We all know that there are plenty of amazing sceneries in New Zealand that are very well known. However, this time I want to share with you all about this hidden gem, Moke Lake, a beautiful isolated lake off the beaten track. To your surprise, the place is actually quite near to Queenstown, another popularly visited place. It only took you less than 30 minutes to reach here. Note that you will drive along around 8 kilometres of unsealed gravel road before you arrive Moke Lake, so drive slowly. (It was very bumpy especially when we drove a campervan) 🙂
As you can see from above water, the reflection here is what draws people here, with a right weather, it can turn this peaceful lake into a spectacular view and when the night falls, the reflection also captures millions of stars, thanks to its ideal location with minor light pollution.
When we had camped our campervan there and were preparing our dinner, someone knocked on our door, which turned out that there will be a movie filming here in the next day early morning and they going to secure the whole area now. After negotiating with them, they are fine for us to stay there as long as we are leaving before the filming start, still, they keep checking on us time to time.
However, a huge spotlight like those you saw in the stadium was set up there, there were cars that keep coming in and the weather was not on our side either. I only managed to took a series of a panorama shots and then the clouds flew in and overcast the sky. Well, sometimes we just have to deal with all the unexpected incidents. 😉
So here the series of Raw Photos that I took:
Focal Length 14mm with ISO 25,600, f2.8 Aperture and 25 seconds Shutter Speed.
The photos were then loaded into Lightroom and applied basic adjustments such as white balance, shadows and lens correction. Then I merged them into a panorama photo in Lightroom. Then I fixed the slightly tilted area and fill up the blank area using the skew and wrap functions from the transformation tool. Cloned out the car’s light (it took me quite some works), focused on bringing out the colours of the sky and reflection using the combination of Color Balance & Selection Colors tools and masked out the unwanted part. After that, I applied dodge and burn to brighten out the foreground and saturated the yellow on the mountains and the grasses. I also pushed the contrast of the sky and brighten the Milky Way. Lastly, vignette around the edge and Noise Reduction. Here is the Before & After comparison. 🙂
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