Kuaotunu Beach was another impromptu stop on our travels. We were driving from the east of the Coromandel peninsular where we were staying in Whitianga over to the west of the peninsular to the town of Coromandel itself. 

We hadn’t been driving for very long, winding our way around the twists and turns of the spectacular coastline, when we rounded a corner and the road suddenly opened up into a stunning bay.

The weather didn’t seem to be with us today. The wind had picked up, and the sky was thick with dark angry clouds.

Every now and then however, the clouds opened up just long enough to send a column of golden sun rays down onto the ocean beneath. It was only for a few seconds before the sunlight was swallowed up once again by the thick cloud.

As we drove closer to the bay, still winding along the coastline, there seemed to be a larger break in the clouds in a number of places which allowed the sun to break through and linger for a few moments, completely changing the scene before us. It created the most magnificent blue green colour on the water in small patches compared with the rest of the ocean which was a flat grey colour. This coupled with the drastically mixed colours of the clouds in the sky created the most fantastic scene, such a contrast of light and shows, colours and moods. I couldn’t pass it by without stopping to get a few photos. 

We pulled into a lay-by and I quickly rushed grabbed my camera equipment and rushed down onto rocks beyond the beach.

I stayed for at least an hour or so taking photos. There was so much going on it really gave me the chance to try out a number of different techniques I had been reading about to try and capture every aspect of the scene I could. I was trying to maximise the drastically contrasting colours and lighting to reflect the atmosphere of the weather.

I also tried a few shots at a slower shutter speed to add some movement to the water. Given how bright it was I couldn’t slow the shutter too much, even with an ND filter on, so I slowed it as much as possible and took multiple shots so I could merge them together post processing.

The results I got weren’t exactly what I had hoped for. The sun spent more time hidden behind the clouds than it did shining through which wasn’t ideal for my photos. This means that the colour of the ocean wasn’t as strong and bright as I had wanted, and the light was off the scene as a whole wasn’t how I pictured it.

Still even with this slight inconvenience, I was happy with some of the results I achieved. it gave me the chance to play around with my camera a bit and experiment with different settings and features of the camera in a way which I hadn’t before. Plus, it was a nice way to spend an hour of the afternoon.

By the time I was done taking photos it was getting a bit late in the day and we still had a long hike back to where we had parked the car. The sun was also starting to move behind the cliffs at the back of the beach which meant the lighting completely changed for the worst which meant the photos were not what I was after. It also meant that it started to get pretty cold pretty quickly so at that point we decided to call it a day and start heading back. The Sauvignon Blanc was calling us anyway.

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