The Week’s My Sunday Photo is a flashback. It’s called Cronulla Baths Sunrise.
I haven’t had much time to get out and about with the camera this week, so I’m cheating and throwing in a flashback. Those of you familiar with my blog might remember that in April I posted a My Sunday Photo called Staring At The Sun. It was taken on a sunrise trip to Cronulla, in which I attempted to capture a photo for Emma’s birthday. Ultimately I succeeded in that goal and we have the photo hanging on our wall at home.
This photo is one of the ‘contenders’. I managed to shoot several decent panoramas, each capturing a slightly different aspect of the wonderful Cronulla baths and South Cronulla beach (click on picture to see it in all its glory!).
I like the way that this one shows some human activity at the baths. I admire (and am slightly jealous of) those regular visitors who make the sunrise trip to the baths for a swim. If you look carefully, you can see one person making his way over to the baths, while another is already swimming in the otherwise still water.
I also like the cloud formation in the sky. It’s slightly ominous, as if the beautiful start to the morning may quickly be consumed by a wild storm.
My Sunday Photo for this week is a snapshot of a perfect Winter’s day in Sydney
We woke up this morning and decided to take full advantage of a perfect day. We headed to an excellent playground next to one of Sydney’s best beaches. Hannah had a play on the equipment, then we sat on the beach to have some lunch. There were plenty of surfers in the water, enjoying some fantastic conditions. A few seagulls came over to say ‘hello’ (although I think they were more interested in whatever Hannah dropped).
My Sunday Photo for this week is a series of my three favourite photos from my recent excursion to the beach.
For the full story and all of the sunrise photos, you can click here (go on, it’s worth it!). The full series of bird photos is coming soon.
As I explain in the full post, things don’t always go to plan. I had ventured to the beach with a very specific sunrise photo in mind. Unfortunately, a range of factors conspired to make sure that wouldn’t happen. But maybe that was for the best. What I ended up with was three very different experiences and sets of photos.
The first photo is a stitched panorama of a pier that has fallen into disrepair. It is slowly being swallowed by the beach that has slowly grown around it (when I was a child, I visited this spot and the beach was just a thin strip of sand). The colours of the sunrise were muted by the thick cloud, but I didn’t mind as I feel that the dark clouds add to the atmosphere.
The second photo is looking over Botany Bay, towards the industrial area of Port Botany. At this point the sun burst through the clouds. The light changed completely and bathed the whole bay in a gold. I normally dislike the nuclear explosion effect of shooting directly into the rising sun, but in this case I was quite pleased with the results. The heavy cloud and silhouetted features of the bay created an interesting picture.
My final photo is of the birds that I stumbled upon on my way back to the car. It’s a story for another post (coming soon, but this my favourite photo.
Remember to check out the rest of my sunrise photos here, if you are interested, and check back soon for the story of the birds!
One of my favourite things to do is get out of the house before dawn, drive to a beach or river and set up for a sunrise photo shoot.
It was an activity that I used to do semi-regularly, but with work and family commitments it had been a long time since I’d had the opportunity. A couple of days ago, however, the timing was right. I had a late start to work, but I also had to be out of the house before Hannah woke up, so that I didn’t interfere with her usual ‘grandparents day’ routine.
I threw my photography gear into the car and headed for a special spot that I’d had in mind for some time now. It’s a place that I had first noticed over a year ago, when we had gone for a walk with Hannah in the bassinet (how quickly things change).
The Intended Subject
The thing that had caught my eye on that walk was a disused and semi-deconstructed pier. It must have fairly recently fallen into disrepair, as I actually have recollections of visiting the same spot as a kid, and watching small fish from the end of the pier. So it was surreal to see it now, disconnected, abandoned and slowly being swallowed by a sea of sand.
I arrived ten minutes before the advertised sunrise time. The pre-dawn glow told me that sunrise was imminent and so I set about finding the best place to shoot. However, immediately I had a problem. A sign informed me that the beach area was closed for maintenance. Normally such a sign wouldn’t bother me, but this sign was also accompanied by a great big digger in full swing. Also nearby was a worker in fluorescent gear, whose sole job appeared to be making sure people like me didn’t get too close.
I cursed my bad luck. The photo that I had in mind relied on access to the beach. I had hoped to capture the sun rising behind the dilapidated pier. I quickly scouted the area for a new point of view. I didn’t have much time and I sure wasn’t about to waste a rare opportunity to capture a sunrise.
A Different Point of View
From up on the walkway I found a spot that looked directly down the pier. Interesting clouds had formed over Towra Point, on the other side of Botany Bay, and a hint of pink could already be seen. I set up my tripod and set about taking a few long exposure shots in the final moments before sunrise.
Already slightly pessimistic from the limited access to my subject, I was further disheartened by the thickness of the cloud cover. Sunrise came and went, and all I had to show for it was some muted pinks and purples in the otherwise grey sky. I didn’t mind too much as it all worked together to make a grungy, apocalyptic-feeling picture. It wasn’t what I had set out to capture, but that’s the nature of photography sometimes.
A Brilliant Sunrise Through a Telephoto Lens
After taking the photos I switched to my zoom lens. I was sure that I had captured the best of the sunrise and the colours in the sky had begun to fade. I decided to go for a little walk and see what details I could capture. A couple of ibis birds walked past, and I took a couple of snaps of the Bin Chickens.
All of a sudden, a sharp ray of sunshine poked out from behind the clouds over Port Botany. In the blink of an eye, the whole scene changed. Golden light flooded into the bay and across the beach. The sunlight reflecting off the water was blinding, and everything in that direction suddenly became silhouetted against the brilliant sky.
I was stuck with my Telephoto lens. I was unsure of how long the glorious moment would last, plus by now I had thrown caution to the wind and jumped down onto the beach. I didn’t want to risk missing everything or damaging my equipment, so I set to making the most of the situation and shooting the scene in front of me.
On reflection, the 55-300 mm lens that I was using worked quite well. Port Botany is a fair few kilometres away from where I was standing, and this lens enabled me to capture some interesting perspectives. I took a couple of shots to stitch together as well, in order to try and capture some of the wider view.
All things considered, I was pretty happy with my morning. I witnessed a spectacular sunrise and I captured some decent photos. I really should make the effort to see the sunrise more often.
Deep within the heart of this expansive park is the wetlands of Sydney Park. They form a wonderful oasis, so close to the Sydney CBD. Find the right spot and the stresses of modern life wash away.
Hannah and I had this spot all to ourselves as we ate our grapes. I immediately felt a great sense of calmness. The sound of this spectacular water feature removed and hint of the busy world around us. Every now and then, water birds casually swam past as they too searched for a morning snack. Some people leisurely wondered past on their morning walk, but no-one stopped to share the peaceful space with us.
I chose this particular photo as My Sunday Photo because I liked the effect of the slightly longer exposure on the water. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so I had to brace myself on the handrail in order to keep the camera steady. The exposure was 1/8 sec, which is usually far too slow for me to get a decent shot hand-held, but I seemed to have gotten lucky with this one.
The seagull appeared at just the right time. He hovered over the water feature, wings a blur of movement but the rest of him just still enough.
You can read all of my thoughts about the wetlands of Sydney Park, and see some more photos here. Besides the wetlands, there was plenty of other spaces to enjoy, especially for those with children.