More sunset sightings - photographers at Te Raekaihau Point

Enjoying the evening at Te Raekaihau Point we watched the unfolding of a vividly colourful sunset.  I also enjoy the more subtle colours in the sky facing the sunset, and was admiring the golden light on a rocky outcrop and the pink sky above Baring Head.  This is a crop of a much larger image - although I saw some movement I couldn't see the photographers until I looked at my photograph at high magnification.  This is a bit like a sighting of a rare beast which blends into the scenery!  I have captured a photographer with what looks like a view or field camera on a long-legged tripod - but I'm not completely sure about this.  The stance of the other photographer is more effective for camouflage.

Such film cameras are rarely seen, especially in this digital era.  The large size of the film used in field cameras can give exquisitely detailed images.  But the cameras are cumbersome and the process of using them is different, a measured, thoughtful and almost meditative process requiring more deliberate learning and skills, than what is required to use the remarkably easy and able digital cameras we are now blessed with.  There is plenty of room for both approaches to photography - the thoughtfulness and observation involved in carefully choosing how the image is going to be made, as well as the happy ease of being able to click away and get pleasing images regardless of knowledge and skill levels.  Using a tripod is just that little bit more hassle, although you can get carbon fibre ones that are very stable and very light (and very expensive!), but using one means that you are slowing down a bit, maybe thinking a bit more, and can maximise the possible quality of the image.  On this occasion I was in casual mode - it was a lovely evening, I didn't have my tripod and relied on the fact that digital sensors are so much more light sensitive than the films I used to use - even in my middle-aged digital camera - and I wasn't trying to get a perfect shot.  There were plenty of people who were using cellphones and other small cameras, and other photographers who appeared to be waiting with more serious purpose...

The sun is just about to set, and the colours are bright and intensifying.  Most of the humans on the Point seemed to be paying attention.  No surprise that phenomena involving the sun seem to have a special pull for us - after all, this is the star we all depend on!