Evening twilight over Mt Taranaki, view from Tongaporutu Beach
I took this photograph late in the winter of 2001, during one of my regular visits to Tongaporutu. Although I was hoping for clear conditions when I arrived, this particular day had started off cloudy and rather indifferent with a thin, misty haze whiting out the views along the coast. It wasnt particularly inspiring from a photographic perspective, and so my camera gear had remained packed in its bag for much of the time.
Towards the end of the afternoon, however, a weak southerly change passed through, calming the sea and sweeping the sky clean of cloud as the afternoon waned. Up until Id noticed the southerly approaching I had been thinking about heading off for the day, but once I realised things were changing I decided to linger for a while longer to see what sunset might bring. This viewpoint from the clifftops overlooking the Tongaporutu River mouth offers a stunning vista of the coast south towards Mt Taranaki and the adjacent Pouakai Range, and so I headed up here to wait for the sunset.
Most times I find that a sunset without cloud is nothing too special, albeit nice from a photographic perspective I normally prefer some cloud to be in the picture as well to add a bit of texture and colour to the sky. However, as the sun dipped below the horizon on this particular evening the twilight colours in the now-empty sky were particularly vivid perhaps this unusual clarity was something to do with the newly-arrived, dry wind that blew coldly from the south. Whatever the reason, it was well worth hanging around for. I sat and watched in silence as the sun disappeared, waited momentarily for the twilight sky to deepen in colour, then took this photograph just a few minutes before the display faded into the night.