I was chasing an orange sunset on the West Coast this past weekend and was thinking the clouds and bit of drizzle that appeared out of nowhere was going to be a problem. So as I rushed out to town madly scouting for the perfect spot with a dozen idea’s in my head only to discover Hokitika is a town full of surprises! Hokitika is large artisan community so travelers to the town are often presented with some interesting displays of art. I was just thinking of getting a sunset and perhaps getting the now infamous driftwood sign in the shot as focal point, but I found that some crafty artists has created beach sculptures only using washed up driftwood, stones and perhaps a nail or two.
First up was the now infamous Hokitika sign on the beach. I have learned that with these types of pictures you really get to practice your patience as pesky tourists like to so the selfie thing in front of it like there is no tomorrow. That Hollywood sign is so yesterday. This is how we roll in Aotearoa
This image was shot at 1/10s at F10 with a ND6 Grad filter and all I had to do was to bring out the shadows from the driftwood a bit and the rest is pretty much out of camera.
I think this might be a man walking his dog, but it could also be the evolution of Man. Just out of frame is two driftwood blobs, but I like “Man walking Dog” more. This is a 13s exposure at f22 with a ND8 and a ND6 Grad filter to not blow out the clouds and the sky. I think the moving clouds and flat sea did come out great. Luckily these two was in no rush to get home and agreed to keep still for 13s
The good people at hokitika.org made a video of this very special event. Get there before it’s gone!
Just outside Hokitika and a bit upstream on the Hokitika River is the Hokitika Gorge. This scene is breath taking and looks almost photo-shopped, but trust me this is how you will find it. This is my second visit to the gorge, but the first time I was here the water was a murky greyish blue. When the area has a good downpour in the days before the speed of the water sometimes causes the greyish blue water as the current is just too strong for the sediment to settle. However when all turns back to normal and the sediment settles the water is a natural turquoise colour. This is a very easy 15 min walk from the car park , but be warned, Long sleeves and a good dousing of anti Sanfly spray is a must as the insects here are carnivorous.
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Sources : hokitika.org