I've been taking an interest in the waterfalls around the Auckland area. One of the reasons is obvious. They're a lot easier to get to than say, waterfalls in South Island when you live in Auckland. Also, it is kind of relaxing way to take photographs. The scenery is great. You take your time. Unlike birds or wildlife, the waterfall isn't going anywhere. The fleeting moments of time you might get for a bird or insect, doesn't operate as a constraint here. I think another reason is I'm running out of ideas for photos of the Hauraki Gulf. So the waterfalls give me a chance to try something new, and immerse myself in the native forests.
The latest falls I've explored are in the Omeru Reserve, up near Kaukapakapa. There's actually two main falls, but my best shots only came from the curtain one. The other trick here is to be very patient. In order to prevent too many highlight blow-outs in the water, I tried to time the shots for when cloud moved over the sun. You can't hurry that up. What I've discovered is I get see a lot of eels this way. If you are standing still and quiet for minutes at a time, eels feel free to frolic, slither and swim about. I think I've seen more eels in the wild this way than any oher casual approach.
If you're interested, the gear here was a Sony a900 FF camera, either the Sony 70-200/2.8G lens or the Minolta 28/2.0. I had an Induro CT314 carbon-fibre tripod, and a Manfrotto geared-head. Expsoures were slowed with a Lee 'Little-Stopper' (6-stops).
One thing I might add is that it would have been smarter to have screwed in the tripod leg-spikes for this trip. The rubber feet were a little impractical on wet, slippery rocks.
Would you believe I try to time my visits to when it is unlikely cubs, scouts or any other visitors are present :)
It is a lovely spot. But also not in my guide to walks in Auckland area. Which I guess is fair, because it's not really a 'walking' reserve. Still, if you're familiar with other waterfalls and the like I may have missed, let me know :)
I've got more than a few shots of those falls over the last couple of years, however all of mine have Cubs & Scouts included :-) We use the Makarau Campsite at least once a year just around the corner from the park! It is a beautiful part of the "City"
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