously check out their website.

Northern Lights - Alaska

One of the added adrenalin filled moments was waking up at 4 am and witnessing the Northern Lights.. This is what memories are made of!

Postscript – writing a blog on the iPad has a few difficulties so please accept my apologies re layout etc.