A friend from the far north had bought a new camera and wanted some guidance, which was a great excuse to spend some time on a photographic expedition to Golden Bay. The weather wasn’t particularly kind to us, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time.
The first evening was spent trying to catch a wonderful sunset at Wharariki beach. No luck at all, we didn’t see a glimpse of a sun and even after sunset the light was flat and dull. The Archway rocks still look good though, even in that light:
Brief photographic aside: I was trying to demonstrate to my friend the difference between shooting raw files and jpegs. With raw, the histogram is the most important thing to look at, not the appearance of the image on the camera screen. What really made the point was a brief session on the computer when we got home. I ran through some of the effects available in Perfect Photo Suite, some of them rather dramatic (and many horribly inappropriate). But they demonstrated just what can be done with the raw file.
Tonight I started playing with Snapseed in my iPad, and very quickly managed to produce similar, overblown images. Here’s an example, using the image above.
Back to reality. There was almost no wind, so no risk of our gear getting sand blasted!
We waited until well after the sun had gone down, which meant our return was in the dark. The trick is to remember exactly where to leave the beach and start up the sand dunes. As it turned out, we didn’t. The footsteps we were following were obviously made by people just as lost as we were. But eventually, after climbing up and down quite a few more sand dunes than were really necessary, we made it back to the excellent track to the carpark. I didn’t tell my friend until much later that a Dutch tourist had come over that same track 4 or 5 days earlier and was still missing, feared swept away by the tide.
The next morning was still grey and it looked as if any trampers on the Heaphy Track would be getting quite wet. You can (almost) see the Kahurangi foothills in this next shot, taken from Collingwood:
My friend was still full of enthusiasm however, even when it started to rain. He was photographing spoonbills (more on Golden Bay’s birdlife in my next post).
Our last morning was much better, no rain and a nice sunrise. Here’s a shot from the beach at Paton’s Rock:
Of course, once we got back home Nelson turned on its usual glorious evening. Wish we’d had that at Wharariki!
Incidently, we stayed at a great place in Collingwood, the Station House Motel. It’s right in the centre of town, with the Courthouse Cafe across the road serving great kiwi breakfasts, a short walk to the famous ‘Rosy Glow’ chocolate shop and less than 100 m from the local pub (who were showing the cricket).