The return to Piha

July 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I'm trying to spend more time over the next three days taking photos.  It kind of helps that it is the school holidays.  That makes it a little easier to get to some more remote parts of Auckland. Remote in the sense of being distant from my current location on the North Shore.  No school traffic makes things a bit smoother. 

The weather was mostly overcast, with showers today.  So I decided I'd return to the Piha Regional Park and try getting some more photos of the Kite Kite Falls.  If conditions are too bright, then photographing waterfalls becomes a greater challenge.  Sunlight striking the falls can easily cause burn outs in the final image.  If conditions are too dull, then we won't see the colours I want.  Today looked optimal, albeit I was hoping as I drove over, the clouds would hang around.

The recent heavy rain had already boosted the water flow over the falls, so they looked impressive.  Less idea was the higher water levels.  It was a time for getting my boots wet. The odd rain shower contributed to this as well.  It wasn't just the boots that ended up wet.  Also, it's funny how less agile you become when carrying a bag of lenses, a bag of filters, a tripod and a camera.  

One of the first shots I took was of the falls from the base.  I'm perched atop a large boulder, water flowing around me on all sides.  This ended up being one of my favourite shots from the trip.

Kitekite FallsKitekite FallsKitekite falls is a 40 metre waterfall, in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland. I timed this expedition to take advantage of two strong facts. First, it was the school holidays so the lack of traffic meant I could get there easily. Second, there'd been a lot of recent rain, so the water flow ought to look good.

For this shot I've gone down-stream a bit and away from the main pool. There's a collection of large boulders where I set up the shot. You have to jump from one boulder to another, with water around you, to get there. Fortunately the top of the boulder was large enough- just- to for myself and a tripod. Then it was a matter of waiting for the rain to stop, the wind to ebb, and take some shots. I'll confess I got wet. But the gear didn't.

I liked this one. The vegetation makes an effective natural frame. There's some nice foreground interest. And the waterfall, shows off some of its major steps.

I also got a shot of the whole falls from the track that lead to the falls.  It gives some context for the scenery, and also shows how tall the falls are.


Heading back along the track, I looked out for potential stream shots.  A lot of these didn't quite work out, but I did like these two.

Mossy RocksMossy RocksDownstream of the Kitekite Falls in the Waitakere Ranges. This was taken as part of a trip to the Piha Regional Park.

Under fernsUnder fernsWhat appealed to me in this scene, was the lichens on the rocks on the other side of the bank. The green colours of the moss and the ferns were also appealing.
I had to set up the tripod in the stream to get this shot. The stream had many, low steps to reach this point. This shot had a longer exposure than the previous, smoothing the water-flow.

All photos were taken with a Sony a900, and either a 50mm lens or a 28mm lens.  One of the useful gadgets this time was the Lee lehs hood.  This served the additional of keeping errant showers from landing droplets on my lenses also.


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