The day had been a little gloomy with grey clouds hovering low over the mountains of Haast Pass in the Otago region. We had planned to photograph the infamous Blue Pools and their clear aqua waters however after trekking to them in the rain the pools resembled more of a brown slushie.
Thirty minutes into the drive back to Wanaka the clouds parted, warm sunshine snuck over the peaks and down into the valleys of Lake Hawea. Finding a tiny dirt track to pull over I grabbed my underwater camera housing, frantically put it together and ran through a sheep paddock (shhh…) to get down to the shoreline before the sun set. Standing as still as possible to avoid ripples with my gum boots on, the scene before me lit up and I clicked away in awe until the light disappeared. This photo is my motivation to always stay out until the last light just incase the landscape reveals it’s photogenic marvels.
Location: On the shores of Lake Hawea, amongst the beautiful landscapes of the South Island, New Zealand
Processing: When capturing a split view landscape image especially at sunset it means that one of the levels will be a little darker than the other. In this case the underwater element was quite dark because there was no direct sunlight lighting it up.
I initially put the image through Lightroom where I adjusted the fill light, contrast and levels over the mountain tops.
Exporting to Photoshop then allowed me to go through and pin point other adjustments underwater with a light burning to brighten the area so it competes with the incredible colours in the sky.
When editing an image I always ensure the colours and feel remain true to the scene at the moment I took the photograph. I refuse to put in fake skies or dramatise an image by exaggerating elements like the clouds or shadows. I believe travel photography is about capturing the scene in front of you as inspiration for others to visit or dream about whether there are clouds on the horizon or not.
Shores of Lake Hawea
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