Return to TOC Michael Bajko

name and portrait

website name
website url
city and country Waitakere, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

personal statement Kia Ora, Welcome,

I give thanks to my wife Sue for putting up with my obsesive, compulsive relationship with photograpy. As far back as my Great-grandmother my family have been photographers, my first camera arriving when I was eight years old. I haven't stopped pressing the shutter since.

I have for many years now been taking panoramas. I wanted to see, to show, more, more than what the eye can take in at one time, much more than what a single frame contained.
The advent of digital photography and my discovery of the World Wide Panorama Project introduced me to the ultimate viewpoint of the spherical panorama. All that could be seen from a single point in space could be captured and processed into a single image. You can't show anymore than that.

This 'ultimate viewpoint' is of course expanded by tone, colour, and composition, so that it touches more than our sight, flowing directly to our emotions and intellect.

I am predominantly a landscape panographer, living on the Auckland isthmus with immediate access to a rich diversity of urban, agricultural, forested, coastal and marine environments. The images you are now looking at were shot within twenty five minutes of my home, not more than 20 km apart.

For me these panoramas also reference our young historical legacy of images created by the European settlers of the nineteenth century. These were in pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, and later in photography. Some of which are from my family, and most from 'amateur' artists. Many of these are panoramic and at times mirror the distortions created within my spherical panoramas.

I also have a sense of the history that I am capturing now, to be be viewed by future generations. This is referenced with as accurate as possible geo coordinates, time, date and descriptive annotations.

Most of all I get great pleasure creating these panoramas and I hope you have such pleasure in viewing them.

suggested panel layout

first image
first image title
first image subject Rehearsal for the feature film 'Timeslow' (Director Sally Tan)
first image place date Waitkere Film Studios, Henderson, Auckland City, Aotearoa/New Zealand.  February 28 2011
first image url
first image caption Moviemaking in Aotearoa/New Zealand isn't just about Peter Jackson. We have many talented film makers and we actively encourage younger talent. 'Timeslow' is the first feature film for Sally Tan and is produced by the NZ Film Commission's 'Escalator' programme. I have an acting role in the movie.
I have been an actor since childhood and for many years now I have been recording my participation in this occupation by taking photographs and panoramas. These have mostly been quick and surreptitious but some times, like here, I'm able to get my spherical kit out and really take some great panoramas. The studio is just ten minutes away from home.

A tripod with a panorama head was used with a Nikon D90 and Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens for this image. ISO 800 1/40sec f:7.1 . The lighting was the generic studio work lights and the images were somewhat under exposed.

second image
second image title Under the Pohutukawa Tree, French Bay
second image subject
second image place date French Bay, on the Manukau Harbour, Auckland City, Aaotearoa/New Zealand, December 21, 2010
second image url
second image caption French (Otitori) Bay is a favourite for swimming, only 15 minutes from home. It has a shallow shelf out to the habour chanel. This is a really safe beach for the young and disabled, being shelted from blustery northlies and the gigantic Tasman swells.. With an average 2.5 meters of tidal difference you need to know when high tide is, as at low tide the shell and mud banks are exposed and it's walking only!

The coastal sandstone cliffs are cloaked with our native Pohutukawa trees (Metrosideros excelsor). These can grow very large and are multi trunked reaching out over the water. Their suppleness and mobility make for favourite swinging perchs. They flower at Christmas time with a smothering of crimson to scarlet flowers punctuated with gold topped stamens and are known as our Christmas Tree. In the panorama you can see the blossom on the tree further down the beach.

third image
third image title Karekare, Beach of the Thundering Surf
third image subject
third image place date Southern end of Karekare Beach, West Coast, Auckland City, Aotearoa/New Zealand, May 17, 2008
third image url
third image caption

The West Coast surf beaches of Piha and Karekare are national icons. Facing the tumultuous Tasman Sea and Australia, Karekare is less accessible and the more spectaclar. With giant cliffs of an eroded ancient volcano on one flank, the thundering surf on the other and black sand in between produce an environment of extraordinary otherworldness.

There is a surf patrol during the summer months for safe swimming and the beach is a favourite for walking through out the year. At low tide you can walk the 7.5 km down to the mouth of the Manukau Habour, as the preceding panorama shows to be a quite different world to this 'Wild' West Coast. The 'Thundering Surf' is only a 25 minute drive over the Waitakere Ranges from my home.

Return to TOC