Tuesday, 1 April 2014

NZ Photo Tour : Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 2

 Assalamualaikum wbt.

Sept 2nd, 2013

Twizel is a town in the Mackenzie District, in New Zealand's South Island. It is a small town, with residential population of 1,110 but in summer the population more than triples. The present town was built in 1968 as a greenfields project to service the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectricity Scheme. The scheme consisted of 50 km of canals, two dams, and four powerhouses producing 848 MW of electricity.

By 4pm, we finished dumping the black & grey water at the town's public dump site. The fresh water tank and diesel were topped up and we head back to Mount Cook to chase the sunset. It's a 60km++ journey and our worry was that we could not make it in time.

This time Jemang was driving, so I took the opportunity to take some more drive-by pictures.

Taking Pics "On The Fly"
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/100s | ISO200 | 28mm | Lee GND .09s | handheld

Setting Sun
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO180 | 70mm | handheld

Smoky Mountain
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO500 | 70mm | handheld

Another Smoky Mountain
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO500 | 70mm | handheld

Slippery When Frosty
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO1250 | 70mm | handheld

Long And Winding Road
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO900 | 112mm | handheld

When we realised that we would not reach our destination in time for sunset, we started looking for alternatives. Then I remembered a place we passed by during our first trip up called "Peter's Lookout". So we decided to stop there for the sunset. And luckily we managed to reached there in time - barely!

Peter's Lookout is a well paved parking area, overlooking Lake Pukaki on State Highway 80. From here you can get a clear view of Aoraki / Mount Cook. It's approximately 20km from Twizel or 42km from Mount Cook Village. 
New Zealand is such a beautiful country that no matter where you stop, you'll get a good view. Peter's Lookout was no exception. Although this was not in our list, it was as good as any other place. And I was glad we did stop here :)

For a start, I took some images of road winding down towards Aoraki with the 70-300mm tele lenses, to compress the perspective and emphasize the size of Aoraki  :

"Road To Aoraki Series"

Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/40s | ISO400 | 70mm

Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/80s | ISO400 | 180mm

Nikon D600 | f/11 | 1/20s | ISO400 | 180mm

Nikon D600 | f/11 | 1/20s | ISO400 | 80mm

 Then I stowed the tele and switched to 17-35mm ultra-wide lens for some low-down angle :

The Stump | Nikon D600 | f/13 | 5s | ISO200 | 17mm

Shrubbery Bush | Nikon D600 | f/13 | 3s | ISO400 | 35mm

 After taking these shots, I noticed a faint trail going down the hill towards the lake shore, about 500 meters away. Then I saw two specks at the shore and I realised it was Danial and Jemang! Without further ado, I immediately followed suit.

The lakeshore was pebbled. There was no sand nor big boulders. And the water was very calm, making for smooth reflection. Would love to camp here and shoot milky way and startrails. (Hint! Hint! :D )

It was also practically deserted. No human apart from us three. No animal either. Well, not that I could see, but it was very silent, if you get what I mean. And no mosquitoes / sandflies too! Thank God for that :)

The first thing I came across was this driftwood :

Driftwood Part 1 | D600 | f/9 | 4s | ISO200 | 17mm

Driftwood Part 2 | D600 | f/9 | 10s | ISO100 | 17mm

Then I came across these stones, neatly stacked. No idea who did these. Jemang and Danial said it was already there when they came down. Well, whoever you are, thank you! It made for a very interesting subject :)

Stone Stacks At Lake Pukaki | D600 | f/9 | 25s | ISO100 | 17mm

The water surface was mirror-smooth. Imagine a milky way / startrails reflection shots here!

Beacon Of Light | D600 | f/7.1 | 15s | ISO100 | 17mm

 Last shot of the day :

Last Light | D600 | f/7.1 | 15s | ISO200 | 17mm

After the last shot it was getting quite dark so we  begin the trek back to the campervan. Going downhill was easy. The light was still strong and I could pickup the trail quite easily. Going up was another story - it was dark, only one person had a torchlight. And it was uphill, mind you! So we just sort of stumble around, using the silhouette of the campervan as our beacon. But we preserved and we managed. As they say, all's well ends well. Well, not quite :(

We reached the campervan, huffing and puffing (being a heavy smoker that I was), quite out of breath. Only then I realised I had lost my Z-Pro filter holder. Somehow, it came off somewhere during our trek up, leaving only the adapter ring attached to the lens. What can I say? It's too dark to go back, and I could not remember the exact path anyway. So I just "grin and bear" it. Ouch!

So we packed up our gears, stowed the tripods and continue our journey to Mount Cook.

Until next post,

 << Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 1

 HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :) 
- all rights reserved - do not use without permission -
- contact me at enquire.ariefrasa@gmail.com for information on licensing of my images and timelapse clips -  Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5 Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5