Tag Archives: seascape

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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Cronulla Rock Pool sunrise shoot with Lee Big stopper Filter – Part 2

Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 2

Sunday (the second round), I got to the Rock pools at Cronulla 10 minutes before sunrise and claimed my spot, this time only 2 other photographers were there.

The environmental conditions were much better today than yesterday, however there was a long stretch of cloud off to the horizon that covered and delayed the sunrise shot by around 10 minutes. I wasn’t using a chart or app to calculate exposure times with the Big Stopper so this gave me plenty of time to compose the shot and get a feel for how long to expose each shot for.  To get a properly exposed pre-dawn shot using the Big Stopper, I exposed for 160 seconds, using f/11 and ISO 100.

Cronulla Sunrise

Unedited – Sunrise delayed by cloud cover in the horizon.
160 sec exposure on F/11 ISO 100
Taken with the Big Stopper

When the sun was half way up the clouds, the exposure was dropped to 61 seconds (using the same setting as above image), and once the sun was just above the clouds, I exposed for 39 seconds, using the Big Stopper and the 0.9 (3 stops) soft gradient neutral density filters to reduce the glare and brightness of the sun.

I felt more comfortable now with the Lee filters, knowing beforehand which ones I wanted to use helped me focus more on composition.

Next time I will implement the use of an exposure calculator so speed up my process of capturing these seascapes.

Cronulla Rock pool Sunrise

Sun salutation at the Rock pool
39 sec exposure on F/11 ISO 100
Taken with Big Stopper and 0.9 (3 stops) Grad ND filter

 

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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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