* 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.
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 !
If I were to pick a theme to describe this morning's pre-Dawn shoot, I would struggle. And, that typifies shooting a Dawn. As the Light changes, the way you shoot changes in tandem. The 1st Exposure was 69 secs at 5.54am (60 mins before Sun-up). Torch-work was necessary to achieve a foreground. The Cape Bailey lighthouse stands guard.
The 2nd Exposure was all about achieving defintion of the Crepuscular rays, as the Sun's rays emerge through the off-shore pollution. I under-exposed to enhance the rays, with a 2-stop Grad Filter. 6.27am, 0.8 sec @ F/8.
3rd Exposure is all about the Sandstone; Texture & Colour. Subtle & beautiful.
4th Exposure @ 6.53am. 0.5 sec @ F/16. I wanted to emphasise the movement of the incoming wave, as well as the detail in the rock-pools at my feet. Love this.
Emphasising movement once more, but it's all about the early rays of the Sun in the droplets of the incoming wave. And tomorrow's Lens ?. 70-200mm F/2.8 Zoom.
With the Wedding Photographer's pet Lens mounted, I arrived at Oak Park about 70 minutes before Sun-up. Ready for anything. The forecast is for a major change in weather, with cold winds. I started shooting from the back of the Park. I could see cloud, or rather, 1 large Cloud. The 1st Exposure shows the slow build-up of colour (it took more than 30 minutes to reach it's peak). The park lights are on, & a car sits behind me with it's Head-lights on, as a Surfer studies the Swell. And there's lots to study. The Swell is big.
The colour was beautiful, with Full Pastel Pinks. The Park lights were off by this late stage, giving the colour maximum effect. Gee, it's a beautiful place. The Council did a great job of the re-furbishment. It lends images of this sort a terrific structure. A Photographer's Dream. Just add colour !. This image ia available for purchase as a Framed Print, & can be found in the New Images galleries.
The swell was increasing as the Sun got above the horizon. The early Sun smashed us with a strong Gold colour, which I had to tone down in Processing.
All along the walk-way above the coast, early-morning exercisers were taking in the increasing swell & the beautiful Sun-rise. Surfers were going out at Windy Point, to the North.
The rocks at Oak Park continue to fascinate me. I expect to see lots more rock tomorrow, with Sand being scoured away rapidly.
A Study of the beautiful colour in the sandstone at water level.
I took 1 for the team, here. I managed to get the gear up out of the way, & was left standing in a wave swirling up to mid-Shin. I didn't push my luck ... Tomorrow's Lens ? 35mm Prime. Conditions ?. I suspect tomorrow will be Stormy. As a late note, I'm having exploratory talks with a fellow Photographer, about running Tuition classes. I'll keep you posted. HaveaGoodDay.
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...
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 ...
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