The Manawatu Camera Club
I recently had the chance to visit Cape Palliser, the most southerly point of the North Island (try saying that after a few glasses of wine). This was with the MCC - Manawatu Camera Club - not the cricketers. A really nice bunch.
It was very good for me, as we all got up first thing in the morning to get the 'golden hour' when the light is warm and inviting, normally a time of day when my duvet is also warm and inviting.
The light is a fickle instrument on a cold New Zealand winter morning, and grey forms a significant part of the palate. Being a stout individualist - another term for bloody-minded fool - I set off in the opposite direction to the pundits. This is occasionally referred to as ‘the wrong direction’. One of those deviations produced the picture below.
While everyone else climbed up to the lighthouse and obtained fantastic shots, I stumbled away from the lighthouse across the rough ground for about a kilometre. My rationale was that the lighthouse was the focal point and the farther I got away from it, the better. As I went blundering through the dark landscape I managed to disturb an adult seal sleeping in the bushes that I had taken to be a large grey rock. When it reared up and started roaring at me, I suffered some intestinal disturbance. I later found out they can be quite nasty when disturbed.
The weather was fairly average but improved as the weekend went on. I experimented a lot with HDR and need to do a lot more with the images to make them usable. We visited the Putangirua Pinnacles, which are the result of 120,000 years of erosion. This has produced spectacular pinnacles, or 'hoodoos'. They were used as a backdrop for the filming of Dimholt Road in the Return of the King, for those Lord of the Rings fans out there. (for you, I have also posted about Hobbiton.)
We travelled along the road to the Ngawi fishing village, which is a lovely oddity. Its main claim to fame is that there are more bulldozers per head of population than anywhere else. The beach looks over the Cook Straits, and the weather can be ferocious. The fishermen drag their boats up out of the water using bulldozers, of which there are a great variety. If you are into old machinery, it’s wonderful.
The area also has the largest fur seal colony in the North Island. We were deeply privileged to be there, essentially by ourselves, when there were lots of pups frolicking about. I spent a long time watching three young pups sitting on a rock watching me back and playing silly buggers like the three stooges (the pups not me). I was able to get some nice shots of the animals as they interacted.
I have to go back to South Wairarapa, as the scenery is absolutely spectacular and different from other areas of New Zealand. On the last day, we were rushing to a site when we passed the most spectacular and transient landscape formed by a ray of light hitting the bay on the other side of an estuary. I wanted to stop but was following the others in convoy and didn't dare. Proving that I was in the company of true photographers, everyone else crammed on the brakes, and we returned en masse, spending some time trying to catch the fleeting light.
Because I do not play well with others and had not really understood the protocol, I managed to step in front of people but was graciously forgiven. Below is one of the images that I made. As always, please feedback to me. I can only improve if I have criticism!