Fallen Landmarks: The Otago Peninsula

I have a love/hate relationship with Portobello road on the Otago Peninsula. With all the roadworks currently going on it does make for a partly bumpy and drawn out trip. However, I feel like I am escaping the city driving on that road, it’s bloody marvellous. Improving Portobello road and its safety is a must, but those changes have come at a cost. First off, we have said goodbye to a good number of cabbage trees to help make way for the widening of the road. They are one of those plants that polarise people, I’ve always liked them, especially the one pictured below. Sadly, it has now been chopped down.

Cabbage Tree - Otago Peninsula

Cabbage Tree - Otago Peninsula

Not far from this tree was a lovely duo of boat houses. My favourite of the two still stands today (phew), but it’s companion is no longer there. Not as pretty as the survivor, but this boat house could often be seen flying a flag, It had gusto and character, and I’ll miss seeing it on my travels.

Boat House (no flag flying) - Otago Peninsula

Boat House (no flag flying) - Otago Peninsula

Roadworks are not the only destructive force on the Otago Peninsula, so is mother nature. The green boat house on Hoopers inlet was used by many photographers as a foreground subject in an aurora image. Alas, a good storm knocked it off its piles. There are hopes it will be rebuilt, fingers crossed.

Green Boathouse - Hoopers Inlet

Green Boathouse - Hoopers Inlet

The last building I discovered missing happened over the past weekend. I was enjoying a bit of landscape photography on the Smith-Larnach track when I found this dear old building pictured below completely removed.

fallen hut-2.jpg

I was slightly gutted, I’m a big fan of derelict farm buildings, but I understand this old building was a OSH risk on a public walking track, so it probably had to go.

On a brighter note, at least I have a keepsake of a few snaps to remember these fallen landmarks. Someone once said to me the only constant we can rely on is change. Hopefully that change is for the good.

Let the light guide you

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned with landscape photography is to let the light guide you. Often I get too focussed on a location and try and make the light conditions work around it. These days I am becoming more aware of how good light can transform any landscape. As an example, I recently went out for an evening shoot at a local place I enjoy called Tunnel Beach. It’s only about a 10 minute drive from home and I can take a few different routes to get there. On this occasion I decided to drive through the local suburb shops of Green Island and cut up a back road to get over to the coast and Tunnel Beach. I was driving up a steep street and as I wound my way up I caught a glimpse of a lovely view between houses of Green Island and Saddle Hill beyond. Not long ago I would have kept driving with tunnel vision to Tunnel Beach. However, I have now learned to let the light guide me. So I pulled over and with the narrow space I had to shoot, waited for the right moment. When the light really hit, the whole scene exploded with autumnal colour, and this image has become a personal fav for 2019. So, all I’m suggesting is, embrace photographic opportunity when it arises, don’t get caught up in where you think you need to be, and if you are lucky, you may well be rewarded with images beyond your imagination.

Green Island, Dunedin in Autumn