One of the features of any coastal area that is exposed to the prevailing weather is surf. The Catlins Coast catches all of the weather systems that come from the south, and south here means the Antarctic and South Pole. It was an overcast and windy day when we visited Porpoise Bay and nearby Curio Bay, and the wind had a decidedly polar feel to it. The waves were large and unwelcoming, fascinating and alluring at the same time.
After the Storm
The northern part of New Zealand has just been battered by a north-easterly storm that brought heavy rain, high winds and cold temperatures. Some Auckland suburbs and parts of the CBD were flooded and several roofs were blown off. The end came very quickly. As soon as the sun appeared, so did the surfers. The choppiness of the sea subsides in short time and for the next few hours perfect surfing waves form. Its school holiday time so the news spread quickly to get to Takapuna Beach to ride the waves.
I looked out of the window several evenings ago as the sun was lowering in the sky and knew I had to get down to the beach. The tide was out, a small surf was breaking, and the light was turning to a light gold. Because it has been so wet in Auckland this winter the land is saturated and the ground water seeps onto the beach and glistens in the evening light. People on the beach were taking advantage of the fine spell of weather, getting in their evening walks before dinner.
These four images attempt to capture the mood of the evening.
Yesterday was the day after a storm – it was still blowing through. The day was overcast but mainly dry and the waves were good enough to bring out the surfers and stand-up paddlers. I decided to wander into the water up to my knees and attempt to capture some images of the action. This fellow caught my attention – he had style!
Two days before the storm. Wind and waves start to build up and local surfers gather to ride the early waves. Two days before a storm the view to the horizon is clear. When we can see Great Barrier Island without haze we know a storm is coming. Today it arrived.
Today the storm arrived. It was more wind and overcast really, but not enough rain to soak into the ground. The fine sea spray got onto the lense and made it hard to take photographs.
Grey days make for difficult exposure. Getting focus when sea mist gets onto the lense adds to the difficulty. Catching the atmosphere was the aim.