Modest Epiphanies: Moonlight at Tahuna

Moonlight at Tahuna Back Beach, Nelson. 9.24pm, 10th June 2017

This is JULY in my 2019 Modest Epiphanies calendar – still available for your purchase, by the way. This winter angle on the tidal flat behind Tahuna Beach benefits from its split focus and from two figures captured by chance (someone with their dog; I saw no one at the time).

The split focus involves firstly a close focus with the telephoto, and beginning the half-minute exposure with flash, then immediately moving the lens barrel to infinity, for the remaining 29 seconds of the exposure. This routine is an awkward one to repeat, but the challenge is to get a balance in the lighting between the flash-lit foreground and the moonlit background. On the tidal flat much of the lighting came from the adjacent motor camp, but fortunately that too has balanced with the low power of the moonbeams.

I could name the dog walker as Sara N. Dippity – thank you Sara.  This demonstrates that not everything that intrudes on your long exposure frame is a spoiler. Compositionally the usual challenge at beach locations is finding something interesting to populate the foreground, to add interest and a sense of depth.

30 seconds at f5.6. Nikon 85mm; ISO 500