Cronulla Rock Pool sunrise shoot

Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 1

OK, by the time I was finished with my 1 hour yoga session at 6:20 a.m. I didn’t really have much time to look for a spot, compose the scene, setup the camera and test which Lee filters would give the best results. Plus, there were 6 other photographers already there, taking the prime spots!

By 6:45 a.m. the sun had risen above the horizon, we got about 5 mins of sun before it was covered by the clouds, luckily I managed to capture the shots I wanted.

But in saying that, the Lee filter system did take some time to setup and get used to. The first test shots were with the 0.9 Soft Grad filter on it’s own, I was rushing so I actually forced it into the mount crossing the first and second slots, which I found was easy to do, fortunately it didn’t damage the mount. A couple minutes later I tried the Big Stopper filter and achieved the nice looking effects I wanted. But noticed that the sun was flaring up a bit in the shot so I added the 0.9 (3- stops) Soft Grad ND filter and this seemed to control the harsh light in the horizon better.

Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool
Sun Salutation – Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool
Taken with the Lee Big Stopper + 0.9 ND Soft Grad


I tried the polariser on it’s own and it didn’t make too much difference to the quality of the shot, just darkened the image and perhaps saturated the clouds a bit more, I should also note that and at 11mm on my wide-angle lens (actually 17.6mm on cropped sensor), there was some harsh vignetting occurring at the corners but not too much. Anyways, I used the Big stopper with it to get a decent shot, just crop off the vignette at the top and bottom to make the panoramic style shot.

Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool, Lee big stopper and CPL
Unedited – Taken with the Lee Big Stopper and CPL – Notice the vignette at 11mm (17.6mm equiv. on cropped sensor)


It was another learning experience and I will keep going back for more!

Also spotted Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine’s glamour girl and former Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood snapping pics, enjoying the sunrise and going for a swim… boy does she have a fit and strong body!

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