Tag Archives: nature

Norah Head Lighthouse – NSW Landscape Travel Photos

2012 Road-trip up the NSW coastline with my buddy Timothy Yip

Day 1 of 6

Earlier on in the day we had left Sydney to drive up north to visit the sights at Terrigal, which is in the Central Coast region. The weather was fantastic with blue skies and little cloud cover. I will post the Terrigal collection in another post.

Here are 2 highlights taken from our 2nd destination, Norah Head Lighthouse, around 3PM in the afternoon. Pictured in the first image is of course Norah Head Lighthouse, and in the second, is a small (but colourful) part of the massive rock platform on which the lighthouse is perched atop of (you can see on the Google Maps image below). Storm clouds were brewing off the coast and we started to feel a light sprinkle of rain, so we packed up our gear and walked back to the car park to seek refuge in a motel so we could recharge for the night.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head Lighthouse.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head.jpg

Andrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head Lighthouse.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head.jpg

Where is Norah Head Lighthouse?

Note: the beautiful aqua and blue colours emanating from the massive rock through the water.

Gear for the shoot

  • Canon 50D
  • Tokina 11-16mm F2.8
  • Benro carbon-fiber tripod
  • Aputure remote shutter trigger

 

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Stormy Dawn at Flat Rock beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths

Today in Sydney the weather is absolutely dreadful, I had some time off from work, and was inspired to finish editing these pics I took over a year ago in Newcastle during a landscape photography road-trip half way up the east coast of Australia with my friend and fellow photographer Timothy Yip.

2012 Road-trip up the NSW coastline

Day 3 of 6

This was one the most challenging environments I’ve shot in, and it was a choice we made to endure these conditions and see how much we (and our cameras) could physically take. Plus we didn’t really have a choice since we were only there for a couple days and had to make to the most of this trip! 🙂

Newcastle; canoe pool; andrew croucher photography; NSW; australia; Beach; east coast; storm; dawn; bad weather; dramatic; fine art; landscape; black and white; slow shutter; rain; seascape; nature; ocean baths; canon; 50d; tokina; 11-16;

Strong winds blowing seawater off the ocean bath’s surface.

So it was Boxing Day, 26th of December, 2012, 4:30 AM (2nd day of our NSW east-coast road trip), cold, dark, very windy with some light rain when we got to Newcastle Ocean Baths (right on the beach). There was zero chance of a majestic sunrise happening, and the conditions weren’t ideal for us or the cameras. Strong winds blew seawater and rain onto the lens and into the buttons of the cameras so we were frequently wiping the lenses dry only for it to get a few more drops the instant you take a shot. This limited our compositions too, we weren’t able to get out to the rocks facing the ocean because the waves were crashing violently and spraying up too much sea water which meant we couldn’t get down low to the water with the cameras and tripods for those awesome low wide-angle shots. So with our large hot cups of McDonald’s coffee and cameras in our hands, we braved the weather and began scouting the area to find some other interesting scenes to shoot.

We felt like we were National Geographic photographers risking our lives for awesome photos. The morning was long, we walked (marched) in the rain for hours, but towards the end of our journey, we ended up getting soaked by a few massive waves hitting a break-wall and then we had to call an end to it. We were freezing cold by this point, and had a long walk back to the car…

So far, my favourite two shots for the day (and the ones I’ll publish for printing or licensing) are taken at Flat Rock beach, Newcastle (shown below). This location is popular for surfing and there are annual tournaments held here. Newcastle in general has a huge surfing culture and waves are good year-round.

I liked the movement in the water and the clouds, even though the exposures where only for 5 seconds, you can see quite a bit of cloud movement, an indication of just how windy it was that day. I decided black and white also for these photos because they looked more dramatic and have this fine art quality about them.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle Flatrock Beach (1).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle - Stormy dawn - Flatrock Beach (1).jpg

Andrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle Flatrock Beach (1).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle - Stormy dawn - Flatrock Beach (1).jpg

 

 

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Empress Falls – Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains

This stream runs from the spill off of the Valley of Waters Creek. Taking millions of years to cut a narrow canyon (now known as Empress Canyon, it is now popular for abseiling) through the upper layers of the Blue Mountains Sandstone to end up here at Empress Falls where the water spills 30 meters from the gorge and into a deep pool, surrounded by fern-filled ledges.

