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Te Anau Lake, Fiordland, New Zealand by Gary Smith

This was my first time shooting in the South Island of New Zealand and I had some travel challenges with the trip, so I arrived at the lakeside location much later into the early evening than I had anticipated. Added to which the weather did not look at all promising, with drizzling rain and super low cloud obscuring all of the surrounding mountains. Despite locating what seemed to be a promising foreground feature in the form of the old pier, there was hardly any light and absolutely no view across the lake. I was not optimistic and given my long travel day seriously considered just heading to my lodging for the evening.

At this point I figured that any hope of any sunset light had long since passed. More out of desperation having traveled so far, I decided to set up my tripod and camera anyway. Rationalizing that I needed to scope out a potential sunrise composition in the hope that the weather would be more cooperative the following morning.

Just as I was about to pack up for the evening, the clouds lifted enough for a sliver of late sunset light to appear across the lake, providing reflections in the water and revealing the snow-clad mountains and lakeside village. I knew this would be a very short window of opportunity so went with the pier composition and bracketed quickly using my histogram.

It was a good lesson in just turning up and being ready, control what you can control, because you cannot control or predict the weather!

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