The sea & me


Welcome to my first blog post! I thought I would start by posting about something that I can't live without: the ocean. I have lived by the coast for most of my life and when I returned home from Australia, I knew I needed to live close to the water.


New Brighton is a seaside suburb in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

From the stretching expanse of the beach, there are picturesque views; to the north, the Southern Alps and on a clear day, the township of Kaikoura; to the south, the suburb of Southshore provides a view of Sumner Beach and Redcliffs across the picturesque spit. Redcliffs is especially beautiful in the afternoon, the golden light of the setting sun hitting the cliff face, illuminating the scorching red rock. It is this southern stretch where I like to walk with my camera. Each day it provides me with inspiration and gratitude, revealing beauty in nature's intricate details.


The ocean has always provided a sort of magnetic attraction for me. You can energise and refresh your body through action or calm your thoughts by watching the subtle, sweeping rhythm of the waves. I especially love the morning sun glistening off the back of a wave hurriedly rolling to shore, the parting clouds and the dramatic colours revealed in the wet sand, reminiscent of the grandeur of an oil painting. I could photograph the same part of the beach countless time, each captured image strikingly different.









Even on a gloomy day, the beach exudes a special energy. The waves may be angry and the wind beastly, but the sound of heavily charged waves crashing onto shore is soothing to the soul. Sometimes the best time to photograph is just after a storm. The waves carve out beautiful patterns in the sand, each grain of sand pressed together under the weight of the water. Starting my day on the beach every morning clears my mind and reminds me of the importance of showing up each day. Every day brings new beauty, magical colours and beguiling patterns, present for a only a fleeting moment.




The combination of colours on the water and the way the sun chooses to rise each day provide me with constant inspiration. One day the sun will peak over a distant cloud, and the next it will be completely blanketed, its rays dissipated, creating a softer morning light.

Light changes every second, and as a photographer capturing the right light is crucial and precious.

I like to photograph the water in all types of light. The way the ocean meets the sand provides constant intrigue; sometimes with rough edges, sometimes smooth and slow. Each day with my camera I can capture a different story and showcase the uniqueness of water and land.



We are lucky to have the sun rise over the ocean here on the east coast of New Zealand. It makes photographing on the beach in the morning so magical. Yet, when the sun starts to dip low in the sky towards the end of the day, we witness golden hour. While the trees glow, and the Port Hills bathe in the last light of the day, the ocean holds up a pastel sky. The baby pinks and soft blues sometimes welcoming in a crescent moon are a pleasant way to wash the day away.

Water is my recurring theme. As long as I am lucky enough to walk along the sand each day, I will continue to snap away.


-Hillary