The output from the Karangahake Gorge Gold Mines produced 60% of New Zealand's total gold production in 1909. The area must have been buzzing. Noisy and polluted. Noisy as the Crown, Talisman, Woodstock and Victoria batteries pounded the quartz ore extracted from over 12000 meters of tunnels in the hillsides. Polluted as they used cyanide to extract the gold from the ore as a more efficient technique to heating the ore prior to pounding. This heating process apparently caused huge deforestation in the area.
Today the area is tranquil. It seems very clean and green; clear waters with cormorants fishing in the river and only tourists and visitors to disturb the peace.
I was using my 18-200mm lens, but just couldn't get all the scene I wanted at the widest setting and those clouds were quite special. I took nine shots and used Hugin to stitch them together. You can see the image here. Unfortunately, the clouds are pretty blown out, but I didn't really know what to do. Suggestions are more than welcome! I scanned the image, set my exposure for the river and trees and then shot the scene on manual. I thought I'd get a better stitch if I had a consistent exposure throughout my nine images. However, as the sun was so bright it did mean that some of the clouds were blown away.