I've never been one to be part of an organized tour group. It never works out for any photography other than grab snapshots. The tour director is always in control of timetables, travel and meals, and those never seem to work out in terms of the best light for photography. That's why Kathy and I left a good two hours before the first tour buses to head out to Milford Sound. I wanted to be there for sunrise. Unfortunately, it was one of those rare cloudless Milford mornings and at best, the sunrise shots at Milford are mediocre at best. Milford is one of those locations that has been photographed to death. Nevertheless, I wanted my chance at it. So at 5AM on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time) we headed for Milford Sound. We meet no one enroute other than two unlucky possums that happened to be crossing the road at the wrong place and time. Unfortunately, New Zealand is reputed to have well over a billion of the varmints roaming their woodlands thanks to an unfortunate importation years ago.
Shortly before reaching the summit and tunnel on the way to Milford, I took the opportunity for another night sky shot of the peaks and a glacier under a half moonlit morning about an hour before dawn.
After that time out we continued on to Milford. I wandered around checking out some of the known shooting spots and found none that really excited me. The real issue is the fact that shooting the sound I had to shoot in a westerly direction and sunrise is from the east. With a cloudless morning the sky is, needless to say, dull. Here is one shot of many from yesterday morning.
With that obligatory effort out of the way we relaxed till our 10:15 am departure of our Milford Sound tour boat. We chose a small boat with a 2.5 hour tour. The boat ride around the sound was far more interesting than the sunrise and I heartily recommend a ride on the Milford Sound as a must do. Lots of waterfalls, seals, kayakers, more waterfalls, drinking glacier water, etc., and shot opportunities--even handheld without a tripod. Here are a few of those.
Needless to say, I'll be creating a New Zealand gallery when I return and have had an opportunity to process all my images. Today we head to Queenstown to spend a couple of days before heading home with a stop in Tahiti.