Last year when I lived at Henderson House
in Alexandra in Central Otago,
the views from my balcony were
The cloud scenes especially were so remarkable
that for the first time in my photographic life
I almost became a cloud photographer.

Central Otago


I’m finding that I am missing Central Otago.
I had the experience of living for a year
in this Ernst Plischke house overlooking Alexandra
and the Clutha River and a year like that gets
into your bones.
The top photo is from the driveway, the lower
photo is from the balcony on the opposite side
of the house. There were often magnificent clouds,
these reminding me of Dali.


There are subjects in photography that are just irresistible, and seem to
have been that way ever since the medium’s invention.
Autumnal landscapes with reflections in the water is one, cloud formations another.
The reflections in the water theme is one that I’ve been brought up with, often on the lid of biscuit tins or chocolate boxes. Calendars were another big source. Metal trays and jigsaws too.

Being such well trodden tracks does make it difficult to say anything original. It’s the same way with the human nude. However, that does not mean that its not worth trying even if its just for fun!

These two photos I’ve taken in the last couple of days, I’m beginning to get out and about with my camera. Taking photos like these is almost like practising your scales, they’re warm up exercises.

The cloud photo has come a little closer to being a keeper though. It has something interesting about it, and I don’t feel inclined to discard it just yet. I’ve set it as my screensaver.

The lake in the photo above, about 10 minutes from where I am living, freezes over in winter and is a popular site for ice skating. No doubt I will be revisiting it then, although whether with a pair of skates and in a slinky lycra outfit, I’m not so sure. I don’t think that Torvil and Dean have anything to worry about.

Cloud Appreciation Society
Steve Braunius, my favourite New Zealand columnist, has in his column, Sunday Service, in today’s Sunday Star Times, written about, among other things, a Cloud Appreciation Society. On their website they have posted innumerable clouds in many different categories. It is possible to send in your own contributions too.

By entering New Zealand in the search window you will see some New Zealand clouds. On the home page there is information about the site including books and T-shirts!

Meanwhile, here are three of my cloud photos, taken from my balcony.