Saturday, 18 October 2014

Starry, Starry Night

I'm not sure when my next post will be after this one, we're leaving for Kenepuru Head today where I'm sure internet & cell phone reception will be limited.

You’ll recall that after shooting the blood moon the other evening I said I didn't get to bed until 2am because I was having too much fun light painting & shooting some long exposure shots. Well here are some of the captures.

These were all taken just after 1am, the eclipse hadn't quite finished and it was still very dark outside except for a  brilliant Milky Way.

This first shot is done by light painting. The exposure time was 30 seconds but what you can’t see is the mad woman racing up to the vehicles and waving her head torch (now in my hand) from one end to the other ‘painting’ the vehicles with the light & then running back to the tripod and out of the frame before the shutter closes.

It’s a bit hard to explain but because I’m moving about behind the light my figure doesn't appear in the shot, just the light that’s been painted on the subject. Stay too long on a spot with the light and it over-exposes, move too quickly with the light sweeps and parts of the vehicles remain dark or look patchy. And if I stop too long in one place, a ghostly figure appears in the frame. And you must switch the light off as quick as you can when you've finished otherwise the grass and track get light painted too.  It’s pretty cool seeing the results and I must have done at least two dozen shots with varying degrees of success. I was worn out from all the running back & forward & in the end I was worried David would wake up and wonder why there was bright torch light sweeping over the van. Luckily he slept on.

The next one is a long exposure shot of the wharf (15sec), the lights have blown out a little but I still like the effect.

This one is 25 seconds and the moon is starting to re-appear lighting up the sky a little more. The one tiny light on inside the van has saturated the interior with light.

And one final one of the jetty at 15 seconds. I think I need to play a little more to perfect the techniques but I had a great time practicing.

And now for some final shots from around Elaine Bay-

Another walk we did was to Piwakawaka (Fantail) Bay, it was a lovely walk around the edge of the water for about 2kms until we reached the secluded little Piwakwaka Bay. We ate our lunch sitting on the bank in front of a private bach with an amazing view.

There are lots of baches (holiday homes) located in the Sounds that have boat access only.

Elaine Bay captures- David going fishing, an old bus going nowhere, wharf & homestead, letterboxes and the very photogenic jetty at low tide.

And a couple more shots of the jetty-

Our Elaine Bay neighbours who arrived a few days after us and scored the best view down the bay. It took a few seconds for us to realize we’d met this couple once before, in Dunedin, in the pouring rain. They are from Whangarei and know my sister & husband and her in-laws quite well. It was great to meet up with you again Guy & Jual and no doubt our paths will cross again ‘Out There’ on the road. Guy managed to sweet talk a skipper down at the wharf and came home with a bucket of mussels that he shared with us. We had a ‘happy hour’ mussel cook off that lasted a lot longer than an hour. Of course.

And one final shot of us hitched up and ready to roll. We had an amazing time in Elaine Bay and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the peace and quiet and exploring the bays in the boat. We also had brilliant weather (except for the two bouts of gale force wind), summer is definitely on the way.

We've now been parked up in Havelock for a few nights to re-fuel, refresh, re-stock, & dump tanks before carrying on up the Kenepuru arm of the Marlborough Sounds.


  1. I hope you saw some fan tails at Piwakawaka Bay��.... Another seed planted by You.... I've slept under the stars at the head of Keneperu Sounds enjoy J

    1. Yes plenty of fantails Jim but none stopped still long enough for me to shoot! The bird life (and wildlife) is amazing here at Kenepuru, indeed a lovely spot!


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