Thursday, 4 November 2010

Wet Day In Franz Josef

Today was a bit damp for most of the day. Clouds were down on the tops all day so we headed to the coast.

Okarito Beach was first stop but the rain was torrential so we sat in the car and waited for it to ease. It did eventually and I went on the beach and took some photos of the sea and some driftwood. My Mamiya 7 camera was very wet.

It was an hour or so after high tide and the sea was looking very impressive, big waves and lots of spray, as well as the rain. I ran off a film before retreating to the car to change film and move on to the next location.

A short way down the road was a large lake with a jetty and receding hills in the background. Quite a simple subject but very effective in black and white. The rain resumed just as I finished.

We headed south to Fox Glacier and off to the coast at Gillespies Beach. It was raining heavily as we arrived but soon eased to steady rain! Time to get out taking photos. I put my relatively new Rohan poncho on over my waterproof jacket to protect my camera gear (it covers everything and I don't need to carry a huge rucsac large enough for the camera case). The Poncho also served as a shelter under which I was able to change films and lenses. It worked really well.

The beach was strewn with driftwood - everywhere above the high tide line. This wasn't the odd twig or branch but enormous tree trunks complete with roots, and lots of them. The sea was still running high so it was a photographers dream. I ran off 5 rolls of different pieces of wood and various views to the sea or along the wood. Mostly I used a wide angle lens so that the wood was the main event in the image but 1 roll I ran off with the standard lens to bring the sea more into the shots.

That was it for the day's photography as the rain returned with a vengeance.

Tomorrow we move on to Wanaka. Hope the clouds move off the tops as I still don't have a shot of Mount Cook.

Nearly forgot to mention that we saw Tui birds today (bit like a large pigeon with 2 small white ballon/sacs inder its bill) and yesterday we had close encounters with Kea's, nesting high on Alex Knob. These are large dark coloured parrots that live and nest in high alpine areas but are quite rare. They didn't seem to like anyone walking up the track to Alex Knob as they made such a racket and swooped in quite close. We guessed that their nest must be very close.
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