Another Autumn Sunrise
This morning, fully clothed this time, I ventured onto the beach to capture another autumn sunrise. It was different this time, not so red, but more dappled grays and blues.
We are lucky here to face the east and have a view out across the Rangitoto Channel to the island from which the channel takes its name. During the day Rangitoto continually changes its mood as the sun moves from east to west. On some evenings the setting sun lights clouds over the island with red and orange light. In storms it presents a very moody face.
This morning we were presented with a pre-storm view. There is rain predicted for two day’s time. On such occasions the atmosphere often clears and New Zealand’s fourth largest island, Great Barrier, shows clearly on the horizon. That happened in the late afternoon yesterday. Already the sky is overcast. Let’s hope that the rain comes as predicted. We really need it after the long hot summer.
I was going to show only two images from this morning, but I have decided to show five instead. I have been wanting to take photographs from the eastern end of the beach in the morning for some time. Here are the results.
When I woke this morning and looked out the window I knew right away I had to capture the moment. So, still in pajamas, I grabbed my camera and walked down to the beach to record the sun rising behind Rangitoto Island and the early morning crowd out getting their exercise. A man passed nearby walking his Dog. “Good morning”, I said. “Good morning” he replied, no doubt wondering why I was still wearing my PJs on the beach. It didn’t worry me. I got my pictures and was feeling very happy.
Fly Me to the Moon …
… Let me swing among those stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words …
These words from the 1954 Bart Howard song made famous by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and many others came to mind when I watched this parapenter seem to soar towards the moon at Kennedy Park on Auckland’s North Shore last week.
I first saw another parapenter riding the thermal air currents off the cliffs with Rangitoto Island, the major landmark at the entry to Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, in the background. Minutes later he joined the moon flyer to circle and swoop above the cliffs.
Early Morning Run
I was on the beach at 6.30 am yesterday morning just to catch the sunrise. It looked promising when I first looked out of the window so I took my camera and tripod onto the beach and waited. This is just one of 40 images I took as the sun crept towards and then broke over the horizon.
Rangitoto in Shades of Mauve and Orange
I have just reviewed the viewing statistics of my Flickr page and was surprised (and somewhat delighted) to find the most viewed image was this one taken early one morning about two years ago.
Rangitoto Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf is a significant part of the view from my house.
According to Wikipedia “Rangitoto was formed by a series of eruptions between 550 and 600 years ago. The eruptions occurred in two episodes, 10-50 yrs apart, and are thought to have lasted for several years during the later shield forming episode The first episode erupted most of the volcanic ash that mantles Motutapu Island next door, and also produced the lower, northern, scoria cone. The second episode built most of Rangitoto erupting all the lava flows and main scoria cone at the apex.”
The island is reasonably symmetrical in shape and can be seen from many parts of Auckland. All shipping that enters the Waitemata Harbour passes through the channel between the island and the Takapuna/Devonport peninsular.
Depending on the weather and time of day Rangitoto reflects various moods, as this image demonstrates.
View of Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island is the gatekeeper for Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. It looks very much the same from wherever you view it and forms the major feature in the view from where I live. When European settlers first arrived in Auckland in the early nineteenth century there was very little vegetation on the island, just a scoria volcanic cone which arrived as part of a series of violent eruptions some 600 years ago. Rangitoto is now covered in native vegetation which acts as a habitat for native and exotic birds. The island is now a regional park which can be visited for day trips by a short ferry ride from Auckland.
This view is from a large sandy beach below the cliffs at the eastern end of Takapuna Beach on Auckland’s North Shore.
Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/125 sec, F 16, ISO 100, Sigma DC 18-200 lens at 18mm
This morning I took my eight year old grandson on his first photowalk around the rocks at the eastern end of Takapuna Beach. It was part of his Christmas present, to “have a photo session with Grandad”.
After a brief introduction to the camera, a Olympus Stylus 800, we set off on our walk. The “rocks” are the remains of eroded sandstone cliffs. There is plenty of variety to keep a young inquisitive mind engaged – wierd shapes, rock pools, cliff vistas, waves, Rangitoto Island in the distance, and more. Although he had taken the occasional picture with his Dad’s Canon EOS 45oD, this was the first time he had been given a camera to use and choose to photograph whatever caught his attention. He has a surprisingly good eye for composition for one so young. This image shows our intrepid photographer sneaking a quick shot of Grandad with Rangitoto Island in the background.
The adventure lasted about an hour and a half. Once we returned home we downloaded the photographs to the computer for viewing and very basic editing before the finished product was exported to a CD to take home and showed to Mum and Dad.
Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/125 sec, F 16, ISO 100, Sigma DC 18-200mm lens at 18mm
Into the Rising Sun
This is the last in this series of dawn images from 5 January. As the sun rises above the horizon the number of people on Takapuna Beach increases. Even in the middle of the night you will find someone out walking, as well as the occasional “wally” shouting loudly as a result of late-night drinking. However, in the cool of a dawn morning only the keen early birds can be found soaking up the freshness of the newly breaking day.
Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/80 sec, F 11, ISO 100, Sigma DC 18-200 lens at 18 mm
Rangitoto at Dawn 5 Jan 2010
The light at dawn yesterday morning was just great. I walked onto Takapuna Beach just as the morning sky was brightening but before the sun had risen above the horizon.
Rangitoto Island is at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour, the main shipping port for Auckland, New Zealand. Ships travel through the channel between the island and Takapuna Beach on the North Shore of Auckland. I love the beach at this time of the day. Apart from the occasional runner, early morning stroller and dog walker, you have the beach to yourself. You can watch the day develop from black to dark blue, then the dawn shades of orange and mauve develop as the sun gets closer to breaking over the horizon. It’s an experience you never get tired of.
Sony Alpha DSLR, 1/3 sec. F 11, ISO 100, Sigma DG 18-200 lens at 18 mm
This morning I collected a cup and prize money from winning the Rotary District 9910 photographic competition run by the Rotary Club of North Harbour. This photograph was entered in the Open category and took the category and the overall competition prize, much to my surprise and delight.
The photo was taken at sunrise on Good Friday morning this year. It was a beautiful crisp windless morning and Rangitoto Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf was silhouetted in the orange glow of the rising sun and reflected in a pool of water on Takapuna Beach.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200, 1/30 sec, F16, Sony AF DT 18-70mm 3.50-5.6 kit lens at 18mm, hand held