We really struggled with "decent" photography weather for our entire New Zealand trip. There was only may be one sunset that brought out more than just a hint of warm golden hour colours. For most we had to be content with grey/blue toned light and I had to try and compensate with composition to photograph interesting scenes.
One thing that we could not complain about was the lack of interesting scenery. We had plenty of that and the Three Sisters near Tongaporutu on the North Taranaki coast were one such superb location.
We timed our exploration of this area to coincide with a low tide and were greeted with a spectacular coastline around the river mouth. This composition looks south towards the Three Sisters - well now only two that you can see in the distance, as one has been reclaimed by the Tasman Sea. I did not expect the arch to be there, though, as for some reason I have not heard of it before. To me it looked even better than the other rock formations.
I do not often talk about gear, however, it was my first chance to put the Canon 5D Mark IV through its paces and all I can say is that now I understand what Sony and Nikon users have been enjoying for a while now. The dynamic range has improved dramatically and I can now bring so much detail out of the shadows without worrying about noise. Sure, it still is below the level of some Sonys or Nikons but it is plenty enough for me.
Saying that, I still prefer to keep my shadows darkish and I am not a fan of the washed out look that seems prominent in many photos today. This is purely a personal choice, though, and it always comes down to your own creative vision in terms of camera settings and post processing work.
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