27 April, 2011

Castle Point At Sunrise

A not so gentle breeze.

This is a very beautiful (and early) sunrise in Castle Point, New Zealand. I was unable to scope out the area the previous day, so when first light hit, I groggily grabbed my gear and took the plunge into the cold pacific blue.

We went the ultra cheap route and stayed in a campground; one of those community kitchen deals with pay showers. To save even more kiwi dollars, we slept in our little economy rental car.

The wind was so strong when we arrived that the car was literally being tossed around. It was like some giant was violently shaking it back and forth. Drunk on self confidence, wanting to do some recon for the AM shoot, I cautiously made my way down to the waters edge.

As soon as I cleared the sheltered area, I was knocked almost completely off my feet. Hunched down against the windy onslaught, I battled my way back to car while being blown across the gravel floor. Come to find out, Castle Point is famous for their ridiculous wind. So much so that people die from it each year. Good to know…

Technical Mumbo Jumbo:

  • Nikon D700 – Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8@ 14mm f/6.7 Iso: 100
  • 7 Exposure Brackets (-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3)
  • HDR Photography Processing & Tone Mapping using Photomatix Pro
  • Post Processing & Color Correction in Photoshop
  • Blended in parts of the Original Exposures
  • Multiple Selective Color and Contrast Layers
  • Enhanced detail with Nik Software Sharpener Pro
  • Sharpened Edges with Topaz InFocus
  • Applied A High Pass Filter (mostly on the water)
  • Took the icy plunge

Castle Point At Sunrise

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.

  • Nadeem Wajahat

    Hello Elia,
    Good is an understated compliment that you must have received and read several thousand times. I was lead to visit your site after having seen your work on 500px and then being spoken very highly by one of the friends. I can say that over 5 times (in last three days) I have gone through your website and every time I saw that your location is Dubai. Since it has not changed in three days, I am assuming that you are still here. Sure enough that many other photographers you would have met here in Dubai.
    I like your work and appreciate it so much that I took very first HDR of my life yesterday. Have gone through your tips and tutorial, which is a great deal of help, thank your for sharing knowledge and experience.
    If you wish to come over to Abu Dhabi to shoot some different shots, please do let me know. It would be great to meet with you and host you.
    Cheers to good work!