25 August 2014

Braving the elements on the South Coast {landscape photography}

Photography is an itch that definitely needs to be scratched for me these days. And regularly. I find if I don’t get out with camera in tow at least on a weekly basis that I start getting ants in my pants searching for the next opportunity.

Mark had been away in Melbourne for the whole week before which had limited any chances to get out, so despite the fact he only arrived in at midnight Friday/Saturday come 6am Saturday after a quick hello kiss for the weary traveller still in bed, I was out the door.

As it turns out, I was being more than a little optimistic on this occasion. The bad weather we’d had on Thursday (hail-like snow) had drifted on into Friday and the southerly wind was still blowing rather strong down at the coast where I’d made plans to take some shots on this morning.

I started at Island Bay near the boat launching ramp (at least I think that’s what it is – feel free to correct me if you know better!) down in the sand, trying to get some long exposure shots with the waves breaking over the concrete.  The very nature of the structure meant that the water was whooshing straight up the middle and fanning water out on either side, a recipe for wet feet if I was not on my toes. Not only that but right behind me, back up on the road, a front loader was trying to clear the copious amounts of sand from the road that had blown up from the beach over the past few days of wild southerly winds and I could just imagine that as it got down closer to me I could easily end up under a pile of sand as it was dumped over the wall back onto the beach. So this spot was short-lived and I gave up after about three shots – which were rather good ones in spite of the precarious location.

I headed further round the bay to capture the island of Island Bay side-on, all was going well until one of the many showers threatening all round started to shed itself on me and the camera. So that was the end of that location too!

So I made my way further along the South Coast past Houghton Bay and stopped in at Princess Bay since I could see a lovely pink glow looking back towards Island Bay. This is the first time I’ve ever been down to Princess Bay and I was rather hoping I might catch sight of a little blue penguin but I was the only (animal or otherwise) one there. This was a pretty good location all things considered, and I got some lovely shots with the pink glow in the sky that I wanted, but then I could see behind me that the clouds were getting lit up by the sun and chose to head down the other end of the Taputeranga marine reserve.



It might have been a magic location for shots, but the horizontal sea spray/rain showers were trying their best to put the kybosh on getting any shots. I’ll show you I thought, tugging hubby’s brolly with me, and shielding the camera with my body (in puffer jacket) and the brolly overhead. I managed two quite decent shots before I slightly adjusted my position, and the umbrella caught the wind and that was the end of that. It blew inside out, and about half of the spokes popped.

So here I was, camera stuffed down my jacket to protect it from the rain, tripod in one hand and inside out brolly threatening to take me away like Mary Poppins in the other. The fact that I had only one hand against the full force of the wind to try and manoeuvre the umbrella back down again meant I was fighting a losing battle and I lost even more spokes to the wind. I must have looked a right sight, not that there was anyone else crazy enough to be out to see it.

Eventually (with a silent apology to hubby for wrecking the umbrella) I managed to get back to the car and safely stow the equipment inside. Time to get out of here I thought.

I headed back around the bays to the side-on location I’d been at earlier and lo and behold the sun decided to make an appearance. I’m not sure who was crazier – the weather or me for trying to beat it at its own game.  Either way, I still think that the shots I got were sufficiently good to compensate for nearly getting blown over, feet wet, and wet through, although I’ll leave that to you all to decide if that was the case!

The next afternoon, we took a family walk along the same coastline to Red Rocks to visit the seal colony and it couldn’t have been a more different day. That’s the beauty of living in Wellington for you!

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