Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Two Sunsets and a Sunrise

Anyone who knows me well, follows me online, or sits too close to me at work will know how much I have complained about Wellington’s summer this year. I have been hanging out to get out to take photos, and I have really noticed how often the clouds are low or the winds are high and it’s been as frustrating as anything! Thankfully it seems like this summer in Wellington really was just amongst the worst of the worst.

However! There was three days in February where the sunsets were insanely incredible. To get three in a row is a one-in-a-hundred-year type event (I am making that up, but it’s rare). The first one I missed. I had looked out the window and deemed it a no-go and then was absolutely heartbroken when the sky lit up and I missed it.

The next night looked good and I got myself down to Petone Foreshore and begged mother nature and any other super power I could imagine not to let the clouds evaporate or the low clouds roll in. As the sun set, my excitement levels were rising and I could tell it was going to do something pretty special. 


Petone Beach Wellington Harbour Sunset NZ
Sunset at Petone Wharf


By the time the colour in the sky deepened, I was quite literally racing up and down the foreshore trying to get good angles to capture the sky show. My aim whenever I go out to shoot is to try to capture as many angles as possible. I generally know that only a few will be “wow” shots so taking as many as possible is the way to go. One awesome thing about long exposure photography is that, once you let the shutter go, you’re free to just watch what’s happening in front of you for 30 or 60 seconds (sometimes more!) until you have to get ready for the next click. 

Petone Beach Wellington Harbour Sunset NZ
Burning Skies Over Petone Beach

On this particular night the colour hung in the sky for ages, and I was still shooting well after dark.

The next morning I decided to get up super early and catch the first train of the morning into the city, with the hope of catching a sunrise before work. As I headed past Wellington Harbour I could see the faint twinkle of stars, and the lack of clouds that signalled a clear morning (which is never great for photography). I power walked along the waterfront to my chosen spot and quite literally watched some long streaky clouds materialise in the west. These lit up an amazing pinky purple colour and I finally captured the city shot I have been after for so long, with the beautiful “Solace of the Wind” statue.

Solace of the Wind Sunrise Wellington Harbour NZ
Solace of the Wind Sunrise


Behind me there was some beautiful soft peach light which made for a lovely image over the marina. It's really not often the sea is so still and reflective!


Sunrise Wellington Harbour NZ
Chaffers Marina at Sunrise

My last shot of the morning was at the Lagoon with the iconic Boatshed in the background. After that one, I had to race off to work (and yes, I was late). As I start at 6:45am, the window of opportunity for shooting before work (yet also working with the earliest train) is only a couple of weeks of the year. So I was stoked to sneak this wee shoot in and get such lovely conditions.

Wellington Lagoon Sunrise NZ
Boatshed Reflections

That evening, I was pretty sure that there was not going to be a lot going on in the sky, but there was still no wind, so I decided to head to Oriental Bay. Wow, was I wrong. Even moments before the colour appeared I had text a friend saying it was going to be a giant dud…. But then the sky went crazy. Was quite a strange, vibrant pink colour and not quite as amazing as the night before, but still made for some good photos.

Wellington City Night Cityscape Harbour NZ
Oriental Bay Sunset

Wellington City Night Cityscape Skyline
City Sunset
I buzzed for several days after those three shoots, and was so happy to finally get a few pictures of my home city that I really loved. And all of my photography friends took great pleasure in telling me that I could now quit my moaning.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

If you would like to view more of my images please visit Laurie Winter Photography

Laurie :)




Petone Foreshore Wellington Harbour NZ
Petone Foreshore