Last Light

Last Light{encarrow Heads, Wellington

In April 1968 the Wahine, a ferry which carried passengers between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, sank on the passage into Wellington Harbour. In the end fifty three people lost their lives in the disaster, and this remains New Zealand's worst modern maritime disaster.

So when Les and I came across the Wahine Memorial Park, besides the rugged beauty of the place, thoughts of the disaster came to mind. The currents and swells in this treacherous seaway are infamous and dangerous when the mood takes it. Somehow I wanted to create an image that showed the beauty of the place and it's more stormy side.

With the only clear sky low and to the west, threatening storm clouds building to the east, sunset looked promising. But I also hoped that as the sun dipped below the building cloud bank of the front passing through, that the last rays would lighten up the coast on the other side. With small swells surging in, I set out to find a nice foreground to bring it all together.

In the end I settled on these jagged rocks to represent the ruggedness of this coastline. The textures, colours and lines a testament to the violent nature of this beauty. But this is not a barren landscape, on the rocks you can see the life that makes this coast its home. This hints also to the life and ecosystem below the waves, which just along the coast is protected by a maritime reserve.

With the composition chosen, it was now just a case of waiting for the right wave and hoping the sun would play it's part. When the sun broke through the clouds, the rays of sunshine added the finishing touch to the scene. Adding a dynamic, both with its colour and brightness, which I hope continues to draw the viewer from the rocks to the distant coast and back.

This is a great place to visit, and I look forward to going back again.