Monday, 11 November 2013

Okarito Weekend Part 2 - The Boat Shed

One of the main reasons I was desperate to get back down to Okarito was to capture the iconic Boat Shed - perhaps the most photogenic building on the West Coast.

Okarito Boat Shed. Sony A100 with Minolta 16mm on f8 @ 250th
I had tried, and failed, to capture this building only once before (a few years earlier ) but had unfortunately come back with blurred images when I foolishly decided to hand-hold in low light. I was determined not to make the same mistake again, so had bought along my heaviest tripod and a monopod, just in case. Ironically I needed neither, as sunrise at 6.30 in november gave us enough light to hand-hold comfortably (go figure).

Okarito Boat Shed Sunrise. Sony A100 with Minolta 16mm on f8 @ 160th
The Boat Shed (now an information shed) sits on the lagoon and can be shot from various angles depending on the tide and time of year. We were fortunate in that this year there hasn't been a big variance in tidal movement, so the building was approachable at all times of the day. We were also fortunate with some beautiful sunrise/early morning light on both mornings we were there.

Since it is such an iconic building, and has been shot by so many photographers, I wanted to try something 'different' for a few of my images.  I borrowed Stew's 16mm fisheye to shoot with on the first morning and even though the 'crop' factor on the A100 meant that it was really a 24mm lens, shooting straight on to the building also produced a slight 'fisheye' effect.

Boatshed Sunrise, Okarito. Sony A100 with Minolta 24-105mm on f8 @ 160th
Moving around the edge of the lagoon as the sun rose gave a completely different perspective on the boat shed, lit by the sunrise against the dark surroundings. By this time I had switched to the Minolta 24-105mm so I could use the zoom range on the lens, since I was standing on the edge of the lagoon and couldn't 'zoom' with my feet. Same morning, same light, but completely different feel to the image.

Boatshed Sunrise 2. Sony A100 with Zeiss 24-70mm on f8 @ 400th
We came back on the Sunday morning for sunrise again, so this time instead of going to the left of the building, I went to the right. I had also managed to grab Stew's Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 'monster' lens - and boy is it a beauty! But boy is it heavy! After half an hour of shooting with the Zeiss attached to the A100 I knew I'd taken a few photos. But of course, the image quality speaks for itself and I'd quite happily carry that lens around if it meant coming back with superb images.

Having said that, I did experience a few 'glitches' with the Zeiss where it would 'lock up' on the A100 and not allow me to take any photos until I wiggled the lens mount? But I'm fairly sure this was just a couple of dirty contacts and nothing that wouldn't come right with a good clean.

I obviously took a lot more photos of the Okarito Boat Shed than I've shown here - but these are indicative - and I'm very happy with the images I managed to come away with of this beautiful building. I will be back next year, and can only hope for more of the same beautiful weather next time.

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