Moon-lit Moeraki boulder shell

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Moon-lit Moeraki boulder shell on the beach, Hampden, New Zealand

A few days ago, we have returned from wonderful New Zealand and I am now sorting, discarding, selecting and developing the thousands of photographs that the children and myself took. It is a slow, time-consuming process, but it offers many opportunities to look back at our adventures, to reminisce, and to be grateful for all that we could experience as a family. Although photography was of course not the main purpose of our vacation, there is a number of compositions that I am satisfied with. The first New Zealand photograph that I would like to share is, at least currently, my preferred composition of our entire trip. For me, this photograph is rendered special not only because of what you see, but also because it involved planning, some hardship, and a bit of luck. 

I was really looking forward to photograph at the Moeraki boulders, but had hoped to discover compositions that are different from the famous sunrise/sunset shots that I had often seen. When we arrived on the beach where these gigantic boulders lie around, it was clear that I could only photograph the rocky spheres early in the morning or late at night - unless if I had cared for photographs of tourists posing on the rocks. Luckily, the tidal patterns were compatible and I had realized that it was full moon. I previsualized Moeraki boulders in moon light and set out for a nightly walk from our campground. 

The scene was as I hoped: the beach, rocks and sea lightened by the moon and no tourist far and wide. But then, while kneeling next to my tripod in the wet sand, while taking photographs, my knee cracked. It first seemed like a negligible inconvenience, but soon became a painful disability. The prospect of the hike back to the campground became more and more discomforting. However, just when I had packed up my equipment and started limping back, I came across this boulder: a cracked Moeraki boulder with a puddle in the middle, and if looked at from the right angle moon light in the puddle and on the sea. Almost too good to be true! Despite the pain and advanced hour, I unpacked and quickly took two exposures (only one of which turned out reasonably sharp). It is one of the rare cases where I think virtually everything is right - the frame has not even been cropped the tiniest bit.


2015/01/14 by Florian Freimoser
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