13 June 2014

An Island Bay dawn {long exposure photography}

Another morning, another dawn. Another opportunity for long exposure photography at an iconic Wellington spot, Island Bay.

And though I hardly thought it possible, it was even COLDER on this morning than the previous morning had been at Seatoun Pier. The temperature gauge sat firmly at 2 degrees as I drove the fifteen minutes from home in the deepest inky black. Today I'd come prepared with thicker socks but I knew it was still going to hurt my poor fingers standing out in the cold for up to 2 hours....brrrr!

I also somewhat mis-timed my arrival as unlike the day before there was no haze of city lights to brighten the southern sky so it was still pitch black and too early for any kind of shot at all. So I immediately jumped back into the car and enjoyed the warmth of the heater for an extra ten minutes, and then had to really give myself a pep talk to leave it again. 

With the sky soon to lighten I left behind the comfort of the car and made haste to set up for the dawn that was on its way.

As much as I had enjoyed the amazing opportunities that Seatoun Pier had presented, I had in mind a different set of shots for this day. One of the tricks of the trade I've seen photographers employ to try and get the maximum effect of silky water shots is to take long exposure shots where waves are moving around the rocks on shore. 

10 seconds, f/10.0, ISO 200

I knew this would be the place for it, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the tide could turn from a foaming, moving mass into silken smoke with just a few tweaks of the camera settings.

10 seconds, f/4.0, ISO 200

I can't say I've ever noticed the intricate detail and colour of the red rocks like I did on this day.

5 seconds, f/22.0, ISO 200

The dusky hues of the water only enhancing the coppery, rusty rocks.

While offshore, the island danced quietly with the dawn just out of reach.

Caressing the sky and teasing it to reveal still more colour.

1/50 seconds, f/4.0, ISO 100

It felt like a moment created purely for me and the seagulls, and possibly the boats patiently bobbing away in the bay.

And as the light brightened, I found myself drawn to the vista from the other side of the bay.

Watching the sun warming one side of the island long before its rays ever reached shore.


And as the day spread her cloak far and wide, I sighed.

1/125 seconds, f/5.6, ISO 160

In thankfulness at what had just been.

It turns out all I have to do is make myself available and wait for the dawn to deliver.

And it will.

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