Light and Shadow – One Day at Lake Pukaki

Sunrise Lake PukakiFriday of last week we were parked up at Lake Pukaki. It is an extraordinary landscape. And waterscape? Mt Cook and the other biggies up the lake. The Ben Ohau Range across the lake. Assorted hills off to the east. With the winter sun; low and weak. And the light changing by the minute. It was a day-long show. Not just for us but we appreciated it as if it was.

The first photo was kind of accidental. I’d staggered out into the cold just as the sunrise was at its most spectacular. Only to discover the camera battery was flat. As I was stumbling back to Suzi motorhome to get my spare one, I realised there was a frozen boggy puddle which would provide a much better foreground for my photo. Which it did, more than compensating for the lost few minutes. Funny how things work out.

Sunrise Lake Pukaki

|1| Sunrise Lake Pukaki

Sunrise Lake Pukaki - Ben Ohau Range beyond

|2| Sunrise Lake Pukaki – towards the Ben Ohau Range

Sunrise Lake Pukaki

|3| Sunrise Lake Pukaki – east across the dam

Sunrise Lake Pukaki

|4| Sunrise Lake Pukaki – looking south across the dam

Mt Cook at the head of Lake Pukaki

|5| Mt Cook up the Tasman valley at the head of Lake Pukaki

Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

|6| Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

Summer light in the middle of the day is impossible. Not so winter. The sun is never too high and unflattering.

Ben Ohau Range

|7| Ben Ohau Range

In the middle of the afternoon we felt a walk would be a good idea. So we walked the kilometre over to the visitor centre on the dam where all the buses stop. And enjoyed the different views from there. Similar but not the same.

Pukaki dam slipway with Ben Ohau Range beyond

|8| Pukaki dam slipway with Ben Ohau Range beyond – part of the massive landscape rearragement of the 1970s to please the God of electricity

Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

|9| Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

Back across the Lake Pukaki dam

|10| Wyn heading back to Suzi motorhome across the Pukaki dam on the A2O Aoraki to Ocean bike trail

Then before it got too cold we walked back to Suzi motorhome and watched the evening light. No dramatic sunset. More of a slow gray fade to darkness.

Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

|11| Ben Ohau Range across Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki - towards Mt Cook

|12| Lake Pukaki – towards Mt Cook

I’d welcome constructive comments on the photos above. It’d be good to get any ideas for improvement and also nice to know which ones you like the best. Feel free to leave comments below. Thanks.

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2 Responses to Light and Shadow – One Day at Lake Pukaki

  1. gay dornbusch says:

    Stunning pictures. Thank you for sharing them

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