I had hopes to get out with the camera at some stage but with such a short visit - we literally arrived in the dark on the Friday night and left before lunch on the Sunday, I knew time would be short. Especially when combined with a weekend of rain that had been forecasted. In fact, even when I dragged myself out of bed early on Sunday morning I didn't have huge expectations as there had been a decent downpour within the last hour that I'd heard lying in bed all the while wishing it away so I could get into the outdoors!
I also knew I wanted to find somewhere within easy reach of home and not too remote given I'd be starting out in the dark. Lake Rotomanu appealed as it's a small lake popular with jetskiers, paddleboarders and kayakers, but it's also jut a stone's throw from the beach and the whale bridge.
These shots are all taken on my wide angle lens at more than one minute exposure. It's interesting that while clicking the shutter release and waiting for the shot, there was a decent amount of ripples on the lake and ducks swimming around. You certainly can't tell that from these photos!
The shot above is my clear favourite of the day. The golden light reflecting on the water, the dampness of the jetty also reflecting the sky. It's just gorgeous (I hope it's ok for me to say that!). It is so nice that a shot that I have imagined in my head so many times can actually come to fruition 'in camera'. For a learning photographer it can be infinitely frustrating knowing the shot that you want to create but not knowing enough or having quite the right technique to translate that into the desired result. So let's just say I was pretty happy with how the shot above turned out!
As the skies lightened, I headed over to Te Rewa Rewa Bridge - or the whale bridge as I like to call it. I really do think it looks like the exposed backbone of a whale!
If it had been a nicer day I could have framed Mt Taranaki right in between the bridge in the shot above. The bridge was obviously designed with that in mind. Another day perhaps.
There's only so many angles you can take a photo of on the bridge so I decided to head down to the coastal walkway as I could see some dusky pink clouds hovering over the horizon.
With the amount of rain and stormy weather the area had experienced over the past day or so, the seas were pretty ferocious. I found a great vantage point on a small breakwater with the waves rolling in past me at great speed - even the sign saying 'watch out for sewage discharge' didn't put me off it was such a good spot.
It never fails to surprise me how I'll think I have the measure of a morning. I stay a while, click away with a few shots and then think 'OK, time to head home'.
But it seems to be that just at the very moment I've decided to call it a day, something like this happens.
And I can't very well leave then, can I?!
No way, not yet.
The waves breaking onto the rocks were so impressive on their own, let alone the sun breaking through the clouds to top it off!
Even when I did finally, reluctantly tear myself away from the shore, I still found I had to stop the car at least twice more to jump out and take the two shots below.
I love how the sea spray adds a mystical look to the shot looking inland above, and how the clouds below frame the silhouette of the bridge in quite the heavenly way.
I am constantly surprised at how quickly the view changes when I'm out taking photos at this time of day. Even standing on one spot solidly for half an hour, you could almost be in several different places as the skies change all around you. Something akin to a photographer's dream!