14 – 20 May ’11
Sunday brought a warning of severe weather – heavy down pours, strong westerlies and thunder storms. If I had not have had to go in to town to shop for groceries, it’d have been an invigorating start to the cooler season. As it was Cat and I got soaked loading our shopping in to the car, and I had to wipe down tins and packets as I stacked them away in the cupboard at home. But the trade off was worth it. Sodden autumn colours and weather shots from high places.
The last of Autumn’s splendour
I happened to notice out the window that the maples in our front yard were adorned with suspended drips. The reds and pinks of the leaves always look more jewel-like in the rain. I’ve taken this “Autumn Leaves” type of shot a few times over the years, the last leaves‘ tenuous grip before they slip away. I waited a while in the hope that the rain would stop, not wanting to take the camera out in the wet. When it showed no sign of easing, I gathered up an assistant in the form of Jake, gumboots, umbrella and camera and waded out to see what I could get. I am sure we must have looked quite ridiculous shuffling about on the lawn, shoulder to shoulder under my small umbrella. Let’s hope the neighbours weren’t watching.Exif F-stop f/4.8 Exp time 1/80 sec ISO speed ISO-400 Focal length 50mm Exif F-stop f/5.3 Exp time 1/125 sec ISO speed ISO-320 Focal length 70mm
Weather or not
A few weeks back I’d watched an episode of a UK TV show called How to Take Stunning Photographs . One tip that I picked up from the show was ‘watch the weather’. It’s fairly basic when you think about it, just hadn’t crossed my mind before. If the weather’s rough, but you know it’s going to clear, watch the sky. That moment when the sun comes out under stormy skies can be magical.
Bearing this is mind, I was hovering around all afternoon waiting for that break. I already had the perfect location in mind to shoot from. We are lucky to have the elevation of the Ruahine Ranges just behind us. It’s a short drive up to the first lookout which affords a wide vista over the Manawatu plains. So when the break came I again gathered up my equipment and an assistant – Billy the Kid, this time – and headed for the hills. My word it was COLD up there. I really should have learned by now that no matter what it’s like down on the flat, it is always blowing a gale up on the top. And the brass monkeys wouldn’t stand a chance. (Click on the picture to get a better view)
Rain over AshhurstExif F-stop f/ 10 Exp time 1/ 125 sec ISO speed ISO- 250 Focal length 18 mm
I figured it might be worth the drive up to the top lookout to see what was happening on the other side of the Ranges, over on the Wairarapa side. By the time we got up there the shower had arrived. I managed to position the car so I could shoot out the window without us getting soaked. (One wardrobe change a day is enough, I reckon).Exif F-stop f/ 10 Exp time 1/ 125 sec ISO speed ISO- 250 Focal length 34 mm
It did not take long for the shower to pass over, so I headed on up to the wind turbine lookout to see what we could see. Poor ol’ Billy didn’t stay out too long. There’s not much of him, and the wind was nearly blowing him away. I mouched about for a while getting various shots until frozen fingers forced me to stop.Exif F-stop f/ 10 Exp time 1/ 125 sec ISO speed ISO- 250 Focal length 34 mm
On the way back down we noticed the clouds breaking up, the shot I really wanted was revealing itself. I managed to stop in the same spot as we had on the way up – a slightly tricky manouever as the parking space is on the wrong side of the road, and very narrow. This time I had the boy stay in the car, too cold, windy and dangerous for him to step out just there. And then the sun broke through.Exif F-stop f/ 10 Exp time 1/ 125 sec ISO speed ISO- 250 Focal length 34 mm