NZPhotographer Issue 16, Feb 2019


Whether you’re an enthusiastic weekend snapper or a beginner who wants to learn more about photography, New Zealand Photographer is the fun e-magazine for all Kiwi camera owners – and it’s free!

F4.5, 10s, ISO3200

Have you ever had that experience where one

particular place keeps drawing you back

over and over again due to how unique and

special it is?

The Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach in Coastal

Otago do that to me.

Formed 60 million years ago, the spherical balllike

boulders lie on a small part of the beach, some

together and some apart, some small, some as big

as 2 meters wide. They are an interesting subject to

photography but they’re also interesting in themselves

when you consider how amazing nature is.

When I was growing up my Dads Grandparents lived

in Hampden, a short 10-minute drive from this beach

and I spend many nights here visiting from Dunedin

where I once lived. I never had a camera as a child

but I always remember our trips here, they were

always special being with Grandma and Grandad

collecting firewood, walking and running on the

beach, talking, and enjoying these moments.

Fast forward 20 years and this beach attracts me for

the memories but also for the boulders to photograph

whether captured at sunrise, sunset, or even the dead

of night thanks to Astrophotography. There are so

many options and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get

the beach to yourself though not for sunrise, this being

one of New Zealand’s Top 10 Beaches and a hot spot

with photographers!


I have found that the best sunrise shots happen when

the tide is either coming in or going out, about halfway

through the 6-hour cycle between high and low. I have

yet to capture a really epic sunrise here but I have

had some pleasing average ones, often having to

use my imagination and think fast. One time, the sun

was coming up and there were no clouds in the sky so

the sun was like a big ball. Since the boulders are also

big balls I decided why not capture the sun halfway

over the horizon looking like another big boulder in the

distance. During another sunrise, the clouds were too

thick and the tide was out but the patterns in the sand

were too perfect not to capture.

Night time photography is also a pleasure here, very

often you will find you have the beach to yourself and

you can create so many different compositions with

so many different results, it is endless. It’s even possible

to see the Aurora from here if you are lucky. The last

time I was here at night I set up a time lapse and then

walked away and enjoyed observing the night sky.

It’s so beautiful even with the full moon, the waves

crashing around the boulders, the stars moving and

the peacefulness of the place.

30 NZPhotographer

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