The Pam Effect

March 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The news this weekend has really been about two things.  The Cricket World Cup and Tropical Cyclone Pam.  Of these, only one had any effect on photography.  After devastating Vanuatu, Pam heading south, heading to New Zealand.  By this morning the wind had picked up, and swells on the normal tranquil Hauraki Gulf had risen.  Having already cleared gutters, secured outdoor furniture and removed bird feeders from trees, it was time to try some photography.  The trick was to get the shots I wanted before Pam arrived in force.  That will be later tonight.  While its full force should track east of the country, it is large enough to do damage elsewhere.

Not being a complete idiot, I decided it was best to get some photos of the unusual swell before the rain and stronger winds arrived.  The kit was a just 3 lenses, the Lee filters, the Induros tripod and the Sony a900 camera.  At the very least, it would test the Induros tripod's ability to provide a stable platform under inimical conditions.  


All shots are from Granny's Bay, in the Long Bay Regional Park in the very north of Auckland.  

#1 The Swell (a900, 50/2.8mm)

A CWP Photo

#2 Pouring Waves (a900, 20mm f2.8)

A CWP Photo

#3 Turbulent Swells (a900, 20mm f2.8)

A CWP Photo

#4 Incoming (a900, 20mm f2.8)

A CWP Photo

#5 Raging Swell (a variant of the shot above, on a longer exposure- a900 with 20mm f2.8)

A CWP Photo

#6 The Gulf - a two tone conversion of a 25 second exposure, achieved with the Lee 10-stop 'Big Stopper'.

A CWP Photo

Feet got very wet- there were enough waves coming in hard and fast that my position would get soaked.  The tripod though remained stable throughout (got to love those spiked feet and good design).  



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