noellebennett
noellebennett

St Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand



These poles are one of the landmarks at St Clair near Dunedin, New Zealand. The groynes have been there for more than 100 years but are now disappearing because...
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These poles are one of the landmarks at St Clair near Dunedin, New Zealand. The groynes have been there for more than 100 years but are now disappearing because of pressure caused by sea currents and waves after they were battered by storms in the middle of the year. It is predicted that this may be their last year...so here's one photo for posterity
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4 Comments | Report
denaegomez
 
denaegomez July 11, 2016
so simple yet so stunning!!! A place I'd love to visit
noellebennett
noellebennett July 12, 2016
We live in a truly awesome part of the world - well worth a visit if ever you get the chance 8-)
vojce
 
vojce September 14, 2016
superb
noellebennett
noellebennett September 16, 2016
Thank you 8-)
alexvigil
 
alexvigil February 26, 2017
Love this!
garykavanagh PRO
 
garykavanagh May 28, 2017
Nice reflection
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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the popular surfing venue of St Clair, New Zealand. St Clair is located on the Pacific Ocean coast about five kilometres from Dunedin city centre on the south western-most part of the coastal plain.
Time
The image was taken about 8pm in mid-September, so we were just coming out of winter and heading into spring down here in New Zealand. This area of St Clair is fabulous for taking a stroll no matter what time of the day it is but often photography can be at its best when there are fewer people about and there's a chance of interesting light.
Lighting
There was an ethereal glow over the sea and the poles from a rising moon that was partially obscured by a veil of high cloud. However, over to the left of the image were the street lights on the Esplanade at St Clair creating their own strange orange glow so this juxtaposition of two such different types of lighting really dictated that this had to be black and white. And because of the time of night, this was inevitably going to be a long exposure.
Equipment
This image was shot using a Panasonic DMC-GH4 camera with a Lumix G20/F1.7 lens. The camera was mounted on a tripod and a cable release was used.
Inspiration
Erosion is a long-term and ongoing concern at St Clair and the wooden posts that I used as the focal point of this image are the last surviving sets of wooden posts from a 1904 effort to try to limit erosion. Over the years, these poles have come to epitomise St Clair but they are now disappearing because of pressure created by sea currents and waves as they are battered incessantly by winter storms year on year. These posts are a bit like 'that tree' in Lake Wanaka (try a search on ViewBug - I know it's on here!) - everyone has photos of them - so I do try to avoid using them in images. But the late evening light was casting an ethereal glow over the sea and the posts, which was so alluring. Combine that with the sheer ambiance of the place...and the lack of people...and it was simply crying out for an image. The wee gull sitting somewhat inconspicuously in the foreground just completed the picture for me. I didn't want it to be one of the 'normal' images with those ubiquitous foreground posts transporting you through to White Island. I wanted it to reflect the calmness of the beach as I was seeing it right then.
Editing
This image was shot in Camera RAW. It was a 40 second exposure at f/4, ISO 200. The focal length was 20mm. So I put the RAW image through Lightroom for the basic development and adjustments. I then used Nik Collections Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert the image to black and white in order to deal with the tension created between the orange hues of the street lamps and the natural moonlight.
In my camera bag
My every day camera bag is quite small and ever evolving...and shared with my husband so there are the occasional squabbles over lenses (we do have a camera each though)!! I now use a Panasonic DMC-G9 camera which I absolutely love (I started with the G3, then had a brief dalliance with my husband's cast-off Olympus E-M5 which I didn't get on with at all before moving to the GH4 and now the G9). My must-have lenses now are the Lumix G Vario 100-300 telephoto lens which is my latest addition and which is a fabulous lens; an Olympus M.12 - stunning for imaging the Milky Way which is another passion of mine - a Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45 which is another stunning lens and just possibly my favourite, and a Lumix G Vario 14-140 which is my workhorse lens. Apart from that I have a couple of cable releases, a spare battery and spare SD card...oh, and a lens cleaning brush which doesn't get used as often as it should!
Feedback
I suppose there are two big pieces of advice I would offer. You need to have an infinite amount of patience - be prepared to make images and for them not to be quite what you wanted or visualised and to go back and try again...and again...and again. But, as I did with this image also be prepared to seize the opportunity...and keep watching what is going on out there. The weather down here on the South Island of New Zealand can be incredibly fickle - the so-called four seasons in one day syndrome certainly applies here! If someone had asked me two hours before I made this image I'd have said there wasn't a hope of getting a good shot of this scene at that time of night because of the conflict between the street lights and the natural moonlight. How wrong would I have been! And study the whole scene. Watch for patterns that will increase the interest or leading lines and points of interest like the gull in this image. Try to help the viewer feel what you did when you took the image. And change your perspective. You don't need to take everything from standing height. Be prepared to get down low and see if that improves your image. Most of all be prepared to experiment and have fun - it's the best way to learn

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