South Island, New Zealand by Stuart Hackshaw

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I was driving past this rocky outcrop on the west cost of New Zealand, on my way to a well-known photography spot when I noticed these sea stacks in front of an epic sunset. Decision time; I knew that if I stopped I would miss the light at the other location I was heading to. After a moment’s hesitation, I quickly pulled over, grabbed my camera gear and ran down to the shoreline. It was starting to get dark and the waves kept coming in around my boots as I hurried to set up my Sony A7rii, time was really of the essence and all I could think about was the other location I was missing out on.

Perched precariously over a slippery rock pool, I tried to get my tripod wedged into a secure spot whilst at the same time rushing to try different shutter speeds in a race against the sun disappearing over the horizon. I finally settled on a frame, about time! and took several snaps. This was the last photo I took, taken moments before an unexpected tide swept in, half way to my knees! nudging me from the rock I was poised on. Although I slipped from the rock I somehow managed to keep my balance and to my surprise remain upright with my camera and tripod intact. I almost laughed until I turned to see my camera bag floating off up the shore! Fortunately it was waterproof and I was able to grab it in time before it took a trip out to sea. That was the time to call it a night so I trudged back to the car with cold wet shoes but having captured a handful of solid images. Lessons learnt, follow your gut… and keep an eye on the tide!

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