Not all photo shoots are a success. There, I've said it. I have a very good success rate, but not even the best intentions of a motivated photographer can persuade mother Earth to cooperate. Yesterday was just one of those moments where the anticipation of an amazing sunset over one of my go-to spots isn't enough to make magic happen.
Just that morning I had captured some satisfying images of Daisy Bay, and after observing the clouds from mid afternoon on-wards I became increasingly convinced that the evening was going to provide the perfect conditions to create exceptional images. After getting the green light from my incredibly understanding wife I was off in the car, camera batteries charged and mind racing between which destinations would suit this particular event. Would it be good to try and capture better images of the Poor Knights? Were the clouds right for that? After driving past Tuts I dropped that idea... maybe Matapouri? After doing a quick check and witnessing a girl in make up, sporting a revealing one piece bating suit, and having here Instagram photos updated by a friend right where the middle of my photo would have been, I quickly dropped that idea...
Where now? Woolley's Bay? Sandy's? Or back to Daisy's?? The light was getting really intense and I knew that time was off the essence, I needed to hit something and fast! Whale Bay was the closest now, so into the car-park, backpack on, tripod over the shoulder I was running down the track. My jandals are nearly worn through to the point of wincing as the larger more aggressive stones attacked my heals as I shot down the track, surprising the odd tourist as they slowly walked back up the track after their epic day spent in paradise.
Up to the viewpoint I ran, second nature kicking in as it has done over the many years of doing the same thing. Unfortunately the light was dying fast and not even a seamless set-up was enough to capture the last warm beams of the day as they faded from the scene. "Bugger" I muttered. Ok, not such a loss I thought, I've already got a really good version of this, what I'm really here for is an incredible sunset. This is when you start the waiting game, anticipating what glorious scene will unfold in front of me illuminated by a sky full of flame... Well, by now you've guessed from the title of this blog entry that this wasn't meant to be. It didn't happen. It did however look to be happening up around Cape Brett though, which really isn't any kind of consolation. I wasn't going to pack up too soon though, there's a certain period of time after the sunset that we call the "Blue Hour". This is when the sky and shaddows a balanced, contrast has left with the sun, and you generally have an opportunity to at least capture something which has a certain harmonious feel. Not what I was after, but some kind of consolation at least.
As a photographer used to dealing with these kinds of situations you feel a certain sense of disappointment, it's only natural. It's a part of a relationship you tend to build up with the places you photograph in your back yard. You know that it's only ten minutes away from home, so you'll always have the chance to eventually capture that particular image that you have in your mind, sooner than later. This is a very different scenario to the one when you're on a photo trip overseas and there's only so much time to capture images when you're limited with time and money... those missed moments tend to hurt a lot more...