Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: colors and textures at Moeraki

with 14 comments

While the boulders themselves at Moeraki struck me as just so-so when I visited on February 27th, the textures and colors of other things there caught my attention. Reddish seaweed was common on the beach. And look at the patterns in the embankment that fronted the beach:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 12, 2017 at 4:57 AM

14 Responses

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  1. Is that a piece of the kelp you showed earlier, tangled up in the seaweed? And is it my imagination, or is there a barely-bluish cast to the sand? It looks as though the same beautiful blue of that embankment might be part of the beach. Both the patterns and colors of the embankment are striking.


    April 12, 2017 at 6:32 AM

    • I know so little about these things. I didn’t unravel the heap, so I don’t know whether the broader piece is part of the reddish plant. Probably not, but even then I still don’t know if it’s the same kind of kelp as the “noodles.”

      I don’t recall the sand having a bluish tinge. If you see that, I think it’s an artifact of the light on the damp sand, or of the way my software processed the digital photograph, or of the way your device renders that image—or of a combination of all those, as well as one or more other things that I don’t know about.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2017 at 7:41 AM

      • All that being said, I still think it’s delightful the way the very slight bit of blue in the sand pairs with the rock. I certainly can enjoy it even without understanding it.


        April 12, 2017 at 7:44 AM

        • I’ve speculated about causes, but when I look at this image my eyes and brain see at best a very pale gray where I imagine you’re seeing the faint bluish tinge. Based on comments you’ve made over the years, I’d say you’re much better at discerning slight variations in color than I am. I’m glad that in this instance you’re enjoying the faint color you’re picking up.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 12, 2017 at 8:07 AM

          • Something else occurred to me this afternoon. My first symptom of vision problems wasn’t blurriness, but color-fade. Greens and blues were far less vivid in one eye than the other. After my new lenses were implanted, colors became vibrant again, and I saw “new” shades and hues everywhere. Not only that, I read tonight that different lenses can affect color perception in different ways. I need to research my lenses, and find out what effects have been reported.


            April 12, 2017 at 10:06 PM

            • That’s a factor I hadn’t considered: cataract implants. With all the variables, I expect no two people ever see the same thing in the same way.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 12, 2017 at 11:06 PM

    • And I see rosy tints in the sand which match the rosy colours in the embankment. I think the sand at Moeraki is dark-gray. Is that right Steve?


      April 13, 2017 at 5:20 AM

      • We found darker sand in a few other places, but I think at Moeraki I’d say light grey or tan. On the other hand, when I compare the photographs at


        I see a range of shades and hues there.

        Steve Schwartzman

        April 13, 2017 at 6:01 AM

        • I will investigate next time I go there. Since I have only managed one visit to Moeraki in 61 years, it may take a while before I make another. When I first encountered the dark sands of NZ, I was perplexed. Was this really sand? Sand for me was lovely white/golden stuff which brushed off your skin quite easily.


          April 13, 2017 at 7:25 AM

          • We learned about New Zealand’s dark and light sands on our first visit, in an area where the North Island is relatively narrow. Muriwai on the west coast has the darker sand, while the beaches on the east coast have the lighter.

            When you do eventually revisit Moeraki, you can combine it with the return visit to Dunedin you’ve mentioned wanting to make.

            Steve Schwartzman

            April 13, 2017 at 8:16 AM

  2. Wonderful photos, Steve — I especially like the seaweed, looks like a sea bouquet.

    Jet Eliot

    April 12, 2017 at 8:38 AM

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