When you are tired of the clubs, tourists, and noise, a short walk from the Museum at the Domain near the heart of Auckland, lies a place of solitude, a lomographer’s dream. The floral beauty and architectural wonder of the Wintergardens.
In the heart of Auckland, on a hill clearly visible from the Sky Tower lies the Auckland Domain, home to the Annual Christmas in the Park open air concert, the famous War Memorial Museum, and Cricketers and Rugby players every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year.
Down the hill, there is a wonderful place of solitude, tucked away behind trees, a quiet, romantic place called the Wintergardens, consisting of two greenhouses, a fernery, and a formal courtyard with a pond in the center.
Since moving to Auckland just after the millennium, I’ve been in love with this place, the tourists flock to the museum and seem to neglect the Wintergardens. Perfect. It’s a place I can come and hide in, escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and relax. In fact it’s where I asked my wife to marry me.
How is this all relevant to our collective hobby? Simple. Flowers and architecture. These are two classical subjects of photography and lomography, and the Wintergardens has it in abundance. I’ve been back again and again, and it always changes. The gardens are in a state of flux, even the two trips these shots represent – only a week apart, some of those floral displays are no longer there.
The architecture is magnificent, all iron, glass, aging brickwork. Statues of animals, mythological creatures, and nudes stand in the courtyard and around the perimeter.
The Wintergardens were built after World War I and are a protected heritage site. The complex is open all year round and appealing to the lomographer on a budget as entrance is free.
There are thousands of possible lomographs here, you can see what I managed with three different cameras, and three types of film (one cheap basic, one expired, and cross processed, and one quality colour negative). What would you take, what would you shoot, what could you do with a couple of hours of quiet solitude?