New images this month

I've enjoyed getting back to the local beaches this month after a winter of hiking in the hills. My month kicked off with a trip to an old favourite, Red Beach at Bribie Island, for a sunrise session with local landscape and nature photographer, Barbara Burkhardt.  We were treated to perfectly clear and calm conditions on the beach - very pleasant indeed, but also a little challenging photography-wise without the drama of clouds catching the morning sunlight or a rough sea to add a dynamic element to the scene. It might sound paradoxical, but such benign conditions can mean you have to work harder to find compositions that reflect the nature of the scene as you experienced it.

One approach is to incorporate lots of open space that features the almost featureless expanses of sea and sky you get on a calm day at the beach. That's what I've tried to do with the two images below. The first was captured before sunrise when soft, pastel tones added to the almost surreally spacious scene - I was careful to frame out all distractions, like seaweed on the shore and trees further along the beach, so as to highlight the sense of distance and openness. In the second image (taken after sunrise), the same clean expanses of sea and sky are contrasted with the detail and textures of a fallen paperbark in bright sunlight. I think for this image to work (if it does at all!) it was important to again take care to frame out all distractions other than the paperbark itself.

Red Beach: 17mm, f11, 0.6 sec, ISO200

Red Beach: 17mm, f8, 0.6 sec, ISO100

No such 'problem' with clear skies when I visited Shelly Beach, Deepwater Point and Point Cartwright on different mornings in October. It was more a matter of which dramatic cloud bank to point the camera at, and when to make a hasty retreat to cover as showers swept over the beach. The big benefit with being out on a rainy morning is the potential for unexpected and dramatic displays of light if the sun can find a break in the clouds, as it did in the 2nd, 4th and 6th images below. These displays tend to be short-lived so you have to stay aware of what is happening around you and be ready to take advantage of the moment.

Deepwater Point, Caloundra: 17mm, f11, 13 sec, ISO200

Deepwater Point, Caloundra: 17mm, f11, 0.5sec, ISO100 

Shelly Beach, Caloundra: 17mm, f8, 1/2 sec, ISO200

Shelly Beach, Caloundra: 28mm, f14, 1/2 sec, ISO200

Shelly Beach, Caloundra: 40mm, f8, 1/8 sec, ISO100

Point Cartwright: 17mm, f11, 1/6 sec, ISO125

Point Cartwright: 84mm, f8, 1/10 sec, ISO200

It was back to clear skies when I visited Wurtulla Beach - the first image below was captured around 20 minutes before sunrise when a band of warm colour developed on the horizon, creating some pretty reflections along the shore. With few clouds to catch and reflect the light, the colour faded to a narrow band of orange as sunrise approached (second image below), and was then replaced with glary sunlight as soon as the sun rose above the horizon. The third image below is probably my favourite from the morning - I've taken lots of beach images like this before and they can be very effective in capturing the expansive feel of a deserted beach. For this image I set my tripod down low so the fine texture of the sand was visible and waited for an incoming wave to create a strong diagonal line leading the eye into the distance.

Wurtulla Beach: 40mm, f11, 0.6 sec, ISO200

Wurtulla Beach: 17mm, f16, 1/8 sec, ISO100

Wurtulla Beach: 17mm, f11, 1/5 sec, ISO100

And finally, three new images from a visit to Pincushion Island late in October.

Pincushion Island: 17mm, f11, 25 seconds, ISO100

Pincushion Island: 35mm, f11, 0.6 seconds, ISO100

Pincushion Island: 17mm, f11, 1/2 second, ISO100

2014 Newsletters

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