* Greys Skies = Textures - Oak Park 15th July 2014. July 15 2014

It seems like ages since I saw a clear Dawn sky at Oak Park. A solid cloud cover gave a warmer morning, & I was comfortable as I concentrated on photographing the rocks & sand around the rocky foreshore. The 1st image highlights 1 of the features of the area. Shown here is the water that constantly seeps into the sea, coming from underneath the ground. The area is underlain  with a solid layer of rock,. which causes drainage issues amongst the land--owners here. At various points in the rocky foreshore, little rivulets of water can be found welling up from the water table. 

I love the outcrops of rock around the area. Fantastic textures & colours, worn smooth by the never-ending grind of waves & sand. The amount of sand movement here is amazing !

Shades of Grey, making capturing interesting compositions difficult. It's said that a worthy Photographer can shoot anything, & make it look interesting ...!!!

 Jibbon Head, parked beneath a solid layer of coastal cloud. Ah, the serenity (that's my `Castle' moment ..

* A Grey Dawn - Oak Park 14th July 2014. July 14 2014

For a change, this morning dawned Grey & uninviting. Quite a change from recent weeks, where I've had mostly clear Dawns along with the odd semi-Cloudy one. This morning followed on from the Saturday evening, when I came to Oak Park to shoot the Full Moon, & failed due to the sudden Cloud cover. My 1st Exposure here is a 30 sec shot, @ 6.25am. The colour-cast from the Night-lights on the Esplanade lend a deep-golden hue. Torch-work assisted in defining the far rocks as well as the foreground. Looking South, across the Pool to Bundeena at the top of the image.

I shot this morning with the 70-200mm F/2.8 Zoom, & enjoyed the challenge of compacted Compositions with the compression characteristic of Zoom Lenses. Exposure 0.4 sec @ F/3.5 at 6.44am. Low Tide makes the pool wall seem higher than usual. 

 No stunning pre-Dawn light this morning. Almost enough to give me Monday-itus. The mid-year holidays finish today - back to work, everybody !! HaveaGoodDay.

* "Improve your Photography" workshops - Oak Park 12th July 2014. July 12 2014

Clear & Cold once again, with good Colour. This 1st image is a 60 sec exposure @ F/11, taken at 5.56am. Some Torch-work to highlight the Hand-rails & signs. The Lens is the 70-200mm F/2.8 Zoom, which is a nice fit for both these images. It's a Lens I should use more often (I do like my Primes !). 

The 2nd image is an Exposure with 5 stop of ND Filters, giving a Shutter speed of 1 sec. I'm hoping to get some classic `Wave-trails" motion images next week. I'd hoped also to get some images of the Full Moon, in this morning's shoot. As that didn't happen, I'll be back down to Oak Park tonight, to chase the Moon some more. (And, I'll be howling if I don't get some useable images ...). I was joined in this morning's shoot by Kevin Weir, Jim Merchant & his partner Cheryl (who's also a most capable Shooter .. !). Jim, Cheryl & I talked over breakfast about the "Improve Your Photography" workshop business Jim's just established on Meetup; the World-wide Internet-based group. I'll be signing on as well (as soon as I finish this Blog !). So, if your'e unhappy with your shooting, contact us on the Meetup "Improve your Photography" web-site. We'll put the enjoyment & exciting results into your Photography - guaranteed !

* Perfect Dawn colour & the 85mm Portrait Lens - Oak Park 9th July 2014. July 09 2014

Oak Park this morning is dark, but with lots of stars. Not much breeze, so colour should be good. I chose the 85mm Prime Lens for this morning. Now, Oak Park isn't a big area, but 85mm is a Portrait Lens. This'll be interesting (this'll be tough ..!). 1st image is a detail of the rock at the steps into the pool at Oak Park. Torch Painted (I could hardly see the steps at this point).   

2nd exposure is the steps closest to the ocean, with Torch Painting. The tide's up, giving the result an ethereal effect. 

As the Sun approaches, the colour is magic. No cloud-cover today. Cape Bailey sits at the top of the image. I love how it forms a border to so many of the images you see of Cronulla. 

The view from Sandshoes reef to Windy Point is one of my favourites. The light this morning shows this scene at it's best. 

Those steps again, with Jibbon Head in the background. 

A big weather change from today. Windy & cold weather is forecast. Tomorrow could be anything. Today's Lens choice pressured me to shoot images that are condensed, but gave me the luxury of using Grad Filters to bring in the foreground. Tomorrow's Lens ? The Wedding Photographer's Lens; 24-70mm F/2.8 Zoom. HaveaGoodDay...

