November 5, 2015

The Dawning of Friendship

Good Morning Bay of Islands

Woke this morning much too early, 4:15am. The newly purchased air mattress lost enough air that my hip was getting sore. Since sunrise was in two hours the search for best location in the dark commenced. 
Parked along a sandy beach in Paihia and waited until dawn broke and glimpses of sailboats in the bay among small islands covered in trees appeared. I smiled knowing that this spot was full of photographic opportunities. Got out of the car and slowly (my ankle got very swollen in the airplane and is a bit stiffer than I hoped) walked down the beach to some rocks along the shore. 
Started setting up the tripod looking at the angles, positioning the sailboats, checking the app 'StarWalk' to make sure of where the sun was rising, when 5 girls in their early 20's approached and proceeded to the end of a rocky bulkhead. 
Continuing, I walked around the area trying to decide if the shot was of the sun itself or of the scene it would illuminate. When turning back toward the sun, the perfect subject presented itself. 
Now with a subject to focus on, the rest of the time was spent positioning it into the best composition. Walking the shore, climbing up and down the rocks, positioning tripod legs up and down and racing to beat the sun as it approached the horizon. 
Using the 60mm Moment lens with vividHDR I started to shoot, now just making minor adjustments to the tripods location. Clicking before, during and after the sun past the horizon. Got it!
Now to approach the girls and share this intimate moment with them. But first to decide on the best shot and processed it in Snapseed, no need to share the many test shots that were captured. 
Approaching, thoughts of 'What happens if they are upset with me for taking their photo without permission' and 'Maybe I should just leave' came to mind. Bravely, walking closer and excusing myself for the interruption, confidently and proudly I shared the image with them. 
Happily they squealed their appreciation as the camera was circulated among the group. One even apologized for being in the shot. My response let them know they made 'my' morning by being in it. We then exchanged email addresses so the image could be shared among the group. 
Interestingly they just met a week ago on a group tour that will take them to both the North and South Islands. Fast friends already. All are from Europe on extended holiday.  How great is that!

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