July 24, 2014 … fast water, bright rainbow

Winter is proving to be a challenge this year.


Hutt River at the Taita weir after a few days of rain

Our winters are very benign by some standards. Snow is rare, and in most of Wellington, five or six degrees of frost is as cold as it gets, and even that is unusual. Rain and wind are the sources of our winter misery, and they can get quite severe. Yesterday was at the tail end of a few ugly days and the Hutt River seemed to be very full. It was not in full flood, but very high and very fast. I believe its normal flow rate at Taita at this time of year is around 23 cumecs (cubic metres per second) and yesterday it was running at over 100 cumecs … that’s four times more water than usual.  The water has been running so fast that it has scoured out the access ramp to the riverbed downstream, and I couldn’t get to the place from which I have previously shot images of the weir. It was underwater anyway.

Slow shot of the weir

The weir from slightly upstream – a 30 second exposure.

Perhaps from a little upstream I might have a different view while still catching a bit of the drama of fast water. I made shots that were “straight” and also did a few long (30 second) exposures with the aid of the neutral density filters. I preferred the low shots. All the while, it was necessary to hold an umbrella over the camera to protect it from the steady drizzle. Few high-end DSLRs are truly weather-proof, and too much moisture can result in catastrophic damage. My insurers paid NZD$1,300 to repair the camera that suffered from an excess of airborne mist at Niagara Falls in 2012.

Rainbow fragment

Rainbow fragment in the direction of the Hutt river estuary

At home later, having given up on getting other images, night was approaching and I was closing the upstairs curtains to keep the house warm against the increasing chill. I saw a brilliant rainbow fragment on the Hutt River. To heck with the cold, I flung open the window and leaned out to try to capture the moment.


Most of the rainbow … caught with the wrong lens

The scene was changing rapidly as clouds moved and light-shafts opened and closes. Suddenly it was no long a fragment but a full rainbow. I leaned out as far as I dared with no strap on the camera, and zoomed out to 24mm and couldn’t fit the whole thing in. My wide angle lens was downstairs and I knew with certainty that if I ran downstairs to get it, the rainbow would be gone by the time I was ready to shoot. I grabbed the shot and the rainbow disappeared.

That’s all for now.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Landscapes, Light, Lower Hutt, Rivers, Taita, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to July 24, 2014 … fast water, bright rainbow

  1. nzvideos says:

    I have never been in a position to get a photo of a full rainbow. Congratulations!
    BTW, did you have an opportunity to check on whether the trolls left a pot of gold under the bridge:)

  2. Ellen says:

    #3. Your own private windwand.

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