New Zealand Painterly

New Zealand Painterly

Blue sky, white clouds
Green grass, rolling mountains –
Nature’s beauty
Is timeless

I took this photo in New Zealand last year. We were travelling between Rotorua and Lake Taupo and stopped along the way to take in this beautiful, rugged landscape.

It was February 2015 when I took the photo but unfortunately it has mostly just sat on my hard drive since then. While I’ve always liked the photo and knew it had potential, I’d also taken a panorama of the scene as well which I edited first and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this after that. And so I left it until I had more time to experiment.

I found time yesterday to go through some of my archives and when I came across this photo again, I thought I’d see what I could do with it. I wondered what it might look like as a painterly, with a lot of the detail stripped out.

I’m pleased with the result. The colour and detail feel a little reminiscent of an oil painting but you can also still see the photographic structure beneath… it makes an interesting hybrid and is definitely a bit different, which is what I wanted. Think it’ll look good as a print too which I’ll do in a couple of weeks.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson

Welcome to Hobbiton

Welcome to Hobbiton

To live simply
And eat and laugh
With friends –
A hobbit’s life is for me

We visited Hobbiton, near Matamata while we were in New Zealand. It’s the movie set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and has been carefully maintained since filming ended on The Hobbit films. It’s a beautiful spot and walking around it is quite remarkable… there are 39 Hobbit holes complete with beautiful gardens and The Green Dragon has been maintained as a fully functioning tavern.

The detail as you walk around is extraordinary and it’s just like it appears in the films, with barely a detailing having been changed. In many ways it’s even better than in the films as so much appears on screen so quickly and walking around Hobbiton, it’s amazing seeing how much was actually created for the films that you’d just never take in otherwise.

It’s well worth a visit if you’re ever on the North Island. Even if you’re not a fan it’s like visiting a beautiful park. I’m very glad we went, it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2015

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