* Crepuscular Beauty & Rock detail - Oak Park 5th July 2014. July 05 2014

The sky was clear again, & thankfully, it was not as cold as yesterday. In fact, for the 1st time since I started this Blog, I walked back to the Car actually warm !!. That was a nice feeling. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. I continued my Torch-work, with some beautiful detail images of the rocks, Sand & Crepuscular rays of the pre-Dawn.  

The Serenity & calm this morning was total. No surfers. No Jellybean Minstrels. I haven't seen them in some days, now. They may not like the Low tide, perhaps. It's probably less than waist-deep at Low tide.  

The resident mosquito-catcher paraded elegantly for me. I felt like David Attenborough. At the same time, a gaggle of Ducks hunted as a pack in the shallows outside the Pool wall, before moving quickly on. 

Another beautiful morning at Oak Park. Hullo, Bernadette !



* A (Light) Painted Dawn: Oak Park 26th June 2014. June 26 2014

In the total darkness of a very dark pre-Dawn, I started taking extended Exposures of the Bate Bay area, with the Kurnell Oil Refinery & the Cape Bailey Lighthouse at the top of the image. For some time now, I had wanted to do long exposures of this scene, including the dramatic rocks around Oak Park in the image. Light-Painting, for me, is a way of achieving a result that otherwise wouldn't be possible. I see my Light-Painting being in a `Less-is-More' style, which probably describes my Photography at large.The Exposure shown below was the 3rd taken. A 30 sec Exposure @ F/8, with the Nikkor 24mm F/1.4 Prime Lens. A new Moon, sitting just off the Cape Bailey headland, lots of Stars & lots of Aircraft trails. I'm hopeful of offering this image for purchase, so I've got some cleaning-up to do ... 

The Dawn was approaching, with a clear sky. The Surfers were keen, after a couple of very windy days. Gee, this place is pretty ! A 3-stop Grad Filter helps keep the foreground in the image.

The image below shows both of Bate Bay's headlands, with Jibbon Head at right. The Sun is close, now ...

The early rays get into the breaking waves beautifully. Shooting with the Sun in the image is a delicate balance of protecting Highlights & keeping the rest of the image light enough to appreciate. 

A perfect morning. Tomorrow ? Heaven only knows !. I'm hopeful of more Light-Painting - Oak Park has lots of Rocks...

* The Jellybean Minstrels under a Pastel Dawn; Oak Park 23rd June 2014. June 23 2014

One of the pleasures I get every morning I come to Oak Park, is to see the Jellybean Minstrels. As mentioned in some of my previous Blogs, a small group of local senior citizens gather, I think on week-day mornings, to start their day with a gentle swim, a chat & a couple of songs together. No doubt they've seen some special sun-rises, & today's was a beauty.   

I love the Oak Park Pavilion. It always looks good, with the Night-Lights still on, with the saturated tones of the early extended Exposures. No Filters yet.

The Surf-Ski paddler slips quickly through the Dawn ... with 3 stops of Grad Filters to bring up the Fore-ground.

The 1st 2 arrive, with assistance as always ...The incredible Pink tint of early Dawn is spreading quickly across the under-Layer, & changing quickly to a deeper hue that goes through Crimson & approaches Orange ..

Some gentle laps & the Dawn evolves. The cloud is moving quickly out to sea ..

 a third participant, & a Sea-gull awaits the morning Chorus ...

the 7am Cargo-ship enters Botany Bay, at the top of the image. The Sea-Gull enjoys the harmonies, & a solitary Photographer feels privileged, once again ...

Leaving the water, duty done, once again. The pastels of pre-Dawn disappear quickly. Monday 23rd June has begun, at Oak Park.

* What a Difference a Day Makes - Oak Park 17th June 2014. June 17 2014

Oak Park this morning was quiet. Very different to yesterday, when I had to make a hasty retreat from a rising tide & a solid 2 metre swell. As well, it was not as cold this morning. 12 degrees C today. The sky had colour very early, leading to a clear & very beautiful Sun-rise. I positioned myself to take advantage of the Low tide. As far out on the reef as it is possible to get (past the end of the Pool). My 2 images today show the reef for which Sandshoes is famous in East-Coast surf-lore. There are some deep holes there. I had to be careful, especially in the Pitch-Black when I was setting-up. 

 The `Jellybean Minstrels' had a big role-up this morning, & the Singing was boisterous, with a dramatic `Oiii' at the finale. Richard, from Seabreeze Cronulla B+B swam Australian Crawl & Back-stroke, which I photographed for him to use as an email to overseas friends. As well, I spied a woman going through the crevices in the Reef, picking up pieces of rubbish. Richard had told me about a secretive person, who leaves rubbish piled up in a neat heap, in different places around the foreshore (rather like the little Tibetan prayer stones of my Travels). Tuesday 17th June had started in glorious fashion, at Oak Park. Tomorrow ?. I might Photograph Oak Park Beach. If I use a wide-angle Lens, that might make it look big enough to warrant a Surf Club ! 

* The Oak Park Light-show, & the "Jellybean Minstrels" .. June 12 2014

Today was a great Day to get out of bed early. The pre-Dawn Light-show was smokin', & I talked to some Locals (after the shoot - not during the shoot ... !!!), who gave me the good guts on the small group of swimmers who gather at Oak Park pool every morning. 

I'd noticed that a group of middle-aged people gathered each morning, whilst I was shooting Dawns, at Oak Park. And, it suddenly dawned on me that there was singing coming from somewhere. Over time, I realised that the same 2 songs were being sung, each time. A couple of bars of `Oh, What a Beautiful Morning' & `Jolly Good Company'. Which was a blast, I thought. Then, today I connected with a couple of people, 1 of whom was a participant (my first Jellybean Minstrel !). She was suitably self-deprecating about it all, which was nice, I thought. But she was standing on the cool sand, with bare feet, in 11 degree C, whilst I'm barely visible through the scarves, beanies & layers of clothes I wear each morning, freezing all the while. She told me that they'd been doing this for 40 years (I kid you not !). 

As I plan to spend a fair bit of time shooting at Oak Park, I'll be in a good position to enjoy this morning sing-a-long. It's a great way to start the day. And, you can be sure; if there's any `spice', I'll be quick to pass it on ...