Walk up to the edge, take a BIG step forward and you would fall completely off the bottom of the South Island, NZ. This is your *only* warning!
I wasn’t game to go right up to the edge of the cliffs to get a good angle on how far down it was, the tops of the cliffs are well eaten away and I wasn’t sure how safe they were. Its a good 50-100m drop down, and if you are lucky there is beach, otherwise lots of rocks at the bottom!
Where is our intrepid photographer? Having visited Maple Glen gardens, gone into Invercargill to stock up on supplies at the supermarket, she heads south and east again to a small settlement called Fortrose. Apparently at low tide an old wooden shipwreck is visible, and it was on the way to Waipapa Lighthouse.
On the way over a rise I was greeted by my first ever view of Stewart Island. I have never been in a position to view it on a clear sunny day in Southland and I was quite delighted. Its quite long so only half of it is visible in the shot above. Its the blue hazy bits 🙂
Arriving to Fortrose I pulled into the local Info center, but before I walked in I ran into a friendly local who gave me excellent advice on getting a really nice view up on the cliffs overlooking the bay. While I was talking to him, I noticed what looked like a complete tree trunk washed up on the beach, he commented it had many photos taken of it, and had washed up in a big storm several months away.
Now the lighting angle is completely wrong for how I positioned the shot, the sun is at about 1 o’clock from where I am standing. But if I stand here I get all the sea and beach in the background. If I moved to where the sun was behind me and highlighting the tree, the background was much less aesthetic, being all the houses of the township. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice or compositional decision. I still like the shot, the small black spec at the very right edge is a variable oyster catcher, to give you an idea of scale. A bit bigger than a seagull 🙂
So following the local advice I headed up to the cliffs, to be greeted with the first image in the post. Opting to follow the tyre tracks which were a safe distance from the edge I trekked across to the otherside, following the slope down to a fenceline, where I was greeted with the above view. Of course I got the trusty 10-22mm wideangle out, as that was required to capture the scope of the view 🙂 Have I said how much I love this lens?
Walking a bit to my right this lovely beach was in front of me. Lots of driftwood probably from the same storm as the big tree I captured above. To give you an idea of scale, the black square thing up by the curve of the beach is an SUV and a dog and a man fishing at the waters edge. Apparently thats crowded for down south 🙂
I never did see the wreck of the Ino, turns out I was in the wrong place and the tide was still too high, but I had an excellent adventure, took some fabulous photos, saw the very bottom edge of the Island I have lived on all my life and all in the most perfect weather!
Finally I had to have a play with the driftwood tree image in Nik Silver Efex – this time I used the Wet Rocks preset and tweaked it a bit further. Loving this software and really enjoying playing in B&W, it completely changes the feel of the image. I am going to get this printed for my bedroom wall.
Do you like it? I cropped the bird off the edge 🙂 I think the side light actually works better in this version, the shadows have more texture and interest.
Next stop Waipapa Lighthouse!