25 July 2014

Morning comes in diffused light {Scorching Bay, Shelly Bay, Wellington long exposure photography}

Last weekend we experienced what was really the first properly dismal, cold, rainy weekend of the year. It had been wet, cold and grey all week, but it seemed to ramp even more in time for the weekend. Football had already been cancelled by midday Friday and so I was unsure whether I'd be able to make it out to take some early morning shots as has become the regular weekend routine for me these past weeks.

I woke at 6am and peeked out the window. All I could see was low level cloud and the lights of the city casting an orange glow up into the cloud. It didn't look hopeful but at least it wasn't raining. I crawled back into bed till 6.30am and then had to give myself a real pep talk to get my butt back out of bed. It wasn't an easy task but I convinced myself that there must be a shot out there waiting for me that I was MEANT to take and that I'd miss it if I stayed in bed. And, in the end, that was enough to do it.

So out I went. On this morning, I'd decided to head over to the eastern coastline of the city near Scorching Bay, thinking some long exposure beach and rock shots would be the aim. I took the long route round Shelly Bay past our favourite café Chocolate Fish and as I came around the various deserted bays along the way I took a mental note of a few spots that looked worth a visit on the way back.

Scorching Bay was deserted at this time of the morning in the near dark, so I had the beach to myself. It wasn't as amazing a location as I'd first hoped, mainly because of the grey day and the fact that any light from the rising sun that might break through was well hidden behind some hills to my left.

While taking shots on the beach I somehow managed to drop my lens cover in the wet sand at one point (cue several curses from me!) and also spotted a dead seal on the beach (so sad) that I'd initially mistaken for a log. After getting in the car and heading back around the point, I saw that the light was indeed trying to break through the heavy cloud and after finding a surprisingly sheltered spot near the oyster pots - at least that's what I think they are?! I stood on the road and took a few shots looking north towards Somes Island and the Hutt Valley. I didn't see a single car the whole time I was there standing on the road - a good thing I suppose - but there was a fisherman over yonder and a fair few cyclists and walkers out early so I wasn't completely alone.


I also had two more locations I wanted to stop at - one on the point near Kau Bay where I'd spotted a black and white checkered mini lighthouse on the point. This was by far the best location of the day for photos. The light in the distance behind Somes Island was incredible. I put on my 10-stop neutral density filter and took several long exposure shots of about a minute here getting shots with incredibly silky waters and clouds. If I had any doubts about whether this particular filter would come in handy since I hadn't taken many shots with it until now I didn't have to wonder after this set of shots!


This last shot below my favourite of the day.

Despite the warning on the lighthouse, I even ventured down onto the causeway for a few shots, praying that there wouldn't be any freak waves to break over the path. And after just a few minutes I could see in the distance that the Interislander ferry was leaving its dock in the city, so I decided that would be exactly the right time to make my departure - definitely not wanting to repeat my experience of a few weeks ago when I nearly did get soaked by the rogue waves the ferry throws up as it makes its way out the harbour!

The last location I had in mind was the dilapidated pier near Chocolate Fish Café - unfortunately by the time I stopped here the showers were really threatening and I quickly got a few spots of rain on the lens (as you can see) and had to call it a day after just one long exposure shot. You know what that means, I'll just have to come back another day!

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