04 July 2014

A night at Petone Pier {long exposure photography}

You'd be forgiven for thinking I was a little bit crazy on this day. Not only had I been out at 6am catching an amazing waterfront on fire sunrise in the morning, but I went back out and did it all over again in the evening.

In my defence it had been a gloriously fine and still day and I hadn't had the opportunity to capture many end-of-day shots so I thought I had better seize the moment.

The pier at Petone had been on my list of spots to visit around Wellington for a while and in my head I'd calculated that it could be a better sunset destination rather than sunrise based on where I knew (or thought I knew) the sun would go down.

I didn't however factor in the fact that the sun was sinking a lot further north in winter and I'd expected it to go down over the city. Boy was I wrong. By the time I got there at 4:30pm, the sun had all but sunk behind the Maungaraki hills already!

Yet again, another reason why the pros (which I am not!) would go and scope out the location first to find this out.

The Petone pier (or wharf as it says here) is one of the longest in the harbour stretching some 400 metres out into the water - I had to go on Google Maps to try and work that out! It's a favourite with fishermen and the Dominion Post ferry that calls in at Somes Island (seen in the distance top left below) also stops here on certain sailings too.

In the end, it didn't really matter that the sun had already disappeared.

The sky decided to put on the loveliest show of pretty pastels instead. The shot above of the shed is probably my favourite of the day.

What is about having a camera and a tripod in tow that makes people a) think you're a professional - which I'm not! and b) want to strike up a conversation?  I had a guy who was fishing come up and chat to me twice during the session.

I'm sure he wasn't trying to chat me up - looking elegant as I was in my puffer jacket, jeans and woolly hat! He wanted to know what camera I had, what lenses I used and I wasn't sure I was actually going to get rid of him at one point. He seemed harmless enough though.

There he is in the shot below walking over to have a chat. I told him he'd blurred my shot (although in a good way!).

I love the colours they've used at the pier - aquamarine and turquoise go rather nicely with the water don't you think?

Much as I probably could have stayed a little longer, I knew I couldn't dilly-dally around as Mark had a date with his mate to watch the AB's v England game so after one last shot looking back up the pier towards Petone (how long do I look reflected in the shot below!) I had to call it a day.

But not just any day. A day that had started with a waterfront on fire and ended with the day slipping out of its warm pastels into the cool cloak of night.

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