The west coast of Auckland, in and around the Waitakere Ranges, is a wild and rugged place quite unlike any other part of New Zealand. It’s one of our favourite places to visit for walks, spectacular views and the special ambience that can only be found here. Piha is the most famous, especially for surfing and a reality TV series called Piha Rescue which says all that needs to be about the dangerous rips to be found here. Anawhata, just north, can only be reached by foot, a tiring climb down and back. It’s very isolated and was reportedly Sir Edmund Hillary’s favourite beach where he would contemplate new mountaineering conquests. North of that is Bethells, another wild place of dangerous seas which, like Piha, has a sizeable population living in its shadow. The photos of Piha and Anawhata were taken this weekend and Bethells a few weeks earlier when I tried out some Lee Filters I have invested in: a Big Stopper for long exposures and a couple of graduated neutral density filters to balance the exposure between land or sea and sky. They make a hell of a difference!