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Home 5 Journal 5 Softly, Silently – “a magnificent display of nature”

Softly, Silently – “a magnificent display of nature”

Each month Clare opens up her photography journal and takes us behind some of her images. This is Softly, Silently, shot at Jacks Point in New Zealand.

On the morning of this photoshoot, the morning air was invigorating, tinged with a sharp crispness that inspires the soul.

Jack’s Point boasts an affluential suburb, an immaculate, well-manicured golf course and a club house/restaurant. The views are beautiful beyond description. Jack’s Point is well appointed, featuring the iconic Remarkables Mountain Range at one’s doorstep.

The first time I did a photo shoot at Jack’s Point I spent several hours capturing shots from different perspectives. The Remarkables Mountain Range literally hovers over the region, of gigantic proportions. This is particularly so during the winter months when the snow blankets the ranges.

At that time, I was conveniently located to Jack’s Point, so it was an easy drive for me, particularly driving in the dark. As I was familiar with the area, it did not stretch me in the least to locate the lake, where I captured this image.

I always say nothing comes from nothing. Wearing my waders was a good idea as I knew what was involved in accomplishing my mission to capture the mood of the moment.

Although there are no snakes in New Zealand, it is quite something to wind your way through thick, high flax, in the dark. But that was not going to surrender easily to my intentionality in gaining momentum through the bush. Carex grasses were thick, I could easily have become entwined in them. 

Reaching the Location

My slow journey through almost impenetrable bush made me realise time was ticking by. There was also the realisation that first light was about to make an appearance behind the Remarkables Mountain Range. I weaved my way through the extensive bush, with a strategy of deliberation. I ensured I remained strong footed, as it was easy to surrender to the tough terrain.

When I approached the small lake, a host of ducks became very vocal. It was the last thing I wanted as they were intent on disturbing the water with their erratic behaviour.

It was important at that stage, to work my way to the water that was tantalising close, with calmness. This would help to eliminate the cacophony of the ducks. As I secured my tripod on the stones on the fringe of the lake, light had snuck out from behind the mountain range. Perfect timing!

Capturing the Shot

I had just enough time to compose myself, in selecting the correct filters for that specific light. I crouched down in an attempt to hide myself from the ducks as they are curious birds. This enabled me to focus on my photo shoot.

The conditions were superb. It is not an everyday experience at this location to encounter such perfection in the light and weather. I lowered my tripod legs, whilst my camera was close to the water, then I commenced the clicking of my shutter release.

Composition is relevant. My intention was for the warmth of the lights from the clubhouse/restaurant to be a focal feature. I believe it is important to draw people into the mood of the image and for each individual to interpret what is special and important to them, that transports them to another space and place.

After the photo shoot, I placed my filters in my field pouch, slung my camera and tripod over my shoulder and returned to my vehicle. I was in an elevated state of mind, having experienced a magnificent display of nature. Memorable moments!