After the long flight to New Zealand, on beautiful V Australia, we landed at the airport around 5pm. (If any of you have never had the chance to fly with them, you’re missing out!) We then picked up our sweet 1984 Mitsubishi Campervan. After getting a few supplies for the days ahead and figuring out where to take sunrise photos, we settled on this area looking out to Rangitoto Island. This now dormant symmetrical shield volcano last erupted around 600 years ago, which makes it the youngest volcano in the Auckland volcanic field. It was already dark by the time we reached this location, so we set up the campervan on the side of the road, and called it a night.

Waking up the next morning, I headed out in search of a composition. I woke up well before sunrise and the coast was only a 15 minute walk away, so I left myself plenty of time to set up. I found a few areas that appealed to me and waited for the light, but realized that that sun was rising quite a bit farther to the right of my camera. I quickly gathered up my things and started looking for something to shoot that would work with the way the sky was lighting up. I found a little water pool with some vegetation and snails in it, and snapped a few frames. The light show was very brief, only lasting about 5 minutes. I may have come away with a shot but I am on the fence about keeping it or throwing it out. Time will tell if it makes the cut or not.

Not being satisfied about coming away with a decent shot of Rangitoto, I went back to the rocks I had been set up at a few minutes before. Thankfully, the tide had gone out a little farther, and I was able to hop, skip, and jump my way over to this rock jutting out of the water. I noticed the clouds were quite interesting above and around the volcano and instantly, I knew what I was going to do with the scene in front of me. “Long exposure and in black and white” I said to myself. This was about an 8 minute exposure, using the Lee Big Stopper. A little noise reduction, tone/curve, and vignette were added to the black and white conversion.

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