Images from a pre-dawn trip to Seaford pier with friends from the ND400 Long Exposure group on Facebook. We arrived in the pitch black of early morning, ….a VERY unusual time for me, ….and waited for the sun to rise.
A long exposure image taken at Mentone beach just after sunset.
A long exposure image at high tide from the picturesque shores of Tenby Point on Western Port Bay, Australia.
Jetty remnants at The Dell at Clifton Springs in Victoria, Australia.
Sunset at Corinella. Taken near the French island ferry docking point.
We had arrived just in time. The high tide was starting to recede giving us easy access to the beach yet there was still enough water covering the base of the jetty posts.
If you arrive at this destination at the wrong time you’ll find sticks in mud.
Pictured below – On the way back to the car park the water had receded enough to reveal the tangled root system on this Tenby Point icon.
A couple of images taken as the sun disappears below the horizon at Tooradin foreshore, Western Port Bay.
The photography community seems to be polarized over the use of phone cameras and associated filter programs such as Instagram.
I must admit to being slow to travel down the “phone and filter” path and have only recently decided to give it a go to see what all the noise is about.
Since giving it a trial run I must admit that the use of Instagram and other similar programs has reintroduced a fresh and fun aspect to my photography.
I find it refreshingly simple to just pull out my phone, click, process and even publish the image so quickly.
I also enjoy being forced to rethink my compositions into a square format after being conditioned by years of using a 3×2 SLR format.
Admittedly I’ve had to resist the urge to “pixel peep” at the noise and visual anomalies created by some of the clunky filters.
This will never replace my SLR photography but I reckon it will complement it nicely. Phone photography has definitely introduced a fresh fun aspect to my photo life.
The beach at west Cape Conran offers an almost alien landscape populated with a huge array of highly eroded rocks. The jetty and boat ramp look out of place in this environment and so they tend to become the feature subjects of photographers who visit the site.
If you cant visit this site at sunset I’d recommend visiting during a day of high surf activity. The large waves crashing into these rocks create a really impressive scene.
I’m definitely going to revisit this location when I get the chance. There’s a lot to explore here.
A couple of images from a recent stroll on Shelley beach, Porstsea, Victoria.
It was one of those great days for photography. The clouds were very heavy causing a nice subdued light.
The threat of impending rain also meant I had the beach to myself, ……nice.
18 months after releasing my first book I’m pleased to announce that I’ve finally finished my second book and published it through Blurb.
The 40 page collection explores Australian land and seascapes using long exposure photographic techniques to capture textures and patterns hidden in fluid motion.
The book is printed on Blurb’s premium lustre finish paper.
If you’d like to thumb through the book with a virtual preview of all it’s pages go here.
Tooradin is right at the top of my list when it comes to escaping for a little bit of quiet time. Located just a few minutes down the road from my home, Tooradin’s features include a serene creek that runs through the town and winds it’s way down to a great foreshore area where it joins with Westernport Bay.
The foreshore area usually has lots of parking spaces available and serves as a fine place to devour whatever delicacy you’ve chosen from the local bakery, fish and chip, or pizza shop.
Alternatively you can bring along your own boring food and make use of the BBQs.
During low tide, large expanses of mud are exposed along both sides of the channel.
You can stroll along the elevated edge of the channel and watch as thousands of tiny crabs, disturbed by your presence, dive for cover into their tiny holes in the mud.
Back to the serious topic of food for a moment, I highly recommend the Tooradin bakery with it’s fine selection of meat pies. They also have more sweet cake/bun/doughnut thingies than you could poke a stick at, …..and the coffee isn’t too bad there either.
The bakery is also conveniently located next to the fine Ice Cream shop, offering heaps of different flavours for those craving even more sugar.
Fish n’chips must be big business in Tooradin because this tiny town has no less than two fish n chip shops.
On one side of the main road is the Tooradin Original Fish & Chip Shop and across the road is the Boardwalk Chippery. The Boardwalk shop boasts the use of “healthy rice bran oil”. The rice bran oil must be an acquired taste, …I’ve tried it but I haven’t yet acquired that particular taste,….but each to their own.
For the curious photographers who might be reading this post, the camera I used was a Panasonic Lumix LX3 in “dynamic B&W” mode with some minor corrections later in Photoshop.
If you’re interested in using any of these images or would like to purchase a high quality print then please contact me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of images from the Flinders foreshore showing what a huge difference the tide can make.
Both images feature the same structure albeit from slightly different angles.
Below – Flinders Hombres – high tide at the jetty remnants.
Below – liN – the same jetty remnants at low tide.