* Settled Weather at 50mm (low to the ground) - Oak Park 8th July 2014. July 08 2014

In anticipation of wild weather in coming days, that might have me shooting from the shelter of the art deco Oak Park Pavilion, I wanted to capture Light, Colour & Depth-Of-Field. I'd decided to use the 50mm Prime Lens, which is challenging. Anyone can use a Zoom; the Lens does the Composition for you. Prime Lenses are sharp, but they make you work for your Composition. The Dawn was as previous; lovely colour but with virtually no Cloud (Love a Good Cloud, Stevie J ...!).  

The first 2 Exposures show the colours I see through the viewfinder in those moments before Sun-rise. They disappear quickly, though. At that point, images may change from colour-driven to feature-driven. 

The colour of the first rays of Sunlight in the broken waves are absolutely Pink, progressing quickly to Gold, which we have in the 3rd exposure. The Weed, if shot at the Pink stage, looks pretty weird.

All these images are shot close to the ground, to involve the viewer to the maximum possible extent. Shooting these images at shoulder-height would lose any connection the viewer has with the image. 

The 5th image shows the Seagulls having their morning spruce-up. They wouldn't come closer to me this morning, so I had to shoot the weed as the subject (a Zoom would have been good ..!!!). So, which Lens tomorrow ?. Hmmm....HaveaGoodDay.

* A Lens Change - Oak Park 7th July 2014. July 07 2014

Cold & clear was the forecast once again, & I stayed under the covers a little longer, as a result. I wanted to concentrate on the after-Dawn light, today, as I was bringing a 70-200mm F/2.8 Zoom to Oak Park. I wanted to concentrate on the small picture today: Detail, Light & Compression. We're facing a major weather change in coming days, which could blow away the pollution that gives us our Dawn colour. I need to make the most of this beautiful Light whilst we have it. Typically, off-shore cloud delayed the Sun-rise. 

The seagulls have a cleaning session in the 1st rays of the Sun, every morning. 

This guy struck out on his own, to sample some of the Weed growing on the rocks. The other gulls were watching carefully, in case he got some food they hadn't seen.

Surfers were happy. There's a fair amount of swell on the horizon at the moment. The water's getting cooler, Macca tells me ..

Clean conditions with the off-shore breeze.

The rocks are a lovely aspect of Oak Park, especially around Sun-up. The Zoom Lens gave me lots of different options, this morning. I'll be using a different Lens every day; challenging myself to make the most of the compositions on offer with each Lens. HaveaGoodDay ...

* Leah-Anne Thompson & a Beautiful Dawn - Oak Park 6th July 2014. July 06 2014

It's always a tough process, doing a Blog. Getting out of bed, I find, is a breeze (well, relatively speaking). But, culling the images to a Bloggable few .. that's tough. For every image you people see each day, there's another 5 that show a part of the Dawn. And, getting out of bed to do this Blog each day, I find, leaves me in a good frame of mind. It starts my day well.

The 1st image is the `default' 30 sec exposure. It tells me about the Light (I'll define that better 1 day). Lots of Torch-work in this early image. 

6.02am. 30 secs @ F/11. No Filters. Lens 14-24mm F/2.8 @ 14mm.   

2nd Exposure was under-exposed to emphasise the Crepuscular rays. Beautiful colour, but remained Low to the horizon.

6.31am. 0.4 sec.

For the 3rd Exposure, I turned away from the Dawn, to catch the beautiful Light to the South-West. At 14mm, a huge Distance is covered in an image. Metering images like this must be accurate. 

6.36am. 0.3 sec

I don't often shoot away from the Dawn (often, I can't see the South-West from where I'm shooting). Today's Light around Dawn was delicate Pastels. Very beautiful. I wanted to highlight the Pool-edge, with the beautiful Sand patterns, taking advantage of the awesome reach of the Lens at 14mm. I chatted after the shoot with Leah-Anne Thompson, who shoots with a 5D3 & a 17-40mm F/4. She has a Facebook page, named LA Thompson. & she shoots good, folks ..! You can see Leah-Anne, perched up on the rocks, in the Red Parka. Another sensational Dawn at Oak Park. We're due for some tough weather, surely.. !

6.53am 1/5 th sec.

* Clear & Cold, with Gear Problems - Oak Park 4th July 2014. July 04 2014

Thursday, July 4th dawned clear & Cold. 5 degrees C, on the Beach. And, I had gear problems. Actually, I blame my Torch, but I was the problem. I kep swivelling the foot of the Torch as I was swivelling the head, when turning it on. Except, it wouldn't turn on. It took 10 precious minutes to work out that I was breaking the contact in the Torch. At 5 degrees C, I wasn't impressed. The whole Caboodle nearly went in the pool, at the height of it ... This exposure was the 1st,. & last exposure of the pre-Dawn. Sorry !

6.02am Exposure; 30 secs @ F/11. (14mm). I love how the Cape Bailey Lighthouse peeps over the top of the Pool Wall (mid-way between the 2 signs). Some subtle Torch-work brings up the foreground detail... I had high hopes for this morning. Rats !!