* 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 !

* 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.

* 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 !



* Oak Park @ 14mm; Oak Park 3rd July 2014. July 03 2014

Oak Park has enjoyed clear skies for days now. Time to shake things up, a bit. I decided to concentrate on the Pool, using a 14mm Lens to showcase the quiet beauty of the area. 14mm is wide, & is ideal for this, provided there is lots of foreground interest. Oak Park has lots of foreground interest. Starting at 6.17am, with some subtle Torch-work to outline the Pool fence, & get some detail on the floor of the Pool. I saw a baby Octopus rise fleetingly to feed at the surface yesterday. This view shows Jibbon Head & Bundeena behind the Pool.  

The Oak Park beach (not Patrolled, no Flags ..), with more Torch-work.

The Oak Park Pavillion, & the view toward Windy Point. Rocks everywhere with the Low tide...

 The reef is shallow, a beautiful Sunrise, & 1 of the bunch of early-morning regular Surfers ..

& the final exposure showing the colour in the growth on the rocks. 

* 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...