The Mentone groyne is located on Mentone beach just south of the Mentone pub. In the past this groyne has been incorrectly referred to as the “Old Mentone jetty” by myself and others. There’s off road parking close to the groyne but unfortunately the local council here tries to screw you over with a three dollar per hour parking fee.
All of the following images were taken using an ND400 filter to extend the exposure time and smooth out the waves on the water.
Below – Running West – Mentone Groyne
On the afternoon I visited the groyne it was almost high tide so these photos are only showing the very top bits of the structure above the water. Next time I visit I’ll be making sure I arrive during a low tide when the structure appears more like a series of small arches. I think that would be worth getting wet feet for.
Below – Charging into the Night.
On the walk back to the carpark, some kind of territorial dispute erupted amongst these seagulls on a small rocky island just offshore. The image below doesn’t properly convey the ensuing ruckus but it was quite impressive to watch a little bit of nature’s drama playing out in front of me.
Below – Lord of the Gulls – ruckus on the rock.
Following on from previous posts I thought I’d share with you just a few more images from the Phillip Island coastline. I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface down there, …….there’s just so much beauty to explore and discover.
Pictured below – The Roost – old jetty remnants that serve as a safe roost for the local birds at Cat Bay.
Pictured below – Evidence of Life – a soft misty view of some wonderful wave action off Cowrie beach.
Pictured below – The Long Swim Home – another view from Cowrie beach looking towards the Nobbies in the background.
Saturday’s excursion was down towards the pointy end of the Mornington Peninsula.
After a hearty lunch of fish ‘n chips on Dromana beach, it was off to Sorrento for a cappuccino and also check out the surf conditions on the ocean side.
On arrival at the back-beach the surf was violent and unruly, fueled by a ferocious onshore wind.
I’ve tried to capture long exposure images under these conditions a couple of times before and come away from the experience with disappointing results. A howling wind always manages to soften my long exposure images regardless of tripod technique.
With this in mind I resigned myself to exploring the calmer more docile side of Sorrento, the bay side. The view from the beach here was quite nice with small boats bobbing and wobbling around in the water. I took a few shots of the little boats but couldn’t find anything particularly satisfying so I moved my attention to the huge bollards near the pier.
Pictured below – Bollard.
Above – In this image the huge concrete bollard remains motionless whilst surrounded by the blurred movement of waves on the water. It’s nearby neighbors, the boat and the buoy wobble and rock in compliance with the waves. I used a high key effect to eliminate some distracting elements from the background. Both ND400 and ND8 neutral density filters were attached to the lens to achieve the desired long exposure under fairly bright conditions.
Pictured below – The Sorrento Bollards.
Above – The massive bollards are used to assist with holding the Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry in place at the pier during the exchange of passengers and cars.
After shooting the bollards, mother nature tried to grow me a rainbow. The left and right ends of the rainbow were developing nicely and gradually growing skywards then suddenly fizzled into nothingness.
Following are some images from the shores of Westernport Bay.
Pictured below – The Journey Home, seagulls at the Tooradin foreshore take off en masse as the day gives way to night.
Below – Corinella Sunset, a series of “God beams” appear from behind a cloud as the sun sets at Corinella pier. These “God beams” are also known as crepuscular rays and are explained at Wikipedia here.
Below – The Living Jetty.
At Corinella a jetty platform disappears below the surface during a king tide.
The local sea birds take advantage of the exposed posts by using them as a safe roost.
Saturday’s excursion to Phillip Island turned out to be very rewarding from a photographer’s perspective.
In the late afternoon I stopped at a place called Right Point, which seems to be a very popular destination for surfers. As I peered over the edge of the cliff towards the beach I instantly fell in love with this spot.
Below me were the remains of an old jetty being pounded by the violent surf.
With the sun starting to drop towards the horizon what more could a photographer ask for?
I grabbed my tripod and camera bag and dashed down to the beach like an excited child. The images were already forming in my mind before I had even reached the sand, ……..oh what a feeling !!
Below – Drawn to the Ocean
Below – The Penguin Pool
As the sun dropped even closer to the horizon a good situation became even better when suddenly Crepuscular rays broke through a gap in the clouds.
Crepuscular rays, also known as “God rays” or “God beams” are explained here.
Below – Running to the Light
Below – Sky Burst
Below – Agaze
Images from a recent trip to Flinders with friends Christine Wilson and Caroline Gorka.
The objective for the afternoon was to capture some images of the old wooden pier before it’s replaced by the concrete monster that’s currently being constructed right next to it.
As usual I became distracted.
Below – “IiN” some ghostly remains from further along the beach.
