While I was in New Zealand and Australia, in addition to just enjoying myself and seeing as much as possible, I gave myself some ‘assignments’ and projects to work on.  Some were successful, some I need to work on, though nothing turned out horrible.  All were fun.

Night Photography

During the Australian portion of my trip, I spent two nights ‘camping’ in the outback.  Hello dark skies!  I wanted to try some straight night sky photography as well as try a star trail photo.

Outback Milky Way

Southern Star Trail

The star trail could be better, and the trails longer, but I ran out of battery!

Here are some other semi/successful shots from the trip:

Cuba Night Lake Wakatipu at Night Sydney Harbour Tail Lights Opera house Works

Panoramas

In the past, my version of a panorama was to crop a shot down.  I have plenty of opportunities to practice on some magnificent scenery on this trip.  I do need to try using a tripod, and perhaps shooting portrait to give me more wiggle room to crop but… I think these are good first attempts.

Cook Strait Panorama
Queenstown Hill - Full
Queenstown Hill - Half

GoPro Video / Underwater

I shot a bunch of videos and photos while checking out the Great Barrier Reef.  I combined the best videos into the clip below.

GoPro Time Lapse

My GoPro has a timelapse feature on it and I thought “what better way to try that out, then on all these sunrise excursions I’ll be doing in the outback?”  Well, perhaps that wasn’t exactly the best place to try it.  Or maybe I need more practice.  I think that is definitely the case for the time lapse more than any of these other projects.  Here’s a couple anyway!

Postcard Book

Long before leaving for my trip (before even starting to book things for it), I came across a blog post somewhere about a very neat idea. (I tried to find the post to link to, but couldn’t find it).  It was an idea for people who:

  1. Enjoy receiving real mail that’s not junk or statements
  2. Collect stamps
  3. Collect postcards
  4. Enjoy documenting travels

A postcard book! As I enjoy all four of those things, I had to do it.

It’s pretty simple: Everyday, I bought a postcard.  (Well, I bought one for this project, plus extras for funsies).  I wrote a brief message about what I did that day, put a fun stamp on it, and mailed it.  In New Zealand, I bought the stamps all different.  I also sent a few postcards back home to friends and family and carefully chose the appropriate stamp for each person.  (I kept the best for myself, of course!).  In Australia, I just bought a sheet of stamps that were all the same (there weren’t many options in the place I bought them). Even though my trip was over three weeks long, it was about a week after returning home that I received the first one.

The last part of the project is to hand bind/stitch all of the cards as a book.  Of course, I haven’t done that yet and, knowing me, I’ll probably get lazy and just put them in the binder with all the other postcards.  There was a place around here that did neat workshops like book binding and I thought I’d take the next book binding workshop to work on this project.  They closed. :(

I wasn’t smart with all of my postcard purchases, however, and they’re not all the same size.  Also… don’t get me started on the New Zealand postal service with respect to stamp collectors… unless you want me to rant.

The Rest of the story:

Aurora Announces her trip!
Aurora’s Australian Pre-planning
Working with a Travel Agent
My Trip Down Under:
– Day 123 – The Journey
– Day 4 – Auckland
– Day 5 – North Island Culture
– Day 6 – Rotorua
– Day 7 – Wellington
– Day 8 – Wellington
– Day 9 & 10 – South Island Scenery
Day 11 – Queenstown
Day 12 – Middle Earth
Day 13 – The Last Day
Day 14 – Great Barrier Reef
Day 15 – Alice Springs
Day 16, 17 & 18 – The Outback
Day 19, 20 and 21 – Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road
Days 22 to 25 – Sydney and the End
Down Under Assignments

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