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Secret Retreat | Soothing for the Soul!

Each month Clare opens up her photography journal and takes us behind some of her images. This is Secret Retreat, shot at Bennets Bluff in New Zealand.

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From Clare’s Journal

The thrill of winding my way through one of the most scenic routes I have travelled on, to reach Bennett’s Bluff is almost unparalleled. Threading my way on the superb scenic route from Queenstown to Glenorchy almost brings a lump to my throat. The beauty is out of the ordinary.

Bennett’s Bluff is situated at Mt Creighton. Here one can take in the magnificent views of the Humboldt Ranges, Mt Earnslaw and the top end of Lake Wakatipu.

The road ribbons alongside Lake Wakatipu, which is impressive in size and in colour. The mountains appear to embrace the lake in a majestic way. 

My preference is always to arrive in good time for my desired shoot destination. It enables me to settle into the atmosphere that is expectant with excitement. As night surrenders to the early morning light it cracks across the horizon as a thin line of light. 

The Photography Shoot

It was my first photo shoot at Bennett’s Bluff. I was aware of a pull off point or lay by from the road. It squeezes a couple of vehicles in close proximity, enabling humanity to soak in the view. 

It was dark when I arrived at Bennett’s Bluff. I noticed an impressive outcrop of rock across the road from me, that was quite intimidating in the absence of light. I gathered my tripod, camera and filters, and made my way towards the precipice. Whilst standing at the edge of a cliff, I had an appreciation of the sharp, drop that descended towards Lake Wakatipu. 

The valley was tree-lined with rich green foliage, which blended beautifully with the lake. As the stars were replaced with the softness of dawn, I was busy clicking my shutter release button and changing filters as the light in the sky became increasingly intriguing. Ever knowing that I had a slither of ground to secure my tripod on.

A soft breeze did not influence the effect on the surface of the water in the lake as it perfectly reflected the beauty in the sky. Warm pinks washed the sky, attracting one’s attention to the snow-capped mountain ranges which complemented the picture with their perfection.

From start to finish, the photo shoot was exceptional. At the end of the shoot, I removed my waders and packed away my photographic equipment and drove home. It is a moment I will remember for some time to come.