Waiau Falls – New Zealand.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

After Karekare, Anna and I took some time to explore and sight-see around Auckland, enjoying the New Years fireworks among other things before heading off to our next destination, Rotorua. The morning started out quite overcast so instead of the “routine” morning photo shoot, we opted to start our drive earlier than usual. After many winding, narrow, gravel roads “we” were looking for a place to stop to take a little break. (And by we I mean Anna, as I was loving the drive in our massive camper-van!)  I drove right past a sign for “Waiau Falls Scenic Reserve” with a little roadside pullout. Figuring it might be worth checking out, I turned the van around and parked.

It was a very short hike down to these falls and we could hear the rushing water as soon as we got out of the van. I made many images of these falls, all with different compositions, but this is the very last composition I took and it’s the one I liked the best. I wasn’t happy with any of the shots I had taken, but I knew we had to get moving as we were here for over an hour. After packing up my gear and starting to walk away, I noticed a fairly big rock. I climbed onto this rock and turned around to face the falls and knew this was the vantage point I needed for the shot I wanted.  With this shot I was able to show the small pool of water at the base of the falls, the green foliage surrounding the pool and above the falls, all of the waterfall without cutting it off, and a small portion of where the water goes after collecting in the pool.  I hope that with this shot, you have a sense of this place, and being right in the middle of it.

By now the sky was partially cloudy, so I waited for the clouds to slightly cover the sun to allow a slight glow into the scene. I shot three bracketed exposures for this image, using my polarizing filter to eliminate any reflections on the foliage, making them “pop” a little more. As for final processing, I used exposure blending in Photomatix to combine the three images, then some slight dodging and burning in Photoshop to finish it off.

“Waiau Falls”, Waiau Falls Scenic Reserve, New Zealand.

Buy the print here.


  1. anna says:

    I think what you loved more than the drive in the massive rickety campervan was watching me squirm and become nauseous on the windy roads as you sped by in our cow of a vehicle… No wonder “we” needed to stop for a break 😉

  2. tara turner says:

    we would love to see this image on our towns website – can you please advise if this would be possible? http://www.coromandeltown.co.nz we would happily credit you for your work on our webite

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