APS Behind the Lens: The wild Tasman
I am fortunate to live on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand, which is a photographer's paradise. To the east we have thickly-forested hills leading up to the majestic Southern Alps, to the west is the wild and rugged coastline of the Tasman Sea. In between, our scenery ranges from glaciers, gorges, rivers and lakes to blowholes, limestone caves and groves of Nikau palms. Plenty to point a camera at!
A short drive from home is the Grey River, which flows westward for 120 kilometres before entering the Tasman Sea across the notorious Greymouth bar. Flanking the mouth of the river are two breakwaters, locally referred to as the tipheads; Blaketown to the south and Cobden (also known as Shipwreck Point) to the north.
From vantage points on either tiphead or the surrounding area, photographers can find many photo opportunities; sunsets, seascapes, wild weather, surfers, seabirds, Hector's dolphins, bar crossings of the local fishing fleet and much more.
If the conditions are right and you're up early, you can also capture the icy fog of the 'Barber' (our famous katabatic wind) as it rolls over nearby hills and creeps through 'The Gap' to follow the river out to sea. Hence, as you can imagine, where the Grey River meets the Tasman Sea is a popular spot for many of the local photography enthusiasts.
My favourite subjects to photograph at the river mouth are the bar crossings, stormy weather and raging seas; if you manage to come across all three combined then some dramatic images can result.
The photograph featured here is titled 'The Wild Tasman'.
It was taken on the first fine day after a week of stormy weather, which included a particularly spectacular electrical storm passing through the day prior to shooting this scene. The wild weather roughed up the sea considerably and once it had passed the wind turned to an easterly, clearing the skies and whipping the tops off the breakers.
The image was shot from Shipwreck Point, looking across the water towards Point Elizabeth in the north. Taken around mid-morning, I was able to capture the light hitting the spray from the waves after the sun rose above the Twelve Apostles Range.
I regularly enter my images in the international photography exhibitions and I was rapt to have this image win a Judge's Choice medal in the 2020 Lake Macquarie International Circuit, Australia. ❂