I am a total sucker for mist, or fog, or anything that adds unusual drama and light to a photograph. One day last week, after days of flooding weird and wild weather, we were treated to a thick blanket of fog over the Auckland area. Planes were grounded and the morning traffic moved even slower than usual. But not me. I took flight and sped, as safely as possible, to anywhere I thought that the fog would offer something interesting in the way of a photo or two. I found it, after a fruitless hours search down the road, at my local beach, Long Bay. The mist was retreating from one side of the beach as I arrived, burning off slowly and revealing the outlines of the cliffs and pohutukawa trees. And out of the mist came walkers, couples and their dogs; strange shadowy shapes drifting in and out of focus. It was eerie and strange, like a post apocalyptic movie scene of sombre figures moving softly, away from something silent hidden in the mist . . .
In a few days it will be midwinter, and then the days will start growing longer and, before we know it, spring will be here! Yaay! But when winter looks this inviting we should just be grateful. Taken this afternoon with my wife’s Fuji X10 on our walk along Long Bay beach, with the Coromandel Peninsula in the distance. One of those amazing Auckland days when everything seems a hundred shades of blue, and the water is cold enough to turn you blue. A perfect day to kayak, too, and very obliging of them to choose bright yellow.
I’ve taken to having a brisk half-hour walk everyday. My favoured location for that is the wide, flat expanse of nearby Long Bay Regional Park beach. It takes that long to walk two lengths. We’re really lucky to have such a lovely beach so close. It’s a wonderful place for exercise and one that I’ve photographed countless times. This photo was taken the other day. I borrowed my wife’s Fuji X10 compact for my walk — just in case I saw something worthwhile— as I didn’t feel like lugging my SLR along. These boats were drawn up waiting for a party of school children from the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education & Recreation Centre, based at the end of the beach. Sir Peter Blake was a New Zealand hero, winning the Whitbread Round the World race and leading New Zealand to successive Americas Cup victories. Tragically, he was murdered by pirates who boarded his boat at the mouth of the Amazon River in 2001 while he and his crew were doing environmental research. The Centre which carries his name at Long Bay teaches Kiwis of all ages about sea-based activiltes and I often see people splashing about in kayaks, learning to surf or sail. Education about the sea is terribly important in New Zealand as we have the worst drowning rate in the developed world: an average of 105 per year, 55 this year to date, from a population of just 4 million.