Travelling Across New Zealand

Travelling Across NZ

Nature’s beauty
Is like a woman’s smile:
It says so much
With no words

I just got back from a trip to New Zealand for two and a half weeks with my partner. It was my first time visiting NZ and it was a lovely trip. We spent the first week travelling across the North Island and the second around Auckland meeting some of her family and seeing the sights. It was my first holiday in a long time (too long!) and I definitely feel much more refreshed for the break.

I took this panorama while we were travelling between Rotorua and Lake Taupo during our first week there. I’d been wanting to capture something that I thought represented the wild beauty of New Zealand but didn’t look too touristy either and this stretch of fields and mountains suited what I wanted perfectly.

It’s four photos merged together in Photoshop but most of the editing is fairly minimal. I wanted to let nature speak for itself.

You can click on the image if you’d like to see it larger or otherwise it’s on Flickr as well.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2015

Sydney Tower in Black & White

Sydney Tower in Black & White

Oh! To stand as tall
As a skyscraper
And weather
The winds of time

I took this a couple of months ago when I was in Sydney for a few days. It was a lovely day and I liked the contrast between the clouds and sky and Sydney Tower juxtaposed against them.

I thought it would make an interesting black and white and I like the end result… slightly old-fashioned but modern too, which was the look I was going for. Rather like Sydney itself.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2014/15

Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas song)

I didn’t get a chance to do my annual Aussie Christmas song last year but I decided to do it again this year. I found I really missed doing it last year and it really helps me start to get into the Christmas spirit each year.

I wanted to do a fun song this year and Santa Baby was one of the first songs that came to mind. It’s just such a fun, cheeky song and I could immediately see how I could make it more Australian, unlike with some other songs (I’d still love to do an Aussie Frosty the Snowman at some stage but it’s not the easiest to make Australian, for obvious reasons!).

This version is called Santa Matey. It was a lot of fun to write and play around with and definitely helped to make it feel like Christmas again. I hope you enjoy it. And Merry Christmas :)

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Santa matey, leave a beer under the tree
For me
Been a really good bloke
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa matey, maybe a gift voucher too
Or a few
I’ll stay up for you champ
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Think of all the work I’ve done
Think of all the times I could’ve been having fun
I’ve really been very good
So won’t you leave me an Xbox One

Santa matey, I wanna Ford
And maybe I won’t get so bored
Been fair dinkum all year
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa ripper, there’s something else I’d love to see
A TV
To watch the Swannies next year
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa beauty, and stuff my stocking with a new phone
And tones
I’ll text you every day
Santa beauty
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Come and try my Christmas cake
It’s just like my mum used to make
I saved a slice just for you
I hope you saved something for me too

Santa matey, there’s just one other little thing
Some bling
Like a gold barbeque
Santa matey
And hurry over Sydney tonight

Hurry over Sydney tonight
Oh hurry over Sydney tonight

O Christmas Tree (2014)

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Early Christmas morning
I sit and listen
To nothing
But silence

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a lovely day today wherever you are in the world.

This is our Christmas tree this year. We couldn’t find all the pieces to our tree from last year so we decided to get this one. I’d love to have a real tree one day but I really like it. It makes our ornaments pop and it was fun decorating it.

The photos came out quite well too.

O Christmas Tree (2014)

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2014

Lightning Over Caves Beach

Lightning Over Caves Beach

Thunder and lightning
Crash across the evening sky
Like two gods at war

We’ve had a couple of huge thunderstorms over the last week. This was on Friday night and the lightning strikes were spectacular. The storm lasted for at least a good hour and there must have been hundreds of strikes like this lighting up the sky.

I’ve never taken photos of lightning before. It was quite interesting as unlike with most subjects, it’s very hard to tell where or when lightning is going to strike so it’s as much a matter of using your senses to anticipate where it’s going to appear as it is working out what settings you need to use. This one came out pretty well in the end.

Not bad for a first attempt if I do say so myself. :)

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2014

RIP Phillip Hughes

RIP Phillip Hughes

Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Phil Hughes today. He seemed like a lovely young man and was incredibly talented… 25 is much too young to be taken from us.

Like everyone at the moment my thoughts are with his family and friends, and also with Sean Abbott. It must be incredibly difficult for him but it was a freak accident and there was nothing he could have done differently… hopefully in time he will be okay.

I was lucky enough to see Hughes bat for South Australia against Victoria at the MCG two years ago. He scored 158 and it was some of the best batting I’ve ever seen… he dominated the bowling, particularly on the off-side, and it was wonderful to watch. I took a few photos of him during the match. I thought I’d post them now as a tribute.

Rest In Peace Phil. You’ll be missed.

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Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Photos © CJ Levinson 2012-2014

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