Below – “Flinders Point” just around the corner from the calm harbor area there’s a lot more ocean wave activity.
There were waves crashing all over the place here but the long exposure makes it look deceptively calm.
Below – “Flinders Back-Beach” near the blow hole area. Stop giggling, that’s what it’s called !!
Following is a series of bracketed and tone-mapped long exposure images from Safety Beach, Victoria, Australia.
All were shot in the late afternoon using ND400 and ND8 filters combined to achieve the desired long exposure times.
Below – “Safety Beach Jetty“
Here’s how I do my bracketed images – Many of my waterscapes are long exposure tonemapped images generated from 3 exposures at 0,-2 and +2 EV. In order to achieve these 3 exposures I set my camera to aperture priority mode, enable auto bracketing and set the ISO as low as it will go. I then tinker with the aperture value, iso value and either add or remove ND filters in order to force the camera to achieve a shutter speed of 8 seconds for the first exposure (0 EV). Now when the shutter button is activated the camera gives me 3 exposures at 8 seconds, 2 seconds and 30 seconds (which corresponds to approximately 0,-2 and +2 EV)
When these 3 exposures are blended together (tonemapped) in an HDR program the resulting image contains the misty silky effects from the 8 and 30 second exposures and also contains some details from the slower 2 second exposure. When shooting REALLY fast moving water I usually aim for a faster initial exposure time of say 4 seconds. The camera then gives me 3 bracketed exposures at 4 seconds, 1 second and 16 seconds (0,-2 and +2 EV)
The aim is to catch some detail in the fastest exposure but also benefit from the misty effect of the longer exposures.
UPDATE – Oct 2012 – If you’re looking for an introductory guide on how to use the ND400 have a look at my other blog post here.
Below – “Seep” a stormwater drain at Safety Beach.
Yes, a drain can look beautiful.
Below – “Jettison” another stormwater drain at Safety Beach.
Amongst the photographic gems that Grantville beach makes available to photographers is a set of 3 rows of short pylons.
No doubt these pylons are the remains of an old jetty but they differentiate themselves from other such sites in a couple of interesting ways. Firstly, it’s unusual to see 3 rows of pylons like this. Most old jetties leave behind only two rows of pylons.
Secondly the pylons are extremely short here, with most of them extending from the muddy base by only a few short inches.
The short stature of these pylons provides photographers with an interesting challenge. At high tide the pylons are invisible as they’re completely submerged by water, and at low tide they’re an awful looking series of posts sitting in mud.
The challenge for the photographer is to arrive at the site during a narrow window of opportunity whilst the tidal transition ideally has all of the pylons surrounded by water around their bases and yet not enough water to make them shorten or disappear below the surface.
Below – “Runway to the Afterlife“
On my first visit to the site I was extremely lucky and caught the tide at just the right height. I wasn’t aware of how elusive these pylons could be until subsequent visits, hoping to catch the pylons in a different light, I haven’t been fortunate enough to arrive at the right time.
Below – “Mortality” an image taken near the pylons on a different evening. The dark brooding sky sets the mood of the image. In the foreground lays a dead jellyfish, stranded by the outgoing tide.
Below – “Deep Creek Reflections“, also near the pylons Deep Creek enters the Westernport Bay.
On excursions where I’m near a bridge or pier, my inner troll has a tendency to take control and drag me under.
Sometimes the results are quite pleasing. Strangely enough I often find the underside to be more photographically pleasing than the top side.
Below – “Gateway” the underside of the San Remo bridge.
Below – “San Remo Bridge” the gateway to Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia.
Below – “Dromana Downunder” the underside of Dromana pier. No trolls under here!
I visited Grantville the day after Victoria had been hammered by unusually high rainfall.
Apparently the extreme rainfall was a side effect of cyclone Yasi’s passage across Queensland and into central Australia.
With the worst of the rain over, the day provided some beautiful photographic conditions with the sun filtered through an interesting arrangement of constantly changing storm clouds.
I love the beach down this way. Each time I visit here I discover something new.
Before I discovered photography I would never have guessed that I would find storm water drains interesting.
Below – “Purge” a storm water drain running into Westernport Bay.
For those who are interested in the technical details, the drain images are constructed using HDR tone mapping techniques. The long exposures were achieved using a combination of ND400 and ND8 filters on the end of the lens to smooth the waves on the water.
Below – “Running from the Idols” – another drain dumping water into Westernport Bay.
Below – “Grantville Jetty” – a view from the jetty looking out towards the boat ramp marker posts.
Below – “After the Rains” – a long exposure image from Grantville beach as rain clouds exit. An old boat trailer sits semi-submerged in the foreground.