Empress Falls was the 2nd waterfall along the 9km Wentworth Falls circuit. It was a tough downhill trail with an even tougher uphill stair climb that reaches inclines of up to 60degress. Your legs will be burning with lactic acid as you climb up the steep stairs up the side of a waterfall, but with every step you take you remind yourself to hold on to the rail or you could fall backwards very easily down 70m to your death.

While taking this shot, a well-built shirtless man in shorts and sneakers was jogging past, as I waited for him to clear the scene, I realised that he could be running around the same trail that my friend and I were hiking which I thought was pretty impressive! And this inspired me to run this trail one day. I think it would be awesome to run through these wonderful scenes and breath in the forest air while getting a punishing workout!

Behind the image

This is actually 3 horizontal images stitched together to make 1 image. This was due to the fact that I broke my wide angle lens on another expedition, and had to rely on my Sigma 30mm during this trip to the Blue Mountains. Fitted onto my Canon 50D, I had to take a lot of multiple shots to fit in these epic waterfalls and landscapes. Not only does this take up more room on the memory card, but I would later have to stitch up these images which was a long process. But frankly, I enjoy the whole process of seeing it come together. And it ends up making my images a higher resolution (more megapixels), with more detail due to the multiple shots.

After stitching this image up, I played with the perspective of the image to get more depth and visual aesthetic.

Then converted it into black and white in Photoshop, while paying attention to the tones, I burned (darkened) some of the shadows to highlight and focus the eye on the waterfall.

Empress Falls - Blue Mountains - Panoramic -Andrew Croucher Photography.jpg

Empress Falls - Blue Mountains - Panoramic -Andrew Croucher Photography.jpg

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Garie Beach First-Light

I love the subtle lighting of the foreground, and the the way the blue and pink tones mesh with the orange and yellow in the sky. What an awesome sight!

Click here to purchase this in print, poster, canvas and poster formats …AND… Click here to browse my virtual gallery

Garie beach, royal national park, seascape, ocean,beach,  pre dawn, first light, cloud

Garie Beach – A secluded beach south from Sydney, along a small section of the east coast, in The Royal National Park, New South Wales, Australia. It’s a very popular location for surfing and said to have the ‘best waves in Sydney’, several competitions are held here annually.


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A visit to Taronga Zoo

Today was spent with my entire family plus my brother’s girlfriend, we got to Taronga Zoo at 10:30am, in time for the first show of the day, the ‘seal show’ which was funny, cute, and amazing to see how well trained they are.  Then we walked around while I took shots of ‘snap-worthy’ subjects . A couple hours quickly past, so it was time for the ‘bird show’. This show was equally as good as the ‘seal show’, but there’s something about the amount of birds flying around and swooping over your head that made for an even more spectacular sight, my camera shutter was firing off like a machine gun to capture them in flight!

The tigers and lions were beautiful, their form and colour along with the setting they were in set the scene nicely, it was where I snapped my favourite and most popular pictures.

Unfortunately, we had missed the ‘Dinosaur’s in the wild’ expo by 1 day! But at least they still had most of the animatronic dinosaurs available to see, except they weren’t moving or making noises.

Other things we saw were insects, reptiles, more birds, more mammals, a decent display of native and non-native flora, and a great view of Sydney’s skyline.

We spent 5 hours there, leaving at 3ish, and were buggered by the end of it. It was impossible for me to photograph everything, at times I would have my mom or brother’s girlfriend saying “look over there” pointing out interesting scenes to shoot while I was focusing on something else, so thanks for helping get more interesting shots! The whole experience was educational along with lighthearted family fun!

Here are some shots for the day.

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