Saturday, December 22, 2007

Queenstown Madness! Ready, set, jump!

We have been kicking back in Queenstown for the last few days waiting for the weather to change on the west coast, and enjoying the change in pace. The focus has taken an interesting turn from photography… to well… adrenaline junky. It is impossible to keep your feet on the ground in this city. Every time you turn a corner there is a business trying to get you sign your life away on a release and then jump off this or that. I think they should have a general waiver to sign when you arrive in Queenstown that basically says “I am young and stupid” because we must have signed a dozen of those things! Then you can choose your doom when you feel the impulse. Anyway, it gets a bit addictive and once you get over the cost of these ventures you feel much more free and empowered to do so. Blaine and I are typically NOT into the “touristy” stuff, but when you spend more then a day here your defenses go down and it all starts looking like a good idea. I figured if we did it all then it would be out of our system. It might be for Blaine (he threw up after hang gliding, lol) but I seem enjoy the stomach in throat feeling. The series of plunges are as follows; jet boating through a narrow canyon doing 360’s at 80km/h, bungee jumping off a 142 ft. bridge and stopping only about a foot from touching the water below (for the cameras safety, otherwise you go for a dip!), hang gliding off Coronet Peak at 6,000 ft over cliffs, and jumping out of a plane (skydiving) at 12,000 ft., the same height as the tallest mountain in NZ. The only activity that we couldn’t bring our cameras on was the skydiving… so we paid extra to have another skydiver jump with and take pics and video (he had a helmet cam with a video and still cameras, and fired the camera by biting on a release in his mouth!)… well worth the extra money for the memories! It took a little persuading to take our cameras on the bungee and hang glide, glad we did though! Enjoy the photos! Skydive photos are courtesy of NZONE skydiving.

Warming up!

a few hours later...

Blaine starting to get sick...

Can you see Blaine?

Here's Blaine trying not to puke again or pass out, and wondering why he let me talk him into all of this :)

The next morning...

Call us crazy, but I say bring it on!

On this weeks "clipboard of fun", sea kayaking in Milford Sound, a boat cruise, and hiking a glacier. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Children can fly

We checking the weather at an info center and I saw these kids swimming in the lake out front. The water was SOOOO cold. It didn’t seem to bother them much, the little polar bears. I snapped a few pictures as they showed me their tricks.

Fields of flowers!

The last few days of driving have been quite colorful. These flowers are everywhere! So pretty! Blaine got the most amazing shot that he will post later.

More driving

Here are a few snaps on our way to Queenstown, which is known as the adrenaline capital of the world. We will have our go at a few heart pounding activities, hang gliding, skydiving, bungy jumping maybe… more on that after we take a plunge… or two!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Castlepoint cont…

The second day we went out there we climbed to the top of the crested half dome thing. I didn’t think it was going to be as cool as it was, but this place was incredible! It was a true Enya/the hills are alive moment. Nothing compares to being lost in nature it its purest form. It’s amazing how different your perspective becomes when you gain a little altitude and see how small you really become in the vastness of your surroundings. The jagged green cliffs rising up from ocean and the tall grass that covered the crest are impossible to even describe in words. On top of all this, on our way down off the cliffs the sun broke through the clouds and the whole sky lit up right before us, and a rainbow hit the horizon. Both of our jaws just dropped in awe. I am being totally honest when I say that I just had to put my camera down because the pictures I was taking did it no justice and don’t even touch how beautiful this moment was. It seemed to happen just for the two us.

Night photography

Well as you all know Blaine is the night photographer, not me. I don’t even really like shooting at night (for obvious sleeping reasons) and well, let’s face it Blaine is nocturnal and I prefer to hibernate. I haven’t gone out shooting with him at night since we were dating (due to a lack in late night energy to humor him and no ulterior motive to impress, being married and all) lol. Anyway, Blaine was soooooo excited about this lighthouse and he had to “get THE SHOT” as he says. Of course this was a night shot, and I really wanted him to get it and to have a good time. It is not very often he gets this stoked on a location. So my choice was to sleep in the back of the car, sit in the car in the dark or go and shoot too. I got my things together and went out. I didn’t expect to have that much fun because Blaine was “in the zone” and we only have one tripod. So I got to know some rocks and fence posts very well and actually had a really good time! To my own surprise, I even tried to paint with light, yes, I said it paint with light. I could hear Blaine laughing from the top of the hill. The funny thing is that I actually didn’t do too bad and the second night I got some really good shots! My light painting shots are not so good, but they were fun to take nonetheless.


Before we hopped islands, we couch surfed with a great couple named Steve and Pauline. Steve told us of this must see place near his house. We were ready to see something amazing because we had to pass up so many other things on the north island due to the rain and it wasn’t raining at the time we arrived so we headed out to the beach to check it out… O MY GOSH! This was one of the most amazing places for photos I have ever been to. Castlepoint was so beautiful that we decided to stay another day and go back to shoot it again!