Pauanui, Coromandel Peninsula

Pauanui is one of those New Zealand towns that has absolutely nothing going on for most of the year. Then summer arrives, and BOOM, it’s bursting at the seams as half the population of Auckland heads to the stunning little beach. Sitting on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, Pauanui lies about half an hour north of Whangamata and only around two hours drive from Auckland, which explains why it has become a very desirable and highly sought-after holiday hotspot. It may also have something to do with the scenery. The gorgeous white sand beaches, the beautiful family-friendly Tairua Harbour, not to mention the relatively close proximity to locations like Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. I spent a week in Pauanui earlier this year. Turns out March is the perfect time to go. There wasn’t a soul there other than the locals, as all the visitors had returned to the city from their summer holiday, plus the weather was still warm and summery. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Our day trip up to Hahei was a major highlight. Kayaking around to Cathedral Cove was something I would definitely recommend. Of course, I also managed to capture some of the breathtaking scenery with my camera. I was hoping to take advantage of the lack of light pollution and get out for some star photography, but the moon was too bright. Next time maybe. There will definitely be a next time! Click on an image to purchase a print, canvas, or for digital use. Pauanui Waterways Boardwalk Secret creek off Tairua Harbour Tairua Harbour Wharf Secret creek...


Best Websites For Photographers: PhotoShelter Vs SmugMug

I have been using various forms of website for my photography since I caught the bug 5-6 years ago. Initially, I experimented with having a simple portfolio site built by a web designer friend, but I quickly got frustrated with having to rely on someone else any time I wanted to update my site or portfolio. I soon discovered WordPress and its ability to operate not only as a blog, but also a powerful portfolio site complete with galleries and even e-commerce via plugins.  My self-hosted WordPress website served me well as my main site for awhile, but when I discovered PhotoShelter, I realised what I was missing out on. The ability to upload full-resolution images to a powerful portfolio website that doubles as a backup archive was a no-brainer for me. Instead of replacing my main site, I use my PhotoShelter archive and WordPress site simultaneously, which has a number of advantages, including the ability to maintain this blog. PhotoShelter is only one of a number of companies offering a range of website and portfolio services for photographers. There is also Livebooks, Zenfolio, and SmugMug, just to name a few. As I only have experience with PhotoShelter and SmugMug, and they seem to be the most popular portfolio website providers, they are the two I will be comparing. After being a PhotoShelter customer for a number of years, I recently decided to give SmugMug a try. This was for a number of reasons, which I will get to. Firstly, a summary of the two photography portfolio website heavyweights: PhotoShelter is based in New York, USA, and has over...


September 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

Here in New Zealand, September signals a glorious time: the end of winter! The cold is over and summer is on its way! That’s the theory anyway. It’s still pretty cold and miserable today, but just the knowledge that spring is here makes me feel happy This month’s free desktop wallpaper is one from Mission Bay, Lake Taupo. This beautiful little spot is one of the first lakeside stops before you hit Taupo when driving up the North Island. The scenery here is breathtaking to say the least, especially when the light is gorgeous. I made this image last week while driving home from a few days in Wellington. I was lucky enough to hit Lake Taupo just after the sun had set, so the colour in the sky was still a beautiful mix of orange and blue. There are rocks all the way along the water’s edge, so it wasn’t difficult to find some a nice foreground to put in front of this stunning background. This free desktop wallpaper for September 2014 is a high-resolution image that will look great on any size screen from a smartphone or iPad to a 30″ cinema display monitor. To download, just right-click on the image. If you use and enjoy this background, please share using the social buttons below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with my latest images, free wallpapers, reviews, and...


Rowan sims is a landscape and travel photographer based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Please enjoy exploring the site. You can view his portfolio and purchase prints, canvases, or stock directly from the website. You can also view Rowan’s latest work, read gear and book reviews, and download free high-definition wallpapers over on the blog. You can also contact Rowan directly. Please don’t forget to sign up to the quarterly newsletter also. Thanks for visiting